Current Reviews


Transformers: Micromasters #01

Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2004
By: Kelvin Green

“Destined For Nothing”

Writers: James “Brad Mick” McDonough & Adam Patyk
Artists: Rob Ruffalo (p), Erik Sander (i)

Publisher: Dreamwave

If you’re going to do a comic about the diminutive Transformer Micromasters, here are a few tips:

1) If you have a bunch of characters with names like Greaser and Barricade, it’s probably not such a good idea to have them refer to each other, either affectionately or derogatively, with names like Ground Hog and Guzzler. It may seem like you’re giving them personalities and relationships, but it’s actually making it all very confusing.

2) The original Micromaster toys were about an inch and a half tall, and so it was obviously very difficult to have much detail on them. There’s no such restriction when you’re drawing them, so you don’t really need to portray them as chunky featureless blocks. As they say, make the most out of the medium.

3) If the origin story is so convoluted that you can’t deal with it in the comic itself and instead need a text page at the back to explain it all, then it’s probably a bit too convoluted for its own good (the Micromasters were created as a more fuel-efficient kind of Transformer, but there’s only a few of them because they’re so inefficient to produce? The two warring factions saved on resources by collaborating on the production of weapons they’d use against each other?).

4) I know it’s the easy way out, but try to do something different with the Micromaster concept than “the other Transformers underestimate them and take them for granted because of their tiny size, so they go out on their own to prove themselves”. That’s only been done every single time these guys have turned up in the comics (yes, even in the superior British version), so it’s a bit old hat now. I believe that the idea of the Micromasters from either side joining up because of their shared experiences is a new one, but that’s not really enough. Just avoid anything to do with wrestling, I beg you…

5) In addition to point four, it would be a nice idea if something actually happened in the comic. If the sole attractions are seeing a glacially slow-paced rehash of a plot Simon Furman did fourteen years ago and seeing how someone turned up months ago in a completely different comic altogether, then there’s not nearly enough going on.

6) I know the official advice is to draw giant robots with relatively small heads in order to enforce the feeling of size, but this comic takes that to a ridiculous extreme. On the basis of this art, Fortress Maximus apparently doesn’t know what his feet look like. Oh, and he should be at least twice Ultra Magnus’ size, but that’s just the fanboy talking…

7) (okay I’m pushing it now, but I’m almost done), the Micromasters were a stinkingly awful concept a decade and a half ago, and they certainly don’t hold up now. As guest stars in the main title, they might work, but they can’t maintain a tile of their own. If this is the first in a series of comics dealing with Rubbish Transformers Concepts, then I’m really not going to be pleased. What’s next? Pretender Beasts?

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