Week 4: Mars Attacks The Transformers
The running praise for this series of books has been for the covers. Ray Dillon, the man responsible for the standard covers, has more than proven himself. From Popeye to Transformers, he’s given us some very awesome covers and while the Popeye one was a surprising favorite I have to say that this one takes the cake for me. Mostly because I’m a life-long fan of Generation One Transformers. The image of Optimus Prime and Megatron standing back-to-back in a final stand against the Martian Armada is amazing. Even better is the nod to the way the Transformers were drawn on the boxes of the original toys. I can’t say if this was intended or not but it added an extra level of ‘Sweet!’ when I saw it. Also, making this Card #84 is a nice tribute to 1984, the year Transformers was introduced to millions. I wonder if IDW would consider making some of these covers into posters or, at the least, oversized prints ‘suitable for framing.’ Just a thought.
So, the story… yes, past this sweet cover is a highly entertaining story beginning with the defeat of Megatron at the hands of Prime and his Autobots. After a conversation with a General, who takes a shot at Spike’s oil rig worker boots, the Martians attack and the fun ensues. While the beginning of the issue is fairly serious, once the General mocks Spike’s boots it’s a free for all as Autobots and Decepticons must unite against a common foe, something Megatron isn’t to happy to hear. We get some hilarious banter between Astrotrain and Prowl, we see an interesting moment with the Insecticons, but one of my favorite moments is when Megatron is shrunk to the ‘size of a small girl’s plaything’ yet his ego and power remain the same size. This was one Transformers comic that had me laughing out loud, both times I read it, and I loved every moment of it.
Now, while Shane McCarthy proved that you CAN have humor in a Transformers story without it being a total mess like the recent animated programs (and those horrid Bay movies), the jokes wouldn’t have been as good without the amazingly animated art of Matt Frank. His perfect marriage of the Generation One look with a modern animated style made this a perfect package of action, humor, and Martian madness. Honestly, I would love more Transformers books like this. Maybe not as an ongoing but certainly a one-shot or miniseries, out of continuity, of course. It may never happen but if you’re looking for a book with genuine laughs then this is the one you simply must get!
Arguably, this was one of the most entertaining moments in both Transformers and Mars Attacks history. Even the generally useless Autobot named Cosmos gets a rare moment to shine. All in all? This one far exceeded my expectations from cover to cover…to variant covers. And speaking of covers…
The variants for this book, one of which was delayed at my LCS until next week for some reason, feature John Byrne’s Rog-2000 and Dave Sim’s Cerebus. The Sim cover is great, of course, and I expect the Byrne one to be just as good, even though I’m not at all familiar with Rog-2000.
But the fun times don’t last for long… Mars Attacks home for IDW…