Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for IDW Publishing. C2E2 was last weekend and we're continuing to put up stories from that event. In between, we've got a good week's set of reviews. Four new comics from IDW including a new Transformers Spotlight and some other licensed properties. As always … titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best possible. We take the time to read these books so your time isn't wasted.
Transformers Spotlight : Hoist - One Shot
I grasp the mechanics of how stories need to be structured. You have a protagonist who has obstacles thrown in the way that require the characters to grow in order to overcome, with the end result of the character being willing to die (physically or metaphorically) in order to overcome. The thing is about this particular series of Transformers characters, it just defies reason that they keep getting into this much trouble each issue. Most of the time, they're the cause of the problem which flies in the face of the amount of success they've had.
This one-shot is fairy forgettable. The spotlight series has been good sometimes about giving one character the chance to step up and become a bit more memorable. All this issue did was show how lame many other Autobots are. I mean, they spend a nice chunk of time talking about which Decepticons make them scared. Hoist is given one interesting fight and he has a few good lines but this is mostly a throw-away story. The interior art is the best of all the series as the coloring is quite good. There are several covers of varied quality.
Score: 7 out of 10
Dungeons And Dragons Forgotten Realms : Cutter - Issue 2
Clearly, there is some type of swerve coming. Otherwise, this was be the silliest story imaginable. A colony of Dark Elves that live in a woodland community and one of their leaders has an enchanted sword that is both powerful and evil. The main take away from this story is that no one should have this sword. Not even the older leader. His wife doesn't like the sword. She knows how bad it is. Yet, for some reason the guy with the sword has arranged competition for these two younger Drow to decide which one "gets" the sword. What a swell leader.
Most of the adventure to this story was a mother trying to save her daughter. The daughter, of course, is being manipulated by the sword. The mother and her forces are killing a lot of monsters. Running and fighting with no character to care about makes the story very dull. The cover is great in that it looks just like the cover of a module or rule book. There is a second cover that is just like the interior. The interior artwork is alright. The action is clear, even if the characters seem a bit off. There is simple coloring in this art.
Score: 4.5 out of 10
Mars Attacks - Issue 10
This issue is rather narrator heavy and this makes things a bit hard when it comes to caring about the characters' plights. This decreases the inevitable tragedy that befalls some. Still, there are funny little moments of satire in this story. The interior artwork is solid with obvious style. The covers are a great deal of fun and contrasting styles of art. They're completely opposite, yet both manage to capture the essence of the interior.
Score: 7 out of 10
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Issue 21
Much of this issue, like the Dungeons And Dragons story reviewed above, involved a lengthy chase with moments of fighting thrown in. A lot of fighting. And running. Perhaps the refreshing aspect of this was the secret of their assailant. It was fairly obvious what was going on but there seemed to be little reason to make that part of the issue take up less pages. Like half the amount. The lesson they learn didn't need that much page count, especially since this isn't the first time we've heard it.
The best aspects of the story involve the Foot. All good adventures require good villains and this series excels. The ending reveal should be a nice payoff for those of you who read the recent mini-series that delved into the history of the Foot Clan. The interior artwork is just fine. It has a TMNT style to it that works perfectly. There are multiple covers with varying degrees of art quality though most are solid.
Score: 7 out of 10
All and all, not the best week from IDW Publishing. The Dungeons And Dragons comic is not very good at all. Everything else is OK but nothing mind-blowing. Which is a shame because some of these titles have had some great issues of late. Well, perhaps next week there will be something special. Until then, this has been New Release Reviews.