A note on format.
A full synopsis will follow the non spoiler review. Those who do not wish to read spoilers from this issue should stop at the end of the review.
Ah, Simon Furman and Dinobots, Transformer fiction’s answer to hamburger casserole. We eat a lot of it, but it always fills you up and tastes better than you remember. Though a good issue, Maximum Dinobots #4 gets a capital A for angst instead of action.
Kudos to Mr. Furman for keeping a cap on the “to cool for authority rebel-gajun” vibe in this book despite a cast including Grimlock, Hot Rod, and Sunstreaker(-O’nion). Usually comics with any one of those names are at risk for to hip to be happy meltdown.
This series has seen the best “other” Dinobot characterization ever. Gone are the days of “Me, Grimlock and this my brother Slag and my other brother Slag.” From the bellies of these 4 behemoths is where most of the wellspring of angst comes from. Who can blame them though? They’ve been second bananas for so long that Hasbro swaps their names with impunity, and not even in a UK comic can they talk in TF: Animated.
The story moves along nicely in this book, and the over all Maximum Dinobots series is heating up, including some cast expansion.
The biggest issue fans of the larger IDW’verse will encounter is that All Hail Megatron takes the punch out of some of the danger here. We know what happens to several of the characters in Maximum Dinobots, so threatening to kill them lacks punch.
Nick Roche’s art is clear and up to his usual standard, however James Riaz’s is a little over inked and feels a kinda fuzzy. Leave something for the colorist to do man!
It’s a big story that touches events in All Hail Megatron’s and answers questions that weave through nearly half a dozen Spotlights and roots all the way back in Infiltration.
My usual recommendation goes double here. Get the Trade. It’s good, but it’ll be better all together, and AHM has already relegated it to prequel status.
To Ravage, doors are something that happens to other mechs. Maximum Dinobots opens with his head through a wall threatening a boy holding what looks like a Snake-eyes toy. This boy bought Soundwave at the end of his Spotlight, during which the towering tape deck was relived of his ability to transform by Bludgeon. (Got a Snake-eyes and a G1 Soundwave. There’s something familiar about this kid.) Ravage signals Lazerbeak who promptly removes Soundwave, and the boys roof.
Lazerbeak and Ravage have been altered by Skywatch, a government agency that seems to be in charge of failing to control alien robots. Soundwave has been jamming Skywatch’s control signal over Ravage and Lazerbeak, but he is trapped in tape deck mode. That is where Shockwave, yet another Transformer Skywatch is not controlling, enters and offers to make a deal. (Next issue Skywatch will attempt to put out a kitchen fire with gelignite.)
Sunstreaker, hell bent on head retrieval, hardly takes time to step over the mostly slagged Hot Rod on his way into the Machination HQ. Hot Rod crawls off to make a phone call.
Aboard the Monsterbot ship, Grimlock haggles, and other Dinobots gripe about him. Grimlock cuts a deal with the Monsterbots, who the other Dinobots seem none to fond of, and is then again shunned by his squad.
Hot Rod nearly fries himself trying to send a message, and Sunstreaker gets ventilated by Scorponok. Hunter (Sunstreaker’s erstwhile Headmaster) escapes.
Meanwhile the Dinobots continue their domestic dispute as they arrive on the scene. Grimlock’s motivations are taken to task once more and found wanting, of course Grimlock goes in anyway, and the Dinobots follow reluctantly.
During the battle with the Machination’s Headmaster Sunstreaker clones. Hunter finds and pulls the plug on Sunstreaker’s head, the lights in his eyes go out… Is he dead?! No, he’s in All Hail Megatron. Cliffhanger, aborted.
Conveniently this turns all his clones into bumper-cars, and the Dinobots are saved… until Scoponok shows up and seems to kill Sludge. However his triumph is quickly upstaged as Shockwave shows up out of nowhere, in cannon mode, ready to blow them all back to the Matrix.
The last panels of the comic are devoted to Ultra Magnus, who’s ship we saw receiving Hot Rods SOS.
|Date||April 2nd 2009|
|Score||(7 out of 10)|