Stormbringer issue 1
We open to a flashback with ominous narration, narrating ominously.
In orbit around Cybertron the crew of the Calabi Yau pick up a energy signal. The problem is, that the planet is dead and has been dead for years.
The captain, Jetfire drops down with three of the technobot crew to the surface of Cybertron, to conduct more conclusive investigations.
They find out that they have landed near Thunderhead pass, where it all came apart.
On Cybertron in the past Megatron shakes Optimus Prime awake. The adversary has breached the siege wall. Megatron commands Prime to get up and fight, because he isn't getting off that easily.
On the Autobot command hub, Optimus Prime receives a message from Prowls unit on earth, informing him that the Decepticon infiltration unit has broken protocol.
Prime orders Searchlight to keep him informed, while his thoughts linger back to what happened on Cybertron.
The Technobots, Nosecone and Afterburner are the ones left behind on the Calabi Yau, as Jetfire and the others traverse the incredibly unstable surface of the planet.
Discussing the disaster that befell the planet, Jetfire thinks back to how he and the others ignored all the warnings. In particular the warnings from Decepticon scientist Thunderwing. Who tried to convince fellow scientists, regardless of allegiance, of Cybertrons impending doom and the toll the war has taken on the planet.
Cybertron is decaying in response to the stress placed upon it.
Suddenly the Calabi Yau is attacked and destroyed by a missile volley, as the groundbound Autobots are attacked by invisible assailants.
During the Cybertronian apocalypse, a winged figured clad in flame, continues to march forward. Unstoppable, untill the planet itself swallowed the figure.
The combined might of the Transformers in the end proving unable to stop the avatar of the apocalypse.
Jetfire wakes up below in the catacombs of Cybertron to the rhythm chanting of a group of Cybertronians worshipping a massive figure.
Notes : This was released in july 2006 after Infiltration ended the month before.
Originally this was supposed to be issue 7 in the sub numbering, but this idea was quickly dropped. As it proved to be too distracting and confusing with all the spotlights, which do not make it each to keep track off.
Writer : Simon Furman
Artist : Don Figuroa
Colorist : Josh Burcham
Editor : Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor
Back in 2006 this was a highly anticipated four part series.
The return of Don Figuroa, released of the constraints of the Dreamwave house style, back to team up with Simon Furman, hot on the heels of his groundwork in Infiltration.
We get to see what Cybertron is like, in this newfangled universe.
What's not to like.
Issue 1 opens with heavy handed portentous, purple prose, which isn't exactly a good sign.
The story it self is rather simple and divided in 2 contemporary strands. One with the Technobots and Jetfire and the other with Optimus Prime narrating and brooding on board the Autobot command hub.
We also see that he receives the message Ironhide send in Infiltration 3. Which makes this one of the best scenes in the entire comic, because it just shows the breadth and scope of the entire conflict.
Prime even needs to be reminded of the detachment and the planet there.
Thunderwing in yet another call back to G1, was another heavy and whatever he did it turned him in to a mindless monster and the cataclysm that followed in the effort to stop him made Cybertron uninhabitable.
And that is pretty much the whole storyline so far.
The narration is at times heavy and ponderous, but it gets the point across and the flash backs convey the feelings of dread and doom quite well.
Reusing Thunderwing as a harbinger of doom, is a bit been there done that, but it works well because he has been unstoppable before.
The art is perfectly fine, if a bit squat.
Figuroa has been relieved of the constraints of the Dreamwave house style and refined his art.
The biggest difference is the story telling, which is a lot cleaner and easier to follow then his Dreamwave efforts.
And his figures are less balloony and bloated, then they were in Dreamwave.
Stormbringer 1 also bring the Technobots to the table, who are a virtual blank slate.
Other then a single cartoon episode and their toy bios they never had much characterisation, and usually showed up as cannon fodder or in their combined form.
Their character beats here are pretty much their toy bios.
Nosecone is dedicated and thorough. Scattershot trigger happy, strafe antsy and so on. But it's still more characterisation they have had for years.
And they do get to shine briefly, before taken down hard.
Jetfire is ...Jetfire. He takes a leaf from his Dreamwave self, complete with removable armor and detachable helmet.
This is the Jetfire that walked out of the pages of The War Within, The Dark Ages.
And thats perfectly fine, because the character was perfectly fine there.
And he is once again an agnostic, thrown in to more spiritual themes.
Apocalypse this time, instead of a overpowered zealot.
And there is a flash back to Megatron digging Prime out of the rubble and forcing him to fight.
It's a small character moment and loses a bit of its power because we have seen Megatron and Optimus Prime fight side by side before.
But it does sell how much of a threat Thunderwing must have been, for these two adversaries to put aside their differences, even if temporary.
Especially, considering what we know so far of Megatron and the situation of the war.
Cybertron looks a lot like Coruscant from Star Wars.
First seen in episode 3, which at the time of this issue's release date was about a year
But, it also looks a lot like the Cybertron from Beast Machines.
While the conceit that the Transformers unite together against an unstoppable foe is not new.
What is new, is that they weren't able to stop him. That the planet made a final sacrifice for theTransformers and has since then become an uninhabitable shell of it's former self.
Cybertron is dead and the Cybertronians are scattered to the four corners of the universe.
And this is a huge, huge shake up of the status quo, especially this early in the run.
Previously Cybertron has been in bad shape or over run by the Decepticons, but until now it has never ever been uninhabitable. Which is a huge paradigm shift and the Cybertronian cold war has been cast in a new light.
Prime still has his War Within design, which is a design he will keep in the Cybetron stories set in the past and in fact he won't change his body untill his appearance in Infiltration 6.
And again in Spotlight Orion Pax later down the line.
Prime is also portrayed more as his G1 self. A brooding loner, carrying the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders and he may blame himself for the state of Cybertron.
Though this might just be another attempt by IDW to show the fans that this will not be like Dreamwave and that this is more akin to The Transformers, they knew even with a new status quo.
Stormbringer purportedly has been called to life, because the fans objected to the icky humans and the slow burn of Infiltration.
Whether that's true or not I cant say, but I cant shake the feeling that Stormbringer 1 was a single issue story, divided over 2 issues.
The plot is a bit threadbare and slow moving, but that's unfortunately par de course for modern comics and Stormbringer 1 can't be faulted for it.