TRANSFORMERS: COMBINER WARS

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Transformers: Combiner Wars is the latest story arc in IDW’s long-running Transformers comic book series. The books have long since expanded their range, becoming a space opera that just happens to be based on a popular range of toys rather than a set of adverts.  What really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that is a story about an aeons-long, galaxy-spanning civil war fought by giant robots should have an epic feel, yet somehow it does. Even stranger, this is down to the way that the story arcs are about character, rather than action.

With the war between Decepticons and Autobots finally over, the focus of the series has become about the growth of the robots themselves. With a fragile peace established, the Cybertronian people are doing their best to set aside their differences and move on. With a space-bridge to a long lost Transformer colony now fully active, a decision presents itself: will this shattered race of shape-shifting robots establish a commonwealth across the stars, or an empire?

Not that the book lacks action. Added into this political mix is the secret behind combining a bunch of Transformers into one huge robot. Apparently, the first thing you want to do when you’re suddenly much taller and stronger than you were before is go on a rampage. Which makes sense. Certainly when most people get their hands on the ‘Combiner’ Transformers toys, the first thing they do is pretend it’s a rampaging monster.

The art is appropriately epic; there’s a little bit too much lens flare on some of the pages, but the creators strike a nice balance between getting the characters ‘accurate’ (as far as the toys are concerned) yet at the same time making them look like believable people that you can relate to.

As a point of entry into a very long-running series, it does okay. There is a summary and the characters do explain some of what is going on; it’s quite easy to get an idea what’s happening, though some of the throwaway lines might surprise you if your only memory of the range is from Saturday morning cartoons. This is because the key feature of any good Transformers story is this: everybody changes.

There’s something here for everyone; fans of the old school will love it, those looking for a little bit more will also be satisfied.

TRANSFORMERS: COMBINER WARS / WRITER: JOHN BARBER, MAIRGHREAD SCOTT / ARTIST: LIVIO RAMONDELLI, SARAH STONE / PUBLISHER: IDW / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 27TH

 


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