Monday, June 13, 2011

Transformers Dark of the Moon: Shockwave (DOTM)

Presenting from the upcoming Transformers Dark of the Moon movie: Shockwave (DOTM Shockwave). I've always been partial to Shockwave.

I mean seriously what's not to like? He's got one eye and dresses in purple. Shockwave is like putting Cyclops and Magneto into one character. Shockwave is cold, calculating and just as powerful - if not more powerful - than Megatron.

In fact in the original Marvel continuity of Transformers, Shockwave kills all the Autobots, makes a toy out of Optimus Prime's head, beats up Megatron twice and makes him swear fealty to him. So without a doubt, Shockwave rules!

And the DOTM Shockwave is just as scary. Shockwave's  fireblast has the maximum 10 rating. I am so looking forward to seeing him in action in the DOTM movie and I'm sincerely hoping he won't be a wuss.

DOTM Shockwave's blister card reads "Few have ever seen Shockwave and lived. This is the hand that ensures Decepticon plans remain secret from the Autobots. He eliminates evidence and witnesses with brutal emotionless efficiency. The only hint he ever leaves of his presence are smoking craters and the collapsed tunnels through which he travels."

So in effect DOTM Shockwave's character is a modified combination of his Marvel Comic Book character and his Transformers G1 Cartoon character. He's a cold calculating killer (attribute from the comic books)  but defiantly loyal to Megatron (Attribute from the cartoons - which saw no reason to have two characters fighting for leadership of the Decepticons: Starscream vs. Shockwave) and tasked with protecting the secrets of the Decepticons (Modification of "Tasked with protecting the Spacebridge").

What's to like about the DOTM Shockwave?

Personally I feel that Shockwave would and does make a better leader than Megatron. At the very least you won't be exposed to the "before I kill you" monologues and subsequent bitter diatribes. If I were a Decepticon, this would be my leader of choice, not that brooding Megatron and by all means NOT that opportunistic sycophant Starscream.

The DOTM Shockwave is exquisitely sculpted. It pays homage to the original Shockwave (look at that one-eye and color scheme) and gives it a modern and very alien twist. I'm particularly fond of DOTM Shockwave's back which looks like he has an energy generator of sorts to power his weaponry - you can even spin two of the three "turbines" on his back.

DOTM Shockwave looks even better with his weapons attached. 

DOTM Shockwave comes with a detachable blade for his left arm - though you can mount that almost anywhere where Hasbro decided to put a slot - and a "MechTech" Battle Cannon that transforms into a Particle Wave Blaster (Basically a Particle Projectile Cannon) simply by pushing a button in the back and locking it into place. This gives the DOTM Shockwave the same awe inspiring firepower that his cartoon and comic book version has. 

Note that you do not have to fold DOTM Shockwave's hands when you attach either the Battle Cannon or the blade, but I personally think it looks better that way. Also of note is the power cable running from DOTM Shockwave's Battle Cannon to the power generators at his back - which is a nice touch in tribute to his cartoon and comic book equivalent. 

Lastly, you can also combine the cannon and the blade with no ill effects to the deployment of the Particle Wave Blaster. Note that this however makes him look right-side heavy.

I'd put DOTM Shockwave's flexibility at average. He can kneel, sit, etc... but as with most Transformers in this day and age, DOTM Shockwave cannot twist his torso. 

What's not to like about DOTM Shockwave?

DOTM Shockwave's flexibility comes into question when he has to fire his Battle Cannon. As you can see in the picture, that's about as high as he can lift it if DOTM Shockwave fires with the Battle Cannon underslung. Conversely, as we've seen above, it looks slightly weird when he has to fire it overhead.  The cable also has a tendency to get in the way of the  MechTech transformation and fits poorly into its slot in DOTM Shockwave's back. You actually have to spend some time figuring out how to get that cable in there. 

But perhaps the biggest let down is DOTM Shockwave's alternate mode. Literally "What the hell is that?" It's no tank. It's a crawler of sorts that slightly resembles an insect. Would it ask too much for DOTM Shockwave to transform into a cannon?

There is of course reference in DOTM Shockwave's blister card that suggests that he is a tunneler. But I really don't see THAT tunneling through anything. Crawling through a tunnel, yes, but making one? I guess I'll have to watch the movie. You can still fit on the  MechTech gear, but you have to ditch the power cable. 

And lastly, I don't know if you can actually see DOTM Shockwave's eye in the previous pictures. Here it is enhanced by Photoshop.

I do indeed look forward to 3rd party developers finding a way to light up these Transformers. I think DOTM Shockwave would look great with a glowing red eye, glowing red Battle Cannon, and even more red lights coming from his rib-cage.

In the end I don't really recommend this figure for beginners. This is a new Shockwave and while it pays homage to the original, beginners might not be able to fully grasp and value the true impact that Shockwave has on the Transformers Universe. He's more for those who can truly appreciate him, the long term collectors and semi-purists.


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