IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review

IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 3:06am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 45,261

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*REC
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
CYBERTRON UNDER FIRE! Someone is out to kill WINDBLADE—but discovering who means turning to some less-than-savory ’Bots. Can WINDBLADE trust her informants enough to stake her life on them? And who will she turn to when the events of DARK CYBERTRON come back to haunt them all?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
FAT TANKOR, clearly


Story

Aaand we're back on Cybertron, as Windblade recovers from the first issue's explosion, abruptly waking up to the reality of Cybertron and its somehow democratically elected ruler Lord Starscream, and aide Rattrap. Indeed, both her and the other Camien Chromia start digging for proof of ..well, anything. This is Starscream after all.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
That kinda sums up the setting


After a fairly painful and actually quite visually uncomfortable moment between the two opposing main characters, Windblade does set with Chromia to investigate the happenings from issue #1, and find out from Metroplex, Ironhide and others what might help them - stumbling across an adorable and well-rounded Waspinator.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
At Maccadam's, where else


The dialogue works very well, and there are definitely distinctive voices for different characters, other than the obvious Wazzzzpinator quirks (and he really does shine in this issue, finally a proper, not-exclusively comical look at his character). Starscream gets creepier, Chromia gets tougher, and Windblade has some good, moving moments with Metroplex, too.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
*This* is Chromia


Another solid issue, if a little slower compared to the opening one. It feels more like a legal-procedural with political intrigue, with a significant emotional and personal take on some of the key players, and all the better for it in places, less punchy in others.

Art

The artwork, on the other hand, and as fully expected, is still quite marvellous. Sarah Stone's composition of the panels does some really great work in terms of border employment and perspectives, making 'camera angles' more so than initially expected, for example, and sliding in some really really cool shots - and transformation sequences.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
"Too close, a little too close"


The colours, of course, do wonders to complement the artwork, and all still at the hands of Stone. But I want to take some time to look at Chris Mowry's lettering, after Scott pointed out something last month: Metroplex's multifaceted speech is due to Mowry's excellent handiwork. And it is magnificent.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
See? Magnificent


So yes, the artistic team nails it truly and squarely. And that includes the truly great covers, with the main version by Stone, an amazing Alex Milne and Priscilla Tramontano variant, with a steadfast, defiant Camien, and a haunting continuation of last week's MTMTE #29 incentive by Marcelo Matere and Tramontano again - in the post thumbnail!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The writing is really, truly good, alternating a great dialogue with steady monologue, and bringing out some touching moments of interaction between characters, especially Metroplex and his Cityspeaker. The final sections feel like a tremendous teasing build-up to what's to come next month - and, in fact, that's exactly what they are.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review
Because Scott is an evil mastermind


I was conflicted about whether the slower pacing would hinder the full enjoyment of the issue, especially compared to last month. On re-reading the story once more, however, and taking in every single panel slowly, the emotional, empathetic, compassionate qualities of Windblade shine onto the often misused Waspinator and resonate with Metroplex, without it ever being too much of an aside. Slower? Yes. But also really quite moving. Bring on the next issue.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: ½ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al


This article was last modified on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 3:46am CDT

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Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1575949)
Posted by Dr. Caelus on May 21st, 2014 @ 3:43am CDT
Heckfire wrote:
Doctor McGrath wrote:I really don't care for how Rattrap is being characterized so far..

Gotta say, I agree wholly...Rattrap is my favorite TF character, and seeing him turned into this sniveling, toadying, villain wanna-be really darkens what is possibly my favorite period on any TF comic run. I can only hope that, like the Rattrap I know and love from before, this version is simply playing the long con, working his way into Starscream's good graces before revealing he was trying to pry the Silver (er, Red?) Snake out of his position of power for the betterment of all.


I imagine this is probably the case, given he'd been fighting as an Autobot before the truce. I have a feeling Rhinox will be involved in it too, given he's the only Thrilling 30 character I can think of not in the IDW universe, and if he were introduced, he'd probably have been fighting on the same planet as Rattrap.

I would be more interested, though, in seeing events in the series actually change him into the hero he was in Beast Wars. In Beast Wars, Rattrap had a sort of anti-hero thing going on - he didn't fight honorably, he spied on allies and needled them to test their loyalty, and while he could be incredibly brave, it was only when everything hinged on him - not so much because it inspired courage, as much as it was that Rattrap pragmatically wasn't going to waste his heroics on something trivial. He belonged on Firefly, really.

But his odd mishmash of heroics and selfishness, betrayal and bravado, and his long list of martial and espionage skills, just always begged the question - WHERE THE HECK DID HE COME FROM? Although this is not the same universe as Beast Wars, I hope the evolution of this character gives us some idea of how the original Rattrap became the unique character he was.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1576181)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on May 21st, 2014 @ 10:26pm CDT
While I really like the way Starsceam is being written by. Scott, I kinda wish he wasn't being portrayed as the sole bad guy here. Granted, we're only two issues in, but that's half-way now. I want to see his side of this tale; I would totally by "The Starscream Version", you know what I'm sayin'?
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1576255)
Posted by Va'al on May 22nd, 2014 @ 5:10am CDT
Nemesis Maximo wrote:While I really like the way Starsceam is being written by. Scott, I kinda wish he wasn't being portrayed as the sole bad guy here. Granted, we're only two issues in, but that's half-way now. I want to see his side of this tale; I would totally by "The Starscream Version", you know what I'm sayin'?


Well, we are getting some of that in MTMTE, are we not? Plus, pretty much all of RID pre-DC was about him. :D

The perspective in this series is Windblade and Chromia's, mostly, and they're very much new to the whole planet and its ways. Through their eyes, Starscream, and Rattrap, are the sole bad guys!

That's how I read it, anyway. Obviously welcome to disagree. ;)
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1576298)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on May 22nd, 2014 @ 9:35am CDT
Va'al wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:While I really like the way Starsceam is being written by. Scott, I kinda wish he wasn't being portrayed as the sole bad guy here. Granted, we're only two issues in, but that's half-way now. I want to see his side of this tale; I would totally by "The Starscream Version", you know what I'm sayin'?


Well, we are getting some of that in MTMTE, are we not? Plus, pretty much all of RID pre-DC was about him. :D

The perspective in this series is Windblade and Chromia's, mostly, and they're very much new to the whole planet and its ways. Through their eyes, Starscream, and Rattrap, are the sole bad guys!

That's how I read it, anyway. Obviously welcome to disagree. ;)

Okay, so looking back at the RID comic, you're right: a lot of it was about Starscream. As for the current MTMTE, we really only got that one scene where they took a recess from the trial. I guess it counts.

And yes, the perspective is something I need to keep in mind. This is "Transformers: Windblade" after all, so I know it needs to focus on her. I just really want to see more of Starscream as drawn by Sarah Stone. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578860)
Posted by Va'al on June 2nd, 2014 @ 11:35am CDT
The folks over at comics distribution sub-site PREVIEWSworld were able to have a chat with IDW Publishing's Transformers writer Mairghread Scott, focusing on the Windblade mini-series which is now halfway through its run. Check out below some snippets, and head here for the full thing!

PREVIEWSworld: In putting together your story, what helped you get in the mood to draw this series? What resources or Transformers history did you draw from to help you visualize where you wanted to go with this series?

Mairghread Scott: Well, I always keep a running soundtrack for whatever I’m writing to help capture the right mood and this was no exception (MIA, Katy Perry and Franz Ferdinand got looped a lot on my iPad), but Sarah Stone, Windblade’s artist, really brought an expressiveness and vibrancy to the characters that I just kept trying to live up to. We drew on everything from Cheers to anime, to Star Trek TNG to try and give each character their own unique attitude and personality and Sarah’s art is all about both. We also tried hard to give them a level of grace and fluidity to their movements. Just because they’re robots, doesn’t mean they’re…you know, robots, and we really tried to push the envelop on both the human and alien aspects of the brand. In terms of lore, I really tried to reframe my brain to that of a newcomer with this series, to make sure I never assumed, “Oh, everyone knows this.” I also wanted to show off all the aspects of Transformers that I love so much: humor, political drama, really unique and challenging fight sequences and a total explosion of different sizes and shapes when it comes to the characters.

[...]

PREVIEWSworld: Will you be hitting the convention scene this year? And how can people get in touch with you using social media?

Mairghread Scott: I’m currently signed up for Bot Con and San Diego, but if I end up going to more I’ll be sure to mention it on Twitter and Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/mscottwrites).
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578877)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 2nd, 2014 @ 12:21pm CDT
Speaking of Windblade, I recently stumbled across this:

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578915)
Posted by Bounti76 on June 2nd, 2014 @ 3:05pm CDT
Sabrblade wrote:Speaking of Windblade, I recently stumbled across this:

Image


Hahahahaha!! TOO true.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578922)
Posted by Shadowstream on June 2nd, 2014 @ 3:32pm CDT
Bounti76 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:Speaking of Windblade, I recently stumbled across this:

Image


Hahahahaha!! TOO true.


Doesn't make her any less exempt from the ridicule as far as I'm concerned. At least Hot Rod wasn't our own damn fault.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578928)
Posted by Sabrblade on June 2nd, 2014 @ 3:50pm CDT
Shadowstream wrote:Doesn't make her any less exempt from the ridicule as far as I'm concerned. At least Hot Rod wasn't our own damn fault.
True, but at least Windblade, unlike Hot Rod and Drift, wasn't hyped as the greatest thing ever made that we all should totally fall head over heels in love with.

By comparison, Windblade's promotion and introduction have been vastly more tame and humble.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578946)
Posted by Shadowstream on June 2nd, 2014 @ 5:05pm CDT
Sabrblade wrote:
Shadowstream wrote:Doesn't make her any less exempt from the ridicule as far as I'm concerned. At least Hot Rod wasn't our own damn fault.
True, but at least Windblade, unlike Hot Rod and Drift, wasn't hyped as the greatest thing ever made that we all should totally fall head over heels in love with.

By comparison, Windblade's promotion and introduction have been vastly more tame and humble.

True, but the only reason it works out like that by comparison I feel has more to do with the huge difference in the transformers franchise between then and now, since there's just so much on the table coming of of the franchise at this point. Even so I still find Windblade overhyped within the realm she's meant to stand in.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1578977)
Posted by Blurrz on June 2nd, 2014 @ 10:15pm CDT
Buy

A

Drink

Or

Leave



<3
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1579021)
Posted by Va'al on June 3rd, 2014 @ 4:00am CDT
I thought you'd like him.. er.. you, Blurrz. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1580917)
Posted by Va'al on June 10th, 2014 @ 3:41pm CDT
IDW Publishing digital assistant Mariel Romero has been busy today! Another iTunes three-page preview has emerged, this time for the third issue of the Transformers: Windblade mini-series. Check out the images mirrored below - it's Terrorcon time.

THE FATE OF CYBERTRON! WINDBLADE learns more about the new face of CYBERTRON—and lesson number one is: never underestimate STARSCREAM! She’s trapped in a no-win situation—but what is the scheming DECEPTICON really after, and how far will he go to keep WINDBLADE out of his way?


Image

Image

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1580920)
Posted by Fires_Of_Inferno on June 10th, 2014 @ 3:57pm CDT
LOVE Slug's expression there. XD
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1580980)
Posted by #Sideways# on June 10th, 2014 @ 9:50pm CDT
I honestly don't think Starscream is trying to kill Windblade and friends (Windblade primarily) -- rather, I think it's Rattrap. He's already been established to be a backstabber (Starscream expressed it himself), and even though the fact is given that I have not read the comic yet so I cannot know whether or not logic has been presented otherwise, I cannot help but to feel that he is the true culprit. The motive I see is the fact that Rattrap is practically next in line to Starscream's position, and by framing him (it's pretty clear he's the primary suspect), it would make sense politically. Starscream's practically standing on the precipice of being ousted from office on a regular basis, and a scandal would just push his career right over the edge and into oblivion. I think that's who did it and why.

Good artwork, by the by, and hilarious Slug is hilarious.

"Buuuurrrrn"
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1581098)
Posted by Yweggo on June 11th, 2014 @ 9:24am CDT
What's Blur worried about? He has Slug. Dinobot vs. Terrorcon, I'm putting my money on the Dinobot.
And before anyone says there's only one Dinobot and at least three Terrorcons other guys can keep them busy, right?

Also, I'm glad to see the Terrorcons back in IDW.
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1583608)
Posted by Va'al on June 19th, 2014 @ 4:47am CDT
In further comics news from IDW Publishing, via Newsarama, we also get a full preview for the third in the four-issue mini-series of Transformers: Windblade - and it's time to fight for Metroplex, Cybertron and the Truth. Check the pages out below!

Transformers: Windblade #3 (of 4): Dawn of the Autobots
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sarah Stone (a & c)
THE FATE OF CYBERTRON! WINDBLADE learns more about the new face of CYBERTRON—and lesson number one is: never underestimate STARSCREAM! She’s trapped in a no-win situation—but what is the scheming DECEPTICON really after, and how far will he go to keep WINDBLADE out of his way?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
- WINDBLADE battles for the future of CYBERTRON!
- BLURR and the patrons of MACCADAM’S join the struggle against STARSCREAM!
- The biggest TRANSFORMERS character debut since DRIFT continues!
- Variant cover by Guido Guidi!


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1584319)
Posted by zwann on June 21st, 2014 @ 7:47am CDT
I love the art style, but funnily I always confuse between chromia and Blurr. Maybe if they gave Chromia thicker lips?
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1585613)
Posted by Va'al on June 25th, 2014 @ 2:36am CDT
Twisted Plot
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
THE FATE OF CYBERTRON! WINDBLADE learns more about the new face of CYBERTRON—and lesson number one is: never underestimate STARSCREAM! She’s trapped in a no-win situation—but what is the scheming DECEPTICON really after, and how far will he go to keep WINDBLADE out of his way?

Image
Hum, far..?


Story

We left Cybertron last month as Windblade, Chromia, the Maccadam's crew - the jolly jumble of Blurr, Snarl, Waspinator, Tankor and Tankor - and reporters Longtooth and Circuit entered the lower levels of Metroplex, as the Terrorcons prepared to pounce on the cast, and the battle was on the very brink of commencing.

Image
On the edge, even


The fight sequence that ensues, at the opening of the issue, is gloriously long with good narration and exposition (and world building, too) at just the right pacing from Mairghread Scott to not be either boring nor too much of a punch fest. And also serves its function as the first of many minor twists in the story of the mini-series so far, before some major changes towards the end. None of which I'll show.

Image
Have some air-fighting


Not only does the pacing work, with the captions recapping the story so far from Windblade's view, the dialogue aiding the progression of the story and some great exchanges in the aftermath of the fight, there's space for a little humour (without too much tonal discordance), and some very very dark moments during and after.

Image
Comedy gold


Starscream has some very nice traits in the issue, Rattrap is a little stinker, Windblade shines through her fighting skills, as does Chromia, the story goes in multiple directions at once, then returns to itself as everything changes - and we even get a new type of character introduced. Not a character, a type.

Art

The artwork, of course, makes my appreciation of the issue rise even further, with Sarah Stone's excellent panel work, returning to Longtooth's head camera (as in, his head is a camera) device and commentary on the technique. Combined with some brilliant facial expressions, the result is an issue of dynamic, clear fight sequences and truly terrifying moments later on.

Image
'Is this thing on?'


Moments which are expertly enhanced by Stone's use of colour and shading, and some great contrasts in how the light, be it fire, glow or else, reflects on and refracts off different Cybertronian surfaces and bodies. Add in some subtle touches in sound effects and lettering by Chris Mowry, and we get a truly thrilling addition to the mini-series.

Image
See? Stinker. And creep.


Additionally, not to forget, the covers. Stone's amazing 'crying' Windblade has made the rounds many times now, but Alex Milne and Joana Lafuente (thumbnail) create an impressive valiant rendition of the character, too. And continuing the 30th Anniversary celebratory series, Guido Guidi and John-Paul Bove recreate a victorious Stascream over Megatron for the retail incentive!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Well. I mean, well. Scott had me convinced that the story would be doing certain things, and then took it wildly away, only to drag it back and split it again and end it on a note that appeared from nowhere - but could still make sense. In the next issue. Because of course there's a cliffhanger that actually leaves you wanting more.

Image
What? WHY WHAT?!


So the narration works, the characters really work with and against each other, so many questions, points, issues, revelations are addressed and made to hang. There. Just hang. And then you get so much in terms of body language and expressions and behaviour in Stone's artwork and colours, a mixture of glee and repulsion, and - I just want more. Please?

(Though again, next issue is the last for now, at least until 2015. But still.)

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: - out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:
Re: IDW Transformers: Windblade #2 Review (1585705)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 25th, 2014 @ 12:07pm CDT
It will be a shame to see this series end. Its been a good read and the artwork is amazing, I hope she gets more tf work.

Also glad that Windblade is getting another series.

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