Rob's Pile of Transformers: Manic Ramblings

Manic Ramblings and Delirious Ranting
re:re: Armada #18

Picked this up almost a week late due to Thesis and its aftermath. I have to agree with the general concensus: this was an enormous letdown of an issue, no way to finish a series or even a climactic battle...







Consider Unicron's coming in the G1 comics. The roots of that saga began in issue #60 and didn't come to a climax till #75. And that was in the days when each issue packed about twice as much plot and 3x the dialogue of most Dreamwave books.

In Armada, we don't even *meet* Unicron until the last issue. He's a total non-entity before that, a big sucky hole in the sky. Then he finally shows up half-way through the issue... doesn't even look that badass... and promptly gets his ass handed to him by some Mini-Cons. And as for pacing, the Worlds Collide storyline spread about 1.5 issues worth of story across 4 issues... then crammed 2 or 3 issues of story into 1 issue at the end.

In the G1 book, Unicron represented a crisis of not only war, but also of conscience. Prime had to soul search to find the strength to carry on and make difficult decisions; Scorponok underwent a total transformation. The rank and file went from fear, to trying to ignore the problem, and back again. In Armada, everything happened too fast for anybody to have any sort of reaction at all to anything.

In the G1 book, Unicron's coming set off an epic journey and quest, with multiple plot threads intertwined and unfolding simultaneously. Multiple characters reacted to his coming: Prime, Scorponok, Thunderwing; and they in turn shaped events that lesser characters reacted to as well. In Armada, Unicron's coming *killed* exactly the same sort of fun storylines.

In G1, Unicron was defeated by sacrifice -- first by thousands of warriors willing to lay down their lives to defend themselves and their planet, then by Prime's selfless act at the end. The battle by the warriors was not in vain; it kept Unicron at bay just long enough for the Matrix to return to Cybertron. Prime paid the ultimate price, as did countless others, including some known to us. In Armada, Unicron was defeated by holding hands -- a plot device I hoped we'd left behind with RiD.

And that's not the only problem with the book:

Smokescreen's subplot remains unresolved.

Megatron runs in with no apparent plan, and promptly gets himself killed by three Autobots -- a rather tacked on death for such a formerly invincible character.

The Destruction Team apparently die off-panel and get only a brief and callous mention. An unfortunate and rather undramatic ending for Dualor, who's one of the more compelling characters in the book.

As others have pointed out, an entire page is wasted showing Prime and Jetfire combining. WHO CARES?!? We haven't seen Unicron do *anything* to even remotely suggest that he's threatening or dangerous in any way. Not only does he never transform, we never even see him eat a single planet! Nor is it explained how he absorbs entire realities now, when in the past it's taken him billions of years to even make a dent in our own little galaxy. In an issue where Prime gets a full splash page for one line of dialogue, Unicron never gets more than half a page. What the HELL???

This is the most half-assed job of a "climactic epic battle" that I ever did saw, and a tremendous letdown coming from a comic that I had really been enjoying till about 5 issues ago.

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