Transformers: Windblade #3 review

The fate of Cybertron! Windblade learns more about the new face of Cybertron - and lesson number one is: never underestimate Starscream! She's trapped in a no-win situation - but what is the scheming Decepticon really after, and how far will he go to keep Windblade out of his way?

We start this month with an absolutely beautiful cover. The standard cover - by regular series artist Sarah Stone - is a striking image that's been attracting attention since it was first revealed a few months ago: it's a closeup of Windblade's face, with red streaks raining down like blood. The subscription variant cover, by Alex Milne, is a nicely dynamic piece, but isn't as graphically "punchy" as the standard one.

After our "Previously" page and a few introductory headshots, this issue's story starts right where last month's left off: in the middle of a huge fight. In fact, nearly half the issue is spent on that fight - nine out of 20 pages - with Windblade and her hastily assembled allies brawling deep within Metroplex, trying to save his life. Of all the issues so far, this one has by far the fewest locations: there's really only one more after the fight wraps up (and a brief cameo by a third).

The issue does have two important developments, though: first of all, we finally come to the point in any mystery story where the main character's suspicions of whodunnit are either proven correct or misguided - I won't tell you which it is in this case, in case you've been reading along. But secondly, we get the introduction of a new faction, formed by Starscream. They're tossed in so briefly that it really feels like they're not necessarily a part of this story, but rather a set-up for something else. If they're used elsewhere, then this is a cool, low-key way to introduce them; if this story is all they're used for, then it seems like a waste.

In previous issues, Sarah Stone's artwork had a lot of varied colors as the action moved around on Cybertron. But since this issue has so few locales, we don't really get that kind of variety this month. In fact, even after the scene change, the color palette stays mostly in the reds (though the gutters between the panels go from white to black, so there is a clear difference). However, there's one scene that has incredibly stark colors, almost like a Sin City comic. It's a tense scene, and the coloring just plays it up even more.

The artwork beneath the colors is just as flexible and expressive as ever. And as we've seen the last few months, the panel borders are generally straight and unadorned, so we end up forgetting they're there. But when it's time for the action to kick up, things get much more wild and unrestrained, like the art itself is surprised by the events unfolding.

This is the first issue to have a letters page, and according to the editorial note at the head of the column, every bit of feedback they've received about the comic has been positive. How awesome is that? Remember when the series was announced and the fanboys were flipping out about how this was going to ruin Transformers forever? It's nice to see the quality of the book has apparently won them over.

And oh man, what a last page! Mairghread Scott knows how to write a hook!

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10 Responses to Transformers: Windblade #3 review

  1. Yven says:

    I have to admit, her generations toy was the first time I noticed her. But this really is one of the few IDW TF comics, I read about, that I would actually like to read and I am glad this comic happened. I love the whole TF thing, collecting a bit myself, but the treatment of fembots mostly sucked to me. The whole IDW thing was nearly killed for me when I heard what they did with Arcee. Ah, Arcee, I'm a fan of her, but I think mostly of the version I made up by imagery. A lot of people seem to like the Prime version. I did not so much, as she still was a rather flat character, just "transformed" from your ordinary damsel to your ordinary no fun manchick, cause MY PARTNER WAS KILLED! TWICE!!! And naturally, I don't want to start about the Bay movies, though I digged the fembot look in the Movies' asthetics... But yeah.. Eh... Windblade! Looks really cool to me, both the bot and the drawings. I love good female characters in fiction, and I am definetly going to get her toy. More cool fembots! Has IDW Elita-1 already used?

  2. Shooter says:

    This isn't a review. The purpose of a review is to REVIEW the work - you know, dissect the comic, point out its flaws and strengths and art and characters and everything in between - not slobber on about how great it is. If I was a newcomer and I read this, I wouldn't be encouraged to buy the comic. I'd just think it was a prenup. In any case, while the so-called 'positive feedback' the editors have been getting is meant to be a thorn in the side of TransformersIsRuinedForever, I can say, and believe, that those so-called praising reviews are just like this one.

    In which they don't show how bad this comic series really is.

    It's not even breaking even. It barely sells eight thousand copies a month, and you'd think that digital comics and IDW having a good rep would make it sell more. It's not. There are so few people reviewing this that I generally think that, like me, they KNOW it's a piece of shit.

    The art is animu-esque, and the characters are bland as bland can be. I don't know what's worse: the fact that no one is pointing out how much like Zoe Quinn Maighread Scott is, or that this work isn't even going well with female fans. The female characters in this line of comics are either bitches with glitches or are lesbian for the sake of being lesbian. They are forgettable. Maighread Scott simply does not know how to write, much as Sarah Stone doesn't know how to draw. Anime is a pretty easy art style once you get the hang of it, and it can be discernible from any other style. The writing is laughtastic. I'd think it had a run on 4chan before it got here. Is that meant to be snark, or genuine behaviour? I don't know.

    What I do know is that this comic is not selling. The praise obviously isn't enough to save it from its wider flaws. When IDW has more success selling My Little Pony, I think you have a problem.

    If the editors could allow something so bad to get published, and allow only the positives, is it any wonder they're going broke?

    I wouldn't say Transformers is Ruined Forever, but it sure seems to be heading that way with cheap, lazy writing, and bad characterizations. If I wanted gay marriage I'd go watch Queer as Folk. It's obvious Windblade is Scott's Mary Sue, though Windblade is a fan made character.

    The quality of the book obviously hasn't won anybody over. It's selling so poorly - and for good reason. The editors may be getting positive feedback, but that's probably after sifting through all the posts telling the truth: that this comic series is a piece of shit, and deserves its place in the shit pile.

    Talk about lazy editors and writers.

    • yo go re says:

      Hi and welcome! Be sure to thank the nurses on your ward for unstrapping you long enough to get to a computer, and for making sure you didn't poke yourself in the eye when they took off your safety mittens.

      "The purpose of a review is to REVIEW the work - you know, dissect the comic, point out its flaws and strengths and art and characters and everything in between"

      So, for instance, the way the second paragraph critiques the execution of the covers, the fourth paragraph talks about the quality of the story, and the fifth AND sixth about the art and coloring? That kind of thing you're talking about?

      If the book wasn't breaking even, they wouldn't sell it. This particular issue sold 9,000 copies (a scant 400 copies behind MTMTE), putting it in the top 200 for its month - and for the record, that's just physical copies, not digital. And yeah, MLP sells more. MLP is wildly popular, among both kids and total creeps. I'm sure you're familiar with them.

      I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that there are lesbian robots in this. There aren't. Of course, that would require reading the comic, and not just your own Rule 34 fanfic. Maybe that's the same source that told you IDW is "going broke," or that the only criterion for being a Mary Sue is being a female character written by a female author. Does that make every male character written by a male author a Marty Stu, or do stupidly sexist statements only run in one direction?

      Here's a fun fact! When a story is demonstrably well-written, one poorly informed rando saying "Maighread Scott simply does not know how to write" doesn't retroactively turn it bad. When anyone can look at the art and see its professional quality, every frustrated chantroll in the world can get together and all say "Sarah Stone doesn't know how to draw," but objective reality will still disagree, unless you're somehow going to invent a time machine, travel back to 2014, break into Quebecor when this issue was going to print, and replace it with your own "easy to draw" animu.

      "no one is pointing out how much like Zoe Quinn Maighread Scott is"

      Here, I'll point it out: "they both have to put up with the baseless accusations of turd-eyed manchildren whose amazing sphere of influence doesn't extend beyond their ability to paw angrily at their own genitals." Ya happy now, Mittens?

      • RAC says:

        Jesus. Nothing like invoking Zoe Quinn as the boogeyman to prove you have zero merit as a critic or human.

      • Anti-Venom says:

        The 'how much windblade sells a month' argument is actually a good one; it means not many people is buying the comic.

        "Here's a fun fact!" - Cool your jets, kid. Here's another fun fact, if there's no criticism for the story, it means real fans either don't want to tell the truth because they're scared of the backlash, or because nobody wants to read this crap.

        My brothers draws better pictures than Stone.

        Yeah telling the truth hurts. If this comic is so good you shouldn't even need to defend it; the comic would stand for itself. Hate speech. Also intolerance.

        but I GET IT. You're only tolerant of views that agree with yours.

        Most of WB's fans are females and gay guys who want to see Breakdown and Knock Out fap it up.

        Nobody wants to critique the comic because Scott'll have a mental breakdown. And her fans. You reply to my argument, you only prove my point: YOU cannot handle a dissenting opinion. You also haven't attacked the argument itself, which was a point of why she wouldn't be inspired to buy it.

        Those who preach tolerance are the most intolerant. All you really can do tell those who HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION, as well as THE TRUTH, that they are so hateful. You've used every card in the book(and you haven't used any concrete evidence).

        • yo go re says:

          The "how much it sells in a month" argument WOULD be a good one, if the argument weren't proven false. I proved it false by pointing out the physical numbers, and Tahukanuva proved it false by citing the digital sales. You know, "concrete evidence." I know that having facts to back you up is a confusing prospect for people whose opinions have nothing to do with reality, but for the rest of us, it kind of makes the truth clear and easy to follow.

          We're at OAFE are tolerant of views that disagree with ours - we strongly encourage them, because living in an echo chamber is how idiots like One Million Moms or MRAs start to think they actually stand for something good. However, when disagreeing with us, we DO expect intelligence and informed opinions, not just knee-jerk GURLS IS BAD WHY WON'T THEY GO OUT WITH ME THE FRIENDZONE IS REAL dumbness. Mittens' arguments were all easily debunked, because he is either ill-informed, can't bother to look things up, or is just choosing to lie plainly in the hopes that no one would call him on it. So, dissent. Dissent all you want, but if you're not able to dissent intelligently, then what's the point? At that point you're just mindlessly parroting "yes it is" after someone says "no it isn't," and being contrarian isn't the same as actually furthering an opinion.

          Normally I'd say that "most of WB's fans are females and gay guys" is a stupid statement, but it's actually probably right: statistically, "females and gay guys" outnumber straight guys, and if the Transformers comics have a wide, balanced demographic, then you've managed to fall backwards into a kernel of truth: straight males are a minority. The Breakdowwn and Knock out half of the sentence, though, is back to you being foolish, since 1) neither of them are in this comic anywhere, and 2) you complain about us not using facts, then state as "fact" something that literally has no way of being quantified.

          And speaking of dumb, you missed the most obvious reason for there not being criticism of the story: not that "real" fans are scared of backlash (and honestly, no one who has ever claimed to be able to identify "real" fans has ever been right), or that nobody is reading it (which, remember, has been proven categorically false twice now, so remember: in the future, you can no longer pretend that it supports your point, or else you're willfully lying), but that the people who read it and didn't like it didn't care enough to bother writing a letter to complain about it. A normal person's reaction is "I didn't much like that. I'm not going to buy the next one," not "SCOTT WILL HAVE A MENTAL BREAKDOWN THE CIA IS BEAMING RADIO SIGNALS TO MY FILLINGS!"

          You say we didn't attack the argument itself (even though we clearly did, in multiple ways), but also say that if we reply to YOUR argument, that we can't handle dissent. So, which is it? CAN we handle dissent, or DID we address the argument? You have to pick one or the other...

          • Tahukanuva says:

            "If you disagree with me, I win" is a clause I'mma start tacking onto the end of all of my opinions from now on. Seems like it's too stupid to work, but if Some Bozo On The Internet can do it, I can, too!

    • Tahukanuva says:

      This is amazing. Posting this rebuttal to a review of a comic that's over a year old, talking about how poorly Windblade is selling, and how terrible a writer Mairgread Scott is, after Windblade has not only been renewed for a second volume, but had that volume retitled and expanded to give her even more to play with.

      Also, sales numbers don't count digital sales, because Diamond is trapped in 2006, but all of IDW's Transformers titles, going by iBooks and Comixology charts, do /extremely/ well on digital. Windblade and MTMTE regularly make Top Ten sales charts, and on at least one point were outselling Batman.

      Anyway, I can't imagine ever being mad enough at a fake girl robot to write 1200 words of nonsense in the middle of the night, and I hope my life never reaches the point where I do.

  3. My Common Sense is Tingling says:

    >Anime is a pretty easy art style once you get the hang of it,

    EVERYTHING is easy once you get the hang of it. That's what "getting the hang of it" means.

    > and it can be discernible from any other style.

    One art Style can be told apart from a different art Style? WOW! Boy, good thing you cleared that up! I'm sure glad I took that red pill, or I'd NEVER have been able to figure that one out.

  4. Yawn says:

    2/5 stars:

    Story isn't bad but I literally kept falling asleep. The faces are human, the robots are just dull robots, the action scenes are drawn so it's impossible to see what on earth has happened to whom, and the whole thing is written with an impossibly bad attempt at disembodied voice-over intercutting the action and dialogue in a way that's supposed to be intelligent but is just yawnsome.

    No offense to those who likedit, I just disliked it in general.

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