Transformers: The War Within Volume 2 – The Dark Ages
Simon Furman, Andrew Wildman (Illustrator)
Paperback 168 pages (September 30, 2004)
Publisher: Dreamwave
ISBN: 0973381752

Whilst Titan reprint the old stories, the Canadia based giant robot nuts at Dreamwave are producing brand new stories featuring the new and classic Transformers lines. Even better, the almighty Simon Furman and the dynamic Andrew Wildman are onboard as well. It? the 20th Anniversary of all things Cybertronian, and with a movie on the way it seems they will be here for a while yet.

The War Within series is a great concept, focusing upon the million year long war on Cybertron before the Bots and Cons left for Earth. Even better, it? got funky Cybetronian vehicle and robot designs by Dreamwaves?premier artist and fanboy fave, Don Figueroa. Sketches of these can be seen in the back of this trade paperback.

Plot is quite Furmanesque, dealing with a demonic being known as The Fallen stalking Cybetron, attempting to summon his evil master Unicron. It holds up well enough, and contains appearances by characters such as Jetfire and Shockwave, the former with an amazing design.

Put bluntly, It could do with more fleshing out. The Fallen never get? enough time on page to come off as an effective villan, and the Autobots without Prime to lead them come over as a load of bickering old women. At times the dialogue is not quite up to some of Furmans best in earlier works.

The main art is handled by Andrew Wildman. He drew a lot of flak for his work on this series, there being a clear distinction between his style and the manga lead imagery of the Dreamwave crew. I personally think it worked out ok, and by the sixth issue Wildman was in his stride. I hope he does more work with Dreamwave, his art was a highlight of the Marvel UK series.

The inking is at times overdone, with bold black lines jarring against Wildman? pencils. The attempt at creating a gothic ?ark age?palette also jars somewhat against Don Figueroa? colourful designs.

Not the best that either Dreamwave or Furman has done, but worth a checking out, as are most of Dreamwaves?new titles. ]]>

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