Sunday, April 05, 2009
Writer: Josh Van Reyk and Shaun Knowler
Artist: E.J. Su
(covers by E.J. Su and Andrew Griffith)
Summary: The setting is Cybertron, during the Autobots hiatus in All Hail Megatron. As the troops are restless (specifically, Cliffjumper and Bumblebee), Tracks gathers them all together and relates a story from his early days in the Great War... His unit was attacked and destroyed on his first combat mission and his optics off-line from damage. Jazz retrieves him but their evac vessel is shot down by the Predacons before they can board it. Razorclaw and his unit watch them, deciding that they should take them out hand to hand instead of remotely
since it's more honorable. Tracks is sure they'll die out there but Jazz keeps his spirits up... the Predacons attack them then and he uses Tracks to distract them while he attacks from behind, taking out three of them in the ensuing battle. Jazz and Tracks escape long enough to hide from Razorclaw and Divebomb (I think). Jazz decides to take on the two remaining Decepticons himself to protect Tracks but he's so inspired by Jazz's heroism that he transforms and rams Divebomb, taking both of them off-line in the process. Jazz fights Razorclaw, who escapes when Autobot reinforcements show up. Tracks was never sure who that Autobot that saved him was--but he knew he inspired him and taught him about courage and what it means to be an Autobot. Many of the Autobots are listening to his tale and all are cheered up by his words. Jazz comes along afterward and tells him thanks for telling that story--it helped him out too.
Comments: This appears to be Tracks first real appearance in the IDW-verse (that is, his first relevant appearance. He was likely in the background somewhere before now). This is a simple tale that wraps up in one issue and I appreciate that aspect of it. It also has the Autobots without Optimus Prime doing something useful to keep their spirits up (instead of being helpless children without Optimus, like seems to be case usually). I like how not only is Jazz's reputation as a bad-ass in the IDW continuity reinforced but Tracks does something useful too for the first time in, um... forever, that I'm aware of (usually he just preens about his image). Not sure who the writers are (I'm leaning towards fans) but this is a solid tale.