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War Within - Volume 3 - Age of Wrath



[cover] [cover]
Cover A: Joe Ng
Cover B: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: September 2004

Simon Furman

Pencils: Joe Ng

Inks: Tracy Ho, Ferd Poblete

Colours: Rob Ruffolo, David Cheung, Josh Burcham

Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Since the defeat of the Fallen, the Autobots have reunited and taken back most of Cybertron, thanks partially to the return of Ultra Magnus from self-imposed exile. On Moon Alpha, Starscream tries to rally his group of Predacons and interrupt the proposed inauguration of a new High Council to ratify the formal ceasefire. He manages to assassinate most of the new Council, but the rest of his team are held up by Prowl, Soundwave and a mixed group of Autobots and Decepticons. They soon put down the insurgence, but Motormaster escapes. He attempts to kill Ultra Magnus, but Grimlock takes the shot, and seems to go offline. The remainder of the ceasefire delegation attempt to escape, but are surrounded by an army of Decepticons, led by Megatron.

Notes: Optimus Prime's sacrifice in taking out Megatron was seen in War Within - The Dark Ages #1. Starscream still leads the Predacon faction. Original Council members Gravitas, Kudon and Vraz were killed when Starscream attempted to bring a new layer of Cybertron to the surface in War Within Vol. 1 #5. Thye have been replaced by Templar, Neo and Eronus. The Decepticons [led by Shockwave] and Ultracons [led by Ratbat] have combined forces to support the ceasefire. Ultra Magnus is Commander-in-Chief of the Autobots.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ultra Magnus, Jazz, Optimus Prime [flashback], Megatron, Ultra Magnus, Venom, Barrage, Grimlock, Chop Shop [flashback], Blaster, Starscream, Dreadwind [?], Motormaster, Carnivac, Dirge, Snarler, Slugslinger, Octane, Runabout, Dead End, Runamuck, Sixshot [?], Slamdance [first appearance], Swoop, Prowl, Skids, Tracks, Shockwave, Skywarp, Laserbeak, Soundwave, Thrust, Shrapnel, Bombshell, Ratbat, Submarauder, Squeezeplay, Sludge, Slag, Snarl, Wheeljack, Hound, Bluestreak, Ravage.

Review: A slow start. The script's interesting, but hardly dynamite, though Magnus is well-defined. Thankfully it doesn't look like this is going to be The Starscream Show, which is always a good thing. The dialogue's great, but the narrative's a little too fractured to be really great - it'll be better readalong with a couple more issues, when the shape of the plot is a little clearer. The story's biggest obstacle, though, is the hideous, malformed art from Ng, which exacerbates the script's meanderings and often leaves the reader a little unsure of who's who and what's happening. A decent foundation, but hardly a great comic.



Cover: Joe Ng
Cover Date: October 2004

Simon Furman

Pencils: Joe Ng

Inks: Ferd Poblete, Tracy Ho, Erik Sander

Colours: Josh Burcham, Sig Torre, Rob Ruffolo

Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Megatron has easily defeated the Autobots, imprisoned Starscream, and now tortures him, though Shockwave has elected to join forces with Megatron, and is currently trying to modify his cloning apparatus. Elsewhere, his clone warriors are chasing Getaway across the War Reclamation Zone. The captured Autobots, including Ultra Magnus, are interned at Praxus, working on a shaft deep into Cybertron. Megatron is communicating with his ally when the core of Cybertron is reached. Getaway is seemingly caught by the clones when a group of Autobots jump the clones, protected by null-field cloaking devices. They wipe out two of the clones, and prepare to take the third back to their base, where scores of Autobots have escaped, and are planning a counter-attack.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Ratbat [flashback], Shockwave, Grimlock [flashback], Wheeljack, Ultra Magnus, Brawn, Sunstreaker [flashback], Trailbreaker [flashback], Tracks [flashback], Kup [flashback], Starscream, Getaway, Prowl, Skids, Sideswipe, Jazz, Brawn, Ransack, Hound, Barrage, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster, Squeezeplay, Octane, Soundwave, Slapdash, Joyride, Siren, Hosehead, Nightbeat, Blaster, Raindance, Ramhorn, Eject, Rewind, Grandslam, Boss [first appearance], Dogfight, Flash [first appearance], Perceptor, Override, Scorch [first appearance], Tempest [first appearance].

Review: Another fair but slow story. The problem is that the status quo was shaken all over the place last issue, so, the chase sequence with Getaway aside, there's a lot more setting up here. The dialogue's adequate, though characterisation's thin on the ground [again, excepting Getaway's bravura and Brawn's macho idiocy]. Most of the interest comes from what's to come, such as who Megatron's working for, and whether Perceptor's gang of Johnny-Come-Latelies and Euro Exclusives have a prayer.



Cover: Joe Ng
Cover Date: December 2004

Simon Furman

Pencils: Joe Ng

Inks: Tracy Ho, Erik Sander, Ferd Poblete

Colours: Josh Burcham, Rob Ruffolo, Eric Burns

Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Grandslam retells the story of how he escaped during the Megatron/Starscream confusion, discovering the sentient mainframe known as 'The Source' below Cybertron's surface. Perceptor is hoping to find Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, Nightbeat is trying to work out why the third AE trooper shut down instead of fighting. Just then, the clone reawakens, having downloaded tactical augmentations including new weapons, and promptly guns down Nightbeat's unit. Back at Decepticon base, Frenzy and Rumble have managed to blow up Shockwave's analysis machine, putting his work considerably behind schedule. Elsewhere, Getaway finally disables the clone, and the Autobots plan for the next stage. However, the Turbomasters are on a training mission at the base. Flash attempts to escape his team-mates, but enters Perceptor's apparatus, and is promptly beamed to another world.

Notes: Grandslam's escape happened during #1. 'The Source' is rumoured to be the collective consciousness of Cybertron itself. The Think-Tank is a strategy computer. Optimus Prime, and Megatron, disappeared when the Kaon Space-Bridge was destroyed in cycle 11667, though it did manage to make a connection. Perceptor's apparatus seems to be the same basic thing as seen in Armada #15, searching random paths until it locks on to the correct one. Breems and Ngs are given as units of time.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream [flashback], Grandslam, Flash, Scorch, Boss, Tempest, Perceptor, Blaster, Dogfight, Override, Nighbteat, Slapdash, Siren, Hosehead, Getaway, Shockwave, Frenzy, Rumble, Joyride.

Review: Finally the story gets somewhere. Furman's best TF script for some considerable time, and Joe Ng is slowly but surely making his art less ugly. The result is most interesting, even if there is some recycling - noticably the attempt to find Prime, and this is getting fascinating.

Sadly, this looks like it'll be it for now, with DW collapsing in on itself. It looks like Megatron's working for the Quintessons, with the space-bridge having taking him and Prime there at the start of Vol. 2. So it'd be up to Flash to find Prime on Quintessa and take him back. Could've been great.



Cover: Joe Ng

Originally solicited for December 2004.

Solicitation text: ALONE! Stranded on a strange alien world, far, far from Cybertron, Turbomaster Flash is about to realise there really is no place like home… even when home is ruled by arch tyrant Megatron and his legions of clone warriors. The terrible truth behind the invasion and conquest of Cybertron is finally revealed. Now all Flash has to do is stay alive long enough to tell someone!

Dreamwave went bankrupt before this issue saw print.


Cover: Joe Ng

Originally solicited for January 2005.

Solicitation text: HE’S BACK! OPTIMUS PRIME, right? Well… maybe. But then again… maybe not! BLASTER’s desperate bid to free the enslaved AUTOBOTS lies in ruins, his and his entire team’s lives MEGATRON’s to take at will. But in their darkest hour, a hero returns to the fray, a force too powerful to be contained even by death ’s dark dominion. Prepare to be shocked senseless all over again!

Dreamwave went bankrupt before this issue saw print.


Cover: Joe Ng

Originally solicited for February 2005.

Solicitation text: Last Stand! Finally… the battle you’ve been waiting for! Optimus Prime returns to take on his archenemy Megatron. But is Prime the ‘bot he was? Scarred mentally and physically by his nightmarish exile, Prime plainly may not be up to the job! But if he can’t beat Megatron and stop the rise of his second-generation clone army … who can?

Dreamwave went bankrupt before this issue saw print.


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