The battle for the Eggspark boils over as the Autobirds shell out some punishment in their attempt to crack the case of the missing eggs. "Age of Eggstinction" is written by John Barber, with art by Marcelo Ferreira, colors by Nikos Koutsis, and flats by Mike Toris.
Turning from a spherebird-headed robot into a car with a spherebird head: truly, the greatest of all powers.
Bumblebee Bird(formerly Chuck) and Grimlock Bird(formerly Hal) convince the rest of the Birds to touch the Eggspark and become Autobirds! Led by Optimus Prime Bird(formerly Red), they set off to find the Deceptihogs and recover the eggs. But, Bumblebee Bird keeps having Chuck flashes- and the eggs have touched the Eggspark too...
Another nice, light comic in a very Saturday Morning Cartoon vein. The Autobirds are introduced here in full, and the names remain clunky. "Optimus Prime Bird" probably made Hasbro's trademark lawyers a lot happier, but the name that appeared in the early Angry Birds leaks - "Optimus Red" -sounded so much better. But more importantly, the introductory page for the Autobirds is great. It's much like the Meet The Team page in the first issue of the G1 comic- the one that John Barber spoofed once before for the Robots in Disguise Annual in 2012 -except with Bluestreak Bird wanting to know why everyone is talking like that. It's a good bit, and allows the page to do something essential (especially for younger audiences) while having fun with the clunkiness of it. Arcee's introduction/character synopsis had me concerned that she would be a nagging older-sister type, as was common enough for the character of The Girl on 80s cartoons, but in practice it didn't turn out that way, fortunately. The book is hinting at the personalities of the original characters clashing with their Transformer selves, and that should be interesting to see play out. Beyond that, it's a brisk, simple story with puns and sight gags, which works for me.
This issue, Marcelo Ferreira and Nikos Koutsis provide art for the entire book, and do a great job with the material. The characters are cartoonish while simultaneously being on-model, but also not
being stiff. That's quite a feat! And both cartoony Angry Birds elements and the more angular Transformers elements are rendered very well. Layouts are easy to follow and understand, and between those layouts and the coloring the book feels very bright and open- there's no shortage of detail but the panels feel very uncluttered. It's easy to read, an important aspect of comics that is often forgotten with art aimed at adult audiences. This is a team I'd like to see handle other Transformers books some time, just to see what they'd do with it. Especially if IDW does a comic for the new Robots In Disguise cartoon!
In short, it's a fun comic for kids, and a good comic to read with
kids, and anything else I say would just belabor that point. As I said last month, it's a much-needed niche. This is pretty much the one gap in IDW's otherwise wonderful range of Transformers books. It's extra-difficult to review something when you know you're not the target audience, but there are reasonable criteria to review things by even so. Angry Birds Transformers continues to nail the execution of the book, and has some fun moments besides, so if that sounds good to you or
your kids, it's worth picking up.
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