Transformers Spotlight 4
Sixshot ruminates how he is utterly alone, feared even by the other Decepticons. Except for a small group of hanger ons whom call themselves the Terrorcons.
Except that they have disappeared.
Sixshot sets out to find them and they were last spotted on Mumu Obscura.
There he finds a group that call themselves the Reapers and they have lured him here in an attempt to get him to join their ranks.
One of the first depictions of Sixshot in fiction in the west.
First appearance of the Reapers.
This issue was released on 20 December 2006, along side Escaslation 2 and these 2 issues were the last transformers comics released in 2006.
Writer : Simon Furman
Artist Rob Ruffulo
Colors : Rob Ruffulo
Letters : Robbie Robbins
Editor : Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor.
This is the first time Sixshot has ever appeared in any sort of western fiction.
He has however appeared in Japanese manga in the 1980's and was a major character in the Headmasters series, where he was a third agent of sorts.
And a space ninja ...no, don't laugh. He killed Ultra Magnus in the process of the series, ( SPOILERS !! ) gotten the plans of Fortress Maximus and his weakness. ( on a giant floppy disc, in 2010 no less ) Killed a childhood friend of Chromedome, ( don't ask ) and was stranded on a asteroid with Daniel and didn't kill the damn brat, instead befriended him. ( aaargh ! )
In the end Sixshot defected because of Daniel and saved him from Menasor and Battletrap.
But as far as the western fiction goes, Sixshot is a blank slate.
Here however he is depicted as a weapon, a living weapon that destroys wherever he is pointed at. Sixshot is a phase six Decepticon, what happens when siege mode is engaged.
On his own, Sixshot is capable of destroying a whole planet.
And that's where I tend to tilt my head, because I find it a bit hard to believe that a single Transformer, no matter how powerfull can destroy a planet with what we see on panel.
Which are six different alt modes and an impressive array of weaponry.
But none of this seems to be enough to actually destroy a whole planet, unless the story means laying waste to the civilisation on the planet and causing massive collateral damage.
But otherwise implying he can do actual structural damage to a planet, which is what you think of when reading the lines destroying a planet, is taking it a bit far and a bit at odds with what we see on page.
What phase six exactly is and what a phase six Decepticon does, is never made clear though.
Except that it turns a planet in to a complete and utter warzone.
But Sixshot is a living weapon and a he is a weapon that is starting to suffer from overwrought purple prose nihilism.
Ahem, just nihilism, proclaiming himself to be the abyss and living for destruction because with out the destruction there is nothing.
this comic also introduces the Reapers, one of Furman's less brilliant ideas. A group of ill defined aliens, who for reasons even more ill defined, destroy planets even more thoroughly then Sixshot ever could.
As a concept they could be interesting, but in execution they just fail.
Only two of the six reapers on display look even remotely interesting. The other four just look ridiculous at best or laughable at worst.
The name Reapers alone is also groan worthy and makes them sound like an extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeme 90's comic.
Come to think of it, their lack of personality and motives or even awnsers really is a throwback to early 90's comics, particularly the X-men.
Where a lot of storylines never explained anything, or just dropped a lot of plotlines, after it limped in to oblivion.
The gauntlet is thrown down and off course willingly taken up, for what turns out to be a test of sorts.
And the Reapers finally tell us their reason for luring Sixshot to Mumu Obscura. ( No, don't laugh. That's the name of the planet. )
To recruit him in to their little nihilism club.
And what exactly is the reason to be for the Reapers ?
An unnatural urge to destroy, that drives them to near madness and they banded together and try to banish war forever, by destroying key worlds. That are either fought over by other groups or have been places of war for millenia to come.
They call it sterilising, I am sure the inhabitants would call it something else.
And Sixshot's final test is to kill the only Decepticons that are not too afraid of him and could charitably be called his friends, the Terrorcons.
Whom, despite later characterisations which suit them better, here hardly fit the name Terror cons. They are a bunch of meek milksops at best.
Needless to say, Sixshot doesn't go for it.
This issue is a misfire.
The idea itself is not bad, but the execution is lacking and the Reapers and their motivation not to mention their presentation are lacking and laughable.
Sixshot himself is borderline interesting and the empathy that the badge and belonging to a group, no matter how frings or small is enough for the time being, brings gives him enough depth for the time being.
But it does paint the Terrorcons in a poor light, becoming nothing more then hangers on.
While the Reapers come over as try hards and Furman tries to hard to sell them as edgy and kewl and 90's comics rejects, with vapid motivations and even more vapid personalities.
At least the art is decent and better then standard 90's fare though that doesn't say much.
It still has some Dreamwave overtones, with strange proportions and Sixshot bending his knees is downright preposterous and looks like it was ghosted by Pat Lee.
Sixshot is also kind of stiff.
Stylistically it looks better then MD Bright's art from Spotlight Nightbeat. But Bright's story telling is still superior over Rob Ruffolo's art, because at times its a bit hard to follow the story or know what's going on.
Other then that it's fine.
Like most early spotlights, this is essential reading, despite the quality of the story on hand.
It lays down several subplots that will be featured in the main Escalation and Devastation series.
The Reapers wont be any better later on though.