Review – Transformers: Robots in Disguise #31 (IDW Publishing)

TF_RiD31_cvr - CopyPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Barber
Artists: Andrew Griffith, Guido Guido, Brendan Cahill
Release Date: 30th July 2014

I’ll go out on a limb here. Everyone knows Transformers. Everyone knows Optimus Prime, Autobots and Deceptions (even autocorrect knows them). And a lot of us are very precious about G1 and all those cool toys we could never, ever convince our parents to buy us.

This comic plays with every bit of that and more. Without giving it away, this is primarily from the perspective of Jazz having just killed a human. It’s a singularly clever piece of writing, swinging between knowing in jokes and some surprisingly profound reflection. It will genuinely make you think again about Bots and Cons, and the nature of good and evil, order and chaos, write and wrong. Barber elegantly treads the line, with touches of Gregory MacGuire (he of ‘Wicked’ – the book, not the singalong) and real – dare I say – humanity? I finally get why comic store folk have been on at me to pick this up.

The art by Griffith is sassy, like it’s been ripped from Saturday morning TV with a wry twist. By having other artists do the flashback sections, it sets a great change of tone that matches the pacing. Skilfully done. I don’t want to gush, and I am looking for negatives – and really can’t find any. A glorious, and surprisingly deep, romp. Cracking (thundercracking) good stuff.

Rating: 5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Sam de Smith
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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