Transformers: Stormbringer #1
IDW Publishing (July, 2006)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
COVER ART: Rob Ruffolo
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Daylor
Set around the events of Infiltration, Optimus receives Ironhide’s report but he’s about to have a distraction. Long ago on Cybertron an event happened that was so bad Autobot and Decepticon united to stop it. In the present day, Jetfire and the crew of science vessel Calabi-Yau are monitoring the dead planet Cybertron and find a corrupted Energon pocket. Possibly indicating that the abandoned world is slowly beginning to heal itself, the crew goes to investigate…only to be attacked by cloaked enemies. The ship, with Nosecone and Afterburner still aboard, is blown up and Jetfire finds himself in a cavern, damaged, and seeing the cause of the incident years ago…Thunderwing!
What they got right: The art is beautiful. Between Figueroa’s usual amazing art and Burcham’s coloring it looks really good.
What they got wrong: It’s the story I have some problems with. Not the abandoned planet or the idea of Cybertron healing itself. That’s not a bad concept given the tone they’re going for. However, Furman breaks out another of his “pet characters”, Thunderwing, and overpowers the daylights out of him, even more so than when he wrote him for Marvel. He also kills off two of the Technobots, which means killing members of a combiner team. Granted, IDW really screwed up the Combiner concept, and had to fix it when Hasbro did the “Combiner Wars” line (and it’s debatable if they succeeded based on personal preference), but destroying the team, which had their fans, is disappointing. This is what original characters are for. Also, why is Jetfire using an Earth curse when he’s (a) never been to Earth, and (b) nobody else does. This is an odd thing to go negative with to some of you perhaps but it kind of matters for continuity. Even the bots currently on Earth aren’t using Earth curses.
Recommendation: This one isn’t off to as good a start as Infiltration but I plan to see it through. It’s really only a must-have because events in this story, if memory serves correctly, have an impact later on. Otherwise I’m not convinced one way or the other yet, but I’m leaning in the bad direction.