Review – Transformers: Robots in Disguise #32 (IDW Publishing)

TF_RiD_32-pr-page-001 - CopyPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith
Release Date: 20th August 2014

Continuing to explore individual Autobots and their motivations within a broader storyline, this issue (part 5 of the Earthfall arc) focuses on Prowl, the much-maligned G1 police car. More specifically, we have a different angle not only how millennia of war have affected the personalities we know so well, but also on the relationship between Prime and those who follow him. It’s rare to see the loyalty of the Autobots and their faith in Optimus questioned properly: this issue explores whether his leadership is laudable, noble, or even at all helpful to the Autobot cause.

I should mention the excellent synopsis of the previous issue: if you’re diving into the storyline, it’s a full-panelled page, but for the reader who’s already picked up #31, it doesn’t feel gratuitous but instead refreshing. The art’s crisp as always, and the characters are rendered in all their G1 glory, with some excellent full-pages spreads and dynamic action sequences. The narrow-mindedness of the humans is dealt with well (far better than in Age of Extinction, for example); from both Cybertonian sides we see treachery, tactics and strategy. And in terms of both narrative and art, the final page does everything it should: desperate for the next issue.

If I have a criticism, it’s that Thundercracker ends up being comic relief, which jars slightly with his characterisation and the tone of the issue generally. The fact remains, though, that this sets the standard for franchise tie-in comics, and raises the bar in doing so. Oh, and if you’re so minded, pick up Casey Coller’s 30th Anniversary cover version of this. My jaw dropped – but no spoilers, go see for yourself.

Rating: 4/5


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

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