ReGeneration One #97 - Generation 1 - IDW Comic Book

From out of the past, and Rodimus Prime's visions of doom, Jhiaxus arrives on Cybertron! Will he justify Primus' warnings, or will we see the first Jhiaxus across all of the Transformers continuities who is a nice, cuddly guy? "The War To End All Wars (Part Two)" is written by Simon Furman with pencils by Guido Guidi, inks by Stephen Baskerville, and colors by John-Paul Bove.

Scroll down until Grimlock's dialogue isn't visible in panel 2. You still get the idea- always a sign of good comic art.

Grimlock laments that the primordial Cybertronians- who Hot Rod was so keen on reconciling with, and who helped fight off Bludgeon's invasion -are now relegated to holding pens. Rodimus Prime scrambles to figure out how to deal with Jhiaxus. A reception complete with snipers is hastily assembled, and Jhiaxus transports down with his personal guard. On Nebulos, Fortress Maximus is brought back online, and after a brief moment of freaking out, the evil Kirby Krackle behind his eyes announces that everything is perfectly fine. Just fine. Jhiaxus explains to Rodimus about the exciting new opportunities the Hub Network represents, and how he'd like the Transformers' Prime to be on board for the new lineup- while his guard decides that the primordials are ugly throwbacks who must be purged. Naturally, the Dinobots have a problem with this.

This month we're starting to get a sense of Rodimus Prime as a leader. He's still extremely impulsive, though those impulses now revolve entirely around his sense of justice- his outrage over Jhiaxus' plans is pushing him to act, possibly without being fully prepared. I doubt it's a spoiler to say Jhiaxus is not in fact a very nice person. His plans here fall in line with his goals in the Generation 2 comic. Though in story terms he seems to have taken over the role played by the Liege Maximo, as the Hub seems to be his personal project. Somewhere between insects and birds in their appearances, Jhiaxus' "Prima Fugae" personal guard are genuinely more advanced than the Autobots this time, as opposed to merely claiming superiority as the G2 Cybertronian Empire did. They transform rapidly and are seemingly able to reform parts of their bodies into whatever suits the current moment- be it clubs, guns, or piercing weapons. How much of a problem they prove for the Autobots remains to be seem, but they look very much like they're going to be a challenge.

The impression made by the new models is aided by Guido's art, and he does a particularly nice job of keeping distinct the physiologies of the tradtional Transformers, the Primoridials, and the new Cybertronians. But what really struck me about this issue was the expressions, both facial and more general. Look at Grimlock's expression above and block out the word balloon- the only really human features that face has is cheekbones (in the good old Wildman/Baskerville style) and you can tell he's really mad at the conditions in the camp. From Fortress Maximus' shock and fear as the Dark Matrix energy possesses him, to Rodimus' seething anger at Jhiaxus, to the last panel of the book, Guido's really nailing it here. Guido's working in Wildman's style but the Guido is coming through more and more as we progress, and it's helping the book.

Our three covers are well-coordinated this month, each showing a different plot thread. Wildman gives us Rodimus' anger at Jhiaxus' holographic display of The Hub (not sure which planetoid is the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic node), Guido presents the Rude Awakening of Fortress Maximus, and Geoff Senior has Snarl standing between the primoridals and the Imperials. They're all strong, but not the best we've gotten out of any of these artists. There's something about Fort Max's pose that is just a touch too Thriller to me, but I think in terms of concept and execution Guido's cover is otherwise my favorite.

So all four parts of the vision- Jhiaxus, Circuit Smasher, the Dark Matrix Entity, and Galvatron -are now active. Jhiaxus looks to be the largest issue here, but the person who currently has the enormous, hyper-advanced army tends to do that. Next issue, it looks like we're going to get to see exactly how good an Ewok your average Autobot soldier makes.

T-Minus Three.

DateDecember 16th 2013  
Score 6 stars (6 out of 10)  

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