Friday, July 31, 2015

Review - Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot (@IDWPublishing)

"Let's just get through the next eight hours in peace and quiet."

For as much as the Autobots and Decepticons want to wage war against one another, there are some factions of Transformers who aren't as keen on the endless conflict. One of those is Windblade, who's struggling to find a way to unseat Starscream in more peaceful ways. In the meantime, she has to contend with other things, such as Arcee in Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Mairghread Scott, illustrated by Sara Pitra-Durocher, colored by Yamaishi and lettered by Tom B. Long.

Windblade and Chromia team up with Arcee to put an end to the menace of the Combiner Wars—but will they end each other first?

Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot is the latest in the property's history to star Windblade--the new darling of the Transformers universe--and Scott doesn't miss a beat in ensuring she's presented as a combat-ready and savvy Transformer. Much of the issue is something of a cat(s) and mouse game between Windblade, Chromia and Arcee that inadvertently creates a new enemy. Despite the seemingly simplistic nature of the issue, Scott does an excellent job of packing more important aspects of future storylines into it. It's a one-shot for sure, but Scott makes it both segue to the entire Transformers universe and be somewhat accessible to new readers. And the dialogue exchanges between Windblade and Arcee in particular are strong, demonstrating the respect each one has for the other.

Achieving the familiar look of the Transformers is Pitra-Durocher, who blends together the manufactured look of the Transformers with a grittiness. Her ability to convey the robot action is impressive, as it really allows the reader to feel more immersed in their world. Pitra-Durocher pays particular attention to making the Transformers feel less like giant heaps of metal and more like sentient beings. Page layouts are varied and present different panel arrangements in an effort to keep the action moving fast. Yamaishi's color choice ranges from bright pinks to neon greens to bright blues, saturating the issue in hues that provide colored contrasts between the characters.

Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot is a solid transition issue as IDW moves onto another phase of Transformers storytelling. The Combiner Wars are over, but it's clear there's still a lot of work to be done on the part of everyone who survived. Scott is clearly no stranger to the Transformers comic universe at this point and her comfort with the characters and universe makes for an effortless read. The renderings of the Transformers by Pitra-Durocher are clean and effective, supporting the case that they're a force to be reckoned with. Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot will find an audience for sure with everyone following the universe at IDW so far, but it can also be picked up by new readers a primer for what's to come.

Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot is in stores now.


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