Friday, 11 December 2009

Going Backwards - Stormbringer #4

And once again Fanbot comes to the end of another great miniseries. The last issue of Transformers: Stormbringer is about to be dissected. Here we go.

Covers by Figueroa

SYNOPSIS: As Thunderwing speeds through hyperspace toward Cybertron, Optimus Prime and the Wreckers frantically prepare for his arrival. They're not the only ones; under Megatron's orders, the Predacons aboard the Decepticon warship Thanatos prepare to bombard Cybertron from orbit in order to destroy Thunderwing once and for all, though Razorclaw harbors reservations. As the Autobots engage Thunderwing, Razorclaw orders Divebomb to take a group of Decepticons and fight alongside the Wreckers.
Jetfire finally uncovers an item in Bludgeon's files; if Thunderwing is subjected to a massive assault, he will drain his supply of Ultra-Energon ever faster. Dogfight reprograms Bludgeon's remaining Centurion drones (of which there are many), adding to the combined Transformers' firepower. As the drones are destroyed, Razorclaw orders his Decepticons back as the firing threshold draws near. Optimus moves in, blasting Thunderwing until he runs out of energon and becomes still. Razorclaw cancels his warship's bombing run literally at the last second.
Returning to the Autobot command hub aboard Ark-27, Optimus receives a communique from Jetfire, who has uncovered further information in Bludgeon's files—a Decepticon plan involving a planet called Earth. Linking this info with the update he received from Prowl's unit, Prime orders a change of course.

THE ART: I shouldn't really have to say anything about this by now. Don continues his expert rendering of the Transformers, conveying action in perfect detail with interesting and slightly abstract panel layouts that are a delight. Kudos to him , with some honorable mentions going to the panel with Thunderwing transforming into his "ultra"mode and the sequence where Ops blasts the crap out of him - I really like this cos' Don uses blocks of black instead of lines to convey the stark explosion light glancing off Ops' body. Every detail of the Cybertronian landscape is expertly drawn, along with the billowing clouds of smoke and Thunderwing's ionising black lightning stuff. Once again the prolific Josh Burcham colors the issue up something awesome. His soft light in the flashback scenes is awesome to behold and everything looks beautiful. I cannot think of a better colorist in the whole of comics - including anything put out by the Big Two. Why can't IDW get him to color the ongoing? Maybe I should be thankful. After all, he's doind Last Stand of the Wreckers, so that's a bonus. And lastly, the sound effects done by Sulaco Studios are awesome! They convey the onomatopoeia perfectly, and the emphasised dialogue that spills out of the speech bubbles is cool. Pity that their tail skills need a lot of work. Those things are ugly.

THE STORY: Very good, Mr. Furman, very good indeed. I continue to be impressed with his writing cred. The action is fast-paced and well panned out, and he ties everything up very nicely while raisng a whole lot more questions (as Ops said in the G1 cartoon: "every answer led to a bigger question.") that intrigue the reader. They'll be investigated further in Escalation. Which I don't have. Dammit! But anyways, Furman has done a great job on this series and is truly an Eisner-worthy man. My only complaint, if I had to make one (this is both a good and bad thing), is that the Cons' nuclear firing threshold is aborted one nano-klik before detonation. Talk about drawing the suspense out! But funny nonetheless. So, issue #4's overall results:

ART RATING: 8.5 out of 10
STORY RATING: 8.5 out of 10
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10

FAVE QUOTE: Jetfire: "This so-called Ultra-Energon contains radically unstable elemental matter. The more Thunderwing draws upon its fissionable core, the greater the obverse catalytic reaction."
Optimus: "In plain language, please."
Jefire: "Right. Of course." [You and me both, Prime.]

VERDICT: Another great issue and an expertly done end to what I think has been a tremendous series. Bring on Last Stand of the Wreckers! Next month: the Spotlights! Rated 8.5 out of 10. Woohoo!!

Posted by Fanbot at 9:13 pm, FRIDAY 11 December

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