The Chaos Bringer is coming to the IDW universe. Via IGN.com we have our first look at IDW’s take on Unicron in robot mode. The Chaos Bringer has been seen in planet form at the end of the First Strike event, and is here revealed in his robot mode for the first time, as illustrated by Alex Milne.
Unlike previous versions of Unicron, who have generally been smaller than Cybertron which in turn has been smaller than Earth, this iteration is gigantic – big enough to hold the Earth in the palm of his hand. It quite possibly may be the single most gigantic take on Unicron seen to date. Unicron’s skeletal wings in this version are made of asteroids and other rocky debris, and his body has huge stony armor panels, which evoke the concept behind the Transformers Prime version of Unicron. In fact, this iteration of Unicron references just about every past version of the character in some small way.
This image is accompanied by some information about the sage. The Unicron miniseries will be a six issue miniseries (we’re taking that as not counting the free comic book day zero issue), which will be shipping twice-monthly starting in July – so it is shaping up to be this year’s version of First Strike. The event is being teased as “the epic conclusion to the current Transformers comic book universe”. According to John Barber:
“TRANSFORMERS: UNICRON is a culmination of the years of TRANSFORMERS comics I’ve been a part of… and the conclusion of one of the longest continued narrative in TRANSFORMERS history. This is a story of heroism in the face of impossible odds; of a reckoning for an entire universe. I couldn’t be luckier than to have Alex [Milne] right here with me on this—if you know Alex, you know nobody puts more into the TRANSFORMERS than he does, and nowhere before has he drawn drama, action, and pathos at this scale. Tying it all together is the incredible palette of Sebastian Cheng. We’ve never held back before on our TRANSFORMERS comics, but this time we’re pushing ourselves — and each other — harder than ever.”
The continued mention of it being the “conclusion of the longest continued narrative in Transformers history” will surely feed those who have been suggesting that a reboot is on the cards. While that may be the case, it is also worth considering that other statement, “epic conclusion to the current Transformers comic book universe”. It implies that what we might see is less a full reboot, and more a clean break from current stories, to allow new stories to be told free of what is now approaching fifteen years of continuity and lore. However, a reboot is not implausible – truthfully, after you do Unicron, especially a huge, epic version like this – there are few more dramatic places to go to, and the fact certain major characters have been killed off or placed out of the range of stories does suggest that a reset might be beneficial to bringing more casual fans into what has become a fairly closed off series.
Update 25 March 2018: Multiversity Comics reports from the same Wondercon panel where John Barber was quoted above, where it was reported that the decision has been taken to “pull the trigger on the universe, giving it a finale readers could not experience somewhere like Marvel Comics”. So it does appear that this is it for the current IDW continuity of Transformers stories – the conclusion may very well be upon us. Discuss this revelation here.
As always, watch this space for more information.