Friday, October 21, 2016


Writer: Simon Furman | Pencils: Andrew Wildman
Inks: Erik Sander | Additional Inks: Rob Armstrong
Colors: Espen Grundetjern, Alan Wang, & Rob Ruffalo | Letters: Ben Lee

The Plot: Prowl and his team battle Trypticon while Grimlock and the Lightning Strike Coalition head for the meeting site between Jetfire and Skywarp. The rest of Grimlock's group wants to go join the fight against Trypticon, but Grimlock disagrees.

Shockwave and Jetfire meet in the Neutral Terretories to trade intelligence, but they're ambushed by Bludgeon, Mindwipe, and Bugly. Meanwhile, Autobot reinforcements arrive to aid Prowl's team against Trypticon. In the Neutral Territories, Shockwave is easily defeated and Mindwipe ensnares Jetfire's mind. The trio of Fallen disciples is about to leave with Jetfire as their prisoner when Grimlock appears and takes them down. He then turns his attention to Jetfire, intending to execute him.

Grimlock's warriors, Slag, Swoop, Snarl, and Sludge, arrive to help against Trypticon, but the giant battle base receives a distress signal from Shockwave and retreats. Meanwhile, Grimlock is about to finish off Jetfire when the Fallen appears to challenge him.

Continuity Notes: It was teased last issue, and is elaborated upon slightly here, that Grimlock and Jetfire have some past together, presumably dating back to their shared history as Decepticons.

Shockwave and Jetfire remind readers that some outside force seems to be escalating hostilities between the various Transformers factions.

When Grimlock attacks Jetfire, the Fallen appears to sense it from beneath Cybertron, shouting "No!" as the blow is struck.

G1 References: Shockwave uses the term "breem", a measurement of time from the original TRANSFORMERS comics. (There have been other such units used in prior issues, but breem happens to be my favorite so I thought I'd mention it here.)

The members of Grimlock's group here are his fellow Dinobots, though they aren't known collectively by that team name yet.

My Thoughts: I don't know if it's due to the "additional inks" from Rob Armstrong coming into play, but the final few pages of this issue look much more identifiable as the work of Andrew Wildman than anything else so far. Perhaps Armstrong should've been the inker for the entire mini-series instead of the apparently overpowering Erik Sander.

I have to say, much as I've complained about both WAR WITHIN series so far, there's at least one thing for which I need to thank Simon Furman on this second outing: he's expanded his cast and scope. Volume 1 was basically just Optimus Prime, Megatron, Grimlock, Starscream, Kup, and Ironhide, and spent the majority of its time dwelling in the caverns beneath Cybertron's surface. There were other characters involved during the big battle for Iacon, but they were mostly secondary and tertiary.

THE DARK AGES, on the other hand, has written out Prime and Megatron and marginalized Starscream to (so far) a couple cameos, but the trade-off is a bigger part for Prowl, some action for Springer, the machinations of Bludgeon and friends, a role for Jetfire and Shockwave, and of course more Grimlock -- plus, even the characters reduced to mostly non-speaking cameos in WAR WITHIN have a bit more to say and do here, such as Hound, Trailbreaker, and others. And all these characters are involved in action all across Cybertron rather than in one or two locations. I'm still not a fan of the decompression, but I appreciate this jump toward increasing the breadth of the story.

One last thing: Trypticon cracks me up in these issues. I am, as I've revealed more than once in the past, generally Sunbow G1 purist -- and on the rare occasions I make an exception to that narrow rule, such as with Ratbat as discussed last time, I remain a G1 purist in any case, usually just adding the comics into my preferred version of these characters and situations. But WAR WITHIN's Trypticon, a gigantic, lumbering dino-con who talks in fancy erudite speech patterns, is pretty much the only Trypticon I'll accept from now on.

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