TF-UK A-GO-GO #8

January 30, 2008

Out this week (Jan 31st), in the UK only, is issue #8 of Titan’s Transformers comic/magazine. As usual, in amongst the features, free gifts and general fabulousness, there’s an all-new, UK-original comic strip to be found. This one, featuring Ironhide and an elite Special Forces unit, is set in the immediate aftermath of the movie and takes the action back to Qatar, where the lethal Scorponok was last seen burrowing deep beneath the desert sand to escape an aerial bombardment. That particular loose end is (over)due to get wrapped up in spectacular style, but things don’t quite go as planned for Autobot and escort! Story is by me, art by Staz Johnson (doing his first Transformers work since… I don’t know when!). The issue (as well as the continuing saga of Beast Wars and the Movie Prequel) contains a Bonecrusher character profile, a lesson in How To Draw Bumblebee and the usual reader letters & art. Plus, free TF tattoos and sweat band! For a look at the cover and some of Staz’s epic interior strip art, click on the link and thumbnail (respectively) below. And watch this space for upcoming details of US happenings in the UK movie-verse direction!
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TORCHWOOD — DECLASSIFIED!

January 25, 2008

Titan’s official Torchwood magazine is out now, featuring interviews, news, on-set reports and previews from the hit BBC TV show (a spin off from Doctor Who for the uninitiated) starring John Barrowman. All that’s fit to print (and some that’s not) from the weird and wonderful world of Torchwood can be found within the covers, and there’s more. The magazine features all-new comic strip, the first of which (‘The Legacy of Torchwood One’) is written by yours truly. How did Rupert Howarth surivive his apparent death at Torchwood One, and who or what is Chimera? What, you think I’m going to tell you? Go get a copy right now! Art on ‘Legacy of Torchwood One’ is by SL Gallant (Marvel Adventures), and you can check out how good it looks by clicking on the thumbnail below. To look more closely at the cover, click on the second thumbnail, and for more information on the magazine and how to subscribe visit the Titan website here.
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BLAST(ER) FROM THE PAST

January 22, 2008

This week (Wed Jan 23rd in the US, Thurs 24th in the UK) sees the release of the first of a brand spanking new batch of Transformers Spotlights, with the loud and proud Autobot Blaster taking centre stage. As always with the IDW/TF-verse, though the character is still recognizable as his ‘classic’ G1 equivalent, this is very much a reimagined Blaster, with a somewhat different role in the expanding conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Those of you who’ve felt the Spotlights are sometimes too integral to the main ‘ongoing’ storyline (in Infiltration, Escalation, Devastation et al) will be pleased to know that Spotlight Blaster is very much self-contained, an entry level story that needs no reference to what’s going on elsewhere (though it does feed back into the ‘ongoing’). What we have here is essentially an unfolding mystery. Something happened to Blaster in the past that comes storming back to confront him in the present. Betrayed, left for dead, someone went to great lengths to silence ‘The Voice,’ and now—with Blaster returned to the fold—they set out to finish what they started. With guest appearances by the likes of Silverbolt, Bluestreak, Beachcomber, Trailbreaker and Cosmos, plus a Decepticon or two, Spotlight Blaster has something for everyone: mystery, intrigue, action, character development. Art is by Emiliano Santalucia, making his IDW debut, story is by me. Emiliano’s cover art can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail below. For information on all IDW’s Transformers titles, check out their website here.
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SCRIPT (W)RAP – UK

January 18, 2008

As promised, details and digressions (as spoiler-free as possible, but be warned: this does reveal a lot in terms of the overall story intent/set-up) on the script for Transformers (UK) #9, the first of the ‘new-direction’ storylines I muttered vaguely about in a previous post (or two). Remember that nice, happy ending the Transformers live-action movie delivered? Well, we’re about to throw that out of the window! ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming pt1’ (of 5) delivers an entirely alternate take on the climactic scenes in which Megatron sought to claim the All Spark, only to be denied by Sam Witwicky. In the new UK continuity, things didn’t end quite so neatly, and in part 1 we look in on a world now ruled (in a large part) by Megatron and the Decepticons, with the few Autobots (and humans) still at large fighting for survival. Things are desperate indeed as, with Optimus Prime a helpless captive, Megatron begins to transform planet Earth into world where dark technology rules. Can the Autobots (and humans) stage a last, desperate fightback? Don’t count on it. Happy endings are in very short supply in the new Decepticon dominium. Part 1 of Twilight’s Last Gleaming is written by me with art by Simon Williams. Click on the thumbnail below for a glimpse of what’s to come. TF-UK #9 hits on February 28th.
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PRIME TIME TURTLES!

January 16, 2008

Another day, another intentionally misleading post (title). It might sound like some kind of upcoming temporal clash between a certain robotic icon and the equally iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but in fact it’s a teaser for the all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Fast Forward story in issue #10 of the TMNT (UK) Magazine (out this Thursday, Jan 17th). ‘P.E.A.C.E.K.E.E.P.E.R.S’ sees the Turtles take a ride-along with the local law enforcement officers of future Manhattan, with a view to turning it into a prime time docu-drama. But when the Turtles attempt to, er, spice things up, they get more than they bargained for. Much more! Namely three ‘big bads’, all with scores to settle. ‘P.E.A.C.E.K.E.E.P.E.R.S’ is written by me, with art from none other than John McCrea (JLA/Hitman). Click on the links below to view the cover to the issue and a page of interior strip art.
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ALL THIS AND DEVASTATION #4

January 14, 2008

Out this week, Wednesday Jan 16th in US, Jan 17th in the UK, is issue #4 of Transformers Devastation, which continues the expansion of the IDW/TF-verse (and how!). At the end of last issue, the Autobots (a bit waterlogged, but otherwise undamaged after the crash landing/detonation of Ark-19 in the Gulf of Mexico) rose to challenge the Decepticons’ living weapon Sixshot (and save Ratchet from a messy end to boot). But the question remains, can even seven Autobots (one of whom is the mighty Optimus Prime) prevail against a one-bot weapon of mass destruction (with no less than six alt. modes) like Sixshot? And what’s more, can they really expect their ‘secret’ war to remain a secret for much longer? The answer to the first question is ‘wait and see.’ The answer to the second question is ‘no.’ This is where it all hits the fan… big-time! Expect a full on battle royal, plus more Headmasters, more Hunter, a cameo appearance from the headliner in a recent Spotlight, Reapers aaand Starscream!!! Story is by me, drawings by guest artist Robby Musso (who does a simply outstanding job filling in for EJ, who’s back next issue). Cover (click on the image below) is by EJ Su. For more information on all IDW’s Transformers titles go here.
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BEASTS SHOT (#4)

January 8, 2008

This week sees the release of issue #4 of Beast Wars The Ascending (the tumultuous conclusion). Series artist Don Figueroa, as many of you know, bowed out with issue #3, leaving Guido Guidi the not inconsiderable task of wrapping up this epic four-parter. A cast of, well, many, two worlds on the brink of total and utter destruction and 22-pages packed with battle action. It was a lot to ask, but I’m pleased to report Guido rose to the challenge magnificently, turning in (in my humble opinion) his best Transformers artwork to date. There really is a whole lot going on in this issue. On Cybertron Shokaract prepares to ascend to what he believes is a higher plane of existence, but (unknown to him) it will actually spell his total and utter obliteration, his ‘sacrifice’ heralding the return of the Transformers’ ultimate nemesis: Unicron. Trying to stop this happening are Big Convoy, Lio Convoy (and the Pack) and, from afar, Magmatron (who’s currently trapped in a timeless limbo). Following this so far? Good. Their efforts are hampered by Shokaract himself (who’s powered up to the max on Angolmois energy) and Shokaract’s heralds: Antagony, Thrustor, Hellscream, Max B and Hardhead. Then, on prehistoric Earth, the assembled Maximals and Predacons face off against Rartorata, Elephorca and Drancron, with Razorbeast battling alongside them (and, at the same time, battling the Angolmois corruption that threatens to consume him). Phew. Suffice it to say, the action starts on page 1 and doesn’t stop until page 22. And inbetween there’s triumph, torment and tragedy aplenty. No one is guaranteed to survive (and many don’t) and no happy endings are assured. In fact, as so often happens, the ending is also a beginning. Those who know their Beast Wars will be pleased the final scenes on page 22 (I hope!). Anyway, Beast Wars The Ascending #4 lands in stores on Wednesday Jan 9th (US) and Jan 10th (UK), and you can check out Don’s (sniff) cover by clicking on the image below. For details of all IDW’s Transformers titles visit their site here.
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