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View Full Version : Comic Review: Regeneration One #87 [uploaded]


Blackjack
2014-07-29, 07:59 AM
Transformers: Regeneration One #87: Natural Selection, Part 2
9 January 2013
Written by: Simon Furman
Pencils by: Andrew Wildman
Inks by: Stephen Baskerville
Colours by: John-Paul Bove
Letters by: Chris Mowry
Edited by: John Barber

Synopsis: Nebulos: Scorponok uses the Gene Key to rewrite Brainstorm, Highbrow and Hardhead, altering their morality but keeping their personality intact. The three immediately pick a fight with Grimlock, but having been placed into a new, transforming body, Grimlcok easily takes down all three of them. Scorponok stops them, and orders them to leave for Cybertron.

Cybertron: Lightspeed reports that an excavation project has successfully located the tunnels once used by Grimlock, Jazz and Bumblebee to access the chamber of Primus. Hot Rod, optimistic that they might find another link to the Matrix, is interrupted by Crosshairs’ report that Grimlock has returned. While Grimlock initially surprises the present Autobots with his ability to transform, he ends up getting taken out by the Autobot forces present and is locked up in the prison.

Earth: Optimus Prime informs Ultra Magnus that he will be staying on Earth to help humanity rebuild despite their wishes. He believes his resurrection under the Last Autobot was a mistake, and asks Magnus to guide Hot Rod to take leadership.

Cybertron: Hot Rod leaves overseeing Grimlock to Siren, Hosehead, Grapple and Perceptor while he heads out to help find the Primus chamber, feeling guilt over his role in destroying the Matrix energy within Thunderwing’s body. Hot Rod arrives at the excavation point, not knowing that the excavation party has seemingly been slaughtered by Demons.

Meanwhile, Highbrow, Hardhead and Brainstorm land in the Badlands and make their way to Iacon’s Civil Defense Hub, murdering all the Autobots in their path, including Slapdash, and opens the way for Scorponok to arrive. Meanwhile, Perceptor examines Grimlock and easily deduces that his new body comes from Nebulos, but while his guard is down, Grimlock hits Perceptor with the Gene Key. None of this is noticed by the inattentive guard Kick-Off, who is then called by Perceptor to open the gate and let him out of the cell.

Earth: Starscream manages to sneak into the Ark, but is confronted by Galvatron who demands to know what he’s doing. Unable to speak, Starscream shows Galvatron the reason why he returned there. As they reach the deactivate core of Auntie, Galvatron blasts it open to see what’s left of Shockwave wired into the ship’s systems.

Featured Characters: Highbrow, Brainstorm, Hardhead, Scorponok, Grimlock, Hot Rod, Lightspeed, Nosecone, Primus’ Face, Crosshairs, Sureshot, Override, Dogfight, Backstreet, Skyscorchers?, Starscream, Galvatron, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Siren, Grapple, Perceptor, Hosehead, Kick-Off, Slapdash (killed), Demons, Shockwave

Review:
”…why anyone would go to the effort of seeking out this patently derelict husk of a spaceship.”
The plot slogs onwards, as stupid-sounding as it is. I never really got the Gene Key, and despite how Scorponok might monologue about how allegiance still comes down to personal choices, the idea that you are genetically predisposed to good and evil, and that it can be switched on and off with a device, makes for a ridiculously poor plot. It’s really stupid that they went with the Gene Key when a simple virus or a reprogramming or, hell, even the Hate Plague would’ve done the job easily without going through all the Gene Key stuff. Also the question remains about why Scorponok doesn’t just infect Grimlock with the Gene Key himself.

Brainstorm, Hardhead and Highbrow are reduced to violent thugs and beyond storming the Iacon Defense Hub (which Grimlock can easily do) I’m not sure why Scorponok went through all the trouble to bring them up. Considering they don’t act or even look like the Headmasters we’re familiar with it’s just Furman going ‘oh look the Autobots are evil now’ while not having the heart to do it on Grimlock, which would make the story far more compact. The Headmasters are just so two-dimensional evil thugs that irritate the hell out of me with their bad dialogue, and Grimlock’s going along with Scorponok’s plan and infecting people…

Starscream and Galvatron find Shockwave in the Ark… again, both Galvatron and Shockwave are re-introduced back into the fold after being taken out. Furman is just revisiting all the Decepticon leaders except Ratbat and Straxus now, isn’t he? Optimus Prime stays on Earth, and while it seems to be set up that he’s going to come to conflict with either Spike or Team Galvatron, he doesn’t really do much but show up here and there until the finale.

Another plot point introduced here is Hot Rod going down to the now-spent chambers of Primus to try and investigate if there’s any traces of the Matrix left, while the Demons apparently kill Lightspeed and the others down there. Again, it feels really stretched out with a couple of pages just devoted to Hot Rod going down an elevator.

Overall it’s another setup issue, which begs to mind just how many of these we need, or why Regeneration One needs to be stretched out for so long. We get scenes wasted on people like Siren and Crosshairs, and if it was any other writer doing this I would be excited at the prospect of them getting characterization, but knowing Furman these guys will probably be unceremoniously returned to the background sooner or later in favour of playing with the big boys. It feels just so decompressed and generally so exhausting to read just to pad things out, with extremely little happening in each issue, and both dialogue and art being pretty bad.

(0.5 out of 5)

Notes:
The original heads of the Headmasters were all left behind on Nebulos, though why Scorponok doesn’t make new bodies for his fellow Decepticons, or only used these three as opposed to Chromedome and Fortress Maximus boggles the mind. You’d think Scorponok would be more interested to muck around with his former rival now, don’t you?

Grimlock, Jazz and Bumblebe were teleported into the Primus chamber in #60-61, though considering they found their way out conventionally I’m not sure why it took so long to locate that particular tunnel beyond Primus magic.

Grimlock touches down in Cybertropolis, a city introduced in the Beast Machines cartoon.

Hot Rod threatens to put Grimlock in a Variable Voltage Harness, a torture equipment that Grimlock himself likes to use during his stint as Autobot leader.

What appears to be the Skyscorchers are seen on the prison monitors since the events of Loose Ends, Part 1, so some of them may have survived the Insecticons’ attack there. The art is so bad that I can’t really tell any specific one, and it might not be them and just generics that look like them.

Perceptor’s lower face is coloured blue as a homage to how he showed up in many of the older Marvel comics.

Goofs:
Brainstorm and Hardhead’s head designs are thoroughly messed up throughout this entire series. Brainstorm randomly sprouts a mouth and a darker-coloured lower face, and Hardhead now has a faceplate randomly. It is not impossible for Scorponok to, oh, transplant Brainstorm’s mouthplate to Hardhead, but it’s idiotic and generally makes them bad looking.

The three Autobot Headmasters are drawn pretty ugly here, but Brainstorm is practically butchered – only by the fact that he’s referred by name that I even know he is Brainstorm. Hell, his character model randomly changes throughout the issue itself…

Hosehead is walking around alive, though he was last seen in #76 as a wrecked corpse after the Unicron battle.

All three are also coloured as Highbrow in page 2.

Grimlock phrases ‘yourselves’ as ‘yourself-s’.

Crosshairs is miscoloured in blue and gray with an orange faceplate on page 7.