Saturday, 26 March 2016

Transformers Escalation 2

Transformers  Escalation 2

Summary :

9 month ago a senator and a general meet  to discuss reassurances,  unbeknownst to them  the senator is being targeted by Runamuck in car mode.
In the present,  Prime and the Autobots  are  on their way  to perform damage control,  by  retrieving  Sunstreaker's remains. 
While reviewing Ironhides report  again.  Prime orders Ironhide  to not engage  the Decepticons in any way shape or form,  because a knee jerk reaction might be just what they want
Instead, Ironhide is ordered to return  Jimmy and Verity  to  the ark 19. 

The Decepticons in the mean time  put their own machinations in motion  and they involve  facsimiles

Writers : Simon Furman
Artist : EJ Su
Colors : Zac Atkinson
Letters : Neil Uyetake
Editor: Chris Ryall Dan Taylor

Notes :
The reporter on the news report on the last page, is named Archee Andrews. A  reference to Arcee from  G1. ( or possibly IDW Arcee, but this is debatable. )
Released 20 December  2006, Escalation 2 will be  one of the  last Transformers issues released in  2006 by IDW.
Nominally Transformers\New Avengers takes place during this issue and issue 1,
but the placement is rather sketchy.  

 Review  :

Escalation 2  has the  second major battle between  humans  and  Transformers 
and  humans, once again  come out victorious. 
But again, this is  not a problem. 
Jazz and  Wheeljack clearly underestimate  the  threat  of the humans.  ( and we as the readers do likewise.  ) 
Both sides  come out well  though, the humans as  well  prepared  and resourceful. 
While the Autobots manage  to get  away, mostly unscathed after being  hit by the unexpected. 
In other words, they come out alive.  

But the real big  scene  is small in it's depiction, but huge in its scope.
It's the  scene  where  Optimus Prime  stops  the  truck  with the  remains of  "Sunstreaker."
With his legs  !
Prime lets  the truck crash against his lower  legs. 
Possibly killing the  driver and if not killing him,  injuring him severely. 
And this is a huge, huge change in the  character of Optimus  Prime.  

The original  G1 Optimus Prime would never even contemplate doing  something  like this. 
Let alone actually doing it. If he would  do this, and possibly  kill  a  human being there would be no end of  angsting  and handwringing. 
And that  is fine for  G1 Optimus Prime.
This however, is not  G1 Optimus Prime, this is a  reinterpretation of  Optimus Prime, who, while he has the same core values as the original Optimus Prime, is a totally  different  being. 
A far more pragmatic  leader who is willing and able,  to resort to questionable  tactics and not above getting his hands dirty, or to  make morally  questionable decisions.
As demonstrated by Prime's  non reaction to letting the  truck crash against his shins. 
This scene is  nicely under played, but shows the  humongous difference between this Prime and  his  other  incarnations.

This Prime also  show cases an icy grip upon things, when he  absolutely  does not allow  Ironhide  to  retaliate against the Decepticons for the attack, in the face  of the uncertainties  they  encounter. 

The rest of the issue is mostly a holding pattern, with Jimmy and Verity reacting  to  Hunter's possible violent death.  
As well as Ironhide  going  in to  more details about the infiltration protocol,  explaining what exactly  the facsimilies are supposed to  do. 
Which boils down  to  destabilizing  geo political hotspots,  to the point of all out war  and letting humanity wipe themselves out.  
And the Decepticons  plotting  and  Megatron   keeping his house on order,
but  its still more of a holding pattern. 
Sadly, a  subplot involving  possible facsimiles  and  American senators,  which takes up the first and  last page,  goes nowhere.
Not just in this mini series, but in all up coming  issues of  Furman's storyline
the subplot is brought up and then unceremoniously dropped never to be addressed again. 
And after All Hail Megatron runs roughshod  over everything, the plot point is never even mentioned anymore.  

But I would be remiss  not to mention the  plot point that  sets this whole thing in  motion. 
Reclaiming Sunstreakers  remains  and  then coming to the conclusion that  the  remains are fake, they are in the end just a car.
The whole attack  from  issue 1 was staged. 
Which means that Sunstreaker and possibly Hunter are still alive. 
Which  is the note we end on. 

Escalation 2  is partially a holding pattern  ( the Decepticon  segments  )  but  other then that,  it's yet another high point.  
Especially in show casing  how different IDW  Optimus Prime is.  ( For the time being, sadly he would slowly  be seen  to revert to his G1  incarnation. )
It's just a shame that  it opens and closes  with a subplot that's cast  drifting in the wind.
Because despite all the build up and ominous foreshadowing, the facsimiles subplots  really go nowhere.   


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