(CONTAINING SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS RID ISSUES, HOWEVER)
With summer fun in the books, the IDW ongoing Transformers series starts September off with Robots In Disguise #9. Issue #8 left us with a rather vague cliffhanger involving Ironhide and the Dinobots. Barber continues the RID series with a rather abstract issue in #9. Initially I felt that the Cybertronians stuck on their motherplanet had a slew of villains to deal with - I find it rather perplex and unfortunate that those 'villains' have yet to come and there's animosity among the ranks!
The characterization of the Dinobots continue, and they are certainly following their leader who's stuck in the MTMTE-verse. They manage to acknowledge their lack of intelligence by oddly bringing themselves together as a group. That's not very good news for Ironhide. Reading through the issue I get the sense that's there's something wrong with the water outside of the major city. A virus? A plague? Jedi mindtricks? We'll find out in the next few issues or two.
Moving back to the main group, as readers we are focused into the mind of Bumblebee. While Bumblebee's political status in the Cybertronian hierarchy has increased tenfold in the previous Ongoing series and RID, I feel that Bumblebee's leadership qualities and personality have gone backwards. Once capable of bringing his fellow Autobots out of turmoil on Earth, he seems to be pulling a G1 Rodimus Prime, filling himself with doubt and stress, as his list of things to do keep piling on. Bumblebee's true resolve will be tested in due time.
We also get guest appearances from Arcee, Blurr and Reflector. The Reflector trio is hilarious as always. Being a bartender has turned Blurr into a moody fellow, and Arcee smiling is one of the creepiest sights I have seen in awhile.
overall, #9 sets up the Cybertronian faction with an incoming hurricane of events, however individually I felt that the issue lacked a 'wow' factor, even with the typical end page reveals. I also felt that the issue was forced to conclude itself in regards to Bumblebee, resulting in some confusion. Hoping our next issues and the upcoming RID Annual make this flight a little more enjoyable.