Well, since circumstances beyond my control (see also Minecraft ) meant that you didn’t get a review yesterday, we’ll give you two today! At #13 we have the end of an era, and at #12 we have the start of a new one!
#13: Marvel Generation Two Issue 12
For the final issue of Generation Two we begin with Prime giving us a quick history lesson as to the true nature of Transformer reproduction, and the side effect of rediscovering it. Aboard the War World that is Starscream, Prime tells ‘Screamer that The Swarm is after the Transformers and then the universe, and Starscream (who currently possesses the Matrix) is feeling the urge to save lives, despite his finely tuned self preservation subroutines. Prime and Starscream come to an agreement, as yet unknown to the readers.
Aboard the Second Gen Decepticon flagship Twilight Jihaxus believes The Swarm is a trick, one that has mass and can be destroyed. As they prepare aboard Twilight, on the War World Megatron and Optimus arrive at the room that holds the physical form of Starscream and The Matrix, just as Starscream tells them that one of the 2nd Gen ‘Con ships is opening fire on The Swarm, aggravating it into destroying the ship and all lifeforms on it. Taking the opportunity of the distraction Prime tells Starscream to hand over The Matrix, finally restoring Optimus to the Full Prime so to speak.
Ending Chapter One aboard Twilight and Jihaxus starting to loose control while Optimus heads towards them on a Sky Sled.
Chapter Two finds Megatron and Starscream aboard the War World loading a shuttle with a gas that will protect against The Swarm and Optimus aboard Twilight heading to the bridge where he’s ambushed by Jihaxus, who, with one hit, destroys Prime’s vocal components. We see that Jihaxus has pretty much lost it, a savage beast. As he’s about to deliver the final blow The Swarm breaks through the hull. Angered even further Jihaxus challenges The Swarm, that responds by starting to mimic Jihaxus’ look before consuming him.
The second chapter ends with Twilight’s main reactor rupturing and throwing Prime out of the way, although not far enough and Megatron aboard the shuttle testing the protective gas first hand.
As Chapter 3 starts we find the Earth bound Transformers preparing for the coming of The Swarm. When one of Megatron’s new recruits, Manta Ray, ignores Razorclaw’s order in favor of Grimlock’s, Razorclaw goes to take him out. Manta Ray is saved by another Rotor Force member as they both switch sides to the Autobots. Back with Prime we find he’s been rescued by Starscream, which seems to have aggravated The Swarm. Prime comes to the conclusion that it is an empty vessel, and that maybe he has the answer.
Meanwhile back on Earth the ‘Bots and ‘Cons are fighting The Swarm, and loosing. Ramjet being consumed, Rumble channeling so much sound he disintegrates, Dirge and Nightbeat self destructing. As Grimlock looks around he spots Megatron walking through The Swarm unharmed, he starts to hand out the protective gas, declaring “It’s payback time!”
Meanwhile on the War World Prime decides not to use the gas left by Starscream and lets himself be consumed, releasing the life and wisdom and power of The Matrix into The Swarm, changing it, giving it purpose. In return The Swarm rebuilds Optimus and leaves the planet. Optimus has finally united the Decepticons and Autobots, but he still has a doubt. As an epilogue we go to The Hub, we meet Liege Maximo, the wellspring of all Decepticons, and he has plans for the Transformers.
Whew, a long issue this, but lets get to it, the story is a little disjointed in places, and it doesn’t really feel like a final of the series, but then we know Simon Furman had plans, one only has to seek out Alignment, Furman’s text based conclusion to know this. Art is a little harder to review as there are two distinct styles in this issue, the first is a smoother, but slightly distorted form, that does represent the characters in a good fashion, the second is rougher, more gritty, and yet more solid in some ways. All in all, a good story and great comic.
The Creative Team
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Geoff Senior
Penciller: Manny Galan
Inker: Jim Amash
Editor: Rob Tokar
Release Date: October 1994
Cover Price: $2.25
Trivia: This is the third time Optimus Prime has died in the Marvel US continuity, and the second time he has sacrificed himself specifically by unleashing the light of the Matrix into a devouring evil.
Prime’s new form is based on his Combat Hero toy, which was then his most recent toy incarnation.
During Prime’s victory speech, Megatron is visible standing at his feet. One would normally expect him to be standing beside Prime as co-leader of the Alliance… but he did seem really impressed by Prime’s resurrection…
#12: IDW Transformers Prime Issue 1
For the first issue of TFP, we follow Cliffjumper as he meets up with Arcee… Cybertron is an abandoned husk, at least is should be, Cliffjumper is investigating ‘Con activity when he is captured. Interrogated by a Decepticon, he is forced to decode a message from none other than Optimus Prime who says where the battleground has been moved to… Earth. However as the ‘Cons can’t read the message Cliff tells them that it says “Megatron smells like Unicron’s Armpit”
As they are about to execute him, Arcee swoops to the rescue, taking out the ‘Cons and freeing Cliff. It turns out she’s looking for the location of the ‘Con’s top secret weapons lab, a lab that’s located in Kaon City!
As Arcee sets off, Cliff starts to tag along, they discuss their respective tactics, Arcee needing this to be a stealth mission, while Cliff is more… Trigger happy… Deciding that it would be better to work together they they set off, Arcee teasing Cliff to “try to keep up”
A shorter review this one, but the story is one that to me is a great intro to the new world of Transformers Prime, and a good start to a good prequel to the cartoon. Story wise, it’s not bad, definitely a smaller part of a larger story, but on it’s own it works. Art wise, this is actually awesome, the detail is great, although I found the colors to be a little dark, but again, it works. My only grumble is the Autobot eyes, there’s something a little off-putting about them, but maybe that’s just me…
The Creative Team
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: E.J. Su
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Chris Mowry and Robbie Robbins
Assistant Edits: Carlos Guzman
Edits: Andy Schmidt
Release Date: January 2011
Cover Price: $3.99