Transformers Armada #13
Dreamwave (July, 2003)WRITER: Simon Furman PENCILER: Guido Guidi INKER: Elaine To COLORISTS: David Cheung, Espen Grundetjern, Stuard Ng. Susan Luo, Shaun Curtis, & Gary Yeung for crying out loud, Dreamwave, how many colorists do you need to attach to one regular-sized comic? LETTERER: Paul Villafuerte GRAPHIC DESIGN: Heli Bartman
Holding the power of three Mini-Cons with their safeties off is driving Cyclonus mad(der than usual) and he goes off on Thrust until the Autobots arrive. Optimus asks Sparkplug to unlock his safeties so he can have enough power to take Cylonus down. Unfortunately this isn’t the biggest problem. Megatron’s satellite, which Starscream refers to as a Solar Scalpel, is freeing the Mini-Cons trapped in the ice, but he already destroyed the Autobot shuttle (again) and will do the same to the Autobots once the Mini-Cons are free, wanting to let the Autobots anticipate what’s coming. This give the Sky Blast the time to blow up the satellite just as the Mini-Cons are released from the ice. After the celebrations by the heroes, Sparkplug mentions a legend that at full power the Mini-Cons could save or destroy the universe…and then Optimus just vanishes into thin air just as another Mini-Con arrives through a portal hoping to find him. Optimus, meanwhile, finds himself on Cybertron, and it’s literally falling apart!
What they got right: We get to see the Autobots and Mini-Cons actually work together for once. No off-panel in-fighting or anything. They worked together well to deal with both Megatron’s satellite and rescue the Mini-Cons.
What they got wrong: This bit about the untapped Mini-Con power is odd. Look how small these guys are. How much “super energy” (since I have no other term) do these mini-Transformers have? It seems unnecessary because as I’ve said they really approached the Mini-Con gimmick wrong in both the show and this comic. I’m going to assume the cosmic stuff is because of the Armada subline, “The Unicron Battles”, and they needed to get Unicron in there. As a bonus they have the guy who made Unicron a cosmic entity as the writer. It’s something I’m not interested in seeing in Transformers but since Furman somehow made that strong an influence (good ideas, bad execution) it’s not surprising. And it led to finally having an official transforming Unicron toy so it’s hard to complain.
Recommendation: A nice story, and I still can’t believe I’m saying that about a Furman story. Plus it sets up an important event in the series so check this one out.