With Megatron destroyed, one would think that would be the end of Regeneration One. But it’s actually just getting started. This issue is the start of a new arc, finally bringing back Grimlock’s story. (We also see what’s up with Soundwave.) I will admit that it is nice to see the main parts of the story taking place back in space, it was getting slightly tiring being on the dead earth. The question is whether or not this arc can continue without Megatron as the main villain. The easy answer is yes, this is definitely one of the best issues yet.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
The fallout from the devastation on Earth ripples outwards, all the way to Nebulos, where GRIMLOCK faces his own darkest demons and a fateful choice that may cost him his very Spark. The dark reign of SCORPONOK begins here, and nothing will ever be the same again!
This one starts out with a flashback to five years ago, starring the Dinobots. Slag, (the one that transforms into a Triceratops) is acting completely without reason or restraint. I love the writing here, “He’s regressed to some savage, primal state. A lot like the mindless Earth-Beast the Ark modelled him on.” Swoop says. Turns out Grimlock is responsible for it, so he sets out to find a cure. Cut to present day and we see he’s captured by Scorponok. I know the Dinobots through the classic cartoon. Watching it today obviously doesn’t make them look anything not resembling cheesy, especially Grimlock’s ‘Hulk-like’ way of talking. In modern day it’s a different story. Grimlock is truly a really great character. Under a good writer, he’s just as engaging as Prime or Megatron. Here we see him captured by this Decepticon named Scorponok. This guy has a lot of work to do if he wants to leave an impression, but so far he isn’t bad. He does discover something rather interesting. You know the Autobot and Decepticon symbols? What if something can manipulate them? It’s a truly intriguing concept I’ve never seen in this franchise. Other than Grimlock, we also see Soundwave and his quest to get Thunderwing. Simon Furman’s writing is very good throughout, I especially like Soundwave’s narration, “Sound is the enemy. But I, Soundwave, am its master.” On earth we see the aftermath of the great battle between Optimus and Megatron. One of my favorite parts is when First Aid asks Optimus if he would like him to treat his woods, then Prime replies, “I’ll bear these scars in remembrance of fallen friends…and enemies.”
The art doesn’t disappoint. If you’re a watcher of Transformers Prime, it might be a bit strange to see the more slimmed down versions of the characters, but that’s how things were done back then. There aren’t any memorable pages, which is because the last issue had all the epic splash pages since the big fight was going on. This one relies on its dialogue and new status quo. The main cover showcases Scorponok leading the Dinobots, a good piece. Cover B is a classic one for you retro fans, a throwback as you see the face-shots done 80’s style. The RI is the most dynamic, having Slag blasting Grimlock with a fire blast. It’s also a little sad, the Dinobots are very close, so seeing them against Grimlock adds an emotional touch.
Overall, a really good start to Natural Selection. After the grand battle with Optimus and Megatron last time, an issue focused on setting a new story and Grimlock taking center stage was welcome. The Dinobot leader has never been more engaging as a character, and due to his decision near the end, I’m very curious to see where this goes. Transformers fans should be reading Regeneration One.