Rob's Pile of Transformers: Manic Ramblings

Manic Ramblings & Delirious Ranting
re: Armada #7
1/31/03

Picked up Armada #7 today, and for once I have the issue and my computer all in the same place, allowing me to jot down some thoughts.

SPOILERS

BELOW....





























I rather like Guido's cover -- the story of it is beautifully clear -- despite a couple of inconsistencies, like Prime's head being smaller than Megatron's palm, and Megs having normal fingers on one hand and claws on the other. Otherwise, though, it's really nice to have a cover that actually relates to the story contained within.

The story is... eh. There's the usual Dreamwave wastes of space, such as half a splash on page 2 that shows us... uh... a concrete wall and a drain pipe. Whee. A few pages later a blurry Megatron (god I wish someone would take away all the art team's Photoshop filters) does... uh... something with the Star Saber. I guess he's spiking it into the ground. Okay, I figured it out, but jesus! Why can't they draw anything so that it's immediately clear and obvious?! Creative interpretation should NOT be required for such a simple story!

These aren't the only instances. If you blink, you'll miss the Air Defense Team tagging along with Megatron. And what exactly is Leader-1 doing as the 'cons roll out -- detaching, attaching, taking off, landing.... what?? A later frame leads us to believe that he attaches to Megatron's arm by flying backwards through the air, which... seems a bit odd. The Military team arms themselves from Megatron's base -- but you don't realize this till after the battle, as they're driving away. Furthermore, the order to "buy the Autobots time" doesn't amount to anything either; it seems like a panel or two is missing. And wait... the Air Defense guys also left at the end? Considering our only indication is "ditto" from one of the team -- whose robot modes we haven't even seen this issue -- shouldn't they maybe have been shown flying away at the end or something?

Then there's something new: recycling of an image from the previous issue. I don't really care about this per se, but the drawing they chose -- Megs looking at the Star Saber from the end of #6 -- immediately struck me as awkward and skewed in perspective when I first saw it, and it seems a very strange choice for being reused not once but twice.

Still more unexplained or unclear points: how was Megatron controlling the Air Defense team? How did they break free of that control? Where is Leader-1 hanging out when he's off-panel? Where are Scavenger and Smokescreen?

The plot basically centers on the Land Military Team doing an about-face, but their non-involvement lasts for such a short time that it's not particularly compelling. The other news is Starscream... not scheming, exactly, this time, but more willing to let Megatron deal with the consequences of hoarding all the power for himself. It's a different take on the old Megs-Screamer power struggle, and a rather interesting one. His "He's all yours" to the Autobots is my favorite moment from the issue.

Other good points: it's good to see the various Mini-Cons developing as characters. I haven't read the whole series back to back, but I'm starting to get a feel for Sparkplug, Longarm, and Jolt. The Street Action team is mentioned as having disappeared, which is presumably a set-up for some adventure next issue; multiple plot points are generally a good thing, especially in the often plot-thin landscape of Dreamwave's stories. And Megatron's speech about control of power is not too bad, as these things go.

I miss Hot Shot's huge round eyes! They were so cute and innocent looking!

Overall: not nearly as fun as the three or four issues before it. Hopefully the threads left in this issue will pay off in future ones.

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