Thursday, October 7, 2010
Review: Marvel G1 #70: The Price of Life!
The cover is perfect; a close up of the Ratchet / Megatron fusion screaming in agony, holding up a sign saying 'help us.' The image is grotesque, but in a good way. They look like they're in agony, and yet could rip you to shreds. For a bit of ironic humor, look to the top of the image.
The issue starts exactly where the last issue left off. (In fact, I'll talk more about that at the end.) The Megatron/Ratchet hybrid has stepped off the dimensional portal, lumbering towards Optimus, Nightbeat, and Waverider. While they all stand around, numbed by shock, Kup happens by and takes decisive action, shooting at the creature. This spurs Megatron to action, despite Ratchet's protests. It shambles off into the corridor, leaving the Autobots dazed. Kup wants to go put it down, but Prime insists that they have to try to save it. The dialogue here is terrific, with both Kup and Prime raising excellent points. I also love the monster's attempt at speech; "DHH AWABUS!" it crries as it shoves Kup, Waverider, and Nightbeat into a wall.
Grimlock approaches the island holding the spring of Nucleon. The second guardian appears, an underwater mechanoid with a nifty design. It too cries things like "non must feed" and "defend the well." As the TF Wiki points out, that latter phrase can be read in two ways, both appropriate. The third guardian is a sad, pathetic little dying creature. He points out that Nucleon made his 'friends' crazy and cursed him to a more painful death than he would otherwise experience. What, he asks, will it do to Transformers?" Grimlock realizes he can't subject his Dinobots to this, not without some assurances that Nucleon is non toxic for Cybertronians... and tests it on himself! It energizes his circuits, making him feel more alive than ever, and so he begins to revive his crew. The tiny dying mechanoid sits in the corner, muttering that time will tell. We get another exciting battle, more pathos, and some great foreshadowing of things to come.
In addition to the Optimus / Ratchet characterization, Kup is really starting to come into his own. He's a great foil to Optimus, practical where Optimus is idealistic. Furman was a big fan of the movie, which is probably why a random Targetmaster is getting so much love.
And there you have it. Another fantastic issue, bristling with raw energy. The passion of the creative team is evident, and at this point over a year of set-up is starting to pay off in spades. Next issue, "the issue you thought you'd never see (heck, we didn't think we'd see it either, and we produced it!): SURRENDER!" Sounds amazing. The Price of Life is available in IDW Publishing's Classic Transformers, Vol. 5, and comes highly recommended. Pick up a copy at Amazon.com if you haven't already.