NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS #1: The cross-marketing platform that Marvel have been waiting for rolls out - I'm sorry - into stores, in time to make everyone who reads it realize that, well, it's pretty Awful. There's something about this book that really makes you feel as if this is a half-assed attempt by Marvel to try and cash in on what they hoped would be a successful movie. It's a shame, really; the sheer nostalgic power of picking up a Transformers comic with that lo-fi version of the logo (Just like the old Marvel UK version of the comic when I was a kid!) managed to make me relatively hopeful that this could be something enjoyable and full of throwaway pop thrills, but it's clear that pop magic isn't what those involved were looking for - There's a self-conscious seriousness to the narration ("The engines of war. Sometimes they grind so loud in your brain - - They drown out everything else" ponders Captain America towards the end of the issue) that kind of ruins whatever dumb fun points the admittedly goofy plot (Megatron is increasing humanity's aggression so that the Avengers are fighting each other! Only the Autobots can save them from themselves!) has earned so far. More depressingly, Tyler Kirkham's artwork is so dull - it just sits on the page and does the job without any style or joy or anything, which is entirely the opposite of what was needed here. With a comic that brings superheroes and giant robots that turn into cars together, what I really want to see is some absurdist excitement about the whole thing, something that pulls me into the story and distracts me from the ridiculousness of the whole thing, and this attempt - while well-meaning (at least in the initial plot) - completely misses the mark.
Doesn't stop me wanting to see the Transformers movie itself, though.