Friday, November 18, 2016


Writers: James "Brad Mick" McDonough & Adam Patyk | Pencils: Rob Ruffalo
Inks: Erik Sander & Rob Armstrong | Colors: David Cheung & Josh Perez | Letters: Ben Lee

The Plot: The Micromasters are rescued from the Insecticons by another Micromaster named Groundshaker. He takes the Autobot Hot Rod Patrol on to a secret meeting with a mysterious individual. Left behind, the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol is approached by Shockwave, who allows them to proceed to Little Iacon. But one of the Micromasters opts to remain behind with Shockwave and as soon as his friends have moved on, Shockwave feeds him to the Insecticons, hiding in a nearby cavern.

The Hot Rod Patrol meets with their benefactor, revealed as Countdown. He says he's learned much about the universe in his travels and would like their help on some unknown crusade. Big Daddy tells him they'll think it over.

The Autobot and Decepticon Micromasters are reunited in Little Iacon. At a bar, Big Daddy earns the ire of Road Handler, and the two get into a drag race, which Road Handler wins. Unknown to the Micromasters, they are observed from a distance by surveillance gear. Meanwhile, a ship carrying two Decepticon Micromasters arrives on Cybertron.

Continuity Notes: The Sports Car Patroller who killed Micromaster Crunch last issue learns what happened during the bar scene.

We're informed that the first generation of Micromasters were full-size Transformers reduced to a smaller size. Groundshaker is one of these.

G1 References: As far as I can see, there were none this issue -- a startling turn of events from McDonough and Patyk!

Body Count: One Micromaster is killed during the fight with the Insecticons and, as noted above, the Micromaster who remains with Shockwave was fed to the Insecticons.

My Thoughts: First off, as can be gleaned from my referring to characters above as "this Micromaster" and "that Micromaster", this series is horrible -- horrible -- at naming characters on-panel. I have no idea who the vast majority of these guys are. I just read issue 1 last week and now I'm reading issue 2. I know most of the major characters were named last issue, but it's been seven days and I can't recall any of them except Big Daddy, for obvious reasons.

Let's be clear: this is not on me. When you're writing a comic with a huge cast of mostly unheard of characters, you must introduce every one of them by name with a clear accompanying visual every frikkin' issue. It's inexcusable and lazy to simply assume your readers know who all of these mega-obscure and (as noted last time) very generic-looking characters are.

Whew! With that rant out of the way, this is actually a decent issue. Aside from the fact that I have no real investment in these characters, at least the plot is interesting. Shockwave is scheming, Countdown is making grand plans, we have a drag race through Little Iacon, and on the final page, the Micromaster who Countdown battled in flashback last issue on planet Paradron (note that, again, I don't recall his name) has returned for some nefarious purpose.

I'll say this for McDonough and Patyk -- even when their scripting is awful, their plotting remains strong.

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