“Mechanized & Manipulated”
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: Lou Kang (p), Pat Davidson (i)
Tony Stark, in order to combat threats that the Marvel heroes have fought many times before with no problems, decides to build a series of gigantic transforming robot battlesuits for the heroes to use in battle. But then the Hulk, under the control of a mysterious villain, steals his suit and goes on a rampage.
It should come as no surprise that this is utter tosh of the highest, or indeed lowest, order.
First off, the writing is mind-scrapingly awful. The plot is ridiculously simplistic and the so called dialogue is embrrassingly juvenile. But wait! "It's for kids!" I hear you cry, to which I respond with a resounding and hearty "Bollocks!" Go and look at what Simon Furman did for the British version of the Transformers comic, also published by Marvel by the by, back in the 80's. We're not talking Alan Moore here, but Furman wrote relatively complex characters and engaging plots; he didn't dumb down his writing just because he was writing a toy licence. And that's the failing here; it's trash, and kids aren't stupid. They'll appreciate good stories and well-written characters as much as an adult, and it makes me somewhat angry to see brainless and superficial drivel like this aimed at them.
So not only is it crap in execution, but it's conceptually demented too; come on, who really looks at the Hulk and thinks "what he really needs is a giant suit of robot power armour"? It's like "upgrading" Superman by giving him an automatic shotgun. And quite why Ghost Rider is being included in a line of kids' toys, I don't know; I really can't see a toy based on the screaming soul of Hell's vengeance going down very well in Middle America.
The art is messy and confusing, with no sense of depth, so the panels look awfully cluttered, and it's difficult to see what's going on. When you've got a bunch of characters with complex and intricate designs fighting each other, it's usually better not to draw everything as if it's on the same picture plane. Dreamwave's Transformers comic often had the same problem, and I really do hate to bang on about it, but the old British Transformers series didn't, and what's more, the characters all had individuality and looked like robots, rather than all looking like the same clunky stack of boxes in different colours.
Complete and utter irredeemable shite. There are much better Big Giant Robot comics out there. What’s sad is that Marvel used to publish some of them.
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