Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
Publication Date: 28th October 2015
For those, like myself who haven’t been keeping up with the Transformers comics, a quick bit of scene setting is needed before jumping into this book. The war between Autobots and Decepticons is over and the remaining transformers eke out an existence on a barren Cybertron ruled by Starscream. The surviving Dinobots find themselves as warriors without a war, unpopular and desperate until an unlikely source offers a job which promises a big score and maybe just a little redemption.
The story is told from the point of view of the ever-irascible Slug and the first person narrative interspersed with dialogue and action results in an engaging and emotive reading experience. Slug’s world weary outlook adds pathos to the tale in a way that a more hopeful or idealistic narrator wouldn’t convey. Like I said, I came into this book with no attachment to the current incarnation of the Transformers universe and by the end of it, I was eager for more.
The artwork is great, sharp and vivid, really evoking the sense of a desolate Cybertron from the dingy city to the open wastes, all too often lit by the varying tones of flame breath, laser fire and corrupted energon.
John Barber admits to being inspired by George Miller and there is more than a bit of Mad Max: Fury Road in this comic, from the chase across the wilderness which forms it’s backbone via the high contrast colour palette to the sense of hopelessness which is replaced by the potential redemption in the title.
This is dark and desolate, yet vivid and emotive.
The Transformers are all grown up and if, like me you’ve been away from Cybertron for a while, I would advice that you return for a visit – but keep your blaster handy and enough energon in your tank for a quick getaway.
The writer of this piece was: Chris Napier
Christopher Tweets from @chriscrowing