This week the first episode of Transformers: Combiner Wars was released online. This original web series is being produced by Machinima and Hasbro and looks tell a story aimed at older audiences who are fans of the original toy lines and cartoons.
In addition to viewing the first episode of this new 8-part series, titled 'The Fall,' ScreenRant was able to attend the recent Comic-Con panel focused on Combiner Wars and hear about what to expect from the series. We were also able to speak with series creator and executive producer Eric Calderon about his excitement for the series.
Following the prelude series, which was able to establish some continuity for those looking forward to Combiner Wars, 'The Fall' kicked off the series. The description for this first episode, available via go90, is as follows:
"Battling Combiners have landed on Planet Caminus – and it’s none other than the powerful and logical Computron (composed of the Technobots) and the unruly and wild Menasor (composed of the Stunticons)! Their epic combat is wreaking havoc and there’s no signs they’re going to stop anytime soon. That’s when Windblade, formerly known as the ‘City Speaker’ of Caminus, enters with her fellow warrior, Maxima. The two of them aren’t about to let the battle go unchecked. But can even two mighty Transformers win against these giant threats?"
As seen in the trailers leading up to this series and now in the actual show, the animation style evokes the Generation 1 era of Transformers and combines that traditional animation with a more modern look. Although each episode is a mere five minutes, there is plenty of exciting and dynamic action, as well as the groundwork for a story based around certain characters. During the interview following the panel, Calderon made it clear that while the series exists in a larger universe (Combiner Wars is actually the first part of a proposed trilogy), this series will have a definitive beginning, middle and end.
That's good to hear, as a web series (as popular as the format has become) may only allow for so much story to unfold in the future. More impressive, though, was Calderon's emphasis on telling a story that appeals to an audience in a mature way. While this is a series about transforming robots from another planet, core themes such as honor and emotional points for the characters are still a main focus for the creators and part of the plan with this series from the start.
In relation to the panel, another point brought up was the diverse approach to this series. The characters Windblade (Abby Trott) and one of the newest Transformers characters, Maxima (Amy Johnston), are ostensibly the leads of this series, which is a far cry from how female characters have been seen in the past within this franchise. It was a decision Calderon acknowledged as a very important aspect for this series and one that will help Combiner Wars retain the emotional consequences of action.
There was also fun to be had at this panel, outside of the series. During the Q&A portion, Frank Todaro (the voice of Starscream) appeared and asked Jason Monarcha (the voice of Megatraon) a question in character. The two then went back and forth making sarcastic comments to each other, using their series voices, to the delight of many fans.
With a big enough universe to cover and a story that is designed to be fit for all Transformers fans, Transformers: Combiner Wars is in a position to deliver. The enthusiasm seen from Calderon and the exciting first episode do enough to provide anticipation for where things go from here.
The Transformers: Combiner Wars series can currently be found airing weekly installments on on Verizon go90.