IDW Publishing: "Regeneration One" Issue 92 Comic Book Review

in 2013, Comic Book Review, Generation One

IDW Publishing Regeneration One

General Information:
Title: "Destiny" Part Two
Cover Price: $3.99 (US)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publishing Date: June 12, 2013
Writer: Simon Furman
Penciler: Andrew Wildman
Inker: Stephen Baskerville
Colorist: John-Paul Bove
Letterer: Chris Mowry
Editor: John Barber
Editor in Chief: Chris Ryall


Cover A Cover B Retailer Incentive Cover

Synopsis:
On Earth, a very one sided battle is going on between Spike (aka "Circuit Smasher") and Optimus Prime. As the Autobot tries to reason, Spike is overcome with anger, attacking relentlessly. That is, until Linda Chang and a contingent of armored soldiers come to stop him. He backs off, allowing Optimus to collapse in pain. Linda explains he will follow them to Little America where he will state his case, if they don't like it, Spike may wind up finishing the job! Optimus asks if that is his commanding officer, he tells Optimus it's his wife!

Meanwhile on Cybertron, several Autobots previously exposed to Nucleon are being kept under watch with an Energon siphon attached inside "The Garage". The Autobots include Blaster, Silverbolt, Inferno and Huffer - all in new bodies designed to resemble their original forms. Blaster tells Prowl to let him help, but Prowl tries to hide the truth until Blaster reveals (via intercepted transmissions) that he knows there is a lot of unrest on the streets of Cybertron. He offers to get to the bottom of the problem but Prowl tells him to stay put, concerned that incidents like Silverbolt's body malfunctioning (and launching him into space) will recur.

Circuit Smasher fights Optimus Prime

On the streets of Cybertron, Kup and the Wreckers are dealing with one of many incidents that have turned violent. Secretly, Soundwave is using the frequency shared by all Cybertronians to cause unrest! This is a distraction however, allowing the Decepticons time to destroy sensor outposts, blinding Cybertron! However, Soundwave realizes that Blaster has begun to pick up the signal and figure it out so he deploys the new Mayhem Attack Squad to destroy him! Carnivac, Roadblock and Snarler immediately head to "The Garage".

On Earth, Optimus has been brought to Little America (in what's left of Wyoming) to make his case. Several citizens including G.B. Blackrock greet him. Optimus proposes uniting the planets of Nebulos and Earth, allowing each world to help the other. Nebulos could provide technology to speed Earth's recovery while Earth could provide strength to help Nebulos through their recent trauma at the hands of Scorponok. Spike is against it, knowing a Space Bridge would be involved and most likely more involvement with Transformers in the future. The others however want to consider it, something Spike is not happy about!

Sky Lynx grabs Silverbolt

Back on Cybertron, Blaster has figured out what's going on but Soundwave is blocking his ability to let anyone know. He also realizes that the Mayhem Attack Squad is one the way! He tells the others and they prepare to fight (unarmed as they are) as the three Decepticon Pretenders crash through The Garage's defenses!

Underground, Hot Rod continues to lead the Dinobots to the lower parts of the Sonic Canyons, in the hopes of finding Grimlock and the "Demons" to boot. Little do they realize, the Demons are following them.

Decepticons attack

Back at The Garage, Snarler and the others have broken through the final wall to find Huffer seemingly alone. Snarler charges but Huffer takes him down with one punch! Thanks to some solid teamwork, the Autobots manage to take down the Decepticons, though Silverbolt will need repairs. Prowl explains the Intracomm has been taken down for maintenance, preventing Soundwave's signal from spreading. Unfortunately the damage is done, with almost all long range monitoring stations down. This means whatever is coming - they won't know what it is until it is right on top of them.

Elsewhere, Bludgeon tanks Soundwave for his work and prepares to invade with the Warworld, just as Galvatron prepares to do the same with The Ark!

To Be Continued...

Review:
I'm a fan of stories that tie up loose ends. I think sometimes in the effort to build story arcs, writers can forget to address certain storylines or drag them out way beyond their "expiration date". This issue does a nice job of slowly beginning to tie up loose ends while starting new story threads. For instance, we are seeing some resolution on the Nucleon powered Autobots getting back into service just in time for Cybertron to be in danger (and perhaps use their unique skills as demonstrated in this issue). On Earth, Galvatron is gone sure, but Optimus still has work to do and finally proposes something the humans may want to consider. All these transitions feel very organic and not forced at all.

Blaster and the Autobots

My favorite story thread in this issue was seeing Blaster and the other former-Nucleon fueled Autobots get back in action. I liked the way Blaster's abilities served as a counter to Soundwave's (at least in terms of uncovering his plan). It was also cool to see "old timers" like Huffer and Inferno back in action against lesser known G1 characters like Roadblock and Snarler. I enjoy a good episode of "Transformers Prime" as much as the next guy, but it's great to see some good ol' Generation One action from time to time. It was also fun seeing the (brief) debut of the new Mayhem Attack Squad, and I find it interesting that once again three Pretenders were chosen to be members of the team (the original team consisted of Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold, three Pretenders from the same era of Generation One as Snarler and company).

Elsewhere, I like Optimus' idea of uniting the worlds of Nebulos and Earth. It's an ideal solution in many respects. The only slight narrative flaw here is that while we've been told the Nebulans are traumitized (understandably so), we haven't really seen what that means. A brief report from Fixit's team or something may have solved that. I found myself wondering just what is wrong. Are they apathetic? Scared? Unable to move/act on their own behalf? It's a bit fuzzy to me so I'm hoping that we get to some clarity on this if Nebulos and Earth do meet (and I really hope Spike doesn't screw it up in the process).

Decepticon Pretenders

Hot Rod's story is a very minor part of this issue, but I found myself wondering if he is somehow going to use the "Demon' legions to help defend Cybertron against Bludgeon's attack drones. It would be a fascinating contrast for Cybertron's most ancient warriors being the key to defeating advanced technology with its basis in Cybertronian tech. I'm also wondering what state (if any) the crew will be finding Grimlock (and maybe Scorponok) in at the lower levels of the Sonic Canyons.

The artwork in this issue was definitely up to the usual standards set by the art team. Wildman's pencils conveyed both emotion and action very well. I thought Blaster's facial expressions were great, showing his enthusiasm, stubborness and sadness from panel to panel. In particular I am very fond of the sequence where the Mayhem Attack Squad charges into The Garage. The panels are very cleanly laid out, and there's something appealing in that simplicity. I even found the way Carnivac takes out one hapless guard a bit comedic in its timing and artwork (but yeah, I felt bad for the guard). The color work in the issue is also really nice. The scenes in Wyoming in particular had a very vibrant, almost photographic element to them at times, especially with the lighting of the skies. I'm also a huge fan of the lighting effects used on blaster energy and Blaster's sonic waves, they really add a rather cinematic element to the battle scenes that I really like.

Hot Rod and the Dinobots

Final Thoughts:
This is a fun issue where the action is a critical part of the storyline, but doesn't dominate it. I'm equally curious about all the story threads started here and satisfied with the ones that are resolved. Looking forward to the next issue!