Thursday, April 21, 2011
Review: Marvel G2 #5 - The Power and the Glory and Tales of Earth (pt 2)
However, as far as contributions go, it's quite quite lovely. Megatron clutches the severed head of Bludgeon, still dripping oil and exuding smoke. "Alas, poor Bludgeon" it says, one of the most effective uses of text in a Transformers cover that I can think of. This particular scene from Hamlet would be homaged again in The War Within. In fact, I've got the original Figueroa artwork from that piece. I'll stop bragging now and get back to the review. Once again, Yaniger's style proves dramatically successful when depicting robots that have been beaten and battered. Megatron looks hard, and Bludgeon, well... he's seen better days. The homage certainly works well with a skull-faced 'bot and lends a bit of extra literary weight to the issue.
Our first story opens with some Cybertronian landscapes. Bustling around on Cybertron are Wheelie, Blurr, and Scourge... pretty odd choices, really. The Primus origin of the Transformers is restated, as Optimus Prime straps himself into some kind of contraption surrounded by robed robo-monks. He's a bit nervous about allowing the natural properties of Cybertron to be used to better tune himself to the Matrix, but what choice does he have? Down he goes, with some lovely lettering on his screams. Once again, all of this is starting to feel a bit familiar to me, a bit repetitive. It's also a bit of a letdown, since last issue we were promised 'Cybertron.' It seems like we're getting more dreamscapes instead.
Cut away, briefly, to a world teeming with life getting colonized by G2 Cybertronians. A nervous functionary reports to Jhiaxus, though he has only good news to report. Really, though, Jhiaxus is more interested in bad news... he was hoping to lure forth the Autobots, and yet nothing. The silence disturbs him, as well it should. What could Prime be up to? The highlight of this scene is probably the scurrying administrator mention the "flourishing deceptic -- er, Cybertronian Empire." I also like the designs on the futuristic construction vehicles bulldozing the landscape. I can't help but think that, if this story was told in 2005 or beyond, those would have been Constructicon green. Much as I like the designs, though, it's all a bit silly. If they're going to cyberform whole worlds, they wouldn't be doing it by hand, now, would they?
Cut away again, this time to Autobase. Hot Rod trains with the Aerialbots, leading them into an ambush. This somewhat awkwardly leads to Kup wondering about Hot Rod's 'youthful exuberance' being odd, what with all Cybertronians being the same age. Aren't they?
Thus ends this exposition laden tale. It's certainly a new idea to try to digest. While I'd never given much thought as to the specific mechanism by which Primus endowed his creations with life, budding would have been pretty far down on the list. Also, while I can grasp the idea that too much duplication would spread the essence of Primus too thin, resulting in a race more amoral than immoral, the idea that this process would as a side-effect produce a mass of black energy in space seems pretty odd. There IS a kind of comic book logic to it, but I'm not sure I fully accept it. Since this issue is all about exposition, there's not much more to say. The interludes we get serve more to remind the reader of who the other players are than to do anything to advance the plot. All told, a bit weak. No action, a repetitive means of conveying new information, and artwork that isn't particularly compelling. I'll admit that having a title cribbed from The Lord's Prayer is somewhat clever, given the divinity central to the Transformers creation.
I can help but think that, as awesome as Bludgeon was, he deserved a cooler death. Sure, Megatron is pretty amazingly bad-ass, but Bludgeon was always written as a very canny fighter. Two and a half pages of battle just doesn't seem adequate, especially one where he commits a tactical blunder, survives it, and then gets overpowered in a tit-for-tat tank exchange. Still, finally, it feels like the pieces are where they belong. Megatron is once again standing at the head of the G1 Decepticons. With Optimus Prime on the hunt for another alliance, we seem poised to get to the real meat of this story.
Transformers Dark Designs by Titan publishing, available used at Amazon.