Everyone has suspected that Starscream’s motives in helping Caminus recover from its devastation aren’t exactly pure, but he finally tips his hand (at least to readers) and reveals a plot to create an empire out of the various lost Transformer colonies. Optimus Prime, Windblade, and many others would stand in his way, but it’s impossible to defend against a threat you don’t suspect. Fortunately, some Bots in the know work together to reveal Starscream’s plans, but will they be in time to prevent the spacebridge being used to dominate another world?
I haven’t trusted Starscream from my first introduction to him in the original Windblade mini-series, so I’m not shocked to find out that once a Decepticon, always a Decepticon. (You can say all Bots are Cybertronians, but old habits tend to stick.) A good portion of the issue focuses on the Cybertronian leader and his underhanded manipulation of the Camiens, and I found it fascinating to dissect. Little things from previous issues that didn’t entirely make sense finally began to fall into place, and if you love political wheeling and dealing, this will definitely be up your alley! There’s also more character development with Windblade and some of the other cast, including a poignant sequence detailing the young Cityspeaker’s religious beliefs. If you read the various Transformers series for the action, there’s not a ton in this issue, but the final pages set up an epic Combiner battle that no one will want to miss!
The artwork continues to work for me in Transformers #41: Combiner Wars, and I continue to be amazed at the range of facial expressions that Ramondelli coaxes out of gigantic metal robots. Starscream’s smirk is worthy of any humanoid villain, and Windblade’s face when she details her belief in the Camien religious system is beautiful. Besides, who doesn’t like great shots of really, really enormous robots? All four Combiners show up in the final pages, which should excite the inner twelve year old in all of us.
Transformers #41: Combiner Wars is my favorite installment in the storyline so far. The blend of pathos, action, and revelations is perfect, and I can’t wait to see the final battle; however, if you haven’t been reading the series, this is not the best jumping on point, since the previous issues help build up the tension. Start at the beginning and enjoy the ride! It’s been a heart-pounding one so far!
5 Shady Hidden Prisons out of 5