ALL THIS AND DEVASTATION #3

November 28, 2007

Uh-huh, that’s right, it’s out this week (29th November) — Transformers Devastation #3. Lots of shocks and surprises to found therein, not least in terms of who’s actually drawing the issue. Regular artist EJ Su had to take some time out to become a daddy (aww), so Nick Roche (Spotlight Shockwave) stepped in to cover. And what a damn fine job he does too! Nick takes Ratchet, Verity and Jimmy through some considerably lethal hoops, courtesy of Sixshot, as well as continuing Hot Rod and Wheeljack’s run-in with the Headmasters (plus more on the intertwined fate of Hunter and Sunstreaker). As I’ve rumbled on about before, this is where everything changes, and what was a secret war goes public in a big, big way. And with various other factions (Reapers, Dead Universe cast, etc) now ready to make their move, it’s only going to spiral further out of control. EJ did manage to find time to, um, conceive a cover for the issue. You can see it by clicking on the thumbnail below. And for more information on all IDW’s Transformers releases, check out their site here.
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TERMINUS.

November 26, 2007

Out this week (on sale Nov 29th), from Dynamite Entertainment, comes the fifth and concluding (for my story arc anyway) issue of Terminator 2 – Infinity. John Connor and the nucleus of the human resistence movement make last stands (plural) against the forces of Skynet in 2009, while the Skynet of 2033 continues its attempts to undo the damage it has done to the timestream (and its own future) via the T-Infinity Terminator. Got that? No? Well what did you expect if you’re only coming in now? You’ve missed so much good stuff, not least the, um, dynamic art of Nigel Raynor, whose tub-thumping cover can be viewed below (click on the thumbnail for the larger image). Is that it for me and Terminator? Not necessarily. Keep watching this space.
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MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

November 22, 2007

About six months (or more) back, I did a big ol’ Q&A session via the IDW website, with readers/posters submitting their burning questions and me (after a degree of paring down to a manageable 20) doing my level best to supply coherent (vaguely spoiler-free) responses. Well, six months (or so) on, and I’m doing it again. If there’s something (about Transformers, new or old, or my other comics/TV/books work) you’ve been bursting to ask me, now’s the time to speak… or forever(ish) hold your peace. In due course, once the questions are in and sorted and pared down to 20, the answers will be published on the IDW website/forums (answers 1-15) and here on my blog (16-20). So, if you want to get a question into mix, the IDW forum thread can be found here. Or, post your questions here in this topic’s responses space. Between us, myself, IDW’s Chris Ryall and forum moderator Bassbot, we’ll shake ‘em all out into a sort of loose top 20, one that we feel has the widest, most interesting (generally) range and scope. I’ve posted some (loose) criteria for the questions over on the aforementioned IDW forum thread. So… what are you waiting for? Let the interrogation begin…


SCRIPT (W)RAP

November 19, 2007

This time up it’s the turn of Transformers Devastation #6, the wrap-up of this the third ‘-ion’ arc (and as ever, I’ll try and make this more of a tease than a spoiler). And boy what an arc this has been! Big stuff happening! That tired old phrase ‘things will never be the same again’ is wholly and justifiably applicable here. Stuff is revealed! Stuff is tied up! Other stuff kicks off! It’s a packed old end of arc issue, with Reapers versus Decepticons (to a shattering conclusion!), Hot Rod versus Headmasters (to a turbo-charged conclusion… of sorts) and Hunter/Sunstreaker versus the head of the Machination (to a point where we absolutely know who is who and what is what, but with a distinct ‘To be continued…’). Oh yeah! Plus, (much) more on the Dead Universe cast, with Galvatron making his first Earthbound moves, and first full appearances for Jhiaxus and ‘the Transformer formerly known as Nova Prime.’ The main focus, though, falls on our second fully fledged no-holds-barred (devastating) battle of this arc, this time between the catastrophic Reapers and the Ore-13 charged Decepticons. Expect casualties! Carnage! Shocks! Last issue saw Starscream back in the fray, strutting his stuff, but this issue has him fighting (once again) side-by-side with Megatron (who isn’t exactly chuffed to see him!). Fallout/repercussions for sure. Hot Rod makes a shocking decision (kind of prompted by Optimus Prime’s equally momentous decision last issue) and Skywatch prepare to kick back before things get even more out of hand. And if you think that maybe feeds into a certain upcoming Spotlight, well, you’d be right on the money. Oh, and don’t think I’ve forgotten about Sixshot. He too has a part to play. All I can say is… phew! This one has it all! Really. Devastation #6 hits stores in February 08. Art by EJ Su.


COUGAR COVERAGE

November 16, 2007

Okay, first things first. The comic is still a long way off. Though Cougar #1 is written (and pencilled, largely), there’s a whole lot more needs to be done before there’s a locked in on sale date. Studio Cougar remain committed to the character/project, but the logistics of getting the comic out there and in the hands of general comics buyers need more looking at. Stuff is happening but slowly. I remain hopeful that sometime in 08 there’ll be an actual, physical comic. In the meantime, here’s a look at a brand spanking new poster/litho featuring Cougar, Kickstart and the bad guys by Jeremey Tiongson (art) and Jukka Issakainen (colour). Click on the thumbnail to enlarge (a bit). Oh, and one more update, due to work committments (and stuff) I won’t be at Collectormania Manchester this coming weekend. Apologies to anyone who was banking on my being there.
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TOP (TRUMP) TRANSFORMERS!

November 12, 2007

Out now, published by Haynes Publishing, is an brand-spanking-new guide to the live-action Transformers movie (featuring ALL the Autobots and Decepticons and a goodly number of the human cast too!). Top Trumps Transformers draws its inspiration from the recent Top Trumps deck of Transformers battle cards, but goes much, much further. For the in-depth lowdown on everyone from Optimus Prime to Starscream to Agent Simmons, Top Trumps Transformers really does have it all. This pocket-sized book is packed to rafters with illustrations, profiles, and detailed specs, making it the first truly comprehensive guide to the movie (soon to be released on DVD). It’s written by myself, and retails (considering everything that’s packed into its 192-pages) at the staggeringly low price of just £4.99/$9.95! Check out the sample spreads below by clicking on the thumbnails.
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TF-UK A-GO-GONE #5

November 12, 2007

Oops. Missed this one. Transformers (UK) #5 hit the stores last week, but should still be up for grabs. Here (belatedly) is a teaser for the issue/UK-exclusive story. In the spotlight this issue is Ironhide, who (in common with Ratchet and Jazz) found himself ‘lost in space,’ far from Cybertron (after events in issue #2). While searching for his Autobot comrades, Ironhide runs into Cybertron’s past in a big way. The original ancients who once possessed (and perhaps created) the All Spark have come looking for their lost artefact, and Ironhide either tells them where it is… or he’s in a whole world of pain! Art this issue is by fan-favourite Guido Guidi, making his TF-UK debut. And lovely stuff it is too. Script (of course) is by me. And if that weren’t enough reason, in and of itself, to go grab a copy, there’s also another head-to-head confrontation (Sam Witwicky versus Frenzy… no, seriously) and character profile (Jazz) and a free Transformers disc-launcher! Click on the thumbnail below for a better view of #5′s combative cover.
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JUDGMENT DAY…

November 6, 2007

… is this Wednesday November 7th (or Thursday 8th if you live in the UK)! That’s when issue #4 of Terminator 2 – Infinity (the penultimate issue of my run) hits the stands, and boy are things hotting up for poor old John Connor. It’s not enough that Skynet and the Terminators want him dead, now he’s on the hit list of the (fledgling) resistance movement too! Only Uncle Bob (John’s current Terminator/protector) remains doggedly on side, and he… well, let’s just say happy endings are few and far between in this series. The apocalypse has never looked so good, which of course is largely down to series artist Nigel Raynor. Click on the thumbnail below for a preview of Nigel’s cover.
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SCRIPT (W)RAP

November 5, 2007

Been a while since I did one of these, and there’s a few to catch up on (Devastation #6, TF-UK #8 etc), but for now here’s my post-script pontifications on Transformers Spotlight Arcee. The storm of comments that accompanied my earlier announcement of this particular Spotlight (which encapsulates the whole divisive issue of gender in Transformers) has served to make me only too aware how much this whole business seems to get fans riled up, one way or the other. For those who need some context here, Arcee was introduced in the original Transformers animated movie, joining the (limited) ranks of what have become known as fem-bots (robots with distinct female characteristics) in the Transformers universe. Personally, it always seemed strange to have any kind of gender demarcation in a machine-based species that didn’t reproduce (at least, not in any conventional sense). I did a 5-page story back in the Marvel UK days called “Prime’s Rib”, which explained away Arcee as an attempt by the quote-unquote ‘male’ robots to be politically correct. It wasn’t intended to be taken at all seriously, by the way. This time around, within the context of the new IDW/TF-verse, Arcee is a much more troubled and tormented character. When we first meet Arcee, ‘she’ is on a personal crusade, a vengeful rage and adrenaline-fuelled tilt that brings ‘her’ into inevitable conflict with law-enforcement officer Ultra Magnus. It’s not pretty. This in turn leads us to Garrus-9, an Autobot detention facility (something readers have speculated about since we showcased a Decepticon penal colony in Spotlight Hot Rod). Garrus-9 brings the authoritarian Fortress Maximus into the mix, and a story thread running on from the end of Spotlight Optimus Prime (concerning a certain sextet of captive combiners!). Add into the mix Banzaitron, some Combaticons (minus Swindle) and Jetfire and the Technobots (oh, and Arcee of course!) and you can start to see there’s one heck of a showdown/melee in the offing. Oh, and Arcee’s ‘state of mind’ ties into the Dead Universe storyline (which all starts to kick off in the last couple of issues of Devastation). And yes, why ‘he’ and ‘she’ are or aren’t used is most definitely addressed. Alex Milne is on art duties, and if his two covers are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat. Spotlight Arcee hits in Feb 08. I can almost feel the discussion thread stormclouds looming already!


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