Writers: James ďBrad MickĒ McDonough (the ďsecretĒ revealed!) & Adam Patyk
Artists: Don Figueroa (p), Elaine To (i)
Iíve recently been accused of being deliberately harsh on this and other Dreamwave Transformers comics, which is a terrible and unfounded falsehood. Nonetheless, I thought Iíd try and focus on the positive aspects of this most recent issue. Luckily, thatís quite easy, as this isnít half bad for once, the storyline, completely baffling in earlier chapters, coming to a fairly effective and sensible end. Thereís a big sacrifice which is something of a waste of two decent characters, but is nonetheless an effectively poignant plot development, as well as an impressive climax to the story. The writing team continue to do an excellent job of characterising Starscream, drawing on a number of different past depictions to provide something new and interesting. Iíd be perfectly happy to see Starscream as the focus of a future storyline (I know he was sort of the focus of this one, but Iíll get to thatÖ). And of course, the art is superb, as Figueroa is quite clearly Dreamwaveís best Transformers artist, with Elaine To being by far their best inker. Itís a readable comic, which is more than I can say for previous issues, and although I promised to be positive, some of the same problems crop up again here, albeit to a lesser extent.
The main problem with this comic has been the plotting. The problem with Armada/Energon is that itís dull, but the problem here is a rather cack-handed approach to plot construction. Iíve mentioned before that reading Generation One sometimes seems like Iím only reading half of a crossover, and thatís because whole chunks of plot go missing, leaving things in a bit of a muddle. There is less of that here, as the issue focuses on wrapping up the main Starscream/Sunstorm/Jetfire thread, leaving the confusion to the side. But we still get a scene of the Autobots on Cybertron deciding to go to Earth, and the Autobots on Earth waking up in the back of a van after being arrested by the military a number of issues ago, neither of which progress the plot significantly, and instead intrude on the main plot. Furthermore, we get more of that really annoying attempt at mystery in which important things happen completely off-screen. Itís like when someone whispers a secret plan to his friends in a kidsí show, and he puts on a silly faux-whisper sound in order to conceal the plot twist from the viewer. Itís inane and immature, and there are far better ways to create an air of mystery. Having someone say ďLet me explainÖĒ then cutting away to a completely irrelevant and useless scene, only to come back after the explanations are given, is not a very successful technique.
But as I say, thatís more of a problem with the series as a whole than this particular issue, although it does creep in at the edges here too. This issue is much more of a success than its predecessors because it focuses on the action and the drama, and generally avoids incompetent attempts at mystery. If the series as a whole could manage that, Iíd be much happier with it.
What did you think of this book?
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