So issue #3 of Transformers: Galaxies introduces a problem, and that problem is Wheeljack. This is the bot that gave us the rowdy and barely controllable Dinobots along with the first Autobot combiner team, the Aerialbots. But here? Here he’s kind of a pussy, showing none of the confidence or reckless brilliance that serves the Autobots so well in the Gen 1 continuity.
This issue is entirely told in flashback, continuing the story of the Constructicons attempts to merge into and control this new gestalt form. Despite seemingly years without issue, one day something goes wrong, the group lose control and Devastator makes his first true appearance, wreaking havoc before the Constructicons are able to regain control. Wheeljack’s reaction is one of barely controlled panic which leads to the Constructicons being honoured for their contributions, an honour that almost immediately rings hollow… and then shipped off-world to the back of beyond where they can’t hurt anyone else.
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It’s a strangely knee-jerk reaction. What and whoever “The Abomination” was, he left scars that run deep in this bot’s psyche and it’s really jarring with how Wheeljack has been presented up to this point. He was never this cautious or afraid of technology so it’s a shame to see this Tony Stark-esque maverick instead running off to tell tales. Nobody likes a snitch, Wheeljack.
It’s also interesting to have a close-up look at what it’s like when the Constructicons merge into Devastator. It’s been touched on in other issues and some teams have seemed to have far more control than others. The aforementioned Aerialbots, for example, never seemed very comfortable merged as Superior, especially compared to others like the Stunticons or Predacons who reveled in the feeling of power and superiority from their gestalt shape. In contrast the Aerialbots are only able to function by concentrating on their single-minded need to destroy Decepticons. Hopefully other issues will continue this look at exactly what goes on when the Constructicons join together as one.
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The issue ends with the Constructicons on the way to their new home, brimming with hope and enthusiasm that they will be able to recreate their success on Cybertron and turn this new planet into another shining jewel in the cosmos. Well, we certainly know how that all turns out following the first two issues. Somewhere along the way it all goes wrong and enthusiasm is replaced by a single-minded determination to survive and make it home.
While this issue doesn’t move current day events forward, it does fill in the gap between triumph and exile and provides still more lore and worldbuilding. Perhaps debatable changes to well-known characters aside, it’s another solid outing for this spin-off storyline.
Transformers: Galaxies #3 is out now from IDW Publishing.