War Within: The Dark Ages #3
Release date: December 2003
Cover variants: Regular cover
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andrew Wildman (pencils) Erik Sander (inks)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Trypticon
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
Springer leaps into action against Ratbat, while the gestalts battle!
At the Tagan Heights, a premier industrial area of Cybertron Springer has broken free from the cables that had him tangled. Moving at great speed and looking quite mad, he pounces on Ratbat. He yells at Ratbat that was a reason why gestalts like Devastator and Defensor, were left non-allied. That reason quickly becomes apparent to them all when Devastator's foot nearly crushes Springer AND Ratbat. Once the shaking has past their duel continues, Springer's reflexes serving him well allowing him to avoid shots. Ratbat is eventually floored, but he has lit the fuse by activating a combiner group in this part of the industrial quadrant - things are expected to go sky high.
Elsewhere at Iacon, Jetfire is busy coming to terms with the situation it seems everything is happening. This is no strange occurrence but as it's all happening at the same time it is of particular concern. Could some force be a work provokomg all this trouble? There is a pattern there but Jetfire cant see it yet. Trailbreaker and Bluestreak tell Jetfire that they are off to check on the 'upgraded mobile command base' (Trypticon). Jetfire knows all too well of the perils as he was the one that submitted a detailed report on the prototype.
The Iacon border regions: Prowl, Jazz and the other Autobots are about to head into the place where they expect this new super weapon to be. It has been pretty much a ghost state since the Decepticons purged it. They reach the target area Prowl tells them to be ready for anything. And that is exactly what they get as they stumble into Trypticon's path and he awakens, deciding he could use a proper workout!
The fight between Devasatator and Defensor in the Tagan Heights continues. The combiner groups exchange verbal volleys and uppercuts and start to smash up everything around them. The Wreckers are trapped in the area and Twintwist suggests they dig their way to safety. The others hate to duck out of a fight but this one is out of their league. Springer takes matters into his own hands by appealing to Defensor to remember that he is formed of the five Protectobots and is supposed to be defending/protecting the area from destruction. As the message sinks in, Devastator lands a blow on Defensors face, leaving Springer to fend for himself. He doesn't seem to be putting up a good fight, but he has got Devastator's attention, and allows the separated Protectobots to formulate a plan. They get in close and plug a cable into Devastator's ankle, then throw a switch and electrify him! The giant fries and then breaks apart into his component Constructicons.
Meanwhile back at the Autobase Jetfire is still trying to work out the pattern to the information that is flooding in. The 'logical' thing to do is to contact a fellow scientist, even if that happens to be the Decepticon Shockwave. Both have reached the conclusion that someone is influencing events on Cybertron and perhaps they can achieve results if their combine their knowledge. A meeting point in the Neutral Territory is arranged... but there could be a spanner in the works, as Grimlock has seen the transmission and decides he has a traitor to deal with.
Now a few issues down the line I can begin to see why some people slated Andrew Wildman for his pencils in this series, his style is quite as clean cut as most of the other Dreamwave artists. When he draws transformers they aren't all straight lines and refined features, he roughens them up a bit. Sometimes it doesn't look so good other times it suits really well. Some of the images I was still very impressed with but since my last read I noticed quite a few dodgy ones as well. On the whole I still really like his drawings of Jetfire, but in this issue his Springer did look a bit dodgy at times.
The Fallen didn't feature in this issue, which is surprising as he is supposed to be the main villain. I guess some room had to be left for everyone else to do something. In a way it preserves the mystery a bit longer but by the time we find out who he is and what he is up to, I worry that I will have forgotten some of the plot threads. A bit more explanation as the story goes along would be better. Another confusing thing is that the traditional Autobots and Decepticons are broken up and we have all these new factions. It is hard to know who belongs where (maybe that's the point, as the writer is trying to show Cybertron in chaos - ed).