Thursday, October 14, 2010
Review: Marvel G1 #71: Surrender!
It's a fantastic cover, simple and powerful. Optimus prime crouches in the rain, having removed his Autobot symbol and placed it at Scorponok's feet. the Transformers logo is hollow, and rain can be seen through it. 'Surrender!' it says, simply, elegantly. It's a terrific image, one that appears in the book, and one that's thematically perfect for the story in question. How can you be a Transformers fan and not love this image?
The issue opens in the distant past, during an early turning point in the Civil War between Autobot and Decepticon. With their position nearly overrun, a soldier begs Optimus Prime to surrender to the Decepticons. Optimus asks for the white flag, but uses it to bind his wounds. They're Autobots, he explains. They NEVER give up ground and they never, never surrender! "Never Surrender!" echos as Optimus leads a counter-attack. A simple vignette, but one that's nicely contrasted by an abrupt cut to the present.
After a brief cut back to a frustrated Optimus Prime pacing about a rather large cell, we flash to Cybertron. (This was the slicker transition, as poor Optimus frets that Unicron may have already reached Cybertron.) Unicron hasn't, but Galvatron has. Galvatron makes mincemeat (that's not the right metaphor for robots I suppose) out of the Autobot resistance, seeminly effortlessly dispatching them. Emirate Xaaron reluctantly agrees to flee, to rekindle the flames of resistance elsewhere. Even as he boards a tram in the sewers of Cybertron to flee, he hears the pontification of Galvatron, foretelling of the coming of Unicron. It's another emotionally resonant scene. Galvatron seem implacable, unstoppable, and he's just the overture. Things on Cybertron seem bleak indeed.
Overall, it's another amazing issue. There is a surprising amount of action packed in, but it's the pathos that really resonates. Plot after plot thread get woven into the narrative. The artwork continues to dazzle. I love Wildman's interpretation of Galvatron, and in fact spent a lot of time trying to track down a piece of his original artwork. (Sadly, I've never succeeded, though I have an amazing Guido Guidi Galvatron that was used as a lithograph.) Things continue to get more and more exciting, and we still have four issues to go until the big #75.
Next issue, we're promised 'the wrath of Galvatron! The return of the Dinobots! The coming of Unicron! All this... and CIVIL WAR 2!' Sounds fantastic; I can't wait to review it! Surrender! is available in IDW Publishing's Classic Transformers, Vol. 5. If you haven't read it yet, buy this book immediately and do so!