CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers #30: Chaos Part 4: Genesis
Reviewed by Blackjack
"Sounds pretty straight-forward to me. Stop Galvatron, stop the D-Void. Universe saved, job done, big smiles all around."
You know, all things considered, I went into Chaos with very low expectations, hoping to enjoy small moments that are obviously the work of James Roberts (like the Brainstorm-Chromedome bit from last issue) or the pretty art. Which kind of works for the surreality of the arc. With D-Void as the main villain, I never expected a half-decent conslusion. If Costa can pull his weight one last time and give us a decent conclusion like 'Police Action' that ties up all loose ends well, I'd be satisfied. We all know, obviously, that Optimus Prime is going to whip out the Matrix and kill the D-Void, the similarity to Unicron and all the covers must have given it away. Really it's a tired conclusion, but to their credit nobody thought of quoting 'light our darkest hour', so bonus points for that. Otherwise, though it's very straight-forward, as expected... rocks fall, everybody dies, Matrix is whipped out, day is saved, skippy yay.
Like I said, the charm of the issue is small character moments, like Cyclonus returning to his roots (though it's not handled well). Brainstorm, Chromedome, Swerve and Hardhead make an excellent comedy quartet, where, in the space of three pages, they dissect the entire plot of Chaos and Heart of Darkness, point out every single flaw (with style, too) and wave it aside as being part of the crazy darkness magic juju shit. They are undoubtedly the star of the show, and Costa seems to realise that the entire premise of D-Void is stupid. Brainstorm and Chromedome asking each other if other alien races have to deal with this crap, Swerve and Hardhead summing the situation up... Swerve is golden. And Hardhead ramming the shuttle onto Galvatron and shutting him up is also very funny. Ironhide also gets a pretty nice moment where he's lost with all the mystical stuff Optimus and Rodimus is talking about and is more concerned about the dying Drift. And Ironhide wanting to protect Optimus and Rodimus saying no because he's caused Ironhide's death once... nice moments. Sadly the artwork kind of muddles around a bit this issue, none of the impressive pretty stuff from previous instalments.
Now, what about the main characters, then? The entire Heart of Darkness series is revealed to be the D-Void's plan to string Galvatron along because he's got such a big ego. A shame, really, because between the skewed moral compass Galvatron and the batshit crazy Galvatron we have a half-interesting character, but again he dies like a bitch. But considering how he's been portrayed lately I can't blame the writers for doing that. Jhiaxus, Arcee and Hardhead seemingly die as well, but since they should've been dead from the Furman era and are revived to do feck all, it's not much of an impact. Megatron? All he does is pose around and blow up the giant Deceptigod-thing. So much for the new armour. After all the foreshadowing from the last issue, it's handled poorly and it's another I AM MEGATRON moment before... what happens? Did Megatron die? Did he fly away? Optimus Prime and Rodimus... they have some decent conversations, and it's nice to see Rodimus being the level-headed one and Optimus being the selfish one as a reversal of what they have been throughout the Costa stories, but ultimately they both fall flat, and the whole Matrix dilemma is handled poorly.
It's not bad per se, as the relatively strong script and beautiful art helps to push it, but it is far from being a good conclusion. It's Costa's final Transformers arc, though, and having to wrap the D-Void arc, what can you expect?
The main problem of the Chaos arc, really, is D-Void. If it was just Galvatron, Megatron and Optimus, it'd probably be more interesting. But as it is, it's a tired rehash of old light-our-darkest-hour stories.
I have just realised that the Chaos four parter (Lamentations, Numbers, Kings and Genesis) follow Mike Costa's trend of naming stories in the same arc after books written by the same author, although here it's books from the Bible instead of science fiction novels.
The Matrix has completely been spent, and according to Mike Costa the image of Optimus Prime at the end in a wasteland with the two halves of the empty Matrix was James Roberts' idea.
The reason why D-Void is interested in Cybertron, in the words of Hardhead... 'because it's dead. Whatever that means.' Likewise, the oddity that only Decepticons are susceptible to the D-Void's call is also brushed aside by Hardhead and Swerve as magic juju logic. Got to love them.
This issue establishes that the entire sum of Galvatron's battle to defeat D-Void, everything from AHM Coda to Infestation and Heart of Darkness, have been a plan of manipulation on D-Void's part. Which nobody really cares about, really... I mean, 'Heart of Darkness', anyone who thinks that is the name of a plot device that will save the day is a serious pillock.
Cyclonus recalls being a Cybertronian patriot, which was established in Spotlight: Cyclonus. Apparently his relatively (okay, very) uninteresting portrayal in the Heart of Darkness series is a result of Galvatron mind-controlling him.
Galvatron is consumed by the Heart of Darkness, Jhiaxus is killed by the Autobots shooting at him (and later flattened by Hardhead's shuttle) and the Sweeps, as well as presumably the rest of Galvatron's oh-so-majestic army are all seemingly consumed by D-Void. Poor Scourge seems to have suffered the same fate, although since he could be any one of the Sweeps, it's hard to tell if he survived or if he died. Arcee and Hardhead are last seen slumped after Galvatron took them out, it is also unclear if they had been killed.
None. None that Hardhead and Swerve haven't pointed out and waved away, anyway... why only the Decepticons are affected by the D-Void, why Cybertron, what the hell is a D-Void or a Deceptigod, what the hell is the Heart of Darkness, why D-Void has a hyphen in it... no, really.