[Warning: Review may contain SPOILERS]
4 months ago when Dark Cybertron kicked off, I think we all knew this wasn’t going to be another run-of-the-mill Transformers comic. With the RiD and MTMTE creative teams behind it, it kinda HAD to be a new breed of Transformers event, especially if IDW were going to stick to their guns regarding the new status quo of their universe. “The war is over, and now the hard part begins.” With Shockwave tinkering behind the scenes throughout RiD we were quietly building to this point. Now that we’re here and a new Dawn of the Autobots is upon us, has Dark Cybertron fulfilled it’s remit to maintain the anything-can-happen attitude of the current IDW universe while telling perhaps the biggest story that Transformers has ever attempted?
Barbers influence is all over this event. It ties together so many dangling plot threads from the entire IDW run, right the way back to Infiltration with Shockwaves regenesis ores and we saw the story beats of this issues climax being seeded way back in Chaos Theory. All of this is unsurprising, tieing disparate pieces of continuity together in a neat bow is essentially John Barbers signature at this point. It’s been suggested in various parts of the big, bad internet that Dark Cybertron is an RiD storyline guest starring the crew of the Lost Light and while I can kinda see where that view is coming from I have to whole-heartedly disagree. The crew of the Lost Light and their experiences while on the Knight Quest has changed and shaped so many of them to the point where the outcome of this event would have been drastically different had they not been present and moreover, it seems that MTMTE is going to be feeling the ramifications of DC more than RiD (if you’ve seen the solicits for issue 28 then you know EXACTLY what I mean.) Speaking of which, there’s a massive heel-face-turn in this book that, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see has been building for years. It’s yet another show of commitment from IDW, and by association Hasbro themselves that they are fully committed to this status quo. The last thing any of us want to see is the war being restarted.
Phil Jiminez is on layouts and Brendan Cahill is on pencils. I said it when I reviewed Chapter 10 and I’ll say it again: Cahill has taken a level in being an Awesome Bad-Ass. There’s a moment (you’ll know it when it happens) with Starscream and Jhiaxus and he just completely NAILS the look on their faces and there’s a splash page with Prowlestator, Monstructor, Metroplex and all of IDWs history (and potentially… future? I’M SAYING NOTHING.) that I’d love to own the original art of. IDW, please, give this man more things to draw. I’m surprised Metroplex is still being drawn in his G1-inspired body and not his new Generations toy – healing up from the death ore last issue would have been the perfect time to reformat him but, alas, it seems they’re sticking with his current body a little while longer, despite what the RI cover tells you.
Speaking of covers – props this time go, once again, to Casey Coller with his outstanding Shockwave Subscription variant. Dark Cybertron has been Shockys story, so it’s only fitting that he should get the final cover. Dark Cybertron leaves us in a very interesting place. With 3 series going forward (Windblade joining the other two) each focusing on a different front it’ll be interesting to see what the Dawn of the Autobots holds in store. From the look of things The Lost Light is getting a new Captain, Windblade will be leading the reconstruction efforts on Cybertron and Optimus is taking RiD back to Earth (presumably they’ve only just now realised that they left Thundercracker on Earth.) Dark Cybertron is, undoubtedly, the best Transformers event to date, so long as this current creative team stick around I think we can be safe to assume that the quality will be sticking too. By giving us closure on every dangling pre-Chaos plot thread it allows even more bold and daring storys to be told – and that is something that IDWs TF books have been completely excelling at.
The writer of this piece was:
David McIntyre aka (Big Dave)
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