The Decepticons prepare for the end- their own or others' -as all forces continue to converge upon Cybetron in "Destiny(Part Three)". Once again we have scripting by Simon Furman, inks by Stephen Baskerville, colors by John-Paul Bove, and we welcome to the book Guido Guidi!
Sto'Vo'Kor awaits, brave Klingon.
On the Warworld, as it heads for Cybertron, Bludgeon meditates upon his death: it awaits him on Cybertron, and it will be glorious, nothing short of apocalyptic. On the Ark, as it heads for Cybertron, Galvatron discusses strategy with a Starscream he still believes to be largely inactive, and outlines his first step: kill Ultra Magnus. On Cybertron itself, as the Warworld and the Ark head for it, Kup and the Wreckers go after a Decepticon remnant hideout, only to find it empty and booby-trapped. Ultra Magnus reacts by pulling back the Aerialbots in time to save them from Soundwave's trap. It matters little to Soundwave; Monstructor is ready to attack. On the Ark, Starscream turns out not to be as inactive as Galvatron bargained for, and is still very much Starscream. Thanks to a feint involving a battle droid and explosive decompression, Galvatron makes his return to Cybertron without a ship.
Beneath the surface, Hot Rod continues to go spelunking as his world collapses, and finds Primus' face. He catches a glimpse of multiversal infinity, and then the Demons attack- only to draw back at the sight of...
The issue starts with the problem we had last time I reviewed: things threatening to happen. But then things start happening around the periphery- though of course we won't see what it all means until next issue at the earliest. A lot of the action is itself setting up for later, such as Monstructor's appearance and Galvatron's exit from the Ark. Largely, the self-contained respite from ReGeneration One's narrative structure last issue was a one-shot deal. All of the previous pacing problems are back. And the recently-released solicits for October suggest they're not going away anytime soon.
The high point on this issue is the addition of the ever-talented, ever-versatile Guido Guidi, whose splash page of Bludgeon's vision of death does a Marvelous(pun intended) job of grabbing you and getting you into the action, like a page-1 splash is supposed to. Guido really does a mean Andrew Wildman in this issue. I shouldn't be surprised by that, as Guido's ability to work in different styles- like the pre-Wildman Marvel G1 style -was what made me want him on the book full-time in the first place. I kind of wish he was still
working in that earlier style though. But, some of the emulation of ReGen One's style may be the fact that Stephen Baskerville continues his role as inker on the book. I wouldn't be surprised if this was to intentionally add a certain continuity of style- an inker has a tremendous impact on the look of a book. Most of the shading in the book, the metallic style which was prominent in the Wildman/Baskerville Transformers comics, was very likely added or modified in the inking stage. Likewise there's some rounding of lines in the Multiversal Hot Rod Convention that would strike me as a curious choice for Guido, whose work is usually far more precise... but would look right
at home in a more organic Wildman/Baskerville book. I really want to see Guido's pencils for this book. It also makes me want to see some of Wildman's pencils while I'm at it.
To get a sense of unfiltered Guido, you need only look at his alternate cover for this issue. While Wildman's cover depicts the drone attack on Galvatron with Starscream leering at the action through a monitor, Guido chooses instead to show an image from the end of the book of a post-reentry Galvatron about to collide with Ultra Magnus. The picture of Ultra Magnus standing in the huge, looming shadow of Galvatron is possibly not his most impressive Marvel-style cover so far, but still a great visual with great (ahem) shades of meaning for the characters. Our last alternate cover is of course by Geoff Senior showing the Wreckers storming the Decepticon compound with Rack and Ruin leading the charge. It looks really good though I think it's maybe more of a splash panel than a cover, and John-Paul Bove's colors are especially gorgeous on it. Senior's work demands the solid color fills that the rest of the book is denied, and wow does it make me miss them in the interior. I'm torn between Guido and Senior's covers for this issue: Guido's Marvel mood isn't as strong this month and for once the desaturated 80s comic-style colors work against it a bit, but it's still a great visual. Senior's is a more pedestrian splash except for the unique body type of Rack and Ruin, and Bove's vivid colors sell it. No real bad choices here!
ReGeneration One continues with a new artist, and it's still ReGeneration One. If you've enjoyed the book up to here, that's good news! For me, I'm hoping as the book runs into the home stretch that Guido's influence will grow. His eye for composition shines through, at least, and it has given the book something of a shot in the arm. Let's see what happens next month- and what threatens to happen.
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