10 January 2017

Review: The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Volume 4: Coda by Mike Costa, Chee Yang Ong, et al.

Short Trips triple threat! This weekend I posted reviews of three Doctor Who short stories to USF: "Damascus" featuring the third Doctor and Prime Minister Jeremy, "A Full Life" featuring the fourth Doctor and Adric, and "The Toy" featuring the fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Of course the one with Adric was best.

Comic PDF eBook, n.pag.
Published 2010 (contents: 2009)
Acquired August 2014
Read August 2016
The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Volume 4: Coda

Written by Simon Furman, Mike Costa, Shane McCarthy, Andy Schmidt, Nick Roche, Denton J. Tipton, Zander Cannon
Art by Don Figueroa, Chee Yang Ong, Emiliano Santalucia, Andrew Griffith, Nick Roche, Casey Coller, Guido Guidi
Colors by James Brown, Moose Baumann, Josh Burcham, Kris Carter, Joana Lafuente
Letters by Chris Mowry

Most, though not all, of the eight stories collected in this volume are codas to the main saga of All Hail Megatron, moving the pieces into position for what comes next in the ongoing series written by Mike Costa (of which I have only read the first volume). The eight stories are by seven different writers and seven different artists, many of them old IDW standbys like Simon Furman and Nick Roche.

A few promised something really interesting to come, like "Uneasy Lies the Head." Starscream, following the events of volume 2 of All Hail Megatron, is now the leader of the Decepticons. Yet with the Decepticons sent packing from Earth, he can only lead them into failure, and the lesson he learned in All Hail Megatron was that he didn't deserve to be leader except if he took power by force; that is the Decepticon philosophy. So what is he to do? He uses the fact that he possesses the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to rally everyone to his side while Megatron recuperates... but outside of that he has no idea:
"Having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
from The Transformers: All Hail Megatron #13 (script by Mike Costa, art by Chee Yang Ong)

Some are clearly doing set-up work, like "The Man of Steel," where Spike Witwicky is put in charge of a Transformers-hunting unit and given more of a personal reason to hate the Transformers, when he's brutally injured by Ravage. (I'm not sure why this was needed, given that the Transformers killed billions in All Hail Megatron, but I guess that wasn't personal enough.)

Some didn't do much for me, like "Old Ways," where Ironhide wants to retire but doesn't. I can't tell Ironhide apart from all the other robots still, and Figueroa's redesigns make everyone look hella creepy. Some draw on earlier continuity that I didn't know anything about, like "Rebirth," about what Galvatron is doing in space or something. Or there's "Replay," which exists only to retcon Devastation so that Sunstreaker's actions in All Hail Megatron seem more justified.

Optimus Prime is going to eat your soul.
from The Transformers: All Hail Megatron #13 (script by Simon Furman, art by Don Figueroa)

It was with the stories "Everything in Its Right Place" and "Lost & Found" that the IDW continuity began to click into place for me, where I began to be able to see how these characters moved from story to story and changed and developed. In "Everything in Its Right Place," Autobot scientist Perceptor joins Kup's team to monitor him, since Kup has gone insane but cannot spared, and Perceptor's cure requires constant monitoring. From there, Perceptor appears in the Drift story in volume 3 of All Hail Megatron, where he's badly injured. Then he appears back in this volume, in "Lost & Found," where he decides to upgrade himself to be more of a fighter than a scientist. "Lost & Found" leads directly into volume 1 of All Hail Megatron, where Kup's team crashlands on Cybertron, and the Autobots already on Cybertron are flabbergasted by what a badass sharpshooter Perceptor is now. And Perceptor will go on to play a key role in the excellent Last Stand of the Wreckers. It's tangled, obviously, but once I decoded that tangle with the help of the Transformers wiki, I was impressed, and the massive ongoing story of the IDW Transformers tales began to come into focus.

Blaster's always gotta complain about something. (That's Blaster, right?)
from The Transformers: All Hail Megatron #15 (script by Denton J. Tipton, art by Casey Coller)

Next Week: Optimus Prime discovers how hard it is to stick it out on Earth, even when you've decided to dedicated yourself to service For All Mankind!

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