Spotlight: Prowl - IDW - Comic Book

In the interest of full disclosure, it would be disingenuous of me not to mention that I am a avid (though not longtime) fan of Prowl. Having taken an interest in the character I naturally have strong feelings about his portrayal, which try as I might, will doubtlessly seep into my opinion of this comic. That being said, this review will focus solely on this issue and IDW’s version of Prowl, not past portrayals.

There is nothing wrong with Spotlight Prowl in and of itself. It’s not a stand out comic, but the text is readable and the Art, by E.J. Su is great. I remember not being enthusiastic about some of Su’s former works, but it’s really grown on me and it was fun to revisit it here.

Overall, on its own, it’s kind of a mediocre one shot. The trouble is it’s not on its own.

If you’ve read nothing but the ongoing, it probably even makes sense. However, if you’ve read any other IDW comic featuring Prowl, or Primus forbid, are actually caught up on IDW’s continuity, this issue is an abomination.

Before I delve into the horrors visited upon Prowl’s character, there is the fact that the whole issue reads like a retcon filled apology for the premise and character problems that have plagued the lackluster ongoing series. Several pages are devoted to Optimus Prime saying seemingly nonsensical things to justify his totally out of character portrayal.

The premise of the Ongoing, Bumblebee, and Spotlight:Prowl, is: What happens to the Transformers when the war is over? The answer apparently is that everyone’s IQ drops 50 points and they lose all capacity for rational thought.

In my opinion, as well as several other Transformers comic experts/reviewers I communicate with, is that Prowl, especially his portrayal in All Hail Megatron #15(written by Wreckers author Nick Roche) was the crown jewel of IDW’s stewardship of the Transformers. There has been a lot of fan angst in IDW’s run, but Prowl was, again in my opinion, Perfect. Amazing.

In the ongoing #1 Prowl took actions that readers found totally unbelievable. His well established character was totally contradicted. Enough fan’s made a stink about the hobbling of the Autobot’s second in command that IDW promised to push up Spotlight: Prowl which it contended would explain why Prowl had changed. IDW’s promise of “explanation” was taken by many fans as a threat.

This week IDW makes good on that threat. It senselessly ruins its own version or Prowl, the best version there had ever been.

Some of what I’m about to say could be construed as spoilers, but since this whole issue is essentially prequel/recap, it’s hard to avoid. There will be no specific event spoilers.

The thin reasoning for Prowl’s change from cold merciless ultra badass tactician to wet noodle Sunbow style second stringer is essentially that having spent a few years amongst humans, he is so taken aback by our shear awesomeness that he changes his millennia old philosophies on, well pretty much everything.

Sound familiar, Ongoing readers? Well it should, it’s the same story Thundercracker told, and funny enough, the same load of slag that supposedly made Optimus dropping his character like a live grenade make sense.

It was an interesting departure for Thundercracker, it was an insufficient explanation for Prime, and it’s just pathetic for Prowl.

After essentially turning Prowl into Bumblebee, there is even a panel depicting the moment of Prowl’s capture in Ongoing #1 (the principal moment fans had problems with) as if to say “See we explained it!”

Yeah, thanks a lot.

Reading this is like watching some one destroy a priceless work of art because they have no where to keep it. It’s tragic.

DateApril 20th 2010  
Score 3 stars (3 out of 10)  

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