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GrungeWerX
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GrungeWerX™ has learned the mortal lessons of the human sphere, turning to his divine, inner spiritual force whenever necessary. Although once tempted by the Dark Side, he has shunned the dark teachings of the corporate Sith Lords and has instead endeavored upon a path of purity and balance, unhindered by creative imprisonment. Instead, he ventures upon the less traveled path of originality, carving his own unique masterpieces whilst remaining true to his stylistic convictions.

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Okay guys, I finally got a chance to sit down and read issues #1-#10 of Transformers: MTMTE and Issue #1 of Robots in Disguise.

For the record, I previously only read the first IDW TF mini-series Infiltration (?) and my memories of it were that it was a decent read. I never quite finished the second mini, so my memories of both are slim to none. So outside of some random news tidbits I've caught on Newsarama in the past year or so, know little about the IDW universe, and from what I do know, it's very different from all other iterations before it (Marvel, DW, etc). So trust me when I say that I started this and Robots in Disguise knowing just about zilch.

So let's get started with my review! (I'll try to keep this virtually spoiler free and as short as possible.)

Well, truth be told, I never managed to actually finish reading TF: Robots in Disguise #1. It just didn't capture my interest very much, and that may just be because I had already started reading TF: More Than Meets The Eye, which is a hard act to follow.

I was immediately hooked as soon as I started reading TF: More Than Meets The Eye. I mean, totally sucked in.

Let me just say this up front: James Roberts is probably writing one of the best Transformers comics ever written.

I mean that.

First of all, the premise is very unique: The Cybertron war is over. A message is sent out for everyone to "come home". Rodimus and a crew of about 200+ Transformers embark upon a quest to find the legendary Knights of Cybertron(?) to sorta guide the population of Cybertron towards their new future, against Bumblebee and Prowl's better wishes (and lucky for us readers too). It's all set up in the first issue and explained simply. You get an idea of just what this whole book is about and then BOOM!!

Like...LITERALLY.

The writing is nothing less than stellar. Every issue I read, I feel schooled in. And I'm a decent writer myself. But his clever wordplay, his eccentric choice of words at the most opportune of times is just brilliant. As a writer, you can't help but feel a little jealous. There are very few books I read that actually have me re-reading dialogue balloons. The wit, the humor, the horror, the intrigue, the character banter, it's all there.

The characters are very interesting. The way he develops characters, their personality quirks, their fears, their passions, he makes Transformers characters as real, almost REALER than human characters. His characters seem so much more vulnerable.

And a testament to his writing ability is just how unique he makes these random-and-rare characters feel. I mean, 90% of the characters he's chosen, I could give a rat's @$$ about prior to reading this comic. But now, these characters are so alive. Which is amazing considering most of these characters don't even have faces!

I mean, I've never, EVER seen a more interesting Ratchet. His Ratchet...just, wow. And Rodimus is cool. I mean, I actually really, really like his personality so far. I don't know the other names offhand, but everyone just has a purpose. And when the DJD (Decepticon Justice Division) show up-

"Primus spare my spark! Primus spare my spark!"

Chills. I cringed, literally.

I mean it, I was literally disturbed. Moving along...

The art is in a class of its own. I mean- Alex Milne. Nuff said. Josh Burcham ties it all together with the colors so even when the artistic chores occasionally shift between Nick Roche and Milne, nothing misses a beat. But Milne is my favorite. =) He just adds these subtle touches that give everything "environment".

One particular memorable frame was of Prime and Ratchet meeting a senator and the Cybertronian backdrop, accentuated by either an early sunrise or sunset just really gave the world the feeling of a real place.

Note to Burcham: Keep doing sunsets and nice skies man! Okay? Good.

The plots are intriguing. They never feel like filler. Even when things seem random, they always get tied together later. You can't just make this stuff up, but Roberts does. And I love his technology, the terms, the handles, the acronyms- It's so rich. Does he keep a personal Roberts-pedia of ideas?

Plus, if you're buying these issues (and you should be), you're getting your money's worth because there's plenty of reading. You're not going to sit down and breeze through an issue in 2 minutes. It takes a bit. And that's a good thing. Value.

It's probably not for everyone. It can be funny, but it can be gritty. It can get serious. And scary. Even brutal at times. Other times, disturbing. I mean, never have mechanisms seemed so disturbing. But it makes the universe seem richer, deeper. More human. 

It's probably more for adults than teens. The topics are very complex and very mature. Politics. Psychology. Drugs. Murder. Conspiracy.

It can also be a longer read than your average comic, but it's helped by the clever banter and wit and charm of the characters. It's always worth it, so far at least.

Probably my most favorite aspect of it is that you really don't have to know anything about the IDW TF universe to understand what's going on. I was able to jump in knowing virtually nothing and they kept me abreast with important details by sprinkling info-bits here and there about what happened before.

The only thing it's missing (so far) is fembots. I would love to see how Roberts handles the topic. And not ignore their gender. Give them gender-based traits to make things interesting.

I mean, you really get the feeling with all these bots hanging around drinking that it's a sausage party. At times I felt like "where are the fembots?" If there were ever a fembot that needed to be in this crowd, it's Burnout. No, this isn't shameless plug, I'm being totally serious. It needs a tough-as-nails fembot like her. What am I going to have to do to get a Burnout cameo in there from Milne? Time to start harrassing his DeviantART page, I think....

Okay, so that's it. Hope you enjoyed the read and I'll be sure to chime in later when I get up to Issue #30.

Oh. And drop your thoughts and let me know if you're reading MTMTE and what you think about it too, okay?

Laterz

Bodhi the Grunge

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