Transformers: Generation One volume 2 #5
Dreamwave (August, 2003)“Countdown To Extinction” WRITER: Brad Mick PENCILER: Pat Lee INKER: Rob Armstrong BACKGROUNDS: Edwin Garcia LAYOUT ASSIST: Ferd Poblete COLORISTS: Espen Grundetjern, Pat Lee, Alan Wang, Rob Ruffolo, Ramil Sunga, & Gary Yeung LETTERER: Ben Lee
Optimus unites the various active Autobot groups into a single force and launches an attack on Shockwave’s base. Ultra Magnus is attacked by Shockwave, and when Optimus get to Shockwave’s stronghold he finds the damaged Ultra Magnus and Shockwave using an ancient relic fans will recognize as the Matrix Of Leadership (or Creation Matrix in the old Marvel comics) and has blasted some kind of energy into space. Meanwhile, Starscream and Soundwave take out the Reflector team, showing they were never on Shockwave’s side, but what are their plans? And why is Ultra Magnus ripping his own chest open?
What they got right: This is how you write Optimus Prime, a true leader who can even impress Hot Rod his first time seeing him in action. With a couple of exceptions it’s easy to see what’s going on and it’s quite cool. (With six colorists the art better look amazing, even with Pat Lee as the penciler.) I also like the shot where Starscream takes out the Reflector team. It’s done via the monitors they’re monitoring, with various camera angles obscuring the carnage but you can guess it was brutal. I wish IDW would try that. It’s artistic and less disturbing to look at.
What they got wrong: Those couple of exceptions I mentioned, where establishing shots are too close at times. Also, Ultra Magnus uses the word “damn”. I don’t know if this is a reference to his line in Transformers: The Movie or just not realizing that an alien who has been to Earth all of a few hours and probably still never heard of a human would be using an English curse word. Also, please don’t steal titles from episodes anymore. It shows a lack of imagination rather than a cute homage.
Recommendation: I wouldn’t start here but thus far I still recommend this miniseries (“War And Peace” for those who forgot, trades also exist) to Transformers fans.