IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review

IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 5:20am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 41,041

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We Caminus, We Sawinus, We..
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
THE WAR BEGINS! The first strike in COMBINER WARS is against WINDBLADE’S homeworld—and she’s not happy about it! Her long- lost CYBERTRONIAN colony is found… and the only thing that can protect it is SUPERION.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
And of course, Alpha Bravo


Story

Last week's Opening Salvo to Combiner Wars highlighted the major players and stages for the IDW event to take place, but it's with the first issue of a returning Windblade series (reuniting its creative team, if briefly) that the refuse really hits the propeller. And you can blame Swindle again, of course.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
..or can you?


Mairghread Scott, one half of the plotting team behind the event with John Barber, takes the writing duties as seriously and as cruelly as she can, with death death rampage, death, destruction, no gardening, a bit more destruction and, on a different side altogether, talks of religion, diplomacy, incorporation and assimilation, politics and cultural differences - and makes both sides work really really well, if sometimes a little disjointed due to two worlds almost literally clashing.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
ALL THE BACK-UP


Swindle is still pretty glorious all the way through this issue too, though the spotlight goes to Windblade unsurprisingly, and her political, diplomatic (with an edge) skills as a Camien and a Cityspeaker - as opposed to the machinations of Starscream or war-like leadership of Optimus Prime. The interactions and moments that the three have are wonderful, and at times smirk-inducing, as a result.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
And some dynamics never really die


What the issues offers, then, other than some mighty fine scenes of destruction and good old fashioned imperial foreign policy, is a glimpse into how different strands of continuities are addressed as belief systems, how ex-Cybertronian societies have evolved very differently from their original soil, and how all of that, right now, holds a trepidantly unexpected set of consequences.

Art

Sarah Stone returns to interiors, too, and shows off some more lovely digital artwork, spreads, splashes, body language and physical/facial interactions corresponding and developing Scott's script ever so marvellously. Especially with the foregrounded characters, new Camien introductions and Starscream's undying quest for the perfectly suited chassis befitting his own ego.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
So haaard to choooose..


We had seen Stone's amazing work on chases and landscape type panels, and we are now also treated to bigger scale creatures that are not hanging from rafters in repair workshops - and the interactions between the big brutes. Coupled with some trademark contrasting chromatic effects, highlighting key moments in fights and heated exchanges.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
Dennis the Menasor


If at times, especially in the second half of the book, you might feel a little dazzled by the locations, Tom B. Long's letters are a godsend (heh), identifying not only voices but pinpointing the scenes with needed, fontastic accuracy. A slew of covers also allows to cover the multiplicity of worlds we're encountering, slowly, from the Travis Sengaus/Josh Burcham Devastator retailer variant, the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente established Superion cover, Livio Ramondelli's poster Menasor - and the thumbnailed gorgeous Sara Pitre-Durocher Superion/Windblade variant.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

There is a lot going on in this issue, even more than was the case in Opening Salvo. While it may not sit entirely well with some readers, the material Scott (with Barber) are covering is both established and a new take, new aspects and new introductions to the mythology, world-building and conventions of the until now Cybertron/Earth axis - with minor detours - of the Transformers fiction, thanks to the Way of the Flame and its repercussions among the governing side of Caminus. And it works, for this reviewer.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review
Holy Mistress of Tall Flames, Batman


It is really good to see more Sarah Stone artwork too, and the fight scenes look great - but much like the writing aspect of the issue, it's what is going on around the fighting that is really the crux of the story. And trust me, you want to get all the engines running on multiple franchise continuities with this one, and revisit and reassess some older pacts that were made in light of the ongoing ark arc.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


This article was last modified on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 5:19am CDT

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Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666694)
Posted by TimothyR on March 25th, 2015 @ 6:29am CDT
the next panel after the shot of the jets in pursuit should show how ridiculously far behind alpha bravo is, and showing how he's incapable of catching up with the jets.

then, they should murder him and bring slingshot back.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666695)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 25th, 2015 @ 6:31am CDT
I see that Starscream is going to get the Jetfire toy mold. How sad. :-(
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666699)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 25th, 2015 @ 6:45am CDT
TimothyR wrote:the next panel after the shot of the jets in pursuit should show how ridiculously far behind alpha bravo is, and showing how he's incapable of catching up with the jets.

then, they should murder him and bring slingshot back.

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666701)
Posted by Tigertrack on March 25th, 2015 @ 6:59am CDT
Now wishing I had never made that GOT connection. Can't stop unseeing it.

It's good stuff. Enjoying your reviews as always Vaal. The Blackjack and Starscream interactions confuse me slightly... But I think I get the gist of it, and if so... Stupid, Starscream just have to continuously stir the pot. I wonder if he is bored because of actually achieving his goal of being ruler. Trying to strengthen his power base I suppose. I don't know how nobody has taken him out yet...I guess people/Cybertronians must like him better than I do.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666715)
Posted by ScottyP on March 25th, 2015 @ 7:36am CDT
You Alpha Bravo haters take your Quickslinger toys and be happy already. >:oP

Very happy to have read Covenant of Primus, especially after issues such as RiD 34 and this one. Not fundamental, but having a lot of those concepts and ideas actually used is great to see. Tons of stuff to draw upon.

Also Tigertrack, I assume the GOT thing is the Lady of Flame? If her alt mode is the Iron Throne that'd be pretty darn amazing.

And since I'm too lazy to look, when the hell did Optimus Prime get the matrix back in this continuity? Was that at the end of Dark Cybertron? I don't remember it off hand but here it is in this issue as if Rodimus never broke his half or anything.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666729)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 25th, 2015 @ 8:28am CDT
ScottyP wrote:You Alpha Bravo haters take your Quickslinger toys and be happy already. >:oP

I'm sorry, I really am, but the idea of a helicopter keeping up with a team of jets is just ridiculous. I just can't comprehend how the editors have let this be, or how Hasbro has signed off on it. :BANG_HEAD:
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666733)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on March 25th, 2015 @ 8:41am CDT
ScottyP wrote:You Alpha Bravo haters take your Quickslinger toys and be happy already. >:oP

Very happy to have read Covenant of Primus, especially after issues such as RiD 34 and this one. Not fundamental, but having a lot of those concepts and ideas actually used is great to see. Tons of stuff to draw upon.

Also Tigertrack, I assume the GOT thing is the Lady of Flame? If her alt mode is the Iron Throne that'd be pretty darn amazing.

And since I'm too lazy to look, when the hell did Optimus Prime get the matrix back in this continuity? Was that at the end of Dark Cybertron? I don't remember it off hand but here it is in this issue as if Rodimus never broke his half or anything.

First off, there is no physical way Rodimus could've given Prime his half of the Matrix. So it's not that. It's possible that it could be Bumblebee's half, as we havn't actually seen that one since "Death of Optimus Prime".
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666741)
Posted by ScottyP on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:00am CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:
ScottyP wrote:You Alpha Bravo haters take your Quickslinger toys and be happy already. >:oP

I'm sorry, I really am, but the idea of a helicopter keeping up with a team of jets is just ridiculous. I just can't comprehend how the editors have let this be, or how Hasbro has signed off on it. :BANG_HEAD:

"This is the day which ALPHA BRAVO has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24:ROFL:COPTER:2, New Cybertronian Standard Translation. Also see:

Image

Image

These are all my smart-alec ways of saying just roll with it like Bob Marley and have fun :D

Nemesis Maximo wrote:First off, there is no physical way Rodimus could've given Prime his half of the Matrix. So it's not that. It's possible that it could be Bumblebee's half, as we havn't actually seen that one since "Death of Optimus Prime".

Ok, so in this issue he has the whole darn thing. It's even referred to as the hilt of the Star Saber (the blade, not the 'bot), meaning it couldn't just be half. There has to be something I missed, because this just isn't normal for John "Continuity" Barber.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666742)
Posted by Umbra on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:01am CDT
I love the characterization in this chapter. I'm particularly hoping we get to see Alpha Bravo's reaction to be gestalted once they finally separate.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666746)
Posted by RevTibe on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:05am CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:First off, there is no physical way Rodimus could've given Prime his half of the Matrix. So it's not that. It's possible that it could be Bumblebee's half, as we havn't actually seen that one since "Death of Optimus Prime".

Ok, so in this issue he has the whole darn thing. It's even referred to as the hilt of the Star Saber (the blade, not the 'bot), meaning it couldn't just be half. There has to be something I missed, because this just isn't normal for John "Continuity" Barber.
The crystal core was split in half, one given to Bumblebee, one to Rodimus. As of Opening Salvo, we see that Optimus has placed Bumblebee's half of the crystal core back into the complete "Container".
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666748)
Posted by Darth Jumpy on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:10am CDT
RevTibe wrote: Maximo wrote:First off, there is no physical way Rodimus could've given Prime his half of the Matrix. So it's not that. It's possible that it could be Bumblebee's half, as we havn't actually seen that one since "Death of Optimus Prime".


In some of the extras in Punishment, I believe, it was confirmed that Optimus has the half that Bumblebee had (half a sphere) and the Matrix container (the handles and stuff). That, or Punishment was where we first saw where the Matrix was after the time skip. I am sure I read that explanation somewhere, though.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666758)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:32am CDT
You know, these spoiler tags suck ass if you are using a phone.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666759)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on March 25th, 2015 @ 9:33am CDT
The other thing I noticed is that it's glowing yellow rather than the usual blue associated with the Mateix. Maybe that's important, as opposed to just a coloring choice?
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666804)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:01am CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:You know, these spoiler tags suck ass if you are using a phone.

Agreed, but my work around is to quote the post so I can read it.

Looking forward to this though and it looks like alpha bravo can keep up with the others just fine ;) I just don't see why people are getting worked up about it is this really the limit of people's suspension of disbelief?
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666811)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:07am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:You know, these spoiler tags suck ass if you are using a phone.

Agreed, but my work around is to quote the post so I can read it.

Looking forward to this though and it looks like alpha bravo can keep up with the others just fine ;) I just don't see why people are getting worked up about it is this really the limit of people's suspension of disbelief?

Everybody has something that pushes their suspension of belief too far. This is mine. I know that in the grander scheme it shouldn't matter, but it does. At least to me. This is worse than Rewinds flying data disk, or at least just as bad.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666813)
Posted by Shuttershock on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:11am CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:You know, these spoiler tags suck ass if you are using a phone.

Agreed, but my work around is to quote the post so I can read it.

Looking forward to this though and it looks like alpha bravo can keep up with the others just fine ;) I just don't see why people are getting worked up about it is this really the limit of people's suspension of disbelief?

Everybody has something that pushes their suspension of belief too far. This is mine. I know that in the grander scheme it shouldn't matter, but it does. At least to me. This is worse than Rewinds flying data disk, or at least just as bad.


To be fair, it's not unprecidented. Fall of Cybertron Vortex had a boost mode to accommodate faster flight. Not as fast as Blast Off the shuttle/rocket, but it's something.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666820)
Posted by RevTibe on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:27am CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:Everybody has something that pushes their suspension of belief too far. This is mine. I know that in the grander scheme it shouldn't matter, but it does. At least to me. This is worse than Rewinds flying data disk, or at least just as bad.
Why would the jets be blindly flying at full speed through a portal? The portal they started out at was indoors, after all. Going through at Mach-whatever sounds like a good way to paint yourself across the scenery.

Even if that wasn't the case, why would the jets be going at full speed? Outrunning Alpha Bravo would leave Superion without a leg to stand on :P
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666825)
Posted by william-james88 on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:36am CDT
Mairghread Scott has just posted a new entry on her blog which details a contest to get a free signed copy of Wingblade #1. The blog entry, fully posted below, also gives us her signing schedule at Emerald City Comiccon this week-end.

For those interested, you can check out a preview to Wingblade 1 right here.

Hello Everyone!

windblade 1Transformers Windblade #1 – Combiner Wars Part 1 is out this Wednesday, March 25th! This is Part 1 of Combiner Wars and immediately follows last week’s Transformers #39 Combiner Wars: Opening Salvo! You will want to follow both series to get the whole story of this massive crossover event. To help with that, here’s the reading order:

Transformers #39 – Combiner Wars: Opening Salvo – Available Now
Transformers Windblade #1 – Combiner Wars Part 1 – Available Now
Transformers #40 – Combiner Wars Part 2 – Available in April
Transformers Windblade #2 – Combiner Wars Part 3 – Available in April
Transformers #41 – Combiner Wars Part 4 – Available in May
Transformers Windblade #3 – Combiner Wars Part 5 – Available in May

I am also doing a Windblade # 1 giveaway contest. To enter, tweet or tumble a picture of either you with your copy of Windblade #1 (physical or digital) or a picture of your Transformers toys reading Windblade #1, or both of you together (clearly the best option) and include the tag #WindbladeReturns. The deadline for submissions is April 8th. I’ll randomly pick three submissions and the winners will get a signed copy of Transformers Windblade #1 – Combiner Wars Part 1 in the mail.

In other news…

Emerald City Comic Con is this weekend and I’ll be there mostly to hang out and have fun but I am doing a few signings listed below. As always, if you see me at the show I’m happy to chat and sign some books. Here’s the info for my signings:

Friday March 27th: 3pm to 4pm at Livio Ramondelli’s table E-10.
Saturday March 28th: 6pm to 7pm at the IDW Booth #1802.
Sunday March 29th, 3pm to 4pm at Livio Ramondelli’s table E-10.

Also make sure to visit Transformers artist Andrew Griffith at HH-08. He is awesome.

TF Wb 4 cover PriscillaCheck out this cover by Priscilla Tramontano from Windblade #4. The solicitations for this just dropped, so make sure you pre-order:

Transformers: Windblade #4 – Order Code: APR150378

(W) Mairghread Scott (A) Corin Howell (CA) Priscilla Tramontano

More Worlds – More Problems! After the events of Combiner Wars, Windblade and Starscream race to recruit the lost Cybertronian colonies to the Council of Worlds – but which of them will control the fate of Cybertron?



This issue features the new Transformers artist Corin Howell to Team Windblade! You can see her amazing work here. I can’t wait till you see her take on redacted for spoilers. It’s awesome!

Stay tuned in April for more comic news and perhaps some cool new cartoon news, too!

Be Well,
Mairghread
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666826)
Posted by Randomhero on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:38am CDT
Great comic top notch
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Windblade #1 Review (1666827)
Posted by Randomhero on March 25th, 2015 @ 11:39am CDT
Ya know...I'm done. This is beyond pathetic. Throwing fits about a helicopter or a truck. I'm legitimately embarrassed to be part of the fandom anymore when I see this these cry baby fits about alpha bravo abd Offroad. You people are more immature than the children you stand next to in the toy aisle looking at the same toy as that kid. It's ridiculous.

It must amazing to wake up every day and continue to post and post your fits about a toy.

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