Transformers Armada #17
Story: Worlds Collide (Part Four)
Release date: November 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
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
A combined Prime-Jetfire robot and Mini-con power. Can it be too much even for Unicron?
Inside the Decepticon HQ at Silver Ridge, Sparkplug and the enigmatic Over-Run have found the pod they need to help retrieve Optimus Prime. Now all they need is the spatial coordinates so they know where to look. On the alternate Cybertron Optimus Prime is running out of time as Unicron approaches. Spinister, who is native to this reality, decides to embrace his doom and hurls himself into the vortex that Unicron is creating, leaving Prime left alone in a storm of rubble. He fears his fate may be just as inevitable, and moments later Spinister reappears as a ghost. Prime realises he is an anomaly from some other reality that Unicron consumed and doomed re-enact his fate again, probably in the Armada dimension next.
On the real Cybertron Jetfire and his Autobot comrades are looking for a way to shut down the Decepticon space bridge nexus. They resolve on torching the place, and this alerts the other 'heralds' in the Decepticon base, Earth, who decide they must return to Cybertron immediately. Their departure gives Over-Run and the others the chance they need. With 75,890, 007 realities scanned, Prime has been located and they initiate their transport.
Megatron, meanwhile, has defeated Galvatron with the help from the Star Saber. The Autobot-allied Mini-cons have no intention of letting him keep the powerful weapon, and Wreckage, Knock out and Bonecrusher rely on the element of surprise to shoot it out of his hands.Meanwhile at the Space bridge nexus, Jetfire and Blurr are almost prepared to detonate their explosives. They are getting company though, as the heralds move to attack from all sides. Jetfire orders his troop to withdraw while he stays behind to finish the job. Having set the charges he decides the only way to go is through a portal.
Optimus calls out "Jetfire?" he has come through to the same reality as Optimus. They welcome each other in time for the end of the world. Or rather the end of this alternate reality. Sparkplug and the others arrive through the dimensions and Sparkplug power-links with Optimus. Over-Run passes over an artefact from his world, a Mini-con Matrix, infused with the power of all of the Mini-cons from his reality. Prime and Jetfire are reformatted, but it is more than a casual redesign, they now have the means to take the fight to Unicron. The two Autobots combine and make their presence felt, the planet devourer a wake-up call, before heading back to their own domain. They make it back safely knowing that Unicron will be coming and they must prepare for his arrival.
The final part in the four-part series finishes in a flurry of inter-dimensional activity. It is consistently paced throughout and it helps the flow through the interlinking storylines. As long as you have kept up with the story so far you should be able to easily follow it. Even to the casual reader, the comic will have some appeal, if only for some of the stunning art in the book.
In the Nexus of Space Bridges, we see hints of other Transformers universes such as a 'Robots in Disguise' Optimus Prime and some of the Beast Wars cast. Then near the end we get to see a schematic of Optimus Prime as the mini-con matrix powers him up. How long Don took on that I can only guess but his attention to detail in it is quite staggering. The panels in this issue are dynamic but they also stay clear and defined so it's easy to follow and this also adds to the artistic effect.
The G1 characters in the series were used well, mainly because they weren't overused (and thus detracting from the Armada characters), but also because they remained menacing and mysterious throughout. I'm all for keeping stories compact but I do think that in some cases more could be made of things though, like we could have seen longer battles less jumps in the action, maybe this is the result of the more dynamic panelling and less use of the traditional 3x3 panel format. All in all though, a good run with no glaring faults.