Sunday, 24 January 2016

Transformers Stormbringer 3

Transformers Stormbringer 3

Summary  :
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 

Review :
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.  

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