Transformers comics this summer have been an utter blast to read. While one can claim that IDW’s ongoing Transformers series featured a rather slow and questionable start up until July 2011, many cannot deny the fact that the series leading up into Transformers: Chaos is picking up heat.
Grabbing the cover of Transformers: Ongoing #23
, you’ll find a sleek Optimus Prime cover done by Alex Milne, in the same fashion as Ongoing #22’s Megatron cover. Much as #22 rotated from Megatron’s past, to Megatron’s present ordeals, so does #23. This issue continues the pre-war Cybertron storyline and present day drama through the eyes of Optimus Prime.
The way Roberts is able to convey Prime’s feelings, and meld it together with Milne’s art and Lafuente's colors is top notch. The issue is not all serious business, there are moments of laughter, moments of pure astonishment, and moments of "..And that's why I'm a Transformers fan".
While Transformers has always been about Optimus Prime and Megatron going at it mano-e-mano, this issue shows it's been more than just that. We’ve watched and read Optimus Prime for the past 27 years. While many may claim that they know how he works, and how he feels, and what he would do in any situation, Roberts makes you ask yourself – Do you really know what Optimus Prime is going to do?
No one does. Not even Optimus Prime himself knows. As we see him change from modest police cop in pre-war Cybertron, to the leader of the Autobots in the present day, #23 shows us that regardless of whether he wears the Matrix of Leadership, Optimus Prime isn’t omniscient, nor is he the embodiment of perfection. His actions may not always be about winning the war, or saving other lives. #23 shows Prime works more along the lines of what he thinks is right, and doing whatever it takes to fulfill that.
You may ask yourself, is that how a Leader should act? I will answer, yes. #23 shows that the stale regime of Nominus Prime and the corrupt Cybertronian Senate set Cybertron’s Golden age on the path of steady decline, while the likes of Orion Pax(Optimus) and Megatron wanted to take action. Not just talk about it, but actually do something. Yes, the two have fought centuries and centuries of war, with each of their respective factions losing number upon number of soldiers. But before the war, they had the same goals in mind. While the lore previously stated that they shared the same ideals, Roberts gives me the feeling that if it weren’t for corruption of power, Megatron could have been an Autobot brother-in-arms alongside Optimus.
Ongoing #23 is a bridge to the start of Transformers: Chaos, but it’s more than just that. I am glued to every page, to Robert’s every written word and attached to every emotion that Optimus Prime has. I am infatuated with Milne’s stunning art. This is one of the best Transformers issues we have seen in the past couple of years. If you thought #22 was good with Prime and Megatron taking centerfold, wait until you have Prime alone in #23.
Do your wallet a favour and pick up Ongoing #23 this Wednesday.
(A preview of this issue can be seen here
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