Thursday, November 11, 2010
Review: Marvel G1 #74: The Void!
The cover features Optimus Prime and Scorponok, side-by-side gainst the hordes of Unicron. It says so itself! Still sporting the damages they've sustained from issues 70-73, they face off against a swarm of robots wearing Unicron masks. The alliance is intact, it would seem. For some reason this cover fails to excite me. I feel like it should, it's well rendered and the idea of the alliance facing off against minions of Unicron feels right and natural. I can't put my finger on my issue with it. Perhaps it's just not as brilliant as the rest of the book, or perhaps it's the odd white background. Maybe it's that the cover fails to surprise; it is rather expected, in a way.
The book itself opens in a rather unexpected way. We get a full page of almost nothing, with Unicron curled up in the center. The title of the book is incorporated into the narrative, which I always like. We then cut to a two-page spread of the Primus-possessed-Xaaron going over the Transformers' creation myth, which leads into a two-page spread of the assembled Transformers, complete with logo. It's really very well done. It's been a while, well over a year, since we were introduced to the idea of Primus and Unicron, so it's nice to see it reviewed here right in time for the big finale. What a motley crew populates the book!
We get one more interlude, seeing Thunderwing fully repaired and the dark Matrix make its way to Cybertron for revenge, before cutting back to the Autobot and Decepticon reinforcements who have arrived to save the day. Side by side, they battle the Unicron minions. Scorponok is stopped from killing the last one by Optimus. They are, after all, beings possessed. Primus hails the wisdom of Optimus, and informs the assembled Transformers that this was his plan all along, to flush out those Cybertronians corrupted by Unicron's will. Naming Optimus leader was a ploy. Optimus' misgivings increase, but before he can do anything about them he collapses in pain again, begging his 'friend' to fight it. Hi-Q? Once again, Furman's use of the lore of Transformers past creates compelling layers of story. How easy it would have been to forget about Optimus' Nebulon companion, but instead he becomes an important plot point.
Another terrific installment in the Transformers saga, this was. The plot continues to build, as all threads converge on Cybertron. Even as this goes on, Furman is laying the foundation for the next story, the life after Unicron plotline. It's such an absolute joy to read these issues, to appreciate the deftness with which Furman weaves together disparate elements from both his own run and Budiansky's. Issue #75 feels absolutely perfectly set up. I can't wait to read it again.
The only hint we get for next month is the 'to be continued...' at the end of the last page. I don't think any more needed to be said about what we're going to see next issue. The Void! caps off IDW Publishing's Classic Transformers, Vol. 5, available for purchase at Amazon.com.