It may say All Hail Megatron on the cover but don’t expect the past year’s business as usual in this issue. AHM #13 is the first of four issues, some times called Coda, that will feature two eleven page stories leading into the upcoming Transformers ongoing monthly.
The first of these short stories is Old Ways, by Simon Furman with art by Don Figueroa. Not to shabby a pair. Old Ways plays like a flashback episode. Seemingly during the Autobots AHM Cybertronian exile, Ironhide wants to quit. The two reminisce and revisit events from their long association, such as their meeting and some battle moments, which we then see sans color.
It’s a nice little character aside, and I’m a fan of the Prime/Ironhide friendship, but at times Prime seems so verbally grateful to Ironhide, who seems to have spend the last 9 million years kvetching and being wrong, that it seems like Prime is blowing smoke up Ironhide’s exhaust port.
Normally all I’d have to say about the art was “Don Figueroa”, however, sadly, this is not the case here. Obviously Mr. Figueroa’s talent is not in question, the images are crisp and consistent, mostly what we’ve come to expect.
It’s the FACES… WTF is up with those FACES?
Perhaps it was a choice to make the G1 bot’s look more “Movie-esqe” but the result is gaunt, ghoulish, and has an over bite you could use to open a tin can. We’re talking Emaciated Corpses in Disguise here.
It’s mostly just Ironhide who looks like he left his face in his other chassis, but then Prime, pulls down his face plate (sin enough in some eyes) and looks even scarier! No wonder he wears that thing, it’s not to protect him, it’s to protect us!
I wouldn’t go on about this one flaw so much, but I really found it distracting from the whole comic. It was jarring and the ugliness kept detaching me from the story. I felt like I couldn’t tell who Ironhide was.
Plus the only emotion this face style seems to be able to convey are angry and sad versions of….
“Please, God. Bring us Water…”
I have a poster of Don Figueroa's hanging above my desk. His skill is beyond reproach as far as I’m concerned, but All Hail Megatron #13’s experiment in aesthetic is a failure.
The second half of the issue is a Starscream focused story entitled Uneasy Lies the Head, a reference to Starscreams acting command of the Decepticons. The story, by Mike Costa, is ostensibly about Starscream figuring out what the slag he is going to do after the Decepticon’s defeat on Earth and the near destruction of Megatron.
Un-like his Sunbow counterpart, IDW-Scream seems unable to convince his fellow Decepticons to introduce Megatron to the nearest air lock. There is also a very subtle subtext about the power of the Autobot Matrix. It seems to be an important moment in terms of what’s to come in this universe.
The art is by Chee, It has a sort of chalk/watercolor quality to it. Kind of reminiscent of UK Transformer Comics from the 80’s.
Overall the issue is…OK. I think they should have given this series it’s own name. It doesn’t feel like part of All Hail Megatron right now.
|Date||July 22nd 2009|
|Score||(7 out of 10)|