First Strike #4 focuses on Scarlett and her past relationship with Coulton. We get an idea of where she came from and the relationship between the two. The series is a fascinating mashup between multiple different brands available to IDW. For Optimus, it’s a pretty intimidating situation. He’s being held to task by Elita One and Sunstreaker for the war the Transformers have been waging. With Scarlett, you are able to get the human perspective as to the war that has been going on.
Elita One is debating Optimus Prime as to what best can be done with human radicals, who are debating what exactly is the best scenario. It’s tough to judge the many factions of the Transformers who are going to war with one another. As most fans know, there’s been a long battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. In this story, it’s a tad more complex. The idea to “round them up and exile them,” as Elita One states, is a way she sees to fix the situation regarding humans. Yet, Optimus doesn’t exactly like that notion.
Sunstreaker tells Elita One not to discuss how she would preferably imprison Primes and not let them be free. It’s showing just exactly how many more factions there are in the Transformers universe beyond the films and TV shows that have been produced. The focus of the rest of the issue lies in Scarlett’s reflections on her connection to Coulton.
Optimus Prime is actually helpful in her reflections on her past and the influence of Coulton on her life. She was a part of the military and that was a big element of her life that Coulton had a hand in being her commanding officer. It’s a fascinating dynamic to see human characters from the GI Joe world mixed in with the Transformers characters. It creates a world where you can get an idea of how both Transformers characters and GI Joe characters may perceive one another.
It’s a complicated balancing act to bring in characters from multiple different franchises, but Mairghread Scott and David A. Rodriguez (the writers) alongside Max Dunbar (the artist) seem to have a pretty good handle on the narrative and everything they are seeking to achieve. It’s fascinating to think just exactly where the story will go.
The key struggle for the creative team will be not only to keep the narrative and art moving, but to continue delivering surprises and excitement. On an event book, it can be challenging to make each issue unique and interesting.
With the revelation of Miles Mayhem at the end, the creative team seems to be promising quite a lot going forward that will both surprise and shock fans. The event after four issues seems only to just be starting.
Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.