Diving straight back into the action, issue 3 of Transformers Autocracy follows immediately on from Soundwave's escape from the Iacon senate security meeting. Zeta Prime, having unveiled his new ‘weapon’ now orders Orion Pax and his elite team of Bumblebee, Hound, Prowl, Ironhide and Silverbolt to track down and stop the escaping spy, setting up an epic chase and an exploration of Soundwave’s capabilities that IDW have woefully ignored in their time in charge of this franchise.
Again the art and lighting is of the highest standard, you still feel as though you are remembering these images from eons ago, but there is a trade off for the stunning visuals as some of the action shots seem to lack clarity. The fight between Bumblebee, Hound and Ravage is over quickly but without Silverbolt's narration, it would difficult to tell exactly what happened at the end, although the other cassettes used are a bit clearer, and a special mention should be made of the sound effect lettering by Robbie Robbins which adds to both the tension and narrative allowing the various crashes, bangs and explosions to entertain in the background and actually enhance the art.
This is the sort of episode where the writing steps up, Soundwave fleeing for his life masterfully using his cassette army as a defensive strategy, and the interchange between Soundwave and Frenzy is fitting and well written by Metzen and Dille and they squeeze a great deal into a limited space, especially with the twist at the end. Soundwave's fight with Orion himself is intense and every bit as brutal as the signature of this series, not afraid to show a little mech-on-mech violence and it makes this darker comic an engrossing read, and the teasers of other well known Decepticons on the last page all add to this cliff-hanger of an ending.
Those in the know will have an idea of what to expect from issue 4, and this polished showcase of one of the Decepticons' best known lieutenants abilities just further emphasises what Orion and his band are up against from both sides.
How will our heroes get out of this one?