446 Autobots
421 Decepticons

Grimlock ♥ Ultra Magnus

I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.   

Currently reading

Savage Dragon Archives Vol. 5
Erik Larsen
Progress: 163/615pages
Permanence du discours sur Israël
Juliette Lichtenstein
Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate
Jean-Paul Sartre, Michael Walzer
Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Progress: 64/608pages
Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948
Tanya Reinhart
Progress: 44/304pages
Vision in Silver
Anne Bishop
Progress: 38/400pages
Optimus Prime #24
Andrew Griffith, John Barber
Optimus Prime #23
Priscilla Tramontano, John Barber
Optimus Prime #22
Sara Pitre-Durocher, John Barber
Optimus Prime #21
Kei Zama, John Barber

So back to the two and a half stars

Transformers - The IDW Collection - volume 4 - Andy Schmidt, Shaun Knowler, Shane McCarthy, Simon Furman

Cyclonus spotlight: 


Decent.   Good for this phase, but as I've said before, and will undoubtedly say again it doesn't hold up as excellent versus phase 2. 


Still, it gives a little background to Cyclonus, and phase 2 Cyclonus plays on this set up.   Eager to see where this ends up, to be honest.   Also near the time I was reading this, I realized I'm not sure three more volumes is enough to encapsulate all the rest of phase 1; I don't know if they're still being published, and I haven't looked at the contents of volumes six through eight, but we'll see what's what I guess!


Hardhead spotlight: 


Well, I can't really remember this which was true when I started reading it.   Apparently this didn't leave much of an impression years ago, and it still doesn't.  Hardhead isn't a favorite character and this spotlight just wasn't so spectacular that it made much of an impression on me ever. 


Doubledealer spotlight: 


Excellent look at a character who got very little page time.  Doubledealer was fascinating, more so during this spotlight; there was a lot more going on under the surface and we barely got to scratch that - and will have to be content with those quick peeks.   Unfortunate: I think he would have been incredible in phase 2, but I suppose that's what, well, another character was for!  (He played a similar role, but got more time and was, partly for this reason, was more fully developed.)


Sideswipe spotlight: 


Much more done with Sideswipe than usual, at least until phase 2.   While I feel that the writing was superior later on, there was some pretty solid character work done here, and a bit more of an expansion on the relationship between Sideswipe and Sunstreaker (twins usually, and how is different in different continuities, with some very fascinating fanfiction surrounding this.   Beware if you search for fanfic: tons of twincest since familial relationships and sex/how Cybertronians relate to sex is usually rather different in fanfiction.   But it would be far less interesting if it weren't, in my opinion.)


Anyway, I remember wondering from the start, and part of my fascination with the Sideswipe spotlight is exploring the 'brother' relationship which seems to be more brother in arms.   It was a bit of a letdown when I read that early on in this Spotlight, but there is so much solid work built up on Sideswipe's insecurities and how Sunstreaker unknowingly played into those that I quickly forgave this.   I wish this relationship had been further explored in All Hail Megatron, which I'm currently reading in volume five.   Regardless, this and Sideswipe in Phase 2 make me rather fond of him in this continuity.  


Maximum Dinobots: 


Look, this is, in retrospect, not the best of Phase 1 - and yet it remains one of my favorites.   Some Dinobot angst, and a whole bunch of them fighting.   It ties into the Machination storyline with the headhunters, what happens to Sunstreaker, Hunter, and the Shockwave Spotlight that set up the conflict between him and the Dynobots - now Dinobots. 


It's some good mindless fun and I own the retailer incentive covers of issues one through three.   I believe there were none for issues four and five. 




A fun miniseries that sets up Drift's backstory, but it has a couple flaws, like playing too heavily into the samurai stereotype.   Still, some really nice work on Drift, showing how he went from who he was to the bot I first knew and fell in love with in this continuity - the Drift from phase 2s MTMtE.   


It's getting closer to phase 2, here.   Artwork is still not quite as good, but on the other hand this is the writer who ends up with All Hail Megatron - which is damn near phase 2 level quality writing.   Drift's story is more compelling.  I think a prominent flaw of phase one is that it did a lot of twists and action, without the oomph of phase 2 - not the solid character work or layers there.   So even this mini-series feels more shallow.   I'm not surprised because this author read and adored Furman, so I think he based this off that, while still managing to write a superior story in which he hinted at what he'd accomplish later. 


Drift spotlight: 


Same author as the Drift mini-series, which is probably why I found this spotlight to be one of the better spotlights.   Still, there was a pretty huge plothole that I pointed out earlier - why would Drift be so eager to join the Autobots if he was saying they were only a step above Decepticons earlier?   Still, I love the setup at the beginning when he's looking for a ship, and I love the interaction between him and Kup.   


Metroplex spotlight: 


Yeah, not sure I really got the full impact of this one: it would help if I could remember what Metroplex was guarding or what part he played later on, I suppose.  


It seems that his treatment of the other Autobots is pretty callous.   I get that it wasn't, but I just didn't buy him in this role given that it's Metroplex...



Jazz spotlight: 


One of the better ones.   Just some absolute top notch character building, and the specific character interactions between Tracks and Jazz in particular is fabulous.   And the little chat at the ending?   Perfect!


Anyway, yeah, none of this reaches phase 2 levels, and this collection feels like a mixed bag, but overall, it's still a fun, quick read so far.