Panini UK - Transformers: Armada Issue 9
Issue 9 of the UK Armada Comic from Panini came out on the 11th December 2003. We received two advance copies on the 4th December 2003 thanks to Dave Richards. This review was written and published on the 4th December 2003 by Dave
Well where shall we start this month. First of all we have confimation of what Andrew Wildman told as in Birmingham that legendary Transformer's inker Stephen Baskerville has joined the comic, inking the first strip.
Right, the cover - features Thurst, Sparkplug, Mirage and Jolt. It's quiet nicely drawn and coloured, especially Thrust. It's an odd choice of covers, as Thrust only appears in two panels of the back-up strip (which is the strip I've prefered for the most part).
The first stories credits are Script: Simon Furman, Pencils: Andrew Wildman, Inks: Stephen Baskerville, Colours: Nigel Dobbym and Letters: Neil Porter. The story focuses on the Decepticons, with only the Destruction Team, Starscream, Demolisher, Cyclonus and Megatron appearing (oh and their Mini-cons).
The art / colours are quiet well done, the colouring looks alot darker than usual (which is something that Mr. Wildman commented on). Cyclonus' face looks right, though there is somthing odd about Megatron.
An interesting blurring effect can be seen on page 9 and it's quiet funny to see Cyclonus kick butt.
After this you get the first game, cut out targets for the Marble Launchers.
This month's profile is Jetfire - you can instantly hear Scott McNeil's voice when you see his robot mode. The shuttle mode picture looks a little square and "Super Pants Prime" is odd - but then again he is anyway.
Pages 14 + 15 are the next games, called Dawn of Destruction - the same name as the first story. There are some nice pictures of Cyclonus and Dulor.
The Power Poster is of Cyclonus attacking the Decepticons .. but you'll have to read the story to find out why.
Pages 16/17 are the Christmas Competition - with a cool picture of Santatron. The prizes include a Powerlinks Red Alert !!! (they say "not avalible for ages"), Predacon (again they say "not avalible until well into 2004"), the Adventure Team and Megatron are the other prizes.
Cyber Space reports on Tidal Wave being out and Unicron coming out in Early 2004 - probably the two best Armada toys.
After this you have Commetor's profile - the drawing is nice, but it is hard to make him look good.
The Backup Story - Counter Strike - is credited to:
Script: Simon Furman, Pencils: Simon Williams, Inks: Bambos Georgiou, Colours: Junior Tomlin, Letters: Neil Porter (note NO Lee Sullivan this month).
The drawings are suprisingly good, the inking in the back strip has always been better than the first - this month they are about the same. The drawings in the Tales of the Mini-Con's stories have also always been smaller, which make them look better.
The story follows the capture of the Race Team. It's only 6 pages but there is a lot of action this month. Again the drawings are nicely done, reminding us of Geoff Senior in some picture, though the drawings on the last page let it down.
Following this are a few festive treats, the letters page .. well picture page, as there are no letters, and lastly the coloring in page (featuring the picture of Jet Prime from Jetfire's profile page).
The next month preview looks good, with Sideways on the cover - again the art on that looks very good. The free gifts for next month are glow in hte dark models of Prime or Megatron - on sale 2nd January.
Speaking of free gifts, this month were Marble launchers. You get either Hotshot or Demolisher ... we have both. They are made out of grey plastic, shaped in their forms. The pictures are stickers and disapointingly the marbles are normal marbles (surely they could have done some TF ones)?
Yet more TF "tac" to add to the collection. Nice for their uniqueness and are one of those things you go "cool" whilst laughing.