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Old 2017-03-20, 12:28 PM   #49
inflatable dalek
Duke of Kidderminster
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Kidderminster UK

So, read through 5 and 6 weeks after everyone else:

War Within, stood up better and for longer than I expected. The flashforwards were where it used to go off the rails for me as they felt needlessly limiting to future stories. Dreamwave not having a future makes that moot now, and they're a harmless enough diversion. Though nothing in them really seems as dangerous for Megatron to know as Prime seems to think. Megatron's convinient amnesia is still a balls suckingly bad way to end the series though.

It's also of course hugely influential, not just for making Cybertronian redesigns a much bigger thing than they'd ever been in the cartoon/Marvel, but for bringing the State Games idea out of its origin in a relatively obscure (though great!) Annual story and ensuing it got taken up by pretty much every subsequent continuity to bother giving a backstory to the Decepticons.

Though in terms of how others have run with it, what really stands out is how straightforward Furman's reasons for the start of the war are. Megatron literally wants to turn Cybertron into a War World. And that is it. Even Eric Holmes (in a story originally intended for Dreamwave!) found meatier material to play with than that.

That's not a complaint as such, as with one of the few redeeming features of ReGeneration One it's occasionally nice to have a straightforward "I'm Mad Me" Megatron, but the core idea Furman reintroduces here has been built up on a lot more by other authors since.

Escalation is for me still the best of Furman's IDW run. Every problem I could have with it are the results of subsequent stories dropping the ball badly rather than anything directly wrong with it. It rattles along, has lots of nice character moments (Furman's character work for IDW only tends to get talked about when he had a different take on them, the fact that for a lot of guys he sensibly just took his Marvel take on them and streamlined it a bit tends to get overlooked despite being very successful) and a genuine growing sense of tension and drama.

All of which would be quickly pissed down the drain (the fairly redundant to a series with a lot of plots in the air silly looking Reapers showing up being a bad omen of things to come), but as a story itself it's impossible to have any complaints. Great stuff.

Spotlight Sixshot is still pretty awful and confused (a guy who we're told can destroy entire planets by himself is impressed by a group of six that can do the same?), though the Terrorcons as fanboys with a try-to-hard-name is fantastic and it's such a shame subsequent authors ignored this.

Spotlight Magnus is workmanlike, but generally good fun and actually unintentionally sets up Magnus falling into step with Megatron so quickly on MTMTE as he was already a neutral soldier who liaised with Decepticon authorities anyway.

And I love Mo Zarak. You go Mo!
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