Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On the Coffee Table: The Transformers

Title: The Transformers: Bumblebee
Writer: Zander Cannon
Artist: Chee

Image via Transformers Movie Buzz

Full disclosure: I went to college with Zander and am therefore predisposed to enjoy his work.  I first introduced him on my blog in this post.

I have to confess that despite my predisposition, I was entirely prepared to dislike this collection.  I haven't been especially drawn to the Transformers story to this point.  I haven't seen any of the movies.  I remember the TV show from my childhood but can't say I remember many details, except for the awesome theme song:

I certainly remember the toys, though I never had a Transformer.  I was sadly a little too old for them when they first came out.  I wanted one but my parents were past the point where they were inclined to buy me toys as gifts and they were a bit too expensive for my allowance.  By the time I did have the money to afford them, my interests tended in other directions.  Hmm, maybe my parents actually knew what they were doing.  I did have a Gobot, one of Tonka's cheaper competitor line.  Eventually, Gobots were bought out by Hasbro and absorbed into the Transformer universe. 

However, Bumblebee was a pleasant surprise.  Zander's book has me curious, wanting to go back to the beginning as is my tendency with comics.  This story, originally a four-issue series, focuses on the character of Bumblebee at a time when he is leader of the Autobots (2009-10, concurrent with the All Hail Megatron story of the same time period).  I like Bumblebee.  He is humble and compassionate, both excellent qualities in a leader.  Plus, he's a VW Beetle in this story.  Gotta love that!  Punch buggy yellow!

 Photo via NewBeetle.org

Zander seems to have a fondness for reluctant hero narratives (see The Replacement God).  While there is some exploration of the dynamics between the robots themselves, the story focuses primarily on the relationship between the Autobots and humans.  Some very interesting ethical quandaries are confronted.

Image via ComicsAlliance

Regular Squid visitors already know that tomorrow is a big day for Zander.  His online comic Double Barrel, a project with longtime collaborator Kevin Cannon (no relation), is set to launch.  See their blog for details.

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