Review – Transformers Vs Visionaries #1 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
Artwork: Fico Ossio, David Garcia Cruz (colours)
Release Date: 3rd January 2018

As the dust settles after First Strike, Cybertron as a people and a planet is barely holding itself and its resources together. And with the remnants of New Prysmos (home of the Visionaries) held as refugees under the surface of Cybertron, neither group of citizens are particularly happy about their current arrangements. As talks are held to decide the future of this co-existence, it seems plans are already underway for war and the conquest of the other to begin. And, as we see here, one very, very rash decision will be the catalyst for it all being kicked off.

It’s a politically-charged first issue which shows that newcomer to the Hasbro-verse, Magdalene Visaggio, has what it takes to become a mainstay. With a deft grip on character, lore and the setup for the narrative, Visaggio makes these two properties, their backgrounds and their motivations incredibly newcomer-friendly, with succinct exposition that doesn’t feel like a chore to read.

Her writing works well to give every character their own distinct voice, and it feels like Visaggio is a fan herself in the way that she captures these long-standing characters. Whether it be the nobility and the dialect of the Visionaries, or the more flexible, down-to-earth speech patterns of the Transformers, it’s done without fault. The grump of Ironhide and the fun-loving but peace-keeping Kup being two of my favourites here.

With the issue serving as a dialogue-based setup for the battle to come, these character’s voices shine through and becomes the main takeaway of the issue. And with such a wide range of characters for an event like this, it’s a delight to read these varied and motivated voices, all with their own personalities and agendas, bouncing off each other in this tension-heightened scenario of two planets on the possible brink of extinction.

Fico Ossio and David Garcia Cruz are a great fit for the art and colours of this book, too. Ossio’s attention to costume-design and detail gives life to the technological and magical cities and characters of this story, while Cruz’s dynamic palette and attention to shadows and lighting lifts the artwork off the page in a stunning and futuristic fashion.

Ossio’s facial and body work also serve as a remarkable stand-out in this issue, adding an extra level of engagement to this issue of dialogue and political machinations, with the level of depth given to each character’s reactions and expressions. It’ll be equally as interesting to return next issue to see how this artistic partnership tackles action and more dynamic lay-outs, but for the time being, this remains an almost flawless example of character work and expression.

With the setup out of the way and the battle lines now clearly drawn, these next issues are sure to be a no-holds-barred explosion of action and character, with an expanding roster and twists and turns aplenty. And in that respect, what Visaggio, Ossio and Cruz have managed to achieve with an issue almost entirely comprised of setup and dialogue is a feat not to be understated. Engaging, expressive and captivating, Transformers VS Visionaries #1 is everything you could hope for from a crossover like this, with perfect voices for characters I can’t wait to see return next month.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Connor Stephens
Connor Tweets from @diddlesMVP


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