CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #5
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek
The need to wrap up everything it can in a neat bow means issue 5 of Maximum Dynobots
is absolutely rammed with more incidents per page than All Hail Megatron
has managed in ten issues. Unlike with the Revelation
mini series, though, this compression does not completely ruin the title.
The centrepiece is the Shockwave/Scorponok bitchfest, and it doesn’t disappoint, with the two Decepticons stealing all the best moments and lines. This does mean the other characters tend to get pushed to the sidelines a bit (Agent Red and Ultra Magnus basically both show up just in time to go home) but is so well done it almost doesn’t matter.
Despite the sped up narrative most of the end points for the various plot lines feel fairly organic and natural. Ultra Magnus doing his best Graham Chapman impression shutting the story down by running around telling everyone to stop being so silly is slightly forced, as is the OTT happy reunion for the three humans, but everything else works fine. Shockwave being undone by just chucking a grenade at him has a nice sense of irony, as does Grimlock ending up in prison with the two Decepticon masterminds.
The only real negative is we have the third run-through of the Dynobots' “Let's run away and ditch Grimlock! Let's not!” argument. With such fickle friends it's no wonder Grimlock has such a bad attitude. Once again it’s hard not to feel there’s a better four issue series here. The shift between the two artists also continues to jar.
However, as the culmination of the story started three years ago it’s much better than IDW’s recent form would suggest. Whilst not perfect it’s a fun, exciting ride that makes an excellent end point. Just don’t read what comes next.
And so it ends. With this issue the majority of the remaining major plotlines started by Infiltration
more than three years ago are wrapped up. The Machination “Empire” is finished, Shockwave and Scorponok are in custody, Soundwave is free (and presumably off to rejoin Megatron in time for All Hail Megatron
), Hunter is separated from Sunstreaker (though not in a permanent way, which will have consequences for him in All Hail Megatron
) and Jimmy, Verity and Ironhide are all shown to be alive and well after the events of Devastation
left their exact situation vague.
And in a minor lead-in to All Hail Megatron
Hot Rod and Sunstreaker are both shown to have been repaired into the bodies they have in that series.
However, there are still some fairly significant plotlines left dangling. The fact the Decepticons have facsimiles in place throughout the world’s governments -- including the prospective next President -- in order to sow the seeds of war as part of their infiltration plan is the most noticeable as it’s been pretty much ignored since Escalation
despite some fairly heavy foreshadowing in early issues.
We’re also left with the question of what exactly happened to the Magnificence, the insanely useful plot-switching-off device that isn’t in evidence in All Hail Megatron
Ultra Magnus suggests collecting up all the hybrid bodies (i.e., the Headmasters). As Hunter survived the mental link being broken it’s likely that they, and indeed Dante, did as well. Hopefully Garrus 9 has facilities for organic inmates. The Monsterbots seem to get away before Magnus arrives.
Grimlock appears to do some sort of Transformer CPR on Sludge, but it’s not clear if this helps save him or if the big lunk is just that tough.
We learn the exact amount of time Shockwave was underground: ten thousand, three hundred and ninety-six years two months and three days.
Jimmy and Verity have finally changed their clothes. For cute little numbers with Autobot logos on them. Verity’s hair growth implies a good six months since we last saw her in Devastation
(unless Ratchet does extensions).
Way back in All Hail Megatron
issue 1 Hasbro insisted some blood amongst the debris of New York be removed. Interestingly here they have no objection to or didn’t notice gushings of blood as Ravage and Laserbeak rip apart some Skywatch men just off-panel.
Raiz again shares on the art duties, doing pages 7-15.
After an absence of several months we have the return of the infamous IDW misplaced text! The caption saying “Earlier” introducing the flashback to Shockwave and Soundwave plotting is one panel early and Shockwave later gets Swoop’s “Everyone agreed?” line.
Scorponok asks one of his lackeys to reactivate the Dynobot’s inhibitors even though he already knows that won’t work from their last attempt.
Why does Hot Rod go for an entirely new body rather than either keeping his current one (as the Autobots seem to be going back to Earth at the end) or going back to his Cybertronian form?
Why does Shockwave tell Grimlock his “debt” in Earth time? And when did Grimlock learn any human expressions?
Optimus and Ultra Magnus both hope Skywatch will think all the Transformers on Earth died in the explosion, even though they should remember the footage that got onto TV in Devastation
showed Transformers that weren’t at the blast site. Plus how does Ultra Magnus know to call them Skywatch?
Grimlock: Sludge. Loyal. Resolute. Dependable. Dead. Because of me.
Scorponok: “Vengeance”? What do you know of vengeance Shockwave? I always thought such emotional vagaries were alien to you?
Shockwave: I… learned. Evolved. A new sub-routine, birthed in combat [KTHUUSH!] forged in fire.
Shockwave: At this distance, a focused ion blast will penetrate even your armour plating. The creature at the heart of you will perish. As I have no overriding imperative to terminate your existence it would be logical to stand down your weapons systems immediately.
Scorponok: As you say… logical.
Shockwave: Ten thousand, three hundred and ninety-six years two months and three days. That is what you cost me. That is the debt.
Grimlock: Yeah? Well the humans have an expression, payback's a bitch!
Grimlock: Sludge. Loyal. Resolute. Dependable. Alive. Because of me.