Despite some interest in Transformers comics last year, mainly in Chris Metzen’s Transformers: Autocracy, I never really took the full dip. I read a few scattered issues here and there but that’s about it. Nothing concrete. And then a few weeks IDW announced that following the intense Dark Cybertron story arc there would be a new mini-series coming up that would focus on some of the characters introduced in this arc, namely Chromia and Windblade, both of whom are female Cybertronians. That alone was enough to peak my interest since, throughout my viewing of numerous Transformers cartoons over the years, only two or three such characters have stood out. Which is a shame.
Transformers: Windblade began last week with its #1 issue and I have to say that it is one of the best #1s I’ve read to date. Writer Mairghread Scott delivers a character-driven story with lots of action that touches upon several aspects of the Transformers universe and does a great job of introducing characters like Chromia and Windblade to a new reader. Plus, the artwork by Sarah Stone is pretty damn amazing too, making it one of the most beautiful comics on shelves right now.
Before we start, I just want to say that Mairghread Scott wrote some of my favourite episodes of the Transformers: Prime animated series a couple years or so ago. I’ve been a fan of Transformers animation since about 2005 when I first saw the Transformers animated movie from the 1980s. That got me started on this whole kick of watching as many of the cartoons as I could, which was quite a few! And I like Transformers: Prime as one of the best, especially most of the second season. So to be reading a comic written by the writer of some of my episodes is like a dream come true.
As someone who hasn’t read Dark Cybertron, there were occasional moments in this issue when I felt lost, as if I was missing some necessary context, and that bothered me quite a bit. Of course, there’s a simple solution to that, and I will be executing that fairly soon. Either way, it must be mentioned that Mairghread Scott didn’t lose me totally. In fact, she gave me enough points of interest that I could follow along and I understood the story itself. Windblade and Chromia are both quite wonderful characters and since they are completely new to me, I found them both much more charming and interesting than I would have otherwise.
And where Chromia is a bit of a hard-case and intense, Windblade is much more introspective and thoughtful, so the two of them contrast rather well. There is a certain naivete to them as well that I like because it opens up a lot of story possibilities, some of which Mairghread Scott deals with in this issue, when Windblade is confronted by Starscream with regards to her guardianship over the Titan Metroplex. Starscream is a Transformers villain that I’ve loved to hate from day one and while he appears to be slightly more sophisticated than I ever remember him being, he too got a good outing here under the writer’s pen. While subterfuge isn’t exactly his style, he isn’t above using it either, as this issue hints.
Most of all though, what the writer did is make these new characters likable enough for a new reader like me that I want to come back for more. Hell, I’d go forward in time to grab all the issues before they are released if I could. I definitely enjoyed reading about these characters and reading about the fallout of the recently concluded event-arc that ran through the various Transformers comics.
When it comes to the artwork, Sarah Stone was absolutely amazing. She uses bold, bright colours in almost every panel, contrasting them against the softer (and sometimes darker) colours of the backgrounds. The colourful look worked for me and helped set this comic apart from all the others that I read last week. Additionally, there are so many details in this issue that you can just get lost in looking at them. If I could have massive wallpaper prints of the artwork from this issue, I’d jump at the opportunity before you can say “hah”. Furthermore, while Sarah kind of glosses over it, her panels where Windblade transforms are gorgeous. Loved those.
All in all, this new mini-series is off to a great start and I wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters!