Me, Galvatron (Warrior) KingSynopsis
GALVATRON THE BARBARIAN! From Cybertron’s ancient past came the warrior-king, GALVATRON. Once, he united CYBERTRON and ushered in a Golden Age. Now, he wants to do the same to Earth… but OPTIMUS PRIME has a problem with that plan.
So we're still/back on Earth, as the Autobots and Decepticons seem to have switched places in the mind of humanity - or the humanity controlled by Marissa Faireborn and her EDC organisation, at least. Who still really want to keep the robots under wraps for as long as they can, and presumably the fact that they are now siding with the 'bad guys', too.
Decepticons being deceptive? Surely not
Flashback! In the distant past of Cybertron, a warrior did warrior things, killing people, slicing people, being snarky and other such barbaric nonsense. But a 'new' player comes into the arena, all that way back, and it really looks like it will have severe repercussions on the entire game, all the way up to the present.
Telling it like it is
In the second flashback, we get more about Arcee and her decision to join the Earth Autobot mission, but also her feelings about the three new female Camiens showing up - and I have to say, Barber really made it work, in the same subdued way we saw in Windblade
. But then, Barber made Arcee work all through RID, including her excellent dry comments on the situation.
..and on Prowl
Overall, Barber delivers a significantly slower issue, with a lot of explaining and setting up: Soundwave and Galvatron setting up their 'plan', Marissa Faireborne setting up Earth's current state, Jetfire setting up the Constructicons, and them setting up Prowl's backstory, in a way - but the dialogue and chemistry with the latter two/seven is brilliant, as is Jetfire in fact, and Soundwave really shines. Art
Three artists, Casey Coller, Brendan Cahill and main lineworker Andrew Griffith, return to their flashback and main narrative duties. Cahill actually redraws some of what we saw in previous issues, but from different angles, and has a great smirking Prowl; Coller takes us to Galvatron's past, and shows some guts and gore, with excellent facial expressions accompanying them. Both are coloured by the brilliant Joana Lafuente, who really makes the two look different, but still linked enough for some really nice transitions.
o hai Arcee
Griffith's robots are amazing, with Soundwave, Galvatron and Prowl/Devastator taking main stage, but the humans have some really good touches too, and some amazing scale perspectives with panelwork that are jawdropping. Josh Perez' colours really help in setting the tone for the fights and aftermaths, with darker tones glinting with scheming light.
Sound and scale!
Tom B. Long clearly had a lot of fun with lettering too, seeing the amount of sound-effects and personal voice/fonts throughout the issue. And the covers, all four of them, are great additions, with Coller and Lafuente on B, Griffith and Tramontano on A, and Guido Guidi on two versions of the iconic Megatron-Optimus fight, one sketch, one with John-Paul Bove's colours (see thumbnail)!ThoughtsSpoilerish ahead
I am conflicted about this issue, for a handful of reasons. I loved Prowl's continuous scheming, Galvatron's over-the-top zealotry and warrior nature, Soundwave's true colours. But it felt like a slow issue, which relied on those three points - and the reason everyone is on Earth - to move along in a big fight sequence that, don't get me wrong, looks great. But still felt a bit like stalling.
Prowl's plans keep unravelling, but something is definitely going on with him. The green buddies are as amusing as ever, and there's something more there too. Galvatron is taking a leaf out of Prowl's book, and starts flipping *everything* in his rage, Faireborn and the EDC have a much better take on 'disguise' than usual, too. But I really want the story to leap forward now - show us moar, Barber!