Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!
When I picked up the 100 page “Power of the Predacons”, I was expecting a coherent story like the “Rise of the Constructicons” run in the Galaxies line. Instead, this volume contains five unrelated stories. Making matters worse, the ‘Predacons’ aren’t the same characters and aren’t even in the same universe. The result is disjointed and confusing.
The first story isn’t about the Predacons. “Spotlight Jazz” has Jazz attempting to rescue an injured autobot. The Predacons appear as the antagonists, but they are by no means the focus of the issue. In fact, we never see them take the ‘animal’ modes that in theory give them their names. The art in this issue uses clear lines, vibrant coloring, and exciting action but the limited use of the Predacons seems like a missed opportunity given the cool alt modes these guys have (at least in the original toys). While the story is not really about the Predacons, it is the strongest story in the issue.
“Dawn of Predacus” seems to take place in a completely separate continuity. Time wise, the comic tells us it takes place in “The Last Days of the Great War,” but here isn’t an introduction page, so the reader is forced to figure out what is going on with little context. We are thrown into the middle of some plot to “reformat” transformers into a “purer Cybertronian.” It was hard to tell who was who and what was happening in part because all of the bad guys are the same red color, even Megatron.
“Beast Wars: The Gathering #1” clearly is part of a separate universe, the Beast Wars. This time the conflict is between the Predacons (as a proxy for Decepticons) and Maximals (replacing Autobots). Not being familiar with Beast Wars, the plot to this story was fairly convoluted, involving … time travel and evolution or something.
“What’s in a Name” and “Grudge Match” take us back to the original designs of the Predacons. It’s nice to see them transform into their classic animal forms. These stories, which are the first to take place on modern Earth, are more focused on Swoop and the Dinobots, with the Predacons serving as the antagonists. The art and writing in these issues is written in a 1980s style. It’s a fun story, but Swoop’s motivation seems a bit over the top.
If you come into this issue expecting a 100 page origin story, you will be disappointed. You will also be largely unsatisfied if you are looking something self contained, as two of the stories expressly say ‘to be continued.’ This volume functions more like a sampler for the many arcs that have had some form of Predacons. Whether you like it will probably depend on your knowledge of the various incarnations of the characters. I personally gravitated more towards the standalone Generation 1 Jazz spotlight but I could see fans of the Beast Wars show liking that story. If you don’t have a particular reason to pick up this issue, I would recommend reading the Galaxies line or the main IDW Transformers comic line.
Transformers 100-Page Giant: Power of the Predacons is now available.
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