Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Transformers Spotlight 4 Sixshot

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. 
Sixshot  declines. 

For now.  

Notes :
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.  

Review :
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, 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.
Yes, really. 
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. 


  1. Dreamwave was going somewhere with Sixshot before they went under. Seemed like he was going to be Shockwave's ultimate weapon or something.

    I liked Sixshot in the HEADMASTERS cartoon, up until the point where he switched sides. But the idea of a Decepticon ninja was pretty awesome. At any rate, it was better than his super-obvious toy commercial appearance in "The Rebirth".

    But this... I'm with you. I didn't recall many of the particulars until I read your summary, but I did recall being unimpressed with this particular spotlight. (Though really, most of the spotlights were misses as far as I was concerned. I can't think of many that really impressed me.)

    1. I have been ..away for a bit, been sick.
      hence the rather late response

      There are actually quite a few incredibly strong spotlights, but the later ones are most miss. Especially the AHM era ones.
      Some of the strongest however are Spotlight Kup and Wheelie.
      This one however is rather ...bland, not especially terrible, but not great either.
      I am surprised I had so much to say about it really.