Saturday, October 18, 2008

Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight: Sideswipe/Revelation, part 4

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: E.J. Su

(covers by E.J. Su and Nick Roche)

Synopsis: Sideswipe, Hound and their team attack two of the Dark Universe Transformers-- Straxus and Grindcore--on Earth. Hound and Fort Max secure the space bridge while Sideswipe charges fervantly into battle against their enemy. Elsewhere, the Pretenders are beamed aboard by the Technobots when their ship is destroyed. They are given their new Pretender shells and go out to confront Cyclonus. Jetfire jams control of Thunderwing, allowing the Autobots attacking him to reach his Nega-Core. Jhiaxus sends Bludgeon to take out Jetfire... Optimus Prime and Nemesis Prime fight and Optimus realizes his dark anti-matrix wants to pass to him--which is why Nemesis is so keen to kill him off. Nemesis rails and attack Optimus some more while Galvatron watches on from the shadows. On Earth, Fort Max, Hound and the others go through the space bridge to confront Monstructor (who is apparently attacking the Combaticons). Jhaixus can't use Bludgeon to finish off Jetfire as his mind is too preoccupied by trying to monitor everything all at once (I know the feeling!) Jetfire comments that his entire strategy is about to fall apart. The Autobots remove the Nega-cores and send them to the Dead Universe. Jhiaxus is stopped from acting when Arcee shows up and cuts his arm off. On Garrus-9, Galvatron shoots Nemesis Prime in the back, killing him. He falls into Optimus and the dark matrix goes into him instead, trying to assert its control. Galvatron tells him he can either sacrifice himself in the nearby solar pool or give the power over to him. Prime gives it to him and then grabs him and throws him into the solar pool, apparently destroying him in the process. The Nega-cores explode in the dead universe and close the rift behind the Pretenders just as they've finished escaping. On Gorlam Prime, Jhiaxus tries to escape but Hardhead (rising from the silver pool) stops him and Arcee finishes him off. In epilogue, Gorlam Prime has evolved into a Cybertron-like world, populated by new Transformers. Gorlam Prime is forgotten and they call the new world Cybertron! Jetfire laments the hard times that come and we see a hint that perhaps Galvatron survived...

Comments: The grand epic that opened IDW's Transformers has come to a close after three years. The artwork for this issue was painted frame by frame by E.J. Su and it looks fabulous. The story felt a bit rushed, though. Obviously, they shuffled off Revelation into the Spotlight series for some bizarre reason and this ending felt like we were lacking some details somewhere. What was the whole point of Gorlam Prime's evolution? I initially thought it had something to do with the Dead Universe but apparently not--and now Gorlam Prime is a new Cybertron? Huh? Will this be our new TFs home or just forgotten all together in the future? The anti-matrix energy Nemesis Prime has is not explained at all and even here felt like a cheap addition ("if Prime has a Matrix, this guy must have an evil matrix!" Um, okay...) For that matter, the Matrix has never been explained in IDW either so does it even exist (apparently it does) and, if so, what purpose does it serve here? This is an entirely new continuity so the writer shouldn't assume we all know what it does--he needs to make it clear. Doing anything less is just lazy writing. Also, this "Solar Pool" that Prime throws Galvatron into seemed rather conveniently placed there, didn't it? What the hell is that and why didn't they bother explaining it a little? That just bugged me a bit... Another serious problem with this whole story--we never do get what the Dead Universe is. Obviously, it's a "dead" universe but why is it dead? Why does it somehow support life or undead life/whatever the hell state those TFs existed in? Is it something related to Unicron (I hope not) or something else entirely? Is Furman trying to keep that unrevealed for some future story (and, if so, why? Can't anything ever just end--even in a serial comic series?) An okay resolution but it could've been better.

Mildly recommended.

1 comment:

Pierrimus said...

I was disappointed in the fact that IDW wanted to use the Spotlights as a means to tell another set of stories in their G1 timeline rather than what the issues were originally: Character shots. The wrap up here in Sideswipe's issue just left me feeling blah about the story and as if there were too many loose ends still about. What will happen to Optimus/the Matrix now that this "dark energy" has entered it? It looked like Galavatron survived his little plasma bath so we're probably going to see him again in the future. I hope this doesn't lead to another coming of Unicron, I'm tired of seeing that big bad. You were definitely on spot with the Arcee Spotlight, she's definitely one not to mess with.