Simon Furman and Dorling Kindersley return to the format of their previous Transformers Ultimate Guide with this supposedly exhaustive guide to the movie world. With a hardback cover and A4 size, as well as it’s lenticular cover, the book harkens back to the days of Transformers Annuals.
Sadly, this book was obviously put together in a hurry, paling in comparison to their earlier Ultimate effort. The shots of the robots are almost exclusively the same hires CGI shots widely available on the net, hand drawn art is few and far between and woefully lacking the style and detail seen in Dreamwave’s More Than Meets The Eye series or the previously mentioned Ultimate guide, which had great detailed shots of unicron, primus, cybertron, prime etc.
Brawl, Bonecrusher, Ironhide and crucially Starscream, arguably the most visually interesting bots, are all omitted from the book completely, and while each of the other characters gets a couple of pages for robot mode and a couple more for alt mode, there is little here for anyone older than about 4 years old. There is no mention at all of other bots such as Arcee for whom extensive concept art exists, as shown at BotCon 2007. Neither is there any material of the sort found here.
And then there’s the inconsistencies in the prose. Sure we’re talking giant robots from the planet Cybertron here, so we can stand a bit of artistic license. But how about these clangers:
- The Allspark apparently has unknown alien symbols on it, alluding to it’s true origin, but in the movie the markings are the same as those on Megatron which is how they knew the two were connected in the first place.
- Prime is “not built for speed” but can anyway reach “250mph and do 0-60 in 1.25 seconds”
- The robots weight between 4 and 6 tonnes, despite a modern tank such as the one Brawl transforms into weighing up to 60 tonnes
- Megatron travels as fast as three times the speed of sound, which apparently is enough to travel between the stars
- Megatron also has an infinite internal power supply, apparently forgetting that he ran out of power when he crashed in the arctic in the movie prequel story eh Simon?
As a new section to a revised Ultimate Guide this might have been acceptable, much as the X-Men Official Guide was updated when those movies came out, but it’s not, it’s a standalone book and thus Simon Furman should be absolutely ashamed of himself for this pisspoor effort, assuming he actually wrote it, which seems unlikely. Here’s hoping for a proper guide with all the concept art, CGI renders, behind the scenes and other goodies in for a future release.