The Combiner Wars have come and gone… or rather, the comic book tie-in to the Combiner Wars has come and gone. What did we learn? Well, for one, there’s this thing called the “Enigma of Combination”. We quickly learn three things about it,
1. It looks like a really stabby version of the Matrix.
2. It is an ancient relic of the original Thirteen Primes.
3. For an ancient relic of awesome (and weird) power, it sure changes ownership with alarming regularity.
4. That aforementioned awesome and weird power? That would be the power to merge any group of Transformers into a combiner.
I found the Combiner Wars comics to be a great letdown but I saw it coming at the moment they started hinting at the Engima of Combination. First, I’m not a fan of Livio Ramondelli’s work. Second, the inconsistency between the artists, sometimes within the same issue, were just too jarring. The artwork for some of the individual shots was just not good.
Third, the absolute silliness that ensues when you suddenly have a device that can forcibly merge any five or six Transformers into a combiner is pretty much unavoidable. The Combiner Wars is a marketing push, obviously meant to sell toys (I say “obviously” but with how little actual transforming happens in More than Meets the Eye, sometimes it’s difficult to remember that these comics are all actually about the Transformers). That being said, of all the ways to justify this sudden influx of combiners, the magical “MacGuffin” approach really is the weakest. I don’t want my super-powerful giant robot made up of a squad of teammates to be the result of a random accident — as happens with the newest combiner, Victorion — or the manipulative abuse of power by Starscream — as happens with my favourite of the Combiner Wars combinations, Defensor.
Either way, the whole thing has been wrapped up in a nice bow with the only really lasting consequence being the existence of four new combiner teams and Prowl’s removal from the Devastator combination. An interesting side note, though, is the death of Swindle (boo!) which sure puts a slight hamper of any future appearance of Bruticus.
Anywho, back to my favourite, Defensor. Wait, I need to qualify this. While I do like the stocky outline of Defensor’s combined mode, the thing that makes it my favourite is plain and simple: Hot Spot.
He’s such a great toy, he’s the only one of the Combiner Wars team leaders that — just like his G1 toy — I am planning on buying a second one to display in non-combined robot mode.
Speaking of his G1 toy, this Combiner Wars toy is a perfect update.
Really my only problem is what do I do with my Generations Hot Spot now? I love that toy so much, but as awesome as it is the new one blows it away in just being Hot Spot.
Well, the Generations toy still has a place at least until I find a second Combiner Wars Hot Spot. Hot Spot’s alt mode for Combiner Wars is very modern looking, but still evokes the original.
He’s still got his articulated ladder, but this time without quite as much range to it.
He also does a great job as the torso of Defensor.
He works well with or without Groove attached as his chest armor.
Like the rest of the Combiner Wars leaders, the head for Defensor is incorporated into Hot Spot and not an accessory. The headsculpt is impeccable.
Honestly, I can’t handle how much I like Defensor’s headsculpt and how great of an update it is.
At the same time, I can’t handle how much I like Hot Spot himself, so I really, really need to get that second one to display as well.