Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Nick Roche
Artwork: Nick Roche, Josh Burcham
Release Date: 27th Jan 2016
I’m something of a late-comer to this Transformers malarkey – despite its near-ubiquitous popularity with folk my age, I never really got a chance to get into it until relatively recently, and until then, never really appreciated the sheer scope of the various stories that tied the Transformers universe together. But these days, I’m just about familiar enough with the various goings-on to proffer something resembling an opinion, so… let’s do this!
It’s a great-looking book – Roche’s linework is beautifully intricate, referencing both the elegant simplicity of the 80’s series, and the heavily mechanical look of the live-action films, but finding its own deeply satisfying middle ground. He’s got a terrific eye for scale, which as I’m sure y’all are aware, is a critical component in delivering successful transformers art. Burcham’s colour does a great job of bringing life to the proceedings too, knowing exactly when to mute the tones, and when to ramp the psychedelia up to 11 – the scenes in the Noisemaze in issue 3 are particularly trippy, and the book is all the better for it.
Roche can get a little wordy in his none-the-less excellently conceived dialogue, but some terrific work from letterer Tom B Long see that they never de-rail where your eye scans through each panel. You can pretty much hear each of the Autobot’s – fallen or otherwise – voices as you read through it, so it’s nothing if not authentic. The story is clipping along at a nice pace, as well, with this issue having the added sweetener of giving us an – albeit brief – insight into events prior to the whole she-bang going down. If you’ve been enjoying it thus far, there’s not a hint of a drop in quality.
But in terms of whether or not this is the head-out-and-buy-immediately Transformers series that its predecessor was, it’s still not quite there yet, and any newcomers to either this particular book, or to the Transformers franchise as a whole, will find themselves in a little over their head in terms of the sheer weight of what’s come before it.
Still, that’s not to say it’s not a great read – anyone out there who makes a claim to being a Transformers fan would be remiss to not at least give this a whirl for the first few issues, if for nothing else other than the terrific artwork. It’s utterly, utterly entrenched in existing lore, however, so maybe give it a miss if you’ve not been keeping up.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24