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Old 2014-08-06, 04:04 AM   #1
Blackjack
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Default Comic Review: Escape [uploaded]

Escape
Bonus two-page comic only found in the Hardcover TPB
Written by: Nick Roche
Art by: Nick Roche
Colours by: Josh Burcham
Letters by: HdE

Synopsis: Impactor arrives to rescue Guzzle from imprisonment, having been captured by Decepticon Harvesters while on a recon mission. Impactor frees Guzzle and the organic aliens captured before the Harvesters can cannibalize them, and Impactor reflects that the fact he cares about them is a sign how he has changed. They are stopped by the Decepticons, and while Impactor had expected to fight his way out, Guzzle has decided to murder his way out, showing excessive brutality against the Decepticons and having to be told to stand down. Guzzle jokes that Impactor’s gone soft. Impactor reflects that Guzzle’s bloodlust has been increasing since Garrus-9 and notes the similarities between the two of them. One of the Decepticons left for dead murders the organic aliens. As their blood splatters on Impactor, the Wrecker ends up snapping and brutalizing the Decepticon, expressing murderous satisfaction as more guards arrive. Impactor and Guzzle tear their way through the Decepticons, and Impactor notes how while it won’t bring back the dead, it brings him back… and that he can never escape.

Featured characters: Impactor, Guzzle, Decepticon Harvesters (killed)

Review:
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.

(5 out of 5)

Notes:
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.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2014-08-13 at 04:05 AM.
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