The Pull List: Latest Transformers Comic is for Die-Hard Fans Only

Welcome to The Pull List, a weekly column where we check out a first issue of a new series and tell you whether or not to follow the comic based only on that. I’m not going to lie, this week was pretty slow at my local comic shop, with most of what I might have been interested in already gone by the time I ended up there. So, with that in mind, here’s my review of Transformers Windblade: Combiner Wars #1.

I’m going to have a very hard time not apologizing throughout, so let me just get it out of the way up front. When I go about picking a new #1 to check out, I usually try to pick something that just about anyone could pick up and enjoy, and I usually try to pick something that’s going to be a continuing series (as opposed to a limited series or a one-shot). This week, I didn’t manage to do either of those.

As if the title was off-putting enough for someone who’s not a Transformers fan, which, let’s be clear, I’m not, the series is about equally as accessible. As someone who’s never read a Transformers comic or even really interacted with the franchise in any way (aside from watching some Beast Wars as a kid, and regretting watching the first two live action films), I couldn’t even begin to break down the title before I picked up the comic. Sorry.

What’s worse, though, is that I couldn’t even begin to break down the title now that I’ve read the first issue, too. Clearly there’s literally decades of terminology and character tropes to sift through, but this series definitely isn’t the place to start doing that. if you’re not already familiar with what a combiner or an aerialbot is, you’re going to be left in the dark.

Which is fine, I suppose, as this comic is really meant for hardcore fans of the series. I don’t think IDW’s intention with this comic was to give new readers a jumping-on point, it’s clearly meant for readers who are already invested in the franchise and story. I just happen to not be one of those people. Simply put, this comic isn’t for me.

All that out of the way, the comic does actually have a decent sense of humor about it (although I did kind of feel like only about 1/3 of the jokes were really landing with me), and the pacing and structure are solid enough. The art is also bright and lively, conveying that same feeling that you might get from a Saturday morning cartoon, which is as it should be.

Here’s what I’d like to say: Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars isn’t going to break new ground, but if you’re a big Transformers fan, who’s already following the comic, then this is a solid entry and you should absolutely pick this up. Here’s the truth, though: this whole column has been pretty pointless this week as, if you already know what this is, you’ll have probably picked it up, and if you don’t know what this is, don’t bother. Again, sorry.

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