Well, Transformers: Windblade Combiner Wars #2 is actually the third issue in the Combiner Wars arc.. I think. Still, it’s holding up well and this issue, particularly, sees a decent return to form.
The official description from IDW:
PROWL makes his move… and the galaxy will never be the same. Can WINDBLADE stand against the threat of the COMBINERS?
This issue manages to both escalate/broaden its scope, while also keeping it focused on a tight, small group of characters admist the chaos. The blend of politics and giant robots slapping each other works well with something like Transformers, which isn’t afraid to have fun once in a while. Admittedly, this issue has very little to do with Windblade herself, which is a tad dissapointing.
Honestly, there’s something about Mairghread Scott’s writing that cuts to the political aspects without losing the sense of character. Between all the political scheming, Prime, Starscream et al all still feel very much like themselves. Still, like previous issues, there’s a sense of shifting things around so the next title and writer can continue, yet Scott plays to her strengths here. We still get plenty of action, but Scott lets the artwork do the talking while her sense of humor and charm works around it.
Speaking of the artwork, I do like Livid Ramondelli’s art here, if only because the escalation calls for the gritty color and sharp-lines he brings. Still, the calmer moments look odd in such dramatic lighting, so it’s still hard to tell whether the whole series is better off or not.
In the end, however, it’s hard not to like this issue for what it is. There’s action, backstabbing characters, some great writing and, did I mention the giant robots getting into a bout of fisty cuffs? Sometimes it helps to keep it simple.