Writers: John Barber
Art: Livio Ramondelli & Andrew Griffith
Colours: Livio Ramondelli & Josh Perez
Letters: Tom B Long
This issue is the final part of the book spanning Combiner Wars event that was the central focus for the Transformers series over the past few months. Picking up directly from the end of Combiner wars it serves to tie up a few lose ends and throw a couple more interesting plot lines our way.
The book starts with a brief overview of the situation as it is now going over the main points of the bigger events to come out of the arc in the form of a conversation between Prime and Arcee. With Prowl still in Prime’s custody due to his part in an attempted coup and all known Combiners now taking direct orders from Starscream, the world of the Transformers sits on a knife edge. Arcee decides to take some action on her own and meets with someone who may be able to further her goals whilst Prime does something a little out of character.
I am glad that the two big reveals in this issue got their own time to breathe, we had so many revelations in the last issue that it was difficult to really focus on any one thing, Barber was allowed the time to take the two main plot threads that make this book up and really do them justice wrapping them up with an ending that is likely to bring a smile to most readers lips. This is a pretty narrative driven issue but that does not mean it skimps on the action, on the contrary we have one extended action sequence which is pretty satisfying.
Livio Ramondelli uses his signature art work to really give Prime vs Prowl half of the issue the gravity it needs to really paint the bleakness of the situation on Cybertron. As always the world of the Transformers is a dark and beautiful place and no one really accentuates this more than Ramondelli. On the other hand when we break to the scenes featuring Arcee who is very much a lighter, more carefree autobot Andrew Griffith lends his talents to the art and really helps to draw a line between the two concurrent story threads. He is assisted by Transformer vet Josh Perez on colours who once again breathes vibrant beauty into everything he touches. It would have been jarring to have Ramondelli on one half and Griffith on the other but using them both to create two different sections of the story is a master stroke and it not only tonally changes the feel but creates an easy to identify divider between both scenes.
Combiner Wars was a mini series that started off with much promise and some exciting concepts but ultimately, despite telling a good story, failed to deliver on a lot of the excitement it initially generated. It did fundamentally change the balance of power on Cybertron which is sure to have repercussions for some time to come and it also brought in some new characters that we have yet to be fully introduced to. This book does a nice job of properly closing off the tale in a more final way and still manages to re-introduce two, possibly forgotten, threads back into the main narrative.
This is a great book, it is written well, does some very interesting and surprising things with characters you thought you knew well and then surprises the reader. The art is beautiful and pops off the page regardless of the artist involved, both teams do an incredible job that gives the issue a unique look that we don’t see used too often. It also covers enough old ground and summarises the key points raised in Combiner Wars that anyone can pick this up and immediately be up to speed on the most important changes to the world.