For review today, I have the first issue of a new series from IDW called Transformers: Autocracy
. Co-Written by former G1 writer Flint Dille and by Transformers newcomer Chris Metzen (VP of Blizzard Entertainment) with art by Livio Ramondelli (of Transformers Chaos fame) this series is going to be distributed bi-weekly over the likes of 24 weeks and is IDW’s first fully DIGITAL ONLY comic.
Taking place before the actual war between Autobots and Decepticons, this issue focuses on Orion Pax before he was Optimus Prime, directly following and continuing the flashback events in issue number 23 of Ongoing. The main events of this story follow Pax leading a group of familiar Autobots into a very downtrodden territory in Cybertron searching for civilian terrorist cells and an arms dealer who's providing them with stolen government armaments.
The story is dark, violent, and it seems to be providing more reasons for the Cybertronian masses that return in ‘Death of Optimus Prime’ to be wary and very spiteful toward the Autobots. The story looks promising, even if it is a bit disturbing that the deep, reflective Orion Pax that made an entire meeting of senators take notice and think, seems to have turned into a nasty, unthinking warrior with a new large empty space in his chest. Hmm... I’m sure there is a point to this Jekyll and Hyde Pax. I should probably cut the two accomplished writers a break with this and assume there’s good reason.
This first story really sets the tone for the series and as an Autobot fan, I feel like I am going to be disappointed with just how much my peace loving heroes are revealed to have done that is less than moral. Like pounding Swindle’s face in... Wha??? Sniping a terrorist cell leader.. boom, headshot! Yeah, I’m not sure, but hoping for the best for my Autobot allies. I’m also not sure how much more of this I can take without some more connection to the greater good, and more reflection from the good guys on their actions being the only option and leading to guilt or tough feelings, hindrances next time in the field. Thank Primus for Bumblebee’s vision, and heart...(can’t believe I just said that, but at least Bumblebee gets it) although he snipes one moment and then grows a conscience the next. #readingtoomuchintothisright?
The art is at as it has been with Livio on Transformers Chaos; you like it, love it, or you at least put up with it--which is the camp I’m in. His style hasn't really changed since we last saw his work, it’s still very realistically stylized and takes some liberties assuming we know what is happening in panels, but it is still very original and sure to make those who wondered where Botcon’s 1st announced guest would turn up again satisfied.
Being IDW's first digital comic, this prequel is worth picking up and at only $.99 I say go for it. Although it’s only 8 pages of story, it packs a lot into 8 pages...an interesting new format for presenting to us. With the way this issue is continuing to give us more background on things that were established during Chaos Theory, IDW TF followers, it seems this is a must buy for you. To repeat myself, it is certainly giving us more historical aspects that drive current story, so it to me is a must read, not just a meaningless mini which honestly IDW has not done much of with their G1 universe.
Short and sweet.. spend a buck, get an exciting story, and a piece of history. *Pardon my edits please, typing with a broken finger in my hand. Thanks, good bots.*