Review – Transformers: Robots in Disguise #24 (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Barber & James Roberts
Artist:  Robert Gill & Livio Ramondelli
Release Date: 18th December 2013

Welcome back, Transfans (hey, don’t look at me, I didn’t choose that term) for another jaunt into Dark Cybertron with your usual Cyborganic Criticon, Big Dave! It’s been a couple of weeks since the last installment left us hanging with Nightbeat seemingly about to reveal some heavy plot details and the bots on Cybertron about to deal with Shockwave and his nefarious schemes, so does this issue deliver on the set-up of last issue or are we left unsatisfied, sore and leaking lubricant? Let’s find out!

First up, there’s no Lost Light in this issue. Last time we saw Magnus and his crew they’d managed to uncover the body of the legendary Titan Metroplex so if you had your hopes up for some advancement in that area then you, my friend, are S.O.L.! What we do get is a whole lot of fighting in Shockwaves lab. Some nice pay-off for character beats that were set-up waaay back in RiD and the dialogue rings true to every character (especially Ironhide.) The planetside plo-tline is keeping up momentum and seeing an alliance between Bots and Cons gives us a chance for banter that we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. Oh, and dismemberment. There is definitely, definitely dismemberment. Meanwhile in the _Negative Zone_ Dead Universe we don’t quite get the pay-off we’d hoped for with last issues tease but the twists are enough to keep me interested. Playing Nightbeat as a less sociopathic TF equivalent of BBCs Sherlock is pretty genius and there’s a nice dense layer of foreshadowing that might have Tumblr all a-flutter.

After doing some pages last issue Robert Gill gets his chance to shine here on the art. Aside from the Dead Universe sections, which are done by the ethereal Livio Ramondelli as per usual, the whole issue is Robert Gilly-goodness. In particular his splash pages involving the Necrotitan convey an incredible sense of scale and detail – two things that too often do not go hand-in-hand. He can sometimes get slightly carried away with his hatching, you’ll know the panel I’m talking about when you see it, but it’s easy to forgive when the rest is so good. I’d love to see him do more TF work coming out of Dark Cybertron – the rumoured third ongoing series would be the perfect place for his lines, presuming the Big Two haven’t snatched him up already like they did with Nick Roche (Deathshead coming your way in 2014, Marvel UK fans!) He brings a different feeling to the book than we’ve had before so let’s hope IDW keep him in the stable!

We still don’t know what the grand masterplan is, and I have a feeling we won’t until issue 7 at the earliest but I’m ok with that. I can speculate that they’re keeping the Lost Light Crew off-page for this issue to give them a big triumphant return to Cybertron, Metroplex in-tow, to give the Bot/Con alliance a weapon to match the Necrotitan – in which case I’m totally onboard with that. Cover-props this time around go to the Regular cover – featuring Galvatron and Nova Prime looking suitably menacing! At this point I think it’s fair to say that the distinction between an issue of RiD and an issue of MTMTE is nil, they are one book at the moment – Dark Cybertron – fortunately that book happens to be excellent!

Rating: 8/10.

The writer of this piece was: Daveav
David McIntyre (aka Big Dave)
You can also find David on  Facebook

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