The End, Pt. 1Synopsis
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE! WINDBLADE seeks out the last refuge she has left, the living city METROPLEX as his malfunctions intensify! WINDBLADE realizes that even if she survives STARSCREAM, METROPLEX himself may doom them all!
And so we've had explosions, more explosions, scheming, Predacons, bar scenes, torture scenes, world building, a fantabulous Starscream and so far, a plot that does not seem to want to resolve itself in any way that may have been indicated by writer Mairghread Scott up until this very moment - does it pay off? Is this final issue in Windblade's story, for now at least, a satisfying conclusion? Keep on reading...
Evidence A: Fantabulous Starscream
Scott writes some magnificent Starscream narrative, alongside Windblade and Chromia's - the latter in particular, especially in this issue - and how the three key players interact on the grand scale stage of Metroplex, Iacon and Cybertron.. and maybe even further than that, as we find out more about Caminusand the Camiens, Metroplex himself, and some continuity-bending that would make Barber blush.
Evidence B: REDACTED
The plot throws us some bones, which turn out to be herrings, of the red kind, pointing in all the possible wrong directions before establishing and setting up the actual endpoint to the story started in issue 1 - which is not actually the end of the issue at all. Of course, the actual clues were there all along, and quite in plain sight, looking back.
I'm obviously not going to spoil the climax and denouement, but I do have to say that while the apex of the running plot itself was, in fact, almost anti-climactically played out, everything - everything
- else happening around it is so astoundingly powerful that it more than made up for it! (So much so I just used an exclamation mark.) But more on that below.Art
I'm not entirely sure what more I can say about Sarah Stone's artwork that I haven't commented upon in the first three reviews. But this issue does highlight what it is I really truly enjoyed in this début run for the new artist: her characters' expressions. We get anger, concentration, satisfaction, smugness, despair, hope - we get rounded personalities captured in linework, by way of faces, bodies and interactions.
Evidence C: Intense
All of that is before you even consider the excellent layouts and panelwork, with some truly experimental, slightly non-linear (dat final page), but not bordering into abstract just yet, pages, splashes and spreads. Then you get the colours. And the contrasts of light, of monochromatic blocks versus all-white or all-black backgrounds - something showed off on the cover, too.
Evidence D: Words, panels, revel
Chris Mowry's lettering does some masterfully crafted complementary work to the already great artwork, rendering Scott's sounds and words vividly on the page and in characters' heads and voices, and beautifully fitting between Stone's lines, with fonts, hues, colours and fading effects alike. And just to keep us guessing, two Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr covers, one with Windblade, one with Chromia (see thumbnail).ThoughtsSpoilerish ahead
A truly magnificent ending to what is clearly, obviously, just the beginning of a long long story to unfold in the Transformers universe, from MTMTE to Primacy to Empire of Stone to RID - where we'll see Windblade again not too far in the future - which, as I said, if it does tone down the plot resolution, it does so by amping up absolutely everything else, with a personal reaction that hit as far as Soundwave's arc in RID, or the C/R one in MTMTE.
Evidence E: AMPING UP
Sometimes, as a comics reader, one should just revel in the pure aesthetic, sensory pleasure of a book as object, of the colours as feeling, of the story as layout, of the words as sounds. This comic has allows all of that, and sets up something so big it will make several people complain. But I, and I suspect many many more, do not care. At all.