TV Shows: "Combiner Wars" Episode 6: A War of Giants
Title: A War of Giants
Air Date: September 6, 2016
Summary (from Go90):
Disaster looms when Devastator attacks, demanding the former Autobots and Decepticons give the Enigma of Combination to him! Our heroes and the Council scramble to respond to his onslaught when another Combiner arrives on the scene to also claim the Enigma of Combination for herself. Enter Victorion!
When watching previous episode of "Combiner Wars" I spent a lot of time having questions pop into my head over and over as the episodes progressed. This time out there as enough momentum in the story for me to just put my brain on auto-pilot and go along for the ride. Only two major events occur in this episode so I'll tackle them each individually.
First we have Devastator's attack. His rant suggests that the Combiners in this universe are not so much a being created by the combination of several individual personalities, but rather the reverse. They are individuals who are forced to break themselves up into smaller fragments of themselves to make those around them feel safe. The concept of a Combiner being the "main personality" and his components being fragments is not new. This was the idea behind Nexus Prime (aka Nexus Maximus). In that story Nexus separated to protect an artifact and ultimately reunited his various parts.
In this story however, I honestly feel that this cheapens the personalities of the individual members of the Combiner, because at least in Devastator's case, he does not seem to want to become his individual components. That makes guys like Long Haul seem like undesirable bi-products of a process that is forced on the Combiners. Hardly a cheery picture. This makes Devastator's component members feel more like the savage members of the Terrorcons (who in G1 had to have a timer to separate them since they were so difficult to control) than the brilliant engineers and workers they were in their individual forms and to me, that's sad.
Of course, for all we know Menasor and Computron had no beef with separating into their component parts but they're dead so we're not about to get their thoughts on the matter any time soon. I think for a storyline such as Nexus Prime's, this concept makes sense and has interesting possibilities. For "traditional" Combiners such as Devastator and Computron, I think it takes something away from the characters.
Now on to the other story reveal: Starscream's betrayal. A friend asked me if saw it coming, and honestly I did. The moment Rodimus told Starscream not to let him down, I knew they were setting him up to betray everyone. However, right before that I really had hoped the character would go in a different direction and actually be sincere in wanting to change his ways. I guess in my mind I was hoping more for "Armada Starscream" and less "G1 Starscream", but hey, it is consistent with what we've known about the character so I ran with it. It will be interesting to see what follows. Is Starscream just controlling the Combiners like Zombies? Is he going to actually merge with them? I look forward to finding out.
Some of you may be wondering why I'm not talking about Victorion's introduction. Well, the truth is there's not much to really say. She shows up, fights Devastator for a bit and then gets beaten by Starscream. It was a really huge let down frankly. Where were her gravity powers? It would have been really interesting to see her take down Devastator by holding him in place and maybe slicing an arm off or something. I mean, you're going to tell me Windblade's sword can slice off a Combiner limb but Victorion's gigantic sword can't? Hopefully she gets more to do in the next episode.
All that said, let me give some praise here. This was the best animated of the episodes so far. All the movement was smooth and it wasn't choppy in places like previous episodes. The action was fun and the colors were brilliant. The colors and lighting used when the Council activates the Enigma all the way to Starscream gaining power all look like they could have come out of 1986's "Transformers: The Movie", which is a wonderful thing. As a visual experience this episode was solid.
The momentum of the series is definitely building, but with the end coming soon it is disappointing that at the end of every episode I'm left feeling like something was left out or with tons of questions. This episode compounded this by introducing a Combiner concept that is frankly depressing. At this point I'm hoping for a somewhat entertaining conclusion to this story and that's about it.