Transformers Universe Featuring The Wreckers #3
3H (Summer, 2004)INKERS: Vince Russell & Cuhck Gibson ART DIRECTION: Dan Khanna LETTERER: Simon Bowland “Disclosure” WRITER: Rob Gerbracht PENCILER: Guido Guidi COLORING: Blond “Primeval Dawn” part 3 WRITER: Simon Furman PENCILER: Makoto Ono COLORING: Glass House Graphics
In our main story Apelinq is having second thoughts about their mission since so many of their crew have nearly died. Primal Prime has their next location, but Glyph and CatSCAN stay behind, with Tap-Out joining the team. When they arrive they meet a Quintesson scientist who gives them the full backstory, about their service to Unicron to find Primus, trying to use Primus to continue their usual operations, and the shell program used to control Vector Sigma, which turns out to be the Oracle. The Quints have been using it to trick Optimus Primal’s group into terraforming the planet for them. The scientist, Al-Badur, joins the Wreckers after they stop a horde of Sharkticons from taking him. Primus was able to get past the Oracle shell and get a message to Primal Prime to attempt to stop the Quintessons (and possibly Cryotek, who has his own plans) and the group continue their search for Cyclonus. Meanwhile, Devcon has found him and recruits some back-up because he found the Dinobots alive and well in a bar. Now both teams are preparing to stop Cyclonus and his master.
In the Primeval Dawn tale, Primal Prime is still being repaired while Tarrantulas and his Predicons prepare a space bridge. He allows Ravage to lead the others in an attack on the Ark, while Ramulas mysteriously disappears (I think we’ll see him again in the regular Transformers Universe comics, since he had a repaint in that line). Meanwhile the Vok sacrifice themselves to stop Tarrantulas, leading to a supercharged Primal Prime!
There are also profiles of Apelinq and Ramulas.
Non-Transformers fans (or at least ones who haven’t been following the franchise and the fan base around this time) aren’t really going to understand what I’m talking about here (we’ll get to the regular review in a moment) but something has been bugging me about this series, and reading a summary over at the Transformers Wiki brought it out. Both of these tales seem to be taking sides in various Transformers fan debates. In the first issue Daniel and Wheelie, hated by a portion of the fandom, are killed off (although more heroically than in fanfics). Hate the technorganic concept of Beast Machines? That’s because the Oracle is actually a trick by the Quintessons to terraform Cybertron. Maybe I’m not remembering a split over the Mutant Beast Wars line of two animal modes and depictions of trapped robots but this series has been against that twice. First the Oracle sends them to “heal their bodies/sparks” or whatever, and then they’re torn apart by Sharkticons at the command of the Quintessons.
Then there’s the attempts in both stories this issue to merge the comic and cartoon universes. The Quintessons didn’t create the first Transformers but they did create a slave race based on Primus’s design. The Quintessons know the Vok somehow. And the Vok are a byproduct of the Swarm from the end of Transformers: Generation Two, an idea both head writers of Beast Wars debated. If you like these things, then fine. For fans like me who don’t, well sucks to be us, doesn’t it? I’m surprised they didn’t try to blame Rattrap’s actions in “The Weak Component” on something and take sides in that debate. It makes me wonder what they had planned for the fourth issue. Not that it matters. 3H lost the license in both comics and conventions, and the partnership soon fell apart (rather nastily as I recall) and the group disbanded. As for this issue:
What they got right: The art is still very good and depending on where you fall in the various fan debates the twist works for the story. Vok Prime looks impressive, too.
What they got wrong: How do the Quintessons know who the Vok is? Does everybody know everybody in space? Also, Al-Badur is a walking (or whatever is it Quints do) exposition dump. He just spouts every detail about Primus, the Oracle, and everything else for no real reason at first, like he was expecting them and waiting to push every fan debate button he possibly could. Also, Ramulas is in his Universe colors in the prequel story but still in his normal toy colors in the “present” tale.
Recommendation: That’s a hard one. The writing is good (Furman improved over last issue) and the art is great, but there’s that whole fan debate thing and that’s who this was created for, the hardcore fans. (A much nicer fandom, at least at the time, than some others I could mention.) I guess it depends on where you fall in these debates or whether you care or not. I disagree with them but it’s still a decent comic for my collection. The only issue I’m putting in the purge is #2, and that’s only because I’m keeping the extended version.