Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mairghread Scott
Art: Sara Pitre-Durocher
Colours: Joana Lafuente
Letters: Tom B. Long
Release Date: 31st May 2017
Things have not been going well on Cybertron. Starscream may have finally bitten off more than he can chew with Elita One proving to be just as underhanded as he is. With the loss of Windblade, Starscream has sent Chromia off on an assassination mission, but that’s nothing compared to his plan with Airachnid to bring the Combaticons back under his control.
Mairghread Scott continues to weave a long and tangled web around Starscream and his vision of Cybertron; his paranoia and guilty conscience serving as his constant companions. As a reader, we can sometimes find ourselves furious at his refusal to do the right thing and yet, every now and then, we also find ourselves cheering for him. This issue he is far more nefarious than we have witnessed in some time and his plan, is as always, precarious at best. Starscream has long since left his ‘b-list’ villain persona behind him and has gradually become something greater and more dangerous. He is many things, but boring is definitely not one of them.
Sara Pitre-Durocher does not have much in the way of action to deal with this issue and instead gets a lot of space to create some interesting visual set pieces. Airachnid’s lair is particularly sinister, although Blast Off’s dream sequence has its own level of creepiness. It’s a credit to her skill that the facial expressions are so on point; Starscream’s overconfidence, Airachnid’s evil grins, everything is imbued with a spark of life.
Joana Lafuente adds an extra dimension of life with her colours and every Transformer featured stands out as bright, imposing and unique. Colour is incredibly important in a world where some robots look identical save for their paint job, but you never have to worry about that with Lafuente, who ensures that everyone is distinctive.
The battle for control of Cybertron is now a battle of wits and Starscream is just scheming enough to achieve his desires. This series has taken on a much more personal twist since its relaunch and I think that approach has helped to separate it from the other Hasbro branded books. It’s perhaps surprising that the two books about giant transforming robots are also among the most thought provoking out there. This is also one of the most new reader friendly titles out there, and while there are things that will be missed by those who haven’t been following the series from the beginning, the important stuff is explained as the story progresses
If you are looking for a book that deals with more than just big explosions and costumed heroes you might want to consider picking up this series. There are few books on sale today that can have you actively cheering for someone as despicable as Starscream while at the same time wishing someone would catch on to what he’s up to.
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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
John Tweets from @ShinKagato