IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review

IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 7:33am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 39,338

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Combiner Quips
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
PROWL makes his move… and the galaxy will never be the same. Can WINDBLADE stand against the threat of the COMBINERS?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
Enter, stage right


Story

Close in its release to the previous chapter in Combiner Wars, taking place in The Transformers #40, Windblade #2 continues the event, by letting the story by Mairghread Scott and John Barber slide back over the table to Scott for the actual writing of the issue - where does it fare, you might ask? Read on below to find out.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
Buckle up!


Scott does her usual dialogue wonders, playing with the different characters' voices throughout the text, and airing some of the hang-ons from previous stories, especially with Ironhide and Chromia (and the Tankors). Starscream seems to shine even more in his machinations, but it's the combiners that get a lot of the scene - and their fights are not just physical.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
REKT M8


On the other hand, there are some concerning issues taking place in the book, mostly from either script mistakes or editorial oversights, not only very early on in the book (First Aid becoming Fix-It briefly, for example; a number of typos) - I'm not keen on pointing out minor slips by Scott or Guzman, but there are quite a few scattered throughout, which should be caught by the time the trade comes out.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
Someone's mistake?


Nonetheless, even with the rushed feeling of some of the pages of the issue, the dialogue works well and there are some sensationally silly, but fist-pumping moments in the fights between combiners - wth Devastator finally entering the main stage, and the introduction of even more to the mix - that just I mean I just go read them, they're bonkers, fun and twistedly light-hearted.

Art

The artwork duties are still down to Livio Ramondelli, keeping the engine running for yet another issue of Combiner Wars - and there are some really good things being done for it. There are some great facial expression moments, the characters all get their needed gravitas, and Starscream is as pissed off as ever. There are even channellings of Sarah Stone's redeveloped design for some characters.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
That there's a noice Ironhide


Much of the problems with this issue, unfortunately, also comes down to what the artwork doesn't do quite right. There are panels in which characters seem to switch for no apparent reason, especially among the Protectobots. Some of the Superion fight scenes have limbs appearing and reappearing without explanation or shown process, and when it's shown (in one panel/sequence) it takes a while to identify.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
Your words, Prowl


The lettering, on the third hand, does not present any difficulties or confusing sequences as last issues, and actually, Tom B. Long has a lot of fun with sound effects during the fight scenes - the many fight scenes - and the multiple voices that Scott's script develops for the characters. The covers once again lack the Hasbro Marcelo Matere credit for the (thumbnailed) RI variant, but still deliver on their quality, with the truly menacing Devastator poster variant by Ramondelli, and the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente Defensor spotlight.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The smattering of mistakes in script and artwork unfortunately hinder the full enjoyment of this chapter of Combiner Wars, and gives it too much of a rushed feeling to satisfy long-time readers and invested fans. However, while they do distract, they do not take away from what it does really really well, in both writing and visuals, as I hope I've showed above.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review
lel


What the issue works well with is the interactions, both verbal and physical, both aggressive and positive, and between Camiens and Cybertronians, Autobots and Decepticons and all the various cogs in the machine that is becoming the beginning of a new universe-wide ..well, universe. Glamorous assistant ScottyP aptly comments that this is an almost entry-level comic for people buying the new toys, and it does more than enough to hook people in for the longer ride.

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

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


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Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677792)
Posted by Ironhidensh on April 22nd, 2015 @ 8:00am CDT
I feel Prowlestator went down too easy. I'm not fond of the "magic make you combine" laser. I guess it all just feels too rushed. I have a feeling Hasbro is pulling strings, and the story is suffering for it.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677796)
Posted by Va'al on April 22nd, 2015 @ 8:11am CDT
For the so-called lols:

http://chrismcfeely.tumblr.com/post/117 ... ars-out-of

I feel I should now be a fan of Rook, as well as Alpha Bravo. :P
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677926)
Posted by 1984forever on April 22nd, 2015 @ 12:19pm CDT
Yes, the art could be better... but this is hands down the BEST Transformers IDW has ever produced! It actually deserves 4 and a half symbols, not 3.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677967)
Posted by sneakycheapy on April 22nd, 2015 @ 2:39pm CDT
1984forever wrote:Yes, the art could be better... but this is hands down the BEST Transformers IDW has ever produced! It actually deserves 4 and a half symbols, not 3.


I wholeheartedly disagree. This was a clumsily written and plotted issue and, as Va'al hints toward, I think its partially because the whole thing is a Hasbro-sponsored advertisement.

Thankfully MTMTE isn't being drawn into the mess...
Props to Scott and Barber for taking the bullet on this one.

PS: I suppose it is entirely possible you're trolling.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677968)
Posted by King Kuuga on April 22nd, 2015 @ 2:45pm CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:I feel Prowlestator went down too easy. I'm not fond of the "magic make you combine" laser. I guess it all just feels too rushed. I have a feeling Hasbro is pulling strings, and the story is suffering for it.

Starscream: "Hey, you guys are a team, right?"
Protectobots: "Not really...."
Starscream: "Are you of one mind?"
Protectobots: "Maybe, We guess...."
Starscream: "GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!"
*combining happens*

I found that humorous, although I agree I don't want to see it happen too often. Develop the guys as a team and have some combiner growing pains.

So let's see, the combiner wars so far has Devastator, Menasor, Superion, and Defensor. Think Monstructor will show up to cause trouble? Will we see Ultra Prime or anybody else, do you think? Or is this it?
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1677987)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on April 22nd, 2015 @ 4:19pm CDT
On one hand, I hope Monstructor shows up, because if he 's in the comics his chance of becoming a toy increases.

On the other hand, i feel like that would just bring up the Dead Universe again.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1678111)
Posted by Crosscheck on April 22nd, 2015 @ 11:31pm CDT
I think it is a little weird we hardly ever see the Aerialbots, just Superion. It kinda makes the whole Alpha Bravo issue seem even more silly than it already was since we don't see the individual members. Hopefully that will be changed soon.

I must say that I don't really like that they are just having Starscream just using the Enigma willie-nillie. I would have liked a little more build-up to the Protectobots becoming Defensor. Hopefully the Combaticons will get something a little better than that.

I do like that Superion is demonstrating skills that the toy can actually do, such as transforming a leg into an arm to augment attacks. I bet the combiners all will make superb grapplers as a result of this.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1678153)
Posted by Flashwave on April 23rd, 2015 @ 2:25am CDT
I feel very dissappointed in this.

One, its the art. Reminds me of slate, always has. Not my cup of tea.

Two, it felt rushed. I don't like Starscream's "ZAP! You're a COmbiner, and You're a Combiner, and You're a COmbiner, EVERYONE IS A COMBINER!!! YAY!!! And we've been hinting at this "Devestator is a living personality idea for a while now. And while we have a Mad Prowl, This doesn't feel like "Devastator" yet. I hope that's still coming, but in the meantime, this isn't what I wanted.

Also, I really have no idea what's going on. We have a cool bit of world building within the council. And I like that bit with Optimus, reminds me of the scene from the HBO John Adams series where Adams, as Vice President, was to hold the tiebraker in Congress, only to discover that unless or until there was a tie to break, he had NOTHING to do and NO power. Then what, we have a ouching scene with Ironhide and Chromia, and then I get confused by the Combier Battle, which to me kinda sorta feels like It was thrust into this issue for Hasbro to sell toys, whereas if it were being done at IDW's pacing, which admittedly would not have worked so well with toy releases. I don't get Prowl's reasoning. It's Prowl, no one is supposed to get it. But this feels like Prowl just showed up to punch ReallyBigPeople(tm). And I don't see any strategy, let alone endgame.

I really feel like the Enignma of Combinatoric should have ended up on a planet of Omni-Combinational robots. But that's just me being fanboy. And as I recall, the timelines don't match up for that to work anyway. But was a thought.

Wait, Rook was in this issue?
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1678180)
Posted by King Kuuga on April 23rd, 2015 @ 5:41am CDT
Flashwave wrote:Also, I really have no idea what's going on. We have a cool bit of world building within the council. And I like that bit with Optimus, reminds me of the scene from the HBO John Adams series where Adams, as Vice President, was to hold the tiebraker in Congress, only to discover that unless or until there was a tie to break, he had NOTHING to do and NO power. Then what, we have a ouching scene with Ironhide and Chromia, and then I get confused by the Combier Battle, which to me kinda sorta feels like It was thrust into this issue for Hasbro to sell toys, whereas if it were being done at IDW's pacing, which admittedly would not have worked so well with toy releases. I don't get Prowl's reasoning. It's Prowl, no one is supposed to get it. But this feels like Prowl just showed up to punch ReallyBigPeople(tm). And I don't see any strategy, let alone endgame.

So far it goes something like this.
Prowl finds out that Starscream is using Superion as a chess piece in the recontact with Caminus. Due to his intense distrust of anything Starscream does, Prowl he KNOWS Starscream will use Superion to try to conquer the colonies, and since Prime isn't doing anything to stop him, Prowl takes matters into his own hands. In his mind, Cybertron allying with the lost colonies will only end in mutually assured destruction, and he'd rather keep the colonies separate than drag them down with a Cybertron that is sure to crumble under Starscream's rule. As Devastator he goes to Caminus and tries to clear out all Cybertronians, and when that doesn't work he goes to Cybertron and starts destroying the space bridge to keep the two worlds from interacting again. That's his angle: he doesn't want Starscream in control of a combiner while in charge of Cybertron because he will use his combiner to conquer the universe and destroy Cybertron.

Wait, Rook was in this issue?

I'm not sure if that's a legitimate question or a joke about how miniscule his appearances were.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1678196)
Posted by 1984forever on April 23rd, 2015 @ 7:54am CDT
sneakycheapy wrote:
1984forever wrote:Yes, the art could be better... but this is hands down the BEST Transformers IDW has ever produced! It actually deserves 4 and a half symbols, not 3.


I wholeheartedly disagree. This was a clumsily written and plotted issue and, as Va'al hints toward, I think its partially because the whole thing is a Hasbro-sponsored advertisement.

Thankfully MTMTE isn't being drawn into the mess...
Props to Scott and Barber for taking the bullet on this one.

PS: I suppose it is entirely possible you're trolling.
WOW

If I trash the book, I'm trolling. But if I like the book, I'm also trolling. Maybe I should explain why this issue is superior to anything IDW has produced thus far.

Correct use of characters. Prime was spot on in both speech and action. Starscream was at his treacherous best, this is the way he really would act if he ruled Cybertron! The Decepticons were just tools to him. The Constructicons were on the side which could be considered "evil", which is where they are supposed to be. And if you're an Autobot like Prowl who decides to rock with the Constructicons, well then you're a traitor and you get treated as such... which is exactly what happened. Seeing old faces like Mirage and Sunstreaker are a plus. Sunstreaker should have his own book IMO.

Transformers is an ACTION series. And we got plenty in this issue! A 3 way Combiner battle that was better than anything I have seen in G1 in print or on screen :BOWDOWN:

The comic advertised the toys. After you finished reading the book you could buy the characters in physical form. Just like the old days.

Basically what all of you just read was an authentic Transformers product! Different in almost every way than the fanficky trash IDW usually squelches out.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1678212)
Posted by MrBlack on April 23rd, 2015 @ 9:06am CDT
This may have been the weakest issue of the main Transformers series since the launch of MTMTE and RID. Errors abound, and the entire issue felt rushed. The Protectobots and Defensor felt shoe-horned in. I think Livio Ramondelli gets a bad rap at times, and his artwork has improved immensely over the past couple of years, but the combiner fights in this issue were nigh incomprehensible. The whole issue came off as a muddled mess.

It's clear that this issue was rushed. There were plenty of simple errors that should have been caught by an editor, and it's obvious that Rook (or rather, Rook's head) was drawn in at the last minute on a few pages. Groove completely disappears when the Protectobots combine. It's a shame, because this story has raised some very interesting issues regarding religion and leadership on Cybertron, and has, up to this issue, been a far better series than I expected.

Here's hoping that Barber and Scott have more time to polish things up before the next issues drop.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1680654)
Posted by sabrigami on April 29th, 2015 @ 8:00pm CDT
Wow. Finally caught up on the CW issues so far and WB. I've been holding off on them because I really wasn't interested in combiners. Toys or comic wise. So far, for the first time since RID started, I actually cannot wait until next issue. Stuff is happening! Prime is a manipulative ass who uses his title to literally be "holier than thou". Starscream being his rutheless self. and Prowl finally reaching his breaking point. Now, I will admit, I am biased and will give extra marks because of Prowl (love him so much!).

Can't comment on all the mistakes this issue. Quite frankly I didn't even notice them. Somewhat due to art (Livio has gotten much better with faces, but bots are still hard to identify for me) and mostly because I just don't know a lot of the secondary/bg characters. Story wise, I was immensely satisfied. if there was one thing I could change if I could (Fangirl alert!) is to see how Sarah would do her take on Prowl's demise scene. The one Va'al showed in the review specifically. Okay, Okay, I'll stop now.

I hope that the Protectobots give SS a piece of their mind for what he did to them. I know I would be pissed.

But yeah, loving this so far! I may even start getting some toys in the near future :D
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1681995)
Posted by Syn_13 on May 3rd, 2015 @ 4:06pm CDT
Well, I've just caught up on this. I liked CW: Part 2, but Part 3 felt a little rushed.

I'd have liked more character development within the combiner teams, to be honest. As I said, it was all too rushed. Also, I just feel it's being dragged out a little and is starting to feel a bit like filler.

I really enjoyed the first season of RiD, and I also liked it at the beginning of the 2nd when it shifted back to Earth a little to focus on characters like Thundercracker and Galvatron, and further develop Prowl. I liked that the rest of the old RiD cast like Starscream were still getting some love through the Windblade series.

This Combiner Wars gimmick isn't doing much for me, and my interest is only being held by the political game that has been much the focus of Barber's storytelling. I'm hoping once CW is done it'll go back to the way it felt before. I'd also be happy for them to stretch it to 3 ongoings as I've enjoyed the work of Scott, Barber and Roberts, and that way they can give time to what is such a huge cast right now.

I have to say the art makes it heavy reading too. I really appreciate Ramondelli's talent, but his art style is suited to a much darker series. He suits Autocracy/Monstrosity/Primacy a lot more, as it's heavier/darker storytelling. In the same way I thought he suited the pre-CW issue which had a flashback to Galvatron meeting Nova. He's best used sparingly, IMO, and I reckon once CW has come to a close it'll go back to Griffith being the main artist. Griffith does a lot better a job of portraying emotion, particularly through facial expressions, and that's such an important aid to the way Barber tells his story. Sarah Stone would've been a better choice for this CW series too, her work on Part 1 was brilliant.

Regardless, it is enjoyable, but I'm honestly hoping we soon get back to the proper Barber/Griffith storytelling/art that has made Rid/Transformers ongoing such an enjoyable read. Also, it's nice to see Waspinator back, but it still needs more Sky-Byte!
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686310)
Posted by Va'al on May 16th, 2015 @ 12:03pm CDT
Via comics and entertainment media website Comic Book Resources, in collaboration with IDW Publishing, we have the full preview for the upcoming fourth chapter in the Transformers Combiner Wars event, as we switch back to The Transformers ongoing #41. Check out the first pages below, and head back to Seibertron.com on Wednesday for our usual review!

Transformers #41—Combiner Wars
John Barber (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)
DESPERATE ACTIONS! As the SPACEBRIDGE reaches across the stars, will anyone stand against STARSCREAM? The answer is yes—but the cure might prove worse than the disease.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
COMBINER WARS part 4
OPTIMUS PRIME versus PROWL—one on one!
The biggest battle ever between COMBINERS!
Variant Hasbro Combiner Wars poster cover!


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Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686312)
Posted by sabrigami on May 16th, 2015 @ 12:13pm CDT
This issue is looking good! never mind the enigma of combination. I wanna figure out the enigma that is Prowl =P~ Livio seems to be getting far more expressive with his faces too. It's nice his work is getting a little more curvy.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686315)
Posted by steve2275 on May 16th, 2015 @ 12:16pm CDT
Image
i like how the jet arms are up
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686347)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on May 16th, 2015 @ 2:16pm CDT
This looks much better than last issue. More polished. And Livio's really hitting his stride so far.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686349)
Posted by Deadput on May 16th, 2015 @ 2:39pm CDT
I am just loving Starscream in this series.




Such a manipulative glorious bastard.


^ Wait that's censored?

Didn't realize that its a bad word.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686350)
Posted by Va'al on May 16th, 2015 @ 2:40pm CDT
Having read the issue, I agree with pretty much all the comments so far. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars - Windblade #2 Review (1686467)
Posted by Ginrai Minor on May 16th, 2015 @ 6:34pm CDT
If only CW Prime toy actually looked like the art, he would be such a beautiful juggernaut. Also I have mixed feelings about(but overall do like)Prime kinda losing it from all the things his species has been through and his flaws i.e. control issues.

But bruh Prowl is full goneeeee :shock:

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