Transformers: The War Within – The Dark Ages #2
Dreamwave (November, 2003)WRITER: Simon Furman PENCILER: Andrew Wildman INKER: Erik Sander COLORISTS: Espen Grundetjern & Rob Ruffolo LETTERER: Benjamin Lee
The Fallen gives Bludgeon a taste of the dark power he’s offering after his new minions set up for the unbinding. Meanwhile, the Wreckers (former Autobot group) tries to stop the Ultracons (former Decepticon group) from getting hold of a factory but the Ultracons have Devastator, in violation of the Combiner teams neutrality, so the Protectobots answer with Defensor. While all of that happens, Jetfire show up at an empty Autobot base.
What they got right: Okay, I admit to being curious as to this unbinding thing and seeing what Transformers are part of which group (although it’s not surprising that Furman would use the Wreckers from his old Marvel UK stories, his creation and a fan favorite).
What they got wrong: What is this about a dark corner of “what we once were”? There are parts of this continuity’s lore that we lost out on thanks to Pat Lee’s failure to run a comic company in favor of giving gifts to his family, friends, and himself versus paying the talent. I’m just not a fan of this quasi-mystical element Furman keeps trying to put into a story about robotic lifeforms. While I complain about science fiction creators who sometimes go too far to make things different from the norm without any logic to it, this element actually makes the Transformers too much like organic life. Also, the coloring is too dark for my taste. Finally, I’m not a fan of Ratbat having a normal robotic mode. Maybe it’s just how I see the various cassette Autobots and Decepticons. (The fans have locked on to “Recordicons” for the latter and I can see where that would work better that my choice, Cassettecons, in light of modern technology. However, I’m sticking with “Audiobots” for the former.)
Recommendation: I still have too many issues with this story to give it a positive recommendation. If the well of all-sparks didn’t play a part in later stories I would probably chase you off this miniseries altogether.