Review – Transformers: Robots In Disguise Animated vol. 1 TP (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Georgia Ball
Artist: Priscilla Tramontano
Released Date: 13th April 2016

Adding to IDW’s rapidly-expanding roster of Transformer titles comes their take on the hit Cartoon Network TV show launched last year.

The series sees Bumblebee leading a rag-tag team of Autobots (including Sideswipe, Strongarm and Grimlock) on a mission to Earth to track down the cargo of the prison ship Alchemor, containing a band of Decepticons linked to the Cybercomrade Sect, a secretive crime syndicate wanted in connection with several attacks on the ruling Cybertronian government.

Straight of the bat, I’ll admit that I was looking forward to this, as Transformers was my go-to thing as a child. IDW have really raised the bar for what the universe is capable of story-wise in the last decade, with a team of awesome creators both old and new expanding on the rich mythology and fantastic characters that made the series so beloved back in the early 80’s.

With this series aimed squarely at the all-ages end of the comics spectrum, it’s naturally a breezy, fast-paced read and writer Georgia Ball is smart enough to give the series plenty of manic thrills and humour aimed at the core audience of show fans but also gives the series a sly intelligence and interesting real-world underpinnings, from the Illuminati-inspired rants of Spinhead to Bumblebee’s self-doubt in his abilities to lead and live up to the heroes of the past.

In this, Ball is superbly complimented by artist Priscilla Tramontano, whose clean, kinetic lines and pleasing cell-shaded colours perfectly capture the animation style of its TV counterpart.

Whilst the series takes a different tack that older, more jaded fans may find hard to like, this is a Transformers for the next generation and, as a companion to the animated series and a stepping-stone to its harder-edged sister titles, this is a worthy addition to the canon.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Chris Downs

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