Transformers Armada #14

Story: Worlds Collide (Part One)
Publisher: Dreamwave
Release date: August 2003
Cover variants: One cover
Cover price: $2.95
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Don Figueroa (pencils) Elaine To (inks) David Cheung (colors)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Overrun, Galvatron


Synopsis:

By Ian Arrowsmith

Unicron is coming to destroy the Armada universe and has sent a herald to clear a path!

After foiling Megatron's latest scheme for more Mini-con power in the Alaskan wilderness, Autobot leader Optimus Prime finds himself inexplicably transported to his home planet of Cybertron. Unfortunately his arrival is anything but a happy homecoming, as he discovers the planet is now in total ruins. Meanwhile on Earth, a mysterious new Mini-con appears clutching an item of untold power...

Autobase, Earth: An energetic Hot Shot wonders why he has been summoned by the space bridge to Earth when the Autobots agreed to only use it in emergencies. Smokescreen feels this qualifies. A barely functional Optimus Prime has appeared and it is not the Prime they know but a counterpart from another dimension. As the Autobots and Mini-cons gather the strange Prime speaks and warns them apocalyptically that "chaos is coming" and then he is gone.

In San Francisco the newly arrived Mini-con Overrun searches for a way to summon the Autobots to pick him up. As he enters a construction site, the action switches to the Cybertron where mysterious figures emerge from a portal. They are servants of the dark God, Unicron, and their task is to prepare this reality for imminent consumption.

In Nebraska, Megatron is trying to find a Decepticon competent enough to fix their malfunctioning space bridge, but gets no luck with Starscream and Demolisher. Leader-1 suggests 'outside interference' may be effecting the portal and the paranoid Megatron can only think this is part of an attack by his enemies.

Meanwhile Overrun has sent his message and is hoping that friendly forces reach him before his enemies do. The Autobots detect evidence of a trans-dimensional vessel and dispatch Hot Shot and some Mini-cons to investigate. They hope whoever has traversed the dimensional barriers can tell them what has become of their Optimus Prime and how to get him back. Unfortunately for Overrun, Starscream and Demolisher have also picked up the signal and blast the incoming Autobot shuttle. Starscream finds Overrun cowering in fear, but it turns out that the cause of his trepidation is the shadowy figure of Galvatron! Starscream is flung back and Hot Shot is just as easily repelled, followed by the Decepticon Thrust, who arrives hoping to bag a Mini-con. Galvatron now turns his attention to his target.. only to discover that Overrun has fled.

He steps into a portal and vanishes and moments later Mirage (having shielded the Mini-con with invisibility) reveals himself and they are safe.

******

Comments:

The pacing starts out slow as we are kept moving from one scene to another, never allowing any to develop very far except for the moment at the end when all interested parties descend on the Mini-con. It does at least increase as the issue progresses and is not all over the place as it sometimes is in these 'many scene change' issues. The story is coherent and part of the same arc, there is no obvious diversions to sub plots and the like. The use of an alternate Optimus prime - as if to replace the missing one - is good and neither wasted nor overdone, it simply adds to the atmosphere as it delivers its message. It does not conquer the whole issue doing so.

It is a good beginning to a story, one that I'm not entirely sure is suited to the Armada comic. It is more of an attempt to get Generation 1 comic readers into the Armada comic. In a way I think a story like this may be more suitable appearing in a beast wars comic as we know the Generation 1 Transformers are around then. Time travel Transformers fans are familiar with but inter-dimensional stuff is a bit more out there, never the less though the story shows promise and does provide a reasonable entry point for more casual readers.

Don's interpretation of the Armada universe is welcome as he has a slightly different style to others who have drawn the comics. He does this while retaining the look and feel of Armada. The way he draws Galvatron in an Armada style gives a fresh look to an old figure, giving him a sleek and cut look. The five figures that teleport in to Cybertron are depicted in just enough detail that the reader can make an intelligent guess as to who they are but at the same time the game is not given away completely.

Steve says: Worlds Collide part 1 reminds me a lot of the opening instalment of Target 2006, which Furman penned some 18 years earlier. The idea of Prime vanishing in a bizarre way only to be replaced by a strange visitor is a theme which Target 2006 explored, and of course that story also made Galvatron's debut. I also got a deja vu for Terminator 2 when reading the scenes set in the darkened building site, as it was all very reminiscent of the arrival of the liquid metal T1000 in the film. The time travel aspect of Target 2006 has been traded for alternate dimensions in this story. It is a new and novel concept for Transformers, but useful in that it provides a basis in which the G1 charcters and Armada can interact in the future.

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