Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Nick Roche
Artwork: Nick Roche, Geoff Senior & Brendon Cahill
Colours: Josh Burcham & Josh Perez
Lettering: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 30th May 2018
It has the word ‘Wreckers’ in the title, you know it’s gonna be gold-plated awesome. In this bittersweet wrapping up of the Transformers ongoing series, the title “Requiem” could not have been more appropriate.
Oh, and then there are those lips.
I have to preface this review with fact that I am both disheartened and grateful that things are coming to an end. A planned end at that, not the painful amputation of the Marvel comics way back when I spent my pocket money on them. Unicron is coming. Plots and threads are being tied up, closure, revelations, and tears no doubt. To say I have been heavily and am still very much invested in these characters and stories would be a gross understatement. I think it goes without saying that Last Stand of the Wreckers is still the pinnacle of any (not just IDW’s) Transformers comic, and the absolute the best of Roche & Roberts work.
On with the show.
We begin with Verity and Springer haunted by the ghost of Prowl and Kup. Springer has never looked so defeated. His pained expression, his doubt and anguish, so palpable from the darkened, muted palette of colours. Springer has lost his father figure and his direction. The notion of fatherhood is an awkward one for Transformers. Add in guilt, hate and tarantulas and things are clearly going to get deep and dark.
We journey to the past. In every sense. It’s 30 years ago and I’m reading Marvel Transformers comics because that’s what’s staring me in the face. A perfectly realised nostalgia trip, the artwork is so ’80s that I can practically smell the thin pulpy paper the UK comic was printed on. Kup’s dialogue is delightful – “This whole shamozzle gets upgraded to a disasterpiece” – it all feels so well realised. This is a celebration of the current comics and their past. We see Impactor recruiting Springer as he reflects on what it meant to him and his father/friend/mentor Kup and for a brief moment there’s this horrible idea that Requiem of the Wreckers could succumb to becoming little more than a greatest hits compilation. But fear not, for this is no cheap mixtape.
Something’s up with Verity. To throw us off there are a few nice little Easter Eggs in the twilight tinged scenery. Oh, and Springer gets rushed. Acting on impulse, Verity puts in a call.
One of the greatest WTF? moments explodes into public view the way only a Wreckers comic can deliver and this story shifts gear into warp speed on toast. What silliness is this?
Reveal upon reveal. I don’t want to spoil much so forgive me if this seems disjointed. The banter between our primary antagonists is all we could hope for and more. It’s revealing, touching and amusing which only heightens the feeling we are heading towards a grand climax and ultimate end. Amongst it all is the throwaway line “the Cybertronian War is a living entity…” which resonates (or presumably will) with what we’ve learned so far of the Chaos-Bringer and its identity/purpose in the IDW continuity.
Seriously, this dialogue is genius. The references and half-quotes are some of the best we’ve seen for some time. Electric Boogaloo? That’s some serious ’80s sequel skills.
Requiem of the Wreckers is a hefty amount of introspection and revaluation about just who Springer is, why Impactor is who he is, how Verity keeps on keeping on etc. etc. What we have here is a genuinely satisfying ending. One that gives closure whilst still leaving that yearning. One that asks questions. Best of all, Requiem gives us the opportunity to re-read all the related tales of all the related characters with a new and somewhat redefined purpose. If I have one complaint it’s that Springer ultimately is revealed to be Dave Lister, but then again I can’t think of a better ‘bot for the job.
Having read both this and Unicron #0, I am convinced the end will be a glorious rollercoaster. Can’t wait.
Everything about Requiem is a love letter to the Wreckers, the characters, and Transformers comics as a whole. The behind the scenes notes alone are worth the price of admission.
To Mr Roche et al, I salute you. Wreck and rule!
The writer of this piece was: Alex McElhinney
Alex Tweets from @UnicronsBeard