Transformers: The Stargate Battles, Part 3 of 4

“Transformers: The Stargate Battles, Part 3 of 4”
Article and Translation: Hydra
Formatting and Photoshop: Might Gaine
Source: Super Robot Magazine, August 2003

Note: This manga reads Right to Left.
Hydra’s comments

I must say that I was impressed with Tsushima’s stories in the previous issues, but he really grew a set of steel bearings for this one! Painting the Japanese prime minister as a Decepticon supporter (of sorts) was a pretty gutsy storytelling move. You could understand the politician’s dilemma though, since if he didn’t cooperate it would have meant having his country attacked.
The backstory around earthquakes and their means of prediction was nice to give the story a sense of realism (or maybe hard science fiction, as I’m not sure whether “earthquake clouds” in fact exist.) Tsushima’s storytelling really has a good flow to it in that he keeps us curious by alluding to an issue, and then revealing the answer later in the story, as with the clouds. In the next and final issue, we’ll see a resolution to all the loose ends of the story, such as the mysterious doppelganger of Starscream.
Speaking of Starscream, we have seen various takes on his interaction with Megatron across different mediums, but this one rang particularly true to me. While Megatron is shown as a ruthless tyrant, Starscream seems to strongly seek his approval as was the case with his cunning plan to gather Energon cubes this chapter. When Megatron did not react favorably he was visibly disappointed, and it seems as if his desire to overthrow Megatron is born much out of Megatron’s inability to treat him with respect as a subordinate. Basically, it’s something of a dysfunctional father-son relationship this time around. Although the ideological conflict between Convoy and Megatron is at the forefront of each chapter, the linear progression of Starscream’s storyline makes him practically the hidden main character of the series. This will become even more apparent in the next issue, with the conclusion of The Stargate Battles!