Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Transformers Spotlight: Hardhead
Furman, Roche, Carter, Uyrtslr & Tipton
This comic tries to do two things and ends up failing to do either one effectively. First off, it tries to give a quality one shot story for Hardhead. It doesn’t do this with any satisfaction. Secondly, it tries to advance the overall plot of main arc in four or five directions. It manages to catch my attention on only one or two. As such, this issue feels like it is all over the place and has way too many characters to keep track of. It feels like the comic is in over its head. Or hardhead. Ha-ha.
Hardhead is an Autobot who doesn’t talk too much. This is a problem when you try to spotlight him. How do you get to know him? Hardhead escorts Nightbeat to some random planet. The goal is to determine why Nightbeat has gaps in his memory. Hardhead is asked to kill Nightbeat, by Nightbeat, if he turns rogue. This plot is interesting because it reveals one of them to be a traitor to Optimus Prime. It fails because the outcome for both of them is totally unclear. Seriously, a one shot like this needs to wrap things up a little neater for the title character.
The second thread is all over the place. Somehow the main story in Transformers became about the dead universe. This feels so far out of place I cant even explain, but the plot now involves the Autobots chasing various dead ‘bots like Cyclonus and Thunderwing. Fine, the problem here is that so many ‘bots pop into various pages that it is impossible to understand how they fit in. One page we see Prime talking to Jetfire then we see Nemesis Prime with Jhiaxus then we hear about the wreckers and then the monstructors then we see Ultra Magnus then we see Arcee. Some of these jumps tell you where you are, but some do not. None of them set up who is doing what or who is even talking sometimes. It’s impossible to keep track of and I have read every Transformers issue so far.
My frustration level with this title also stems from the shift in direction so quickly. We left a very tight plot with all kinds of legs on Earth and launched into this space epic with so many moving parts not really rooted into anything concrete. What are the Autobots trying to do? Are they just trying to recover the monstructors from the jailbreak? Do they even know about the dead universe and what would they be doing if they did know about it? Personally, I feel these one shots are getting hijacked by a story that seems off the rails. In the process both stories suffer.
The artwork is a saving grace. Without it, I’d have no clue what to make of all the new faces from page to page. I can actually distinctly make out most of the faces. The action shots are also very well depicted. I do like the artwork in this issue very much.
I cant say I recommend this issue to anyone interested in getting into Transformers. There are two other titles that have different continuity that you may want to check out (All Hail Megatron and the movie line). However, I chose to stick it out with this title. I can’t say I’m excited for the next installment but I am hoping for more of tight story and some pieces to start fitting together.
2 out of 5 geek goggles
Transformers Spotlight Hardhead