THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA
CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Reviewed by Blackjack
It’s a welcome ugliness.
One of the less satisfactory parts of LSOTW’s conclusion is Guzzle’s character arc, and this issue not only answers that, it also focuses really well on Impactor. Nick Roche rarely gets his chance to show his writing chops, but here he excels once more as the two-page look into Impactor’s mind, as he tries initially to be the good Autobot and restrain Guzzle, before the rush of anger and general bloodlust comes rushing back. I also like how there’s no clear-cut answer to Impactor’s moral dilemma – Impactor considering Guzzle murdering the Decepticons brutally to be wrong, while it was a Decepticon Impactor didn’t kill that ended up murdering the aliens. The dialogue and art are both extremely effective at telling the story, and both Guzzle and especially Impactor’s reflections on how he can’t escape, on how the brutality is so intricately bound with him, how he sees himself in Guzzle and tries to avoid Guzzle becoming the same as him…
The art is also pretty beautiful, as is Nick Roche. Josh Burcham gives both pages a really washed-out feel that sets the tone for Impactor’s introspection and the general darker tones of this issue. The art of Impactor in black silhouette against a simple background of red, snapping and mutilating and brutalizing, is such a stark visual contrast to the rest of it. Guzzle poking out the eyes of a Decepticon is also pretty brutal. In two pages it tells you a lot about Impactor and how he’s progressed (or rather failed to) while still making him sympathetic and retaining everything he’s gone through during Last Stand of the Wreckers. I think ‘Escape’ may be my favourite additional Last Stand of the Wreckers story. Less is more is certainly in play with both Impactor and Guzzle, basically disappearing off the radar after LSOTW other than this story, and you can imagine over the many years that it takes until their eventual return the two will probably sink even deeper into their bloodlust and madness.
Impactor and Guzzle left for parts unknown at the end of Last Stand of the Wreckers, and judging from how Impactor calls Guzzle a Wrecker, they still consider themselves that.
The Harvesters plan to strip Guzzle for spare parts and the organic aliens for energon catalysts. The Harvesters seem to be based on the Decepticon Harvesters from the iconic issue #17 of the original Marvel comics, though here they are regular Decepticons instead of giant machines that scoop up dead bodies.
The idea that Decepticons can use organics to form Energon would be reused in the future, in More than Meets the Eye #12.