All Hail Megatron # 1-2 Review

Humans used to just be an afterthought in the Transformers cartoon back in the day, (The day was at some point in the 1980s) but now every screen incarnation and especially the latest toon re-imagining, feels compelled to throw in a few annoying kid sidekicks to keep the youngens happy, but it annoys us jaded Generation 1 lovers, or maybe just me.

Well, IDW’s latest series happily swings things in the ‘bots favour, thanks to writer Shane Mc Carthy and artist Guido Guidi. It begins with the Constructicons tearing up New York, and loving every minute of it, with a smashing (literally) arrival of Megatron who shows the Decepticons how it’s really done. It’s a great intro to this 12 ish series, and I could even hear the characters voices in my head, like I was 12 years old again, sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday morning.
Then the US Army try their noble best, but against transforming fighter planes, their efforts are brave, but futile. The last two pages are silently set on Cybertron as the Autobots try in vain to revive their fallen leader, Optimus Prime.
The second issue begins with a name familiar to Trans Fans – Witwicky, a Colonel in fact, who gets interrupted at a party and brought up to speed about the Decepticons destruction. Meanwhile Andy Reid, a survivor from issue one’s counter attack is doing his best to dodge a “large mechanical dog,” ie, Ravage and save bystanders while doing so. There are a lot more humans, and talking, in the second issue, but there’s also Soundwave (yes!), a surprisingly frightening attack from that manic cassette tape, Frenzy and finally, an attack from Devastator, the united Constructicons behemoth. There’s nary an Autobot to be seen here, which is fitting considering the title, but one would assume the robo-heroes would show up soon, as the humans resistance is looking limp.

As a non regular TF reader, I can’t say where this fits into the TF universe, but apparently it does slot into to current IDW continuity. This is a great series for newbies though, and old Gen Xers like me. It’s action packed, well paced and creatively written. Guidi is an unusual artistic choice, but it works. His pencils are the antithesis of the standard manga inspired fare, replete with the minute technical details that often accompany Hasbro’s most famous franchise. Guidi’s pencils are rougher and he manages to convey the erratic nature of battle well, while still creating an epic scope, especially in Megatron’s arrival and Devastator’s construction.
IDW obviously believe in this series, with a combined total of 8 variant covers for these first 2 issues alone. They’re also releasing it when they already have 5 other Transformers related books currently available. With as many fans as there are out there of the old school Robots in Disguise, from IDW’s point of view, it’s a safe bet though. And they’d be right.

Farscape goes BOOM!

Well, now I have officially passed my 100 posts mark. That went fast. Anyway, BOOM! Studios are just about to release the Farscape 4 ish mini-series in conjunction with the Jim Henson Company, who helped launch the fan fave TV show back in 1998. Also on board is the show’s creator, Rockne O’Bannon and veteran novelist Keith R.A DeCandido, who worked in the Farscape universe in his 2001 book, House of Cards. From BOOM!’s press release, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the sci-fi show:

Debuting on the SCI-FI Channel in 1998, FARSCAPE follows the adventures of astronaut John Crichton, who has a freak accident during an experimental space mission that catapults him across a thousand galaxies to an alien battlefield. Suddenly, he’s trapped among alien creatures wielding deadly technology – a battle that 20th century sci-fi pop culture never prepared him for. Hunted by a merciless military race, Crichton begins his quest for home from a distant galaxy.

A groundbreaking award-winning sci-fi production, FARSCAPE has become a global favorite. Named by TV Guide as one of television’s “Best Cult Shows Ever” and most recently named by EMPIRE Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time,” FARSCAPE is known for the overwhelming fan-based campaign that led to its miniseries production.  The show has continued to find new audiences as it airs in syndication and is available on DVD around the world.

Below are the covers for the first two issues.