CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Regeneration One #99
Reviewed by Blackjack
”This feels the most pyrrhic of victories.”
On one hand, it was really cool seeing the Wreckers and Shockwave blow shit up. It was also fun to see Jhiaxus being this super mastermind who’s slowly losing his shit as his plans start to unravel… even if everything is something we’ve seen before… and better to boot. I didn’t really have much problems with this issue or indeed this whole arc when I first read it, and it may be because I just came off the extremely disappointing Bludgeon finale. The Wreckers just go around blowing shit up, and the interference from Shockwave is finally put into good use, while the Underbase randomly kills off Jhiaxus. It’s not perfect and wholly predictable, but it is better than Bludgeon and Scorponok (though really anything is better than those two). On the other hand… there are a lot of other problems with this issue.
What I don’t like is the Underbase showing up and just killing Jhiaxus like that. In addition to randomly introducing someone not participating in the conflict at all, it has been so obvious ever since we saw Starscream with yellow streaks. This also just means whatever chance of Starscream acting like, you know, Starscream, is totally gone. And the Underbase thing, for all the body-recreation powers it can use, proves to be wholly incompetent. Would it kill them to include a scene of Underbase-Starscream just blowing up some parts of the Hub, making the sudden destruction of like five dozen planets more believable?
Also, the Jhiaxus bits, as entertaining as they are, feel, again, really tired and played out considering we’ve already seen the same characterization but better. Jhiaxus isn’t anywhere as bad as Scorponok or Galvatron was, thankfully, and it’s still pretty readable, but I ended up finding the whole thing rather tedious honestly. We also get random character deaths, and while no one cares about Joyride and Sky High, both Brainstorm and especially Crosshairs have been major characters in various parts of Regeneration One and it pisses me off that their deaths ended up being so ridiculously dumb and unimpactful. The conclusion to the Hub just blowing up is also pretty inconclusive. What happened to the Underbase? Did they stay in Starscream or just dissipate or something? What happened to all those Cybertronians seen leaving the Hub? Who else died and survived? (We know Chromedome survived, but what about the rest? Do I even care?)
We also flash to a lot of random places – Spike Witwicky, apparently is the
MacGuffin that Bob the Anti-Matrix is trying to use to break through the multiverse because of reasons. Why do we even still need Spike at all, really? Why can’t we have, oh Grimlock or the Matrix or something? I hate Spike.
Also we get a cut to Spike’s wife, who’s around as trigger-happy as he is, though she’s at least more sane and has an actual reason for wanting to launch the missiles. Spike’s reason? ‘Oh, I pussied out on helping my brother and he’s dead now and now I hate robots because REASONS.’
Also Galvatron kills some people, the Demons turn into cocoons, Grimlock realizes the Anti-Matrix is behind everything and the thing in question bursts out of a lake. We also get a real Dreamwave Armada Space Bridge Nexus thing leading to a Multiverse, because even at this stage of Regeneration One Furman keeps stealing old ideas from himself. Hell, a soulless Galvatron is leading the charge, just like in Armada! I still think mind-raping Galvatron and Fortress Maximus into puppets is still a rather daft idea, but I don’t really mind it as much as I do the Underbase stuff.
Again, there isn’t really much tension for the Autobots being in danger, and anyone who dies will be people no one gives a shit about like Hound or Joyride or whoever. Hell, Sludge isn’t even allowed to die after being stabbed by that stupid Primum Fugae thing, still walking around with his dudes and an intact chest. Overall it’s a m’eh ending – it really feels like Furman is just half-heartedly writing this to check Jhiaxus off his list of villains he needs to do before the finale. And at least we saw the Hub blow up, which is something we didn’t get to see in G2. Though with Jhiaxus gone, the only thing left is the corrupted dark Matrix creature, who is behind everything. Rodimus’ visions, Fort Max and Galvatron being mindwiped, Spike being abducted, the Demons, Grimlock, Primus and a bunch of other stuff. With one more issue to go, can we end this in something that isn’t a whimper?
First (and last) appearances this issue for the Action Masters Kick-Off, Axer and Gutcruncher, who are then presumably killed by the Anti-Matrix creature.
Topspin references ‘beryllium baloney’, which is an insult between the Dinobots from (where else?) TFTM.
After being absent from the team’s assault on the Warworld, Whirl finally returns to the Wreckers’ ranks. Broadside, having been gone alongside Leadfoot since #85 (and I didn’t even notice he was gone, actually), also makes his return. No Leadfoot, though.
The four Autobots Jhiaxus executes for ‘external species innovations’ are Joyride, Sky High, Crosshairs and Brainstorm. While at a glance they may seem like Furman just picked four random late-run Autobots from a bag, they each represent a Transformer subgroup that integrate organics into their body: Joyride is a Powermaster, Sky High is a Pretender, Crosshairs is a Targetmaster and Brainstorm is an ex-Headmaster.
Brainstorm is finally drawn with a proper head! I mean, it’s partially covered by the ‘VHAAAASH’ sound effect and he dies in that scene, but it’s definitely a faceplate. The wrong heads on Brainstorm and Hardhead have bugged me for the longest time. Poor Hardhead still has the toy-based head with a faceplate, though.
Among Linda Chang’s forces are GI Joe Wolverines and Panthers, called out by specific name.
The ‘Star Chamber’ seems identical to the Space Bridge hubs seen in both the Dreamwave Armada comics and the Animated cartoon, more likely the former considering Furman’s hand in writing it.
At one point Jhiaxus loses his temper and starts threatening to beat everyone up – which is the same problem that G2 Jhiaxus had – temper problems despite the whole ‘superior than thou’ angle. Jhiaxus also wants to drain the Matrix to create a new generation of Decepticons, something that was done by Megatron in the G2 comics.
Grimlock references his encounter with ‘the Dark’ (a.k.a. the corrupted Creation Matrix) on VsQs, from Transformers #65 ‘Dark Creation’. He also notes that during his stint as ‘Primus’, he was apparently channeling something else.
In what way does Spike Witwicky have Nebulan parts in his body? Sure, he’s got Nebulan technology but I’m sure that doesn’t count to the ‘mortal flesh and bones’ shit the Anti-Matrix is talking about.
VsQs is spelt as Vs-Qs.
Why is Blackrock working repairs on Optimus Prime? What happened to Scoop and Landfill hanging around on Earth?
Hardhead is missing his shoulder cannon.
I know, cameos and everything, but why would Decepticons Gutcruncher and Axer be allowed to roam around free?