Transformers Spotlight: Sideswipe
IDW Publishing (September, 2008)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: E.J. Su
SELECTED COVER ART: Nick Roche
LETTERER: Chris Mowry
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
[continued from Transformers Spotlight: Doubledealer] Sideswipe finally gets his chance to come to Earth but the search for Sunstreaker will have to wait. They’re in China trying to stop one group of the Dead Universe Transformers, while Ultra Magnus (aided by Hot Rod and the Magnificence) coordinates efforts to shut down the nega-cores before they merge this universe with the Dead Universe. Jhiaxus does the same on his end. The Autobots we the audience used to know as Pretenders get armor similar to what their shells wore, protecting them from the Dead Universe. Arcee tracks Jhiaxus to Golan Prime while his attention is in numerous directions. With Hardhead coming back through the portal to stop him, Jhiaxus’ immortal form just means Arcee can keep killing him forever. Optimus tries to reach Nova Prime, but he’s given himself over to the anti-matrix as Nemesis Prime. Seeing that power and knowledge for himself, Galvatron kills Nemesis knowing that the anti-matrix will also seek out the nearest Prime, namely Optimus, who has to choose between the corrupting matrix and death in the solar pool that powers the prison. Optimus releases the matrix, which goes to Galvatron, and then tosses Galvatron into the solar pool. But did he survive? When it’s all over, Sideswipe feels he’s stepped out of his former mentor’s shadow and leaves the planet.
What they got right: Everything wraps up okay…for the most part. Sideswipe’s character arc, the Dead Universe, Arcee’s arc kind of sort of, and the Magnificence. Just in time for All Hail Megatron to lead to a new direction for IDW’s Transformers Universe.
What they got wrong: And that’s the problem with so many storylines at once. Furman had to wrap everything up here, although Galvatron will show up again and I don’t think the Machination and Shockwave’s return went much of anywhere. Sideswipe’s arc is pointless now in that we don’t see any real growth, we’re just told that it happened because he fought one Decepticon. Also they’re no longer brothers, which is a disappointing change. And I want to make this clear to every current and future publisher of Transformers stories: NEVER LET SIMON FURMAN WRITE A STORY WITH ARCEE EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The forced sex change operation is rage-inducing enough but watching what used to be a good character reduced to a bloodlusting lunatic hurts! If he hates the character that much don’t let him write her anymore!
Recommendation: Unless you really need to see how this story ends it’s not worth picking up. So many balls were dropped because far too many were held. From I think this point Furman transitioned over to the Bayverse tie-ins so we’ll be seeing him again sometime after I get caught up with All Hail Megatron (because from there I’ve already reviewed all the Transformers comics set in this continuity since the launch of this website), but I can’t really recommend this arc and only a few storylines from his entire run at IDW.