The War Within #6
Release date: March 2003
Cover variants: Regular
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Don Figueroa (pencils) Elaine To (inks) Rob Ruffolo (colors)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
Having seen off Megatron, Optimus leads the fightback for Iacon!
We see Optimus with a disc in hand, given to him by Gravitas; it contains the wisdom of all the previous primes. Iacon is falling to pieces with explosions everywhere; this is the first arc of the reign of Optimus prime. Within Cybertron, Optimus, wielding Grimlocks sword seeks out megatron. All the while Kup Ironhide & Wheeljack are having a hard time dealing with constructicons but starscream seems oblivious to the fact that the mechaforming structure won't work... All he is interested in is that Iacon, Shockwave and the Autobots are gone.
As Iacon continues to go up in smoke Shockwave orders the Decepticons to move out before they are all blown up, and just in time Jazz awakens a stunned Prowl so that they can make their escape. Coming out of the shadows Megatron tries to surprise Optimus, ducking to avoid Optimus then starts laying into Megatron using Grimlock's sword. As damage starts to fly of Megatron he is in denial, the game was Megatron's he rigged it and planned it all. Optimus is now playing the game and not just being a pawn. No limits, no conscience... whatever it takes to get the job done. With a series of epic blows, Megatron battle damaged and seemingly mortally wounded is fallen.
Back above Motormaster tries to sneak up on Ironhide and Kup but is foiled by an overbearing Grimlock. Meanwhile the mechaforming substructure is going to tear cybertron apart as the control rostrum fuses, destroying any chance of shutting the process down, Starscream doesn't want anyone else to have it if he can't. As the fallen Motormaster tumbles down a cliff, Kup and Ironhide realise that Grimlock - alone has come to their aid. No sooner has Grimlock appeared than Optimus prime appears on the scene. He unites the Autobots to their cause and Kup and Ironhide seem to take some pleasure from this. Giving wheeljack his orders, Grimlock questions Optimus's authority over his troop. Optimus does not falter at this challenge, things are getting done his way now. When questioned on whether or not Optimus took care of business, Optimus gives Grimloack the answer stating he did what had to be done; in the same cell we see a shot of Grimlock's sword standing alone in the ground, where Optimus fought Megatron.
When the chips are down the Starscream we all know and love usually ditches everyone and today is no exception, he flees as all his allies fall before him. Letting him go, Optimus gets Wheeljack underway, Optimus calling the shots clears the area of autobuts while wheeljack blows the turbine powering the transformation sky-high. Else where Prowl and company notices that the planets tremors have stopped.
Talking to his troops Optimus reveals that they will be leaving no longer as he realises their responsibility as a race to protect their world and for now they will go underground and fight the war within Cybertron. Within, Megatron is still functional; he and Soundwave walk away to fight another day. As this volume comes to a close, Optimus talks to Grimlock about how everyone walks a fine line within and that the battle within is what makes us what we truly are. Showing the given to him by gravitas, Optimus tells Grimlock he would rather walk hi own path than those before him as he throws the disc into space.
The final issue of a groundbreaking series, I don't know about many other people, but for me whatever G1 vol. 1 lacked, Dreamwave certainly made up for it here. Seeing a range of characters in new stylised forms has been very pleasant to the eyes. Certainly I think this series allowed Dreamwave the fresh start they were looking for that G1 was never going to give.
However with regards to this issue once again I was not disappointed, having re-read all the war within series to write these reviews, this issue is without doubt my favourite. The dialogue reveals the most about the character's psyche and feelings towards their surroundings, and as steve has already mentioned Dreamwave/ Simon Furman don't seem to be a fan of thought bubbles in this series, so the dialogue remains the only way to find out about what the characters are thinking most of the time. It is good to see the dynamic of how all the characters react to Optimus.
The artwork is also stunning. Lots of detail is included on the battle damaged Transformers and several transformation sequences are shown, including Optimus Motormaster and Starscream, you can actually see that they would in real life as Don has really done his home work. I also really liked the scene where you could see Kup and Ironhides joy when Optimus started to take charge of things.
Only irk I really had with this issue was Starscreams determination not to let go of his plans, I mean I'm sure if he just thought about it he could actually have pulled it all off, but I suppose that wouldn't be Starscream would it. The last two pages at the end of the book are not just relevant to transformers but can be relevant to all of us. I think the message, if that is what's intended, is well portrayed.