Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #13
(aka Coda #1)

Story #1: Old Ways

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Don Figueroa

(Covers by Don Figueroa and Chee Yang Ong)

Synopsis: Ironhide and Optimus Prime are on Cybertron (presumably) chilling out when Ironhide tells him he doesn't think he can go on anymore. Prime sympathizes and we get a flashback to when Optimus first took over command of the Autobots. Ironhide told him point blank that he didn't think Optimus had the wits about him to be the commander. Prime tells him to be his consellor then and teach him what he needs to know. In the present, Ironhide tells him he learned well from him and that took guts on Prime's part. We get another flashback, later on in the war, when Ironhide advises Prime during a battle to retreat west. Prime decides to go east instead--and it turns out he is correct, since the Decepticons expected the Autobots to go west and sent in Trypticon to take them out. In a final flashback, Prime and Ironhide are dangling from a cliffside. Ironhide tells him he's wounded and to let Prime leave him be. Prime is stubborn and rescues Ironhide anyway... In the present, Prime tells him he's free to leave, but both the Autobots and he himself will be diminished without Ironhide's presence. Ironhide smiles and decides to stay.

Comments: A short and simple story. It really is the best Optimus Prime story IDW has ever done, highlighting why Optimus Prime is the undisputed leader of the Autobots. He respects his troops, is confident in his decisions and knows the right thing to do. An ideal leader and far too often recently we haven't seen enough of this side of Prime. The writers and fans seem to fixate too much on Prime's internal self doubt all the time and this was refreshing in contrast. My one complaint is the art style Figueroa was trying out here. It's too reminiscent of the recent TF movies--beady eyes on the robots and too much uber detail. I much prefer his classic style instead.

Story #2:
Uneasy Lies the Head

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Chee Yang Ong

Synopsis: Shrapnel summons Starscream to come see about Megatron. We learn that Megatron is still just barely functional. Starscream suggests to Soundwave that they let Megatron die, but Soundwave won't have it. Starscream tells Shrapnel later that he'd just jettison Megatron's body if he didn't have a nagging feeling he'd return somehow, even more powerful then before. Starscream looks to the Matrix nearby and thinks how Megatron wasted his time seeking it out--what good is it? He goes to flush it out an airlock but Shrapnel stops him since its such an important artifact. This gives Starscream an idea--he addresses his warriors and tells them he has unlocked the Matrix's unlimited power. Soon, all their enemies will fall before them! He retires to plan and there we learn he's just faking it and seems in over his head.

Comments: A bizarre contrast in character here. In the previous issue, Starscream was all protective of Megatron's fallen body, insisting that he couldn't be leader because he hadn't earned it through treachery (which seemed out of character for him). Now, he seems to want to just wipe Megatron out and be the leader (which is in character for him). I know, it's different writers but how hard is to get on the same page with the stories? Yeesh! Also, does this mean Starscream will be in charge ultimately or will he have to worry someone will see him as the coward he is under it all and challenge him? It will be interesting to see where things go. The art is more paint-style then normal but not bad for what it is.

Story #1: Highly Recommended. Story #2: Mildly recommended.
The issue as a whole: Recommended.

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