Review – Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #5

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Transformers Combiner Wars

Writer: Mairghread Scott
Pencils: Marcelo Ferreira & Corin Howell
Colours: Yamaishi
Inks: Corin Howell, Brain Shearer & John Wycough
Letters: Tom B. Long
Publisher: IDW

This issue is part of the book spanning event Combiner Wars and focuses on the discovery of the Enigma of Combination which allows virtually any Transformer to join with another to form a bigger and infinitely more deadly Autobot or Decepticon.

The last issue of Combiner Wars had one of the most exciting and infuriating cliff hangers of recent memory, if you have yet to read that issue I would suggest you stop here and do that first. For the rest of us, you will no doubt remember we had four massive Combiners knocking seven shades of slag out of each other when the unthinkable happened, Optimus Prime, Mirage, Prowl, Ironhide and Sunstreaker all combined to form the fearsome Optimus Maximus! The resulting battle is incredible to behold as the Titans wreak havoc over several different locations thanks to a faulty space bridge.

As always with this type of event though we do have a second battle being waged and though it is smaller in scale it is no less important or impressive. Once again Windblade is called to do her bit and Starscream attempts to steal the limelight and make himself out to be a hero so pretty much business as usual. The last few pages raise way more questions that answers which is going to be really frustrating for anyone reading this purely in trade. There is an epilogue on the way so hopefully it will answer at least some of the questions left hanging in the wind.

Scott as usual does her best to try and give everyone their established personalities and for the most part does a great job, now I know i’m going to sound like a broken mp3 here but for a book that has Windblade in the title, there is very little of her. I have to commend Scott for finishing the book up so neatly but those lose ends are likely to leave a bad taste the readers are not in this for the long haul.

Marcelo Ferreira & Corin Howell share art duty this issue and their work is sterling throughout giving beautifully detailed renditions of the Transformers and Combiners In equal measure. There is an exaggerated quality to some of the facial work that actually goes a long way to humanising the characters but perhaps making them a little too cartoon given the darker nature of this tale. Even with that said though I cant find fault with the design work or the emotion resonating from the cast and the scene between Swindle and Rattrap is especially potent purely because of the styling used. Yamaishi breathes life to the book with colours and each page pops with bright yet deadly laser blasts and dimensional rifts. The scene inside Optimus Maximus’ head is one of the highlights of the story thanks to the colouring used to project a dream like, otherworldly look.

In some ways this issue, originally advertised as the final book in the mini series is a disappointment and it perhaps just the nature of these mini events. The Windblade series (should it continue) and the mainline Transformer series are pushing the continuity of the world forward at a rate of noughts. That said it is difficult for big things to happen when the impact has to be felt in the other books too. More than Meets the Eye gets away with playing fast and loose with the rules due to its nature of being a very insular, time/dimensional travelling kind of thing where as changes to this book become the status quo for the Transformers universe.

Even though I say this issue is a disappointment I don’t mean to say that the book is bad, just that it built up a great story leading up to this and failed to really deliver anything substantial as a result. We do catch a glimpse of some upcoming characters and unfamiliar locations so there is plenty to look forward to when the series returns to its monthly schedule and who knows what the epilogue issue will hold.