"LOOSE ENDS, PART 1"
Writer: Simon Furman | Penciler: Andrew Wildman | Inker: Stephen Baskerville
Colorist: John-Paul Bove | Letterer: Chris Mowry | Editor: John Barber
Editor-in-Chief: Chris Ryall
To be honest, I'm a little upset with this turn of events. One of the things I love about Transformers is the human factor. I was not a huge fan of Bob Budiansky's more human-centric stories when I was younger, but as I grew up I learned to appreciate them a lot more. I love Furman's space opera as well, but the idea that the Autobots and Decepticons can now never return to being "robots in disguise" on Earth bothers me.
Plus there's now the overtone that if Optimus Prime had not crashed the Ark on Earth in the first place all those years ago, this would never have happened. It adds an element of irresponsibility to Prime's backstory that troubles me. I don't want him to be infallible, but I don't want him to be indirectly responsible for the total genicide of the human race, either!
Beyond that, there is also a huge case of "defeat from the jaws of victory" in this development. The G1 series ended with Fortress Maximus, the last remaining Autobot, defeating Galvatron to save the planet. And this was after Ratchet sacrificed his life and the Ark to kill Megatron, Starscream, and Shockwave. Granted, most of those situations were undone once already in GENERATION TWO, but not on the sort of tragic scale we're seeing here.
|Variant "retro" cover by Guido Guidi|
(I should note that I had similar issues with the early Dreamwave comics, and with the Michael Bay movies, for the same reason -- so much collateral damage that it eventually means nothing to the reader/viewer.)
Other quick thoughts: As hinted above, I don't like this version of Optimus Prime. But then, I get the impression I'm not supposed to. Kup is constantly at odds with Prime in this story over his new pacifistic nature, and -- so far at least -- Kup's being presented as correct. It's impossible not to side with Kup, especially since Prime apparently never even bothered to keep an eye on any planets the Decepticons might return to, thus allowing Megatron to run rampant on Earth.
Also, in the scene where Bludgeon contacts Soundwave, we can clearly see the silhouette of Thunderwing in the background. I'm curious to see where Furman goes with this, as Thunderwing was one of my favorite post-Megatron Decepticon leaders in the original series (and there were a surprising number of them). He was killed off -- twice -- near the end of the original run, so I'm intrigued to learn how Furman will bring him back here.
And lastly, I'm not a fan -- at all -- of story arcs where each chapter has the same title but with "Part 1", "Part 2", etc. amended after. Let's get creative and give every issue its own unique title, why don't we?
Final Opinion: The tempered enthusiasm I felt after reading issue 80.5 has been dulled considerably by the Earth's fate and the wussification of Optimus Prime. Nonetheless, I'm still on board to see where the story goes next. I'll tell you right now that a big thing to keep my interest would be the addition of some 1984 era Autobots, my favorite characters. So far we're mainly following TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE cast members. Where are Jazz, Prowl, Bumblebee, Ironhide, etc.? Those are the Autobots I want to see!
Available as part of TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE, vol. 1 from Amazon.com.