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Preview: Transformers: Unicron

Transformers: Unicron

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)

The end is nigh! Unicron, a planet-sized being that devours other worlds, has set its sights on Cybertron and all of its colonies–including Earth! Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and their friends must unite every Cybertronian, Earthling, and ally they have to stand against this threat to all existence. But why is Unicron hell-bent on destroying Cybertron–what original sin did Optimus Prime’s ancestors commit to earn this wrath? It’s an all-out battle against extinction as the world-destroying, universe-shattering threat of Unicron is on its way.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 168 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-423-7

The Transformers and Ghostbusters Come Together in June

Transformers/Ghostbusters

Announced at Toy Fair with the reveal of the Ecto-1 Ectotron, IDW Publishing has officially announced Transformers/Ghostbusters and released a first look.

Written and illustrated by the long-time Ghostbusters creative team of Erik BurnhamDan Schoening, and Luis Antonio DelgadoTransformers / Ghostbusters will span five issues, with the first issue’s variant covers featuring the artistic talents of Dan SchoeningPaulina GanucheauNick Roche, and Alex Milne.

In the first chapter of the “Ghost of Cybertron” storyline, the Autobots – having escaped from the war that destroyed their home planet – trace a stray Cybertronian signal to the planet Earth. Investigating the otherworldly source will bring the Robots in Disguise face-to-face with the renowned professionals of paranormal investigation and elimination: Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Zeddmore!

The team-up that has been three-and-a-half decades in the making will tie in directly to the announced toy release, featuring appearances by the new Transformers character Ectotron… as well as yet-to-be-revealed crossover surprises that are sure to cause mass hysteria in both fandoms.

Both franchises launched in 1984 and see their 35th Anniversary in 2019.

Transformers/Ghostbusters

Preview: Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two, Vol. 8

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two, Vol. 8

John Barber, James Roberts, Shane McCarthy (w) • Alex Milne, Andrew Griffith, Guido Guidi (a) • Marcelo Matere (c)

Rodimus leads a team of Autobots into Cybertron’s past, pursuing the Decepticon double-agent Brainstorm, who plans on killing Orion Pax before he can become Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, on Earth,Prowl is left in command gathering his allies, the Constructicons, to search for the one human he holds a grudge against, Spike Witwicky. Then, Drift returns! After leaving the Autobots in disgrace, he’s now alone, on a mission to clean up the darkest depths of the galaxy.

Collects Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye issues #35-40, Transformers: Robots in Disguise issues #35-38, Transformers: Punishment, and Transformers: DriftEmpire of Stone.

HC • FC • $49.99 • 400 pages • 7” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-372-8

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #6 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #6 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

EARTH WAR! With Unicron’s ultimate goal revealed, the shaky alliance of Autobots and Decepticons is all that stands between Earth and the planet-eater. Heroes will rise—and fall—as Optimus Prime journeys into the dark heart of Unicron for the final confrontation with evil. At stake: the soul of a universe.

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #5 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #5 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

THE END IS HERE! The Transformers bots make one last, desperate stand against Unicron, as Optimus Prime plunges deep into the monster—and into the dark history that spawned them both.

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Review: Transformers: Unicron #4

Unicron sets his sights on Earth… but is anyone left to defend it?

The end nears. Transformers: Unicron is THE story bringing together years of plotlines together. With references to G.I. Joe, Visionaries, the comic reads like concepts explored too little. Written by John Barber, the event brings the doombringer Unicron into the Transformers universe as part of a plan by Shockwave to rule all. With the Transformer colonies destroyed, Unicron has set its focus on Cybertron. And, with the results of this issue, it’s clear that we may be looking at the end of what we’ve known about IDW’s Transformers or the end of IDW’s run of Transformers.

There’s death. Lots of death. There’s destruction. Lots of destruction. Characters we love are killed off and everything is on the table as to what goes. It feels like everything is by end.

The issue is crammed packed with so much, much of it feels like cut scenes of a movie giving us 30 second bites as to what’s going on. Those cut scenes still give opportunity for heroes to be that and for fans to mourn their loss. Barber, along with art by Alex Milne, color from Sebastian Cheng and David Garcia Cruz, and lettering by Tom B. Long, are delivering a cinematic event. It’s an update on the classic animated film incorporating the Hasbro Universe concepts. Some of that isn’t given enough to shine with so much thrown at us.

The art is jawdropping with scenes that evoke my memory of Unicron raking his hand across Cybertron so many years ago. There’s lots here, lots packed in, and the artistic team pulls it off giving nothing short shrift.

The back-up story features the Micronauts and it’s ok, an bonus to the main feast. It’s ending of a “thanks to all of you” has me wondering if the Hasbro Universe’s time at IDW is up? That simple line along with the epic changes happening within the main story point to nothing being the same.

The comic continues an epic event that lives up the promise and shows you can do big budget popcorn event comics and make them work. The team taps into the emotion of it all giving us deaths that feel heroic and remind us “till all are one.”

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Color: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #4 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #4 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

Unicron sets his sights on Earth… but is anyone left to defend it?

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Preview: Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 3

Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 3

James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne, Brendan Cahill, Jack Lawrence (a) • Jack Lawrence (c)

Crammed into a dead Decepticon astropod that’s 10 sizes too small, the displaced crew of the Lost Light faces their most serious threat yet: each other. No worries though, Rodimus can save the day! Or maybe they’ll all die… Plus, the Scavengers have never had it so good. The war is a receding memory, their patchy service records have been forgotten, and the five of them can roam the galaxy as they please. All’s well that ends well? Not quite. Collects issues #13–18.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-331-5

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #3 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #3 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

Unicron approaches Cybertron, so Windblade enacts a desperate plan—one neither Optimus Prime nor Starscream agree with! Has Windblade outmaneuvered Shockwave’s machinations—or played right into his deadly hand?

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Review: Transformers: Unicron #2

Bumblebee investigates a dark corner of Cybertron’s past, searching for answers: what is Unicron, and why does it want to destroy Cybertron? Meanwhile, Windblade scrambles to figure out a plan as Chromia makes her return-with a Decepticon fleet in pursuit!

Things look desperate and in desperate times there’s an opening for despots to make a play for rule. Transformers: Unicron #2 picks up from the previous issue as Starscream makes the case that he should be leading the Transformers against Unicron and the Maximals. Optimus Prime’s willingness to plan and be pragmatic is exploited as a weakness and in that way, it feels like the issue mirrors our reality. Writer John Barber continues to do what IDW Publishing‘s Transformers comics do best. Roberts includes political undertones in what is giant robots battling each other.

The past series have discuss politics with no issue at all weaving them seamlessly into the narrative. Here, while leadership is discussed, the concept of taking advantage of fear to gain power is present but not overt. It’s clear though that Starscream’s boisterous claims echo the fears post 9/11 and current ones such as Isis and undocumented immigration. The fear of the unknown and the other exploited to manipulate the masses with empty promises, shows of force with little depth, all in the name of personal gain. Starscream will fail and Optimus will rise, so goes the logic, but the series in the past has shown to never get settled on the expected.

The art by Alex Milne is fantastic as always. The characters and design of everything is fantastic and the overwhelming force of the Maximals suffocating in a way. There’s that moment of dread and fear just as you realize the actual reality that’s evoked amazingly in the art and comic, slowly teased out for maximum impact.

The issue is a solid second one. The first evoked our childhood and this second one evokes our adulthood and the reality we now live in. As usual, when it comes to Transformers comics, there’s more than meets the eyes.

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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