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Review Group Week 175 - TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: CLIFFJUMPER

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

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Punchy
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Postby Punchy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:56 pm

My shop didn't get this, but I'll try and get a copy somehow.

If not, I did get, and enjoyed a lot, Cap #600, so I'll do a review for that.

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Postby thefourthman » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:37 pm

Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper

Last time we read a Transformers book, it was an incomprehensible mess. So this pick filled me with trepidation. I watched Transformers when I was a kid and had Optimus Prime and Jazz and a couple others, but I was getting into girls about the same time all that hit, so other priorities took precedence. I liked the movie, but last time I read Spotlight it was part of a bigger series, said number one on it and was fairly impenetrable for those of us who do not have a degree in Transformers. I have much the same problem with most of IDW's run, it started in the middle of continuity and as a result left me lost. I think it is possible to tell stories that are continuity and do not hinder new reading. My experience with Transformers to date was not indicative of that suspicion.

Now, the issue at hand is a different story. It is told with a noir like framing sequence that flashes us back to the beginning of this story while giving an interesting introduction to the tale at hand. Given that much of the set up is kind of placid, this framing sequence grabs the read and lulls them into the story at hand. Cliffjumper is with a bunch of aliens on some other planet seperated from his Autobot friends. He is unable to fix his ship and fearful to call his buddies as the Decepticons may show as a result. Turns out his fears are correct and the Decepticons flush him out. They underestimate the "Red Runt" and sparks fly.

This is a fairly rote story, but entertaining. It is a good all ages read and easily accessible for new readers, nothing spectacular but a decent enough read.

The art is playful and solid. It lends itself well to the morality play and fantastic feel of the story. The coloring stands out, it makes the thing pop.

Story 7
Art 7
Overall 7

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Postby Mr_Batman » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:55 pm

I was able to go to my LCS today, but I wasn't able to pick this up at my LCS, as I was in a rush. I'm going back tomorrow.

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Postby ****** » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:05 am

I don't read Transformers comics anymore, I haven't since I was a little kid. I have a bit of a nostalgic urge that makes me want to, but with this being our second Spotlight issue that we've reviewed the comics aren't really pushing me in that direction. While I think from a technical standpoint this comic was produced admirably, creatively this is a story we've seen executed countless times before in other comics or in movies and television. That wouldn't be such a bad thing however if the comic itself inserted some of the trademarks of the franchise into the events of this issue. This is after all a Transformers comic, shouldn't something transform at some point... at least once? :?

The art is very fitting. The heavy manga influence suits the subject matter and the coloring makes for a very bright and vibrant look and feel.

As a stand alone character piece this works just fine. Maybe it's a bit cute in places, but not to it's detriment. I just wish there had been a bit more too it that made it uniquely Transformers.

Story: 6
Art: 7.5
Overall: 6.75

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Postby guitarsmashley » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:52 am

Gah other than the stuff on my pull list next week looks like shit.
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Postby MrBlack » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:22 am

Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper

I have been a huge Transformers fan for the majority of my life, and when IDW secured the franchise, I jumped right back into it. Apart from the numerous maxi-series' helmed by Simon Furman and Shane McCarthy, a staple of IDW's re-envisioning of the Tranformers has been their Spotlight one-shots. These started out as a way to bring focus to a single character in a way that could not be done in the maxis. While Furman eventually hijacked these in order to conclude the story he began in Infiltration (the PTB apparently wanted to clear the road for All Hail Megatron and cut the last maxi out from under Furman), with Cliffjumper and the Drift one-shot the title is back where it belongs.

After reading Shane McCarthy's excellent Drift one-shot and seeing how massively he has improved over the course of the All Hail Megatron series, I had high hopes for this issue. While my hopes weren't quite dashed, I was a bit disappointed. As both thefourthman and amlah6 have pointed out, the story is fairly rote and cliche, with a stranded Cliffjumper befriending some peaceful aliens, and then having his violent past come back to haunt him as he is discovered by Decepticon team.

There were a lot of things that I liked about the story. The story presented a side of Cliffjumper that we rarely see, and it was interesting to see how quickly he adapted to an environment without war. Of course, when the war returns to him, we soon see why the Decepticons sent a small army after him. I liked the art, and this was one of the few times where I've seen anyone competently draw both humanoids and robots since IDW took over the franchise (avoid those movie tie-in books like the plague, as the art is god awful). The manga style was a good fit, and harkened back to the roots of the franchise.

Of course, there were some things I did not like. As stated, the story was by the numbers, and while there was the implication of much violence done to the Decepticon forces, it would have been nice to see a bit more on panel action from the notoriously hot-headed Cliffjumper. In addition, while the "humans" were central to the story, they were ultimately little more than a plot device. The young girl got some good screen time, but that only forshadowed her eventual death more clearly. Speaking of which, where did that couple come from at the end of the story? It would have been nice to dedicate at least one sentence towards explaining how the surviving child ended up with a family, particularly where he and his sister had been living alone previously.

Overall, I though the comic was pretty average. It was a nice story, but nothing mindblowing. The art was above average, but not brilliant, although I would have no reservations buying anything in the future from the artist.

Story: 6
Art: 7
Overall: 6.5

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Postby ****** » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:44 am

MrBlack wrote:(the PTB apparently wanted to clear the road for All Hail Megatron and cut the last maxi out from under Furman)


How was that? Would it be worth me checking it out when it's collected? The covers have been cool at least.

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Postby ****** » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:47 am

guitarsmashley wrote:Gah other than the stuff on my pull list next week looks like shit.


Barack the Barbarian with art by the awesome Tim Seely comes out next week. That and lipstick lesbian Batwoman give next week potential for all kinds of fun. :twisted:

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Postby Punchy » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:02 am

amlah6 wrote:Barack the Barbarian with art by the awesome Tim Seely comes out next week. That and lipstick lesbian Batwoman give next week potential for all kinds of fun. :twisted:


There's a couple of new books starting.

Gotham City Sirens
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men crossover
Dark Wolverine (we know Yoni loves Daken)
Immonen's run on Runaways
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man
Dark Reign: Zodiac

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Postby MrBlack » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:32 am

amlah6 wrote:How was that? Would it be worth me checking it out when it's collected? The covers have been cool at least.


It started out really strong and dragged a bit in the middle, although it's firing on all cylinders again now that the end is nigh. Issue #12 comes out next week.

Shane McCarthy was definitely getting his bearings on this series. He started out with a strong idea, but it's clear that he changed course as the series progressed. There are still a few hanging plot threads now that the series is nearing its conclusion, but there are supposed to be some epilogue issues that may explain these threads. The main artist on the series is fantastic, at least where the 'bots are concerned. His humans aren't so hot. There is someone else who has done some work on the series as well, who does better humans and subpar 'bots.

Overall, it's been a good series. It's not as good as the stuff Furman has done, but it has a very strong idea behind it which makes up for a lot of shortcomings.

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Postby ****** » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:37 pm

drunk post, nevermind.

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Postby Kerny » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:33 am

My shop didn't have this or ASM 587 :evil:

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Postby Starlord » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:31 am

Transformers

I apologize for this, but I'm about to give a Yonni review.

It was okay. Not being a fan of Transformers I couldn't really get into that much, but I thought both the writing and art was solid. I can see how fans of Transformers would enjoy this.

Story: 6
Art: 7
My Score: 6.5
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Postby BubbaKanoosh » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:01 am

I picked this up, and I havent read a Transformers comics since the original Marvel series (which I happen to have the entire run of, by the way), so this was a fun read.

The story was simple and and as someone else said it was a little cliched, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The art was clean and beautiful, but the best thing about this was the fact whenever Cliffjumper spoke in the book, I read it as Casey Kasem.

Story 5
Art 8.5

Overall: 6.75

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Postby 48THRiLLS » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:09 pm

Punchy wrote:There's a couple of new books starting.


Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men crossover
Immonen's run on Runaways
Dark Reign: Zodiac


...I am down like a rodeo clown for any of these.

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