Written and drawn by Nick Roche
Covers by Nick Roche and Trevor Hutchison
Written by Mike Costa
Art by E.J. Su
Alternate covers by Don Figueroa and Andrew Wildman
First, let’s take a look at last week’s final chapter of Last Stand of the Wreckers. I wasn’t a fan of this series when it started, largely because it didn’t focus on the Wreckers I wanted to see. Was Impactor one of the originals from the Marvel run? I didn’t read it, so I don’t know. Pyro? Guzzle? Ironfist? And… wait… Verity Carlo, the kid from Infiltration? Really!? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!? Where were Drift, Whirl, and Roadbuster? Why didn’t we get to see more Perceptor and Springer?
As the series progressed, I continued to be disappointed by the cast, and for the most part, non-plussed by the story. The Wreckers (sort of) are liberating the Last Resort from the villainouse Overlord. No, not Overlord. Or Overlord. Overlord. Yeah, way to generic up a name, Transformers lore. I know it’s not Roche’s fault. He’s just using an obscure character with a generic name from days gone by, brought to life initially by other writers at other companies. It’s nostalgia… for someone. But as Overlord barely ever appearaed in the states, it was completely lost on me.
Then the final chapter dropped and things changed a bit. The focus was shifted a bit more to the established characters, and the action stopped being about nameless drones getting dismembered and instead became about the Wreckers and their titular “last stand.” No, they aren’t all killed, and the implication in this mini-series is that their roster is a rotating one, so it’s silly to think this will actually be any sort of actual last stand. Still, it was a fantastic “final” battle that left some bots dead and others critically wounded. The last time we saw a bot get critically wounded, he went from being a meek science officer to a badass sniper. What could be in store for our current crop of convalescing combatants?
And speaking of convalescing, what’s the story in Transformers #7? Why, it’s the musings of the murderous mastermind, Megatron! The chief ‘Con has been recuperating, observing his soldiers actions (somehow, though I’m not exactly clear on how he knows what Razorfist’s been up to outside the compound), and he’s none too pleased. The big bad is preparing to make his return and recapture first the role of leader from Starscream and then the Decepticon’s dominance from the now complacent Autobots.
It’s a fairly quiet issue, minus the ‘Con on ‘Con cannibalism, but it serves its purpose. The only real flaw in the whole issue – to my eyes – is the invention of the Cerebro Shell, something we’ve seen Bombshell and the Decepticons use previously in the IDW Universe. Maybe I’m just not getting it, but it seems an odd “invention” at this point in time.
The art on these two books would be fine, except that both books left me, at times, at a loss for which semi-generic characters I was looking at. Maybe it’s the rank-and-file nature of some of these ‘Cons to be all too indentical, but… damn. The guy getting eaten in Transformers #7 looked just like one of the Decepticons pursuing him, but then refers to a “brother” who is apparently a different character altogether – though presumably similar in appearance, too? Transformers are just not easy to draw distinctly, and there are few artists who really and truly nail it.
When all is said and done, Last Stand of the Wreckers #5 and Transformers #7 both get 4 out of 5 dismembered Cybertronians; LSotW more for its promise of things to come than its place as the final chapter of the mini, TF equally for its chilling look inside the Decepticon despot’s psyche and the tease of his eventual return.
* EDIT: Upon looking back through Transformers #7, I see that much of my confusion came from colorist J. Brown’s application of… god, I don’t know what he was trying to do. It looks like every single robot has some sort of camo paint job, and this is what was getting two of the characters confused in my head. Somehow, I hadn’t noticed it on others, presumably because I already knew them and wasn’t relying on their paint jobs to identify them. Anyhow, the point is, I rescind my criticism of E.J. Su’s art, but the issue retains the rating thanks to Brown’s coloring.