War and Peace #3

Title: Cold War
Publisher: Dreamwave
Release date: June 2003
Cover variants: Autobot, Decepticon
Price: $2.95
Writer: Brad Mick
Artwork: Pat Lee (pencils) Rob Armstrong (inks)
Rating: Art / Story


By Ian Arrowsmith

The Dinobots are unleashed on Cybertron and that spells bad news for Shockwave's followers!

Cybertron 3,000 years ago: Shockwave is surrounded by Sharkticons. It is the first time he has felt fear and to him it is an uncontrollable sensation. With his energon levels depleting he feels it even more so. Then 'it' appears striking swiftly from above tearing the Sharkticons apart and brutally destroying them. The impressive fighter is a mighty warrior and a piece of engineering the likes of which Shockwave has never seen. He is Scourge and he commands Shockwave: "On your feet weakling!"

In the present day, Shockwave tells a captive Alpha Trion that meeting Scourge was the first step in his longterm gameplan. Scourge is the key to something (although we don't know what) and with another analysis failed, Shockwave vows that he will break Alpha Trion, who is resisting despite being bound by cables and connected to a computer system.

In Alaska, Earth, the Autobots whom Optimus Prime dispatched before surrendering to Ultra Magnus are out searching for Decepticons. Jazz, Windcharger and Brawn were hoping to find the mysterious Decepticon who warned them about Shockwave (Scourge in issue #1) in the hopes that he can shed some light on events, but there is no sign of his body. The stasis pod also seems to have disappeared - but who has taken them? They radio Ratchet and Wheeljack who surmise that the chances of surviving the blast of gamma radiation are slim to none. Hidden in the nearby trees a human is observing Jazz and the other Autobots with some form of vision enhancing binoculars. Elsewhere, an earthen military man and accompanying scientist are discussing the progress made with their most recent specimen - the recently fallen Scourge! There are problems for the humans as Scourge's circuitry seems to be far in advance to anything they have studied previously.

In deep space a ship emerges from a wormhole and it is the Dinobots! They have some difficulty trying to keep the craft in one piece and their struggle is observed from the surface of Cybertron by the rebels Hot Rod, Blurr and Springer. The ship crashes and renders its occupants inactive and Shockwave dispatches Octane to the impact site to find out what happened. Rumble and Frenzy are given a last chance to make up for their sloppiness in letting Megatron disappear into space, as Shockwave hands them a disc to access the detention banks in Quadrant Epsilon. Their task is top secret and must be completed without detection. In their jolly manner they assure Shockwave they will not fail him this time. As Ultra Magnus is communicating with Topspin, to make sure no-one lays a hand on the captive Autobots, Rumble and Frenzy come down the corridor bickering and bump into the much-larger Transformer. Rumble tells Magnus to watch where he's going and the Autobot sharply responds that he is not in a good mood. Magnus wants explanations from Shockwaves as to why the Autobots have been scheduled to be deactivated and is given justification courtesy of recordings of the Autobot battles from volume 1.

In the wastelands the Decepticon ship that brought the Dinobots to Cybertron is a flaming wreck. Octane nudges at one of the injured dinos with the butt of his gun. Meanwhile Rumble and Frenzy enter the detention banks and set off the reactivation sequence for the criminals known as the Stunticons! They fail to notice Starscream sneaking up on them and he forces the mini-cassettes to ally with him or else! Back at Iacon, Perceptor argues for a full investigation into s recent disturbances and meets with resistance from the council, who are reluctant to antagonise Shockwave in light of his considerable achievements. Magnus appeals to the council that their freedoms are being stripped away - and Red Alert receives word that the Stunticons have escaped the detention banks!

Elsewhere a battle has taken place between the Dinobots and Octane which resulted in the triple changer's head getting cut off. At Grimlock's request they toss it over the side of their transport and continue on the way to the action in Iacon. Not far away in the capital Shockwave is exectuting dessenters in the smelting pools and it appears that he has released the Stunticons to keep Magnus occupied. The ground shakes indicating that the Dinobots have begun to attack the city, and at Sandstorm busts Optimus out of prison and guides him into some old slave tunnels. But before he can reveal anything to Optimus, he is gunned down by a mystery attacker who then moves in for Optimus Prime!



Well Shockwave seems to have it all under control. So far Brad Mick has managed to put together a fairly believable story as to what could have happened to Cybertron for all those years that the original Transformers were battling on earth. The story comes across to me, as being a bit cinematic at times, like it would make a good cartoon episode or something. There are so many areas that could've been expanded on, like Rumble & Frenzy journeying to the detention banks, and the escapades of the Dinobots. In this case the comic could do with being a bit longer. There isn't much action in this comic though there is room for much. You can see though that Brad is trying to add little bits to the characters personalities not try and a lot to anyone. But as with Chris's writing in volume 1, Brad only gives Optimus Prime thought bubbles on a regular basis, at least so far.

We miss out on the Dinobots battle with the Triplechanger Octane, in one scene we see him stumbling across the Dinobots, in another we see the Dinobots toying with his decapitated head. Which is all very well but how did it get there? One thing which is evident throughout a lot of the Transformers work so far is that Dreamwave really know how to make use of special effects in their art, whether it be a blur to depict shaking or a dramatic colour to show lasers, it always works out well. I'm just looking forward to when they give this volume some action on Cybertron so that they can really show off their stuff.

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