Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Acronyms and abbreviations are fun. That, or these lines don't deserve quite enough respect for full names.
Robots In Disguise, Armada, Energon, Cybertron - there, that's their names, happy now???

Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Shockwave » Fri May 10, 2013 10:50 am

Gomess wrote:A bad week indeed!

I'll be honest, I struggled just with the *first* episode of Armada. Massively disappointing post-RiD animation, voice acting and QC aside, the world they present us with is so *barren*. Are there even other human beings? Inhabited cities? Do the three main kids have *families*? I never really got far enough to notice; think I made it as far as Scavenger's debut, and all I could think was, "Why is he called Scavenger". So, it was unsurprising I had no interest in the comics or other spinoffs.

But yeah, barren. Very poor worldbuilding, and just a general atmosphere of not-caring.


They did build that up quite a bit later on, and it actually didn't take that long. They at least had all of that by the time I bowed out so...
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby andersonh1 » Fri May 10, 2013 11:09 am

Gomess wrote:I'll be honest, I struggled just with the *first* episode of Armada. Massively disappointing post-RiD animation, voice acting and QC aside, the world they present us with is so *barren*. Are there even other human beings? Inhabited cities? Do the three main kids have *families*? I never really got far enough to notice; think I made it as far as Scavenger's debut, and all I could think was, "Why is he called Scavenger". So, it was unsurprising I had no interest in the comics or other spinoffs.


That's one thing the comic did far better, at least in the initial arc. The kids have families, with Rad's mom forcing him to come inside, or do his homework, or wondering why he's up so early on a Saturday. Megatron rampages through town chasing the mini-cons and kids and it makes the news. After the initial story arc both sides go underground and avoid attracting attention, at least until we get to Energon and hordes of Terrorcons start destroying major cities.

There is some of that in the cartoon, with a few episodes showing the Autobots having to remain in disguise because they're on a freeway or whatever, but it generally feels like an afterthought. There is one episode where a reporter witnesses Optimus Prime helping Scavenger (I think) and thinks she's caught it on tape, but for some reason the tape is obscured, and the storyline is dropped. There are glimpses of the kids at school and it's mentioned that Rad's parents work at the observatory on the mountain over the buried Mini-con wreck, so there's some attempt at acknowledging the world around them, but it's not a major focus by any means.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Gomess » Fri May 10, 2013 1:18 pm

What *was* the main focus of the Armada cartoon? Whoever had Squirtle, Bulbasau--I mean the Star Saber, Skyboom Shield or Requiem Blaster at any given time?

btw

those weapon names

with the exception of Star Saber

*awful*
COME TO TFVIEWS oh you already did
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby andersonh1 » Fri May 10, 2013 1:22 pm

Yep, it's definitely a "gotta catch 'em all" series.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Shockwave » Fri May 10, 2013 1:29 pm

Yeah, Pokemon: Tranformers edition.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Onslaught Six » Sat May 11, 2013 5:24 pm

That's insulting to Pokemon. It's way better than Armada.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby andersonh1 » Mon May 13, 2013 6:12 am

Armada #7

I still say that one of the best things about this series is how the mini-cons continue to operate independently of the Autobots and remain good characters in their own right. Rollbar has pretty much vanished from any prominent role, but Sparkplug, Longarm and Jolt continue to be front and center. The Land Military Team of Wreckage, Bonecrusher and Knockout are added to the roster of Mini-con characters in this issue, and they initially take no side at all. Rad proves to be crucial to the plot as he shames or impresses Wreckage into helping out after all. He and the others are able to free Sparkplug’s group from the collapsed lower level of the Decepticon base.

I’m going to be more critical of Pat Lee’s art this time around. Apart from more reused panels, including some from last issue, the whole attack sequence amounts to very poor visual storytelling. It’s hard to tell just what’s going on sometimes, or how Prime gets the Star Sabre away from Megatron so he can appeal to the mini-cons. Some panels lack drama or dynamism. There are several instances where I’ve just given up entirely trying to guess what happened. I think Prime slugged Megatron hard enough to stun him and cause him to drop the sword, after which Megatron berates Leader-1 for not giving him enough power.

Prime is able to get through to the Air Defense Team who break free of Megatron’s control. That combined with the arrival of Sparkplug and Wreckage’s groups ends the battle, forcing Megatron to call a retreat. It’s amusing to see Starscream just hang back during the whole incident. Apparently Megatron never notices. I'm always looking at the character of various Megatrons from different continuities to see what makes them different, and the Armada version is definitely not a charismatic leader or one who could inspire a vast political movement. He's a brute who was just smart enough to find a weapon and use it to gain power.

Megatron lectures Prime on the nature of power and how to use it, but Prime’s attempts to reach out to the Mini-cons pay off as the mini-cons voluntarily help the Autobots out while all of Megatron’s berating of Leader-1 and the Air Defense Team can’t force them to obey. Armada Megatron really is little more than a thug, exactly as Prime said.

Overall: A good issue with some good ideas and character moments, sabotaged by Pat Lee’s lack of storytelling skills. The kids do some good simply by showing loyalty to their friends, making them useful to the plot without making them annoying or precocious. And new characters are introduced fairly smoothly, though the next story arc will really start adding new characters to the cast.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby andersonh1 » Thu May 16, 2013 10:54 am

Armada #8

This issue kicks off one of Armada’s stronger arcs which not only tells a good story, but which also introduces a slew of new characters to the series. I remember at the time this was first published that it seemed to me the series went for a long time with just a few characters, only to throw a ton of new ones at us all at once in an effort to catch up. Of course, on a monthly publication schedule this issue was 8 months real time into the series, so that certainly played into my perceptions. The pacing isn’t nearly as much of a problem when the issues are read back to back over a short amount of time. Indeed the presence of a Mini-con fortress on the moon makes perfect sense, given that the ship crashed there first and broke apart.

Once again the Rad, Alexis and Carlos prove useful to the narrative. The fight at school with Fred and Billy (in their only appearance in this series I believe) is largely fluff, only it’s pretty much the situation Sparkplug and the other mini-cons are about to face. And it reinforces the friendship between the Street Action team and the kids right before Highwire, Grindor and Sureshock get kidnapped and Rad chases after them. And it illustrates that something has happened to all the mini-cons when the Street Team suddenly turn into zombies and start driving into traffic. And of course Rad will become important to the storyline a few issues down the road, so the presence of the kids is helpful in telling the story rather than arbitrary.

Yeah, someone’s collecting the mini-cons like “action figures”, Rad. Har har.

So the Decepticons come to collect, the Autobots arrive to stop them (thanks to Rad) and while they fight, all the Mini-cons go into the monolith and head off into space, with Rad stowing away. Good thing the ship had both heat and oxygen, right? And I’d bet Megatron would love to have whatever device turned all the mini-cons into zombies. It sure would save him a lot of work collecting them.

And I have to mention that this may have been the first time we got art by Guido Guidi. He does an excellent job, and his art is really complimented by Dreamwave’s rich coloring. He doesn’t have the dynamic style of James Raiz, but he’s easily miles ahead of Pat Lee. His character models are well-drawn and consistent from page to page. He’s an asset to the book, without a doubt.

Overall: setup, mainly. There are some good character moments and some foreshadowing which make this worth reading, even though we’re just getting into the story.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Shockwave » Thu May 16, 2013 8:08 pm

Onslaught Six wrote:That's insulting to Pokemon. It's way better than Armada.


Personally, between the two, I'd still rather watch Armada. Followed by Star Trek: Enterprise.
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Re: Dreamwave Armada - retro reviews

Postby Mako Crab » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:16 pm

Shockwave wrote:Followed by Star Trek: Enterprise.

Ooh, buuuuuurn!
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