Review – Transformers: Lost Light #4 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: James Roberts
Artwork: Jack Lawrence, Joana Lafuente (colours)
Release Date: 29th March 2017

The ex-crew of the Lost Light continue to explore the alternate version of Cybertron that they accidentally jumped to using their teleport den.  Things begin to look decidedly dicey when Cybertron’s missing moon returns, now seemingly under the control of the sinister council.  In the meantime, Whirl takes on his nemesis who is wielding a magic wand!

James Roberts once again pulls at various threads from midway through his arc in More than Meets the Eye and makes good on them.  This alternate Cybertron was briefly touched on when Brainstorm attempted to murder Megatron before he was ever brought online with a time travelling briefcase.  Roberts also has some social commentary running, as he often does, touching on conforming to a nightmare society where you are only permitted to live if you fill a purpose, and a more personal tale on domestic violence.  As always it never feels like we are being preached to but instead we are presented with difficult and complex situations that could apply to any of us, showing that even the strongest or most resilient person can be damaged by those we trust and by those we truly care about.

Jack Lawrence is once again on pencils this issue and he has a lot to convey with his work.  The battle taking place on Necroworld feels visceral and brutal, never more so than in the pre-existing damage on Cyclonus when he arrives.  We also get to witness the mass abduction, and the fear displayed on their faces definitely gives the scene additional weight.  The most memorable scene for me at least was Rung’s transformation from his alt mode, it looked unpleasant and painful and stuck with me for a while after reading.

Joanna Lafuente brings life to the book once more with glorious colour.  Her choice of colour palette for the battle on Necroworld was particularly effective whilst the entire arena was imbued with an almost supernatural green glow.

The creative crew dealing with the Lost Light series have never shied away from telling tales involving difficult subjects or layering political and social commentary on top of something fantastical like time travel or alternative dimensions.  We see Roberts’ sharp writing at work here, dealing with subjects most would be afraid to touch but crafting them in a way that is both entertaining and sometimes even educational.  From Megatron’s unending guilt for his past actions and struggle to atone to the complicated relationships between the crew members, it’s all under a bright light for us to see.

I honestly feel like this series continues to get better the longer it runs, and it rewards patient readers with some of the best payoff moments in today’s media.  Roberts can drop a seed of an idea in one issue and not feel the need to re-visit it for hundreds of pages!  It is for that reason that I would still recommend any new readers pick up the first issue of this current series before attempting to read this one.  It’s not impossible to catch on at this stage but I feel the longer you have been reading, the better and more meaningful the story becomes.

Rating: 5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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