Comic Book Review: "ReGeneration One" #0
Title: "Destiny" Part Four
Cover Price: $3.99 (US)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publishing Date: September 18, 2013
Writer: Simon Furman
Art: Casey Coller (1,22), Geoff Senior (2-6), Jeff Anderson (7-11), Jose Delbo (12-16), Nick Roche (17-21)
Inker: Stephen Baskerville (7-16)
Colorist: John-Paul Bove
Letterer: Chris Mowry
Editor: John Barber
Editor in Chief: Chris Ryall
Thrown from his meeting with Primus, Hot Rod is being sent through time, seeing key past events in the history of the "Transformers". At first, his trip takes him to events on Earth, when the Deathbringer arose! The creature was borne of the Creation Matrix, and Hot Rod watches as Optimus Prime makes the painful decision to destory Deathbringer, and thus a clue to the location of the Matrix. Hot Rod accesses the "torrent", a shared pool of knowledge between Autobots and understands that Optimus Prime was eventually able to purge the Matrix of evil, but that evil may still exist somewhere.
Soon Hot Rod finds himself in Cybertron's distant past, before the war when it was still golden. This time he sees a Cybertronian known as Jhiaxus arrive at the Temple of Boltax. There, the five greatest Cybertronian minds are pooling their knowledge into the Underbase, a repository of knowledge stored in the temple. However, Jhiaxus betrays the others in the "Cyber Ocean", taking the Underbase's knowledge and erasing all evidence of his existence. His goal? Use the knowledge to create a cosmic empire!
Soon Hot Rod is thrust into another time frame - on Earth as the Decepticon Zombie hordes destroyed the planet in a ten year campaign of terror. He watches as Buster Witwicky makes one last appeal to his brother to fight back, right before his own death at the hands of Ratbat!
Thrown through time and dimensions this time, Hot Rod ends up on Junkion, where Rodimus Prime is fighting with Galvatron! He sees the fallen bodies of Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer, unsure of just what has happened. He watches Rodimus beat Galvatron back - but in a moment of mercy, he is destroyed with the help of Cyclonus and Scourge! The Matrix in him falls to Hot Rod, and he realizes that this is why he was brought here - to claim a pure, untarnished Matrix!
Returning to Cybertron, Bludgeon is about to kill Kup when a figure looms over him: Rodimus Prime!
The rather disjointed nature of this issue makes it a very fast read, and if you're a fan of the Marvel "Transformers" title as I was growing up, you can't help but flip the pages back and forth over and over. Part of it is trying to figure out just where the story is leading and the other part is just looking at the varying art styles, which contrast strongly with each other, but suit this issue's format perfectly!
At first, I admit I didn't quite connect all the dots in terms of why Hot Rod was going to each time period, but on a second pass through it all made sense. The first couple jumps showed him how the Matrix became corrupted in this universe. His trip to the past introduced him to Jhiaxus, possibly making Rodimus/Hot Rod the only Autobot to even be aware of his existence! Then seeing Earth will most likely come into play if he ever encounters Circuit Smasher. I dig the way seeding this information puts Rodimus in a very unique position of having key knowledge of events that will help down the road. There is no doubt Primus is doing his best to set up this "new" Prime for success. This does beg the question of what Optimus' role will be going forward (assuming we're not in for yet another Optimus death).
From the art perspective, this issue serves to bring back many well known names from the Marvel generation of "Transformers" comics. Names like Geoff Senior and Jose Delbo are well known to fans, and it's a joy to see them illustrating comic book pages again. Each of these artists has a very distinctive style, even when drawing the same character. Senior's Hot Rod is very angular and his panels very dynamic. Delbo favors a more organic looking and rounded style while Roche works his exaggerated magic on Rodimus and Galvatron. The story conceit of this issue is perfect for the distinctive styles, with each of the styles fitting a different "flashback". Perhaps my favorite in terms of coloring is the visit to Earth as we see Buster and Jesse meet their demise. The textured colors even on "flat" surfaces like the sky evoke the days of older comic book coloring technologies, long before computers got involved. For anyone who's into nostalgia trips (which is probably most people reading this title) it's an absolute treat from a visual perspective.
As an aside, I do find it interesting that Primus is essentially guiding Hot Rod though these experiences, which means he knows the horror his own creations have inflicted on the universe. One could argue that his goal is to make something "right" in the "main" universe (as much as possible). On the other hand, you could argue that Primus is "above" all these matters being a God and all, with only a focus on the Transformers themselves. Either way I am eager to see where this story goes.
This issue is very different than the previous issues. The disjointed nature of the story is necessary to the narrative, but it also makes the story go a lot faster than your typical issue. The artwork is the feature here. Getting to see so many different styles in one book, especially with classic and current "Transformers" artists really makes it a nostalgic treat.