Transformers #39 Preview and Review!

Written by: John Barber
Story by: Mairghread Scott & John Barber
Art by: Livo Ramondelli
Letters by: Tom B. Long
Editor: Carlos Guzman

“First Contact”

So this is it, the start of Combiner Wars! Optimus and Windblade continue to stalk around Cybertron beating up Decepticons while proclaiming peace for all. Meanwhile Starscream gets his mitts on the Enigma of Combination that Scoop stole last issue. Whatever do you suppose he’ll do with that?
Right off the bat, I have to admit I’m not liking Optimus in this story so far. I know he’s required to be there for the story, but in the story we’re not getting a good reason for it. There was an entire Death of Oprimus Prime special where he changed his name and left Cybertron because having THE PRIME walking around was problematic to the peace. Yet now he’s back on Cybertron, proudly using the title again, and everyone seems helpless to deal with the effect that has. I realize it’s rather unfair that Optimus causes problems via his existence, but by his own admission he has no actual reason to be on the planet. He seems to just be cruising around stirring up Decepticons over old grudges so he can accuse Starscream of not having his planet in order.
Anyway. We get our first good look at Caminus, which I’ve been confused about. Was it a Titan, a colony, or a planet? Turns out it’s all of them. Barber also wastes no time establishing that this is not the Planet of the Amazons that some fans have assumed it is. Interestingly, the phrase “men and women” is used to describe the Transformers there, which may or may not have further implications regarding Transformers and gender.
The Stunticons get some nice spotlighting in this issue, and the explanation for Offroad subbing in for Wildrider is handled in a single panel. Swindle gets some billing as well and is pretty awesome. Love that guy.
All in all, this isn’t the most exciting issue, but it’s a prologue and it was a good one. Even if I wasn’t going to review it, the ending left me demanding more. I have to see how this turns out!
Ramondelli does a fantastic job on art this issue. I know he’s not everyone’s thing and I’ll admit I’ve had issues with his art in the past, but he’s clearly growing in his craft and refining his style. I think a lot of people still judge him by some of his early work and they’re doing a great disservice.
Favorite Line:That’s what you guys do? You get all riled up, attack an Autobot… and then when a couple other ones show up you run?! COME ON!” –Offroad figures out how G1 works.


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