The Defiance series chronicles the beginning of the Cybertronian civil war, movie style. This started out as fairly classic G1ish fare, but diverges from the classic origin in several important ways. The most important way the origin of the TF conflict varies in this movie iteration is in Megatron’s motivations.
This being a RotF prequel, it is loaded with foreshadowing correctly interpreted these are spoilers, incorrectly they are meaningless. In any case, this is your spoiler warning.
Almost everyone in this story arc has a new look, depicting their non-protoform Cybertronian modes, with two exceptions Prime and Megatron. Prime apparently just looks like a protoform all the time, which is un-inspiring, Megatron appearance is pretty much identical to his movie look, which makes sense considering he adopted no alt mode in the film and presumably is simply in the form he was always in. That logic is all well and good except for one thing, movie Megatron was designed to look like a 30 ton pile of razorblades and evil. So when we were introduced to Megatron: Defender of Cybertron in issue 1, it was kind of like finding 10 year-old Anakin Skywalker, already in full body armor, breathing with a respirator and choking wamprats with his mind.
It’s hard to read Megatron asking Optimus if he’s found anything potentially horrendously powerful artifacts in his archeological dig, through his razor sharp shark teeth under psychotically intense eyes, and not wonder: “Didn’t anybody notice that?”. He really could have used a “Defender of Cybertron” look that maybe morphed into his ball of razor wire motif.
In any case this is all subtext to the really controversial part. He takes his marching orders from an artifact which is presumably channeling The Fallen. The mighty one who can’t get up talks Megatron into adopting a xenophobic and violent policy towards the rest of the universe. A policy that Megatron seemed interested in anyway, apparently he just needed a rock to tell him it was OK to kill everybody. So yes you’re reading this right, Megatron is second banana.
The Fallen is the real power behind the Decepticons, and the cause of the war, is the Fallen’s desire for the Allspark. At least so it appears as of issue #3.
In return for calling him master and taking the Allspark, the fallen promises Megatron he will rule Cybertron, though the magic mirror adds that the rest of the universe will belong to him, The Fallen. This seems odd, because Defiance’s Megatron is portrayed as being in almost total control of Cybertron already, with minimal input from Optimus Doormat. It’s not clear why Megatron felt compelled to rile up his army, when the conquest of the Allspark should have been as tough as entering it’s resting place and saying “Gimmie that.”
It is interesting to get to visit prewar movie Cybertron, We get to see Prowl, Cosmos, and a few other familiar faces. One panel seems to show a movie style Elita One. Unfortunately, the emphasis on “highly detailed” that movie designs trend toward doesn’t work as well in comic form.
In issue 3 it is made clear that Optimus is not yet Optimus PRIME. Apparently Prime is a historical title not currently in use, however a marking on the side of Optimus’ head indicates he is one.
This jives with a remark by Michael Bay that Revenge of the Fallen would explore the “mythology of the Primes”. There has been no mention of the fraternal connection Optimus mentions at the end of the first movie. Though that may not be everyone’s favorite idea, they’ve stated it on screen, and should run with it or retcon it away.
Defiance wraps up with issue #4. There was an aside to a garbage launch pad in issue #3, possibly setting up for the Alsparks removal from Cybertron in issue #4. Unless there is a time jump, that means the Movie Great War, will last about a week and a half. IDW stories tend to coalesce at the end and become greater than the sum of their parts, heres hoping.
|Date||March 24th 2009|
|Score||(4 out of 10)|