I loved Marvel’s Transformers back in the day. Then again, I loved anything Transformers related. Anyway, you can imagine the sheer sadness of when I found out that the eightieth issue would be the end of the series in 1991. It was enough to make an almost ten-year old version weep just as much as the five-year old version did when I saw The Fox and the Hound for the first time.
Fast forward ten years later, and it was the great 1980s nostalgia boom where all of these smaller comics publishers were putting out new material based on toys. I really dug Devil’s Due because it tied into the previous continuity. Unfortunately, none of the subsequent Transformers relaunches did.
Transformers #80.5 picks up where writer Simon Furman and artist Andrew Wildman left off almost twenty years ago. They do a great job going over what had happened in the last series and set up a new direction.
It’s many years later, and Cybertron is mostly peaceful under the governance of Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots (and a bunch of Decepticons who have put aside their old grudges). Unfortunately, there is a growing separatist movement among the Transformers. This peace is short-lived; a group of Decepticons led by Soundwave destroy the Last Autobot–a symbolic act destroying the symbol of peace.
This may have been a short story, but I wound up enjoying this more than any other Transformers book I’ve read in years. Nostalgia be damned, Furman still knows how to write epic Transformers stories and Wildman’s art is still great. It looks exceptionally awesome with the modern style of coloring.
On the morning of July 4, I did my patriotic duty and went to the movies. I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon. So how did the final part of Michael Bay’s trilogy do?
Well I enjoyed it. It wasn’t a great movie that makes you think. There were no higher themes and messages really, nor did it intend to be. It was just the good robots fighting to save the planet from the bad ones. And there were a whole lot of awesome special effects.
This reminded me a lot of Independence Day, possibly because of its similar holiday marketing and promotion, but as an epic high stakes battle against aliens. The plot was fairly simple, with the Autobots, Sam Witwicky and some US soldiers saving the day from the Decepticons. There were a couple of plot twists, and some p(l)ot holes along the way, but they got the audience where they needed to be. Transformers also had a lot of silliness and jokes along the ride.
This movie was a lot like watching fireworks for two and a half hours. At the point when you started to get bored, they turned up the explosion factor to 11. If you like seeing stuff blow up, then this is your movie. If not, then sorry you had to see it.
So this is what I liked about the film:
- Ken Jeong was hysterical for his brief role as Sam’s (Shia Labeouf) conspiracy obsessed coworker.
- Laserbeak was an awesome villain in the film, serving as the Decepticon’s stealth assassin.
- They did a really good job in distinguishing the color difference between the robots during fight scenes, which helped make things more sensible.
- How they tied the Chernobyl disaster into the Transformers history, with the reactor being built by incorporating Cybertronian technology incorrectly.
- Peter Cullen made Optimus Prime into a super bad-ass, who was ready to go all Punisher on the Decepticons and Sentinel Prime for their teachery and willingness to destroy mankind.
And what I didn’t like:
- Rosie Huntington-Whitely was really flat as an actor, but she was no different than Megan Fox in the last two films.
- The jarring switch in tone of the film…one minute its “OMG! LOL” and then the next minute it’s “OMG! 😦 OMG :*(“
- There were a bunch of new Autobots introduced in the film and they really didn’t get identified or explained to well.
So in a nutshell, I had fun and it looked good in 3D. I’m not going to rank it in compared to the rest of the comic/super hero films this summer until Captain America comes out.
Basically, it was entertaining if you like loud action films and Transformers. It’s a great way to kill some time.