Transformers Stormbringer 3
Thunderwing is let loose upon Nebulos and demolishes everything in it's way. Not even the infiltration unit on Nebulos can stand in it's way, they are swept aside.
The Wreckers arrive on cybertron and take out bludgeon and his disciples rescuing Jetfire and the Technobots in the nick of time.
But they are not out of the fire yet, Thunderwing has returned.
Notes: Stormbringer 3 is issue 9 in the underlying sub numbering.
This issue was released in September 2006.
This issue ties directly in to, Infiltration 4.
Writer : Simon Furman
Artist : Don Figueroa
Colors: Josh Burcham
Letters : Robbie Robbins
Editor : Chris Ryall And Dan Taylor
Where Stormbringer 1 and 2 are all slow build up and ominous portents and building up tension.
Stormbringer 3 is all sound and fury and it's all the better for it.
Because this time around, we don't get vague hints or flashbacks as to what Thunderwing is capable off. We actually get to see it in all its destructive glory and it's a breath taking sight to behold.
Thunderwing takes out Nebulos, like it isn't even there, reducing the city we have glimpsed in Stormbringer 2, to such much burning ruins.
The actual reason for Thunderwing and by extension Bludgeon doing all this, although its accompanied by the now standard purple prose, remains vague.
Bludgeon exposits that hey will send Thunderwing from Nebulos to another planet and then another and another, turning every planet Thunderwing encounters in to a funeral pyre, setting the heavens alight and from this pyre a new Cybertron will arise.
This wil apparently appease the spirits of the planet.
How a new Cybertron will arise isn't exactly clear.
Will they rebuild it, will the planet respond to the destruction around it and will it rise from the ashes ?
What's more, Bludgeon apparently doesn't wholly subscribe to this idea, as it is. Because he seems distinctly irreverent to Thunderwing, referring to him as their little weapon of mass destruction.
Not exactly a way you'd expect a harbinger of apocalypse to be referred to.
We also get a look at Bludegon's pretender shell or grafting process as it's called here.
Off course, it has shades of his original G1 pretender shell, which is what Bludgeon is best known for. Few people actually know that the interior robot is a bit of a brick on legs and not half as memorable as his pretender shell.
Bludgeon is set up to rival Thunderwing, unfortunately this whole subplot absolutely goes nowhere. It's even curtailed in this issue.
When The Wreckers come crashing in Bludgeon, has already bonded with his pretender shell and looking very imposing and about to unleash hell on The Wreckers.
Before it all comes crashing down a few pages later.
the shell has not been aligned yet and the psychic shell destroyed Bludgeon's mind and that's the end of that.
This is such a poor ending of that subplot. It just doesn't fizzle out, it limps and then slips and breaks it's neck.
You wonder why Furman even bothered with it.
The shell might as wel stayed in it's tube and never even be activated. It would have saved us the bother of this anticlimax.
But to add further insult to injury, this whole set up was merely there to get Bludgeon in his pretender shell and use him as a glorified guard later down the line.
Why bother I wonder. Why not use a different here to for unseen character.
This subplot is just a waste of time for everybody involved and once again shows that Furman has problems with writing a satisfying conclusion, even in an ongoing narrative.
Speaking of The Wreckers, I might not have mentioned it the last time, but it was the SOS send by Afterburner and Nosecone before the Calabi Yau went kablooey, that actually set the majority of the story in motion and got Prime and The Wreckers here on Cybertron.
Their introduction is suitably impressive, but you can't help but feel that against Thunderwing they are hopelessly outclassed.
We also get to see Optimus Prime in action, for the first time in the IDW series. Even though he doesn't get to do much, the action beats are satisfying and you get the feeling that The Wreckers are a well oiled professional machine who knows what they are doing.
However The Wreckers action pales in comparison, to the destruction Thunderwing brings to Nebulos.
Back on Nebulos, the Decepticons decide to try their luck, for all the good it does to them.
It also brings a single moment of humor, that actually works.
None of the Decepticons are willing to tell Megatron they actually ran from Thunderwing.
When it comes down to facing Thunderwing or telling Megatron they disobeyed a direct order, they are more willing to face Thunderwing.
Which is quite telling about Megatron's personality and paints him as a nigh on unstoppable avatar of destruction on par with Thunderwing.
Later depictions of Megatron are at odds with this, but right now Megatron has rarely been more impressive, more sinister and more unstoppable.
Darkwing and Dreadwind also get some personality strokes, which echo their G1 partnership. They make it look like they did their best and then bug out.
Needless to say, Thunderwing waltzes through the Decepticons as if they aren't even there.
Speaking of Megatron, we get to see Megatron in these pages as it overlaps with Infiltration 4.
This is the conversation Megatron had, when Verity walked in on him and when he proceeded to disregard her as not even worth his time and effort.
Megatron instructs Razorclaw to curtail Thunderwing, even if that means burning entire worlds to the ground, especially Cybertron.
Megatron does this with out emotion or relish or histronics. He coldly condemns his own world and possibly other worlds, to destruction if necessary.
Painting his personality again as cold, detached and pragmatic, unlike Prime who seems to be more involved and handwringing. Which is business as usual for Prime.
Stormbringer 3 is a great issue.
The misstep with Bludgeon not withstanding.
It selle us the threat of Thunderwing, his destructive capabilities. The feeling that The Wreckers are hopelessly outclassed and they know it.
It overlaps with Infiltration 4 without beating us over the head with it, it allows us to draw our own conclusions.
And as such doesn't beat it's own chest. with look at how clever I are.
Issue 3 reinforces Megatron's cold personality.
All in all after a weak start, Stormbringer hits its stride for a second time with issue 3 and is one of the very best single issues in IDW's early run.
Pity, it couldn't last.