The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum

THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

DREAMWAVE TRANSFORMERS COMIC ISSUE GUIDES

The War Within - Volume 1

|Preview|#1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|

Preview

[cover] [cover]
[Cover]
[Dreamwave Preview Special 2002 Cover]

Cover Date: August 2002
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Don Figueroa
Colours: Dreamwave
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: On Cybertron, Grimlock is interrupted in his reverie by Starscream, who taunts him for being old, and declares that the Decepticons will take the planet with ease. He tells Grimlock he believes he is a Decepticon deep down he is a Decepticon. The former objects, but Starscream offers him a choice - join them in attacking an Autobot outpost, or warn the outpost. Grimlock thinks back to the old arena battles, where Starscream taunts him into killing an opponent. Back in the midst of the civil war, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker arrive at the outpost to find it empty. Grimlock flashes up on the screen, telling them he may not like Optimus Prime much, but he likes the Decepticons less. With that, the base explodes...

Notes: Grimlock and Starscream were fighters in gladiatorial arenas in the years before the war. After that, Grimlock joined the Autobots and Starscream the Decepticons. "The War Within" is set before the Transformers leave Cybertron, in the middle of the civil war. The presence of Devastator in the sketchbook section suggests a non-comic continuity. The Cybertronian modes shown in the sketchbook are as follows: Bluestreak, Kup, Bumblebee and Trailbreaker all turn into hovercars [Bumblebee's actually looks similar to that shown in "More than Meets the Eye"]; while Grimlock and Ironhide become tanks and Skywarp a 'pyramid' jet. All have redesigned robot forms. This story happens between #2 and #3.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Grimlock, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp.

Production Notes: Pages 1-4 were also printed in the Dreamwave Preview Special 2002. A sketchbook, a short essay from Furman and interview with Figueroa were also included in the standard edition.

Review: A great scene-setter. Furman's first official TF comic for nearly 8 years doesn't disappoint, with crackling dialogue and superb, believable characterisation. His superb style is matched by the class of former fan artist Figueroa [The Macromasters], who gives this new, dark Cybertron life, with dynamic drawings - he is able to provide great detail without the poor perspective and flashy poster-esque grandstanding of Lee. Simon calls Sarracini an excellent writer, which either means he hasn't read the G1 mini, or he's lying. Figueroa promises this will be nothing like "War Dawn". Bloody fantastic.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#1

[cover] [cover]
[Gatefold Cover]
[Lenticular Cover]

Cover Date: October 2002
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Don Figueroa & Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo
Letters: Dreamer Design
Covers: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: In the Vaults, a records section in the High Council Pavilions at the Cybertron Hub Capital, Bluestreak is telling an Archivist about the death of the Autobots' leader, Sentinel Prime, at the hands of Megatron. The latter gets irritated, to the annoyance of Bluestreak, who storms out. At the state of Althihex, a small group of Autobots led by Grimlock are evacuating. The Decepticons annihilate a small group of neutral Transformers as the Autobots watch helplessly. Meanwhile, the Matrix has chosen the Archivist as the new Prime, much to his disbelief. Elsewhere, Grimlock has called a meeting of several high-ranking Autobots at the ruins of the city of Praxus. He postulates that should the new Prime be too weak, they should seize his power. The Archivist is given the Matrix as a ceremony later, and becomes Optimus Prime. However, a group of Decepticon assassins infiltrate the ceremony, with orders to kill the new Prime. Hound kills one of the trio, before Grimlock intervenes, determined to test the new Prime. Optimus is more than equal to it, killing one assassin. When he disables and questions him, the Decepticon mutters cryptic remarks before self-destructing. As the Autobots give Prime accolades, he silences them and tells them they can't win the war, so to evacuate the planet. On one of Cybertron's moons, Megatron plots his next move.

Notes: The other two Decepticon assassins, and the Autobot they kill, are unnamed. Although it's been stated this won't be in Marvel comic continuity, Sentinel Prime [cf. "Dark Creation", UK #290-293] is a nice nod. Everyone has a new robot mode, and most have spiffy new Cybertronian vehicle modes as well - though those of Wheeljack and Bumblebee have already been seen, in "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1". Iacon is confirmed at the Autobot Capital. Optimus Prime's original name has yet to be revealed. Hopefully it's not Orion Pax. Bluestreak used to be a merchant before the war. It's never been proven that the Matrix is sentient. The Ancients refer to it as 'The Source'.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sentinel Prime [his hand, at least...], Bluestreak, "Optimus" [see above], Overhaul [killed], Kup, Ironhide, Skids, Wheeljack, Grimlock, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Tracks, Bumblebee, Trailbreaker, Prowl, Jazz, Starscream [vision], Shockwave [vision], Ravage [vision], Darklight [self-destructs], Hound, Megatron.

Review: Simply classic storytelling from start to finish. "Optimus" is intriguing from the start, especially his pacifist outlook. Grimlock too is interesting, you can hear the conflict brewing. The myriad areas of Cybertron are introduced and explained with ease, and there's a real feeling of a war being lost. Figueroa's work is simply amazing, with beautiful new character models for practically everyone, and real dynamics and emotion, combining well with Furman's mysticism and dystopia.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#2

[cover]

Cover Date: November 2002
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: The Autobots prepare to evacuate Cybertron, an unpopular decision among the ranks, not least in the opinion of Grimlock. Meanwhile, with the help of the Constructicons, Megatron continues his plan to turn Cybertron into a cosmic dreadnought, and fires the engines, destroying a section of Iacon in the process. Optimus Prime realises Megatron is behind this, and sets off underground to find him - however, he is ambushed by Shrapnel, Kickback and Bombshell, and left on an unknown level, pursued by Ravage. Back at Iacon, the Autobots have no time to ponder Prime's fate, as Shockwave leads a direct Decepticon assault on the city.

Notes: Shockwave is unchanged. Skids has had his arm repaired since #1. Emirate Xeon used to take bribes from the Decepticons, but then they killed him - it's possible Megatron did this personally - and his head is now a paperweight.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Emirate Xeon [well, his head...], Megatron, Trypticon, Soundwave, Ravage, Starscream, Laserbeak, Grapple, Ironhide, Hound, Powerglide, Outback, Hoist, Huffer, Grimlock, Brawn, Mixmaster, Scrapper, Long Haul, Prowl, Optimus Prime, Bombshell, Kickback, Shrapnel, Ratchet, Red Alert, Springer, Astrotrain, Blast Off, Brawl, Shockwave.

Review: Another good comic, although not an awful lot seems to happen. Good character work for Grimlock, though I'm not too keen on the hinted-at former Decepticon angle on Grimlock, which seems to contradict his character to me. Still, good work continues on Optimus, who's intriguing, and Megatron, who in probably a first, seems to know what on Earth he's doing. More breathtaking art and innovative character designs, though in a couple of places the art does seem to be a little over indulgent - e.g. the page with Grimlock at Kaon. However, a good read which keeps up the series' momentum.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#3

[cover]

Cover Date: December 2002
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: Megatron oversees the pursuit of Optimus by Soundwave, Ravage and the Insecticons. Optimus is attacked by Ravage after receiving a vision of himself offering advice. Meanwhile, while the other Autobots are holding their own against Shockwave's forces at Iacon, they cannot make contact with Optimus, and are effectively under siege. Optimus is able to hold off Ravage briefly, and the Decepticon runs away. Megatron expounds his plan to Starscream, and reveals he needs the Matrix to power Cybertron. Starscream finds this laughable, and is struck by Megatron. Meanwhile Soundwave's party are jumped by Optimus, who easily beats them. Grimlock, outside of Iacon, is contacted by Prowl and given a new mission. Megatron meets Prime underground, and the pair prepare to battle, but Starscream intervenes, sending both leaders plummeting into the depths of Cybertron.

Notes: It is revealed Skywarp teleported the three jets out of the explosion in the Preview. The engines on Cybertron are described by Megatron as "alien". Optimus seems to phase through a wall.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Megatron, Bombshell, Shrapnel, Optimus Prime, Ravage, Ramjet, Dirge, Chop Shop, Venom, Shockwave, Brawl, Blitzwing, Octane, Astrotrain, Blast Off, Vortex, either Cliffjumper or Sideswipe [the red car at the bottom of page 8/9], Huffer, Jazz, Skids, Bumblebee, Prowl, Kickback, Soundwave, Grimlock.

Review: Back to instant classic stuff after the [very slight] wobble of #2. The fight scenes are well drawn, and there's some fantastic juxtaposition between Prime tearing through Soundwave's squad, and Megatron beating up Starscream. Starscream's my only beef as he's the same-old, same-old treacherous lieutenant, though at least he's being relatively subtle, and the actual betrayal's out of the way now. More splendid art from Figueroa.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#4

[cover]

Cover Date: January 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo and Alan Wang
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: Starscream is busy trying to assert his command of the Decepticons, believing Megatron and Optimus dead. But the pair are alive, and continue their battle in the depth of Cybertron. On the surface, Grimlock leads his small team on a special mission to rescue Optimus, while Shockwave bombards Iacon. Meanwhile, in their fight, Megatron and Optimus are pulled into the Matrix.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Starscream, Dead End, Motormaster, Laserbeak, Shockwave, Megatron, Grimlock, Ironhide, Kup, Wheeljack, Quake, Hun-Grr, Broadside, Jazz, Chop Shop, Vortex, Blitzwing, Blast Off.

Review: A bit of a mixed bag here... it still looks lovely, though Figueroa's fight scenes seem to be lacking a certain something. The biggest problem, though, is the pacing - vast chunks of the issue feel very redundant - do we really need another seven pages of Op and Megs clouting each other in the depths of Cybertron? The brief pages with Starscream, Shockwave and Grimlock are about the only places the plot moves, and even then it limps along... it would seem much better to me to have the Matrix activate immediately after the fall at the end of #3, and just compact most of this issue... as it is, it feels like the same old story, sadly.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#5

[cover] [cover]
[Standard Cover]
[Incentive Cover]

Cover Date: February 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo and Alan Wang
Letters: Dreamer Design
Covers: Don Figueroa [standard], Pat Lee [incentive].
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: As Grimlock's team continues its search, Shockwave breaks into Iacon, where Prowl and the Autobot survivors prepare for a final stand. The former stumble upon Starscream and the engine project. Meanwhile, Optimus and Megatron are inside the Matrix, and are met with projections of the future of the Transformers, while continuing their fight. Starscream begins his plan to force Cybertron to "mechaform" - forcing a new crust to the surface, but Grimlock's team interrupt, before Grimlock sets off to find Prime. He arrives just as Optimus and Megatron return from the Matrix, and are separated. Back at Iacon, Shockwave is nearly victorious, just as Starscream begins to mechaform the planet, beginning with the Autobot stronghold.

Notes: The Guardian Robot lookalikes are identified as "Omega Sentinels". Grimlock makes assertions that Sentinel Prime was a good leader until his later days. His past working for the Decepticons is mentioned. Cybertron's skin can be replaced in portions.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Grimlock, Kup, Shockwave, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Ramjet, Vortex, Dirge, brawl, Onslaught, Prowl, Bluestreak, Skids, Mirage, Tracks, Jazz, Bumblebee, Trailbreaker, Starscream, Scrapper, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Soundwave, Bombshell, Mixmaster. We also see visions of possible future versions of Optimus, Megatron [lifted from "More Than Meets the Eye" Part 2], Hound, Bumblebee, Starscream, Thundercracker, Fortress Maximus, Hot Rod and Highbrow.

Notable Others: Firebolt's in the vision.

Production Notes: The Pat Lee cover was originally intended as an incentive cover for #6, but was eventually produced for #5 instead.

Review: Much better than #4, but still very flawed pacing-wise. The Matrix visions seem a little overindulgent considering they add minimal depth to the story, but there's some nice character work for Grimlock's team in there. One thing that annoys me, though, is the ease with which the stronghold of Iacon is broken, which at best suggests a lot happening off-frame - irritating, considering the amount of recycling happening in the last issue. Also annoying is the stupidity exhibited by Starscream in his betrayal - I can buy his greed for power to a certain extent, but I find it hard to believe he'd ignore Scrapper's advice, and have little idea of the consequences. Like issue 4, this feels a bit too like padding, and some of the confrontations - Op and Megs, Op and Grimlock - feel very autopilot. Disappointing, but a fun read.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#6

[cover]

Cover Date: March 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Rob Ruffolo and Alan Wang
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover: Don Figueroa
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - The War Within Volume 1.

Synopsis: Iacon is torn apart by the second skin being forced to the surface by Cybertron, while below Optimus hunts Megatron, and Ironhide and co. try to take out Starscream's device. Starscream himself refuses to listen to Scrapper's advice to shut down the mechaforming process, while Shockwave evacuates from Iacon. Optimus meets and defeats Megatron one-on-one, and prepares to finish him so his knowledge gathered from the Matrix can't be retained. Grimlock returns to Ironhide and Kup, and is about to order a last ditch attack when Optimus arrives with a plan. Prime tells Grimlock he "did what had to be done" with Megatron. This turns the tide in the battle against Starscream, who flees. The Autobots pull out also, as Wheeljack executes a last-ditch attempt to stop the mechaforming device. It works, and the Autobots regroup at the ruined Iacon. Optimus resolves to keep the Autobots on Cybertron, to dig in, rebuilt and fight the Decepticons. Meanwhile Megatron is found by Soundwave, having lost his short-term memory.

Notes: Iacon is reduced to rubble by the Mechaforming.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ironhide, Kup, Scavenger, Wheeljack, Long Haul, Thrust, Frenzy, Hook, Starscream, Scrapper, Shockwave, Octane, Vortex, Prowl, Jazz, Motormaster, Bonecrusher, Mixmaster, Grimlock, Frenzy, Trailbreaker, Skids, Bumblebee, Soundwave, Shrapnel.

Review: Well-paced, well-drawn, but horribly plotted... ironic after the placid narrative that the final issue is so rushed it has plot holes you could fit Cybertron through - Optims somehow wiping Megatron's short-term memory, the crass, unexplained solution of Wheeljack simply firing at the device, Prowl's team somehow surviving the collapse of Iacon - which are as galling in their way as those found in Generation 1 #6, as we know the calibre of work Furman is capable of, making it rather disappointing. The whole thing is paced as if to rush us by these holes, rather than dealing with them, and it stands up badly to repeat reading. A beautiful mess.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

 

To The War Within intro | Dreamwave Guide Index | To War Within: Dark Ages |
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.