Transformers: Escalation #1
IDW Publishing (November, 2006)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: E.J. Su
COLORIST: John Rauch
COLOR ASSIST: Zac Atkinson & Aaron Myers
LETTERER: Chris Mowry
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor
Back to current events on Earth. Megatron is ready to start Phase Two of their strategy and orders Astrotrain to activate the facsimiles. Meanwhile, Prowl (or possibly Optimus) is sending the human trio home even though they’ve been helpful in getting the Autobots used to Earth culture (for example Jazz didn’t know his hologram’s smile was freaky). He’s ordered Ironhide and Sunstreaker to take them back to their lives but that paramilitary bunch is ready to snag themselves a Transformer, and move in to intercept them. During the trap it appears Sunstreaker was destroyed…and Hunter was still inside!
What they got right: As usual E. J. Su’s artwork is amazing. I wish I more but….
What they got wrong: Will there ever be a comics version of Optimus who wants to work with humans? In the Marvel run he didn’t want to involve humans because he didn’t want them to get hurt. The Dreamwave run was years later, while Armada/Energon had him working with kids in the first war and finally working with humans in the second but that was after the war and they kept the first conflict as secret as possible. Here he has three humans who can teach them about Earth and he sends them away after a crash course on Earth culture because he’s worried the Autobots will get attached to them and they might not be able to save the planet from Megatron. Defeatist attitude aside, Optimus, you’re tossing out a valuable resource plus, you know, IT’S OUR PLANET AND WE SHOULD HELP SAVE IT! I’m also tired of all these anti-Transformer military groups in the Transformers multiverse. Only RATT and MECH were interesting at all. Sector 7 were jerks, this group (which will later learn is called The Machination) is uninteresting and will mess up the Headmasters backstory since “kill ’em all” Furman wasted Nebulos in the previous miniseries, and I don’t know what was up with Dreamwave’s EDC. I just don’t want to see any more of these groups, or at least have them target Decepticons exclusively for a change!
Recommendation: The story is told well enough and the art is good, but it’s pushing a lot of my Transformer hotbuttons, and that makes it hard to recommend to people.