With this week's Spotlight: Hoist
release, the Spotlight series seems to have concluded as far as we know. So we decided to go back and make sure all the issues have been reviewed! Read the Megatron
ones, and come back later this week for Thundercracker and Bumblebee.
And now, starting from the beginning – Spotlight: Orion Pax
BEFORE OPTIMUS PRIME—there was Orion Pax! Four million years ago, the future leader of the AUTOBOTS disappeared into the Cybertronian wilderness to save a friend. What happened next would take him to the very brink—and have startling repercussions on the current comics!
I'm on a ..shuttleStory
This story takes place before the events of Autocracy. This story is written by James Roberts. This story is about Orion Pax trying out a new body before being upgraded to the Matrix-holding one. This story starts with Orion Pax tied to a shuttle. This story is actually quite cool.
He does look weird without a faceplate
We are reintroduced to Zeta (sorry, Zeta Prime), Rung shows up for the first time before the war, and there a bunch of other interesting cameos scattered around the issue. Roberts writes in some interesting action, and fairly nice twist, and we get to look at
Alpha Trion, you so cool
While Orion Pax definitely gets some character development, including some referential jokes to his ordinary look in the franchise, the other big element of this one-shot is undoubtedly Alpha Trion, with his know-it-all-been-there-done-that attitude. And there's the hint at Metroplex and the Metrotitan plot from the Annuals, almost shoehorned in.
How subtle can you be with a city?
The story sets up nicely the rest of this iteration of the Spotlight series, and is a nice one-off featuring Orion Pax and some of the major players later in the war. But it does feel as if something is missing. Roberts' Alpha Trion almost makes up for it though.Art
Steve Kurth is on pencils, Juan Castro on inks, and they do a fairly decent job of portraying a younger Cybertronian environment and cast. Zeta has just upgraded to his Autocracy body, we're introduced to a couple of old friends, and Alpha Trion is the big name here, and boy does he look good.
He even turns into the Batmobile! With a cape!
J. Aburtov and Graphikslava provide the colours to the issue, and I have to say, I like them! They're quite lightly saturated, and give a somewhat dusty feel to the whole story – which works really well in the desert scenes and the arena, and also fits nicely in this pre-pre-prequel one-shot. Lighting is handled really well too, and Shawne Lee does some nice work in the soundword department, especially with aerial scenes.
See? Within the lines
There are a couple of issues with some of the action scenes, but they can be overlooked quite easily, as at least we can tell what is going on. The colours are nice, and Orion does look weird without the face-plate... but then, that's the whole point.ThoughtsSpoilerish ahead
It's a fairly decent issue, with some good Roberts humour, some nice characterisation for Orion Pax, and it helps set up the coming issues and the plotline running through them. The action scenes are nice, and the events are well tied in with pre-existing continuity.
Thundercracker, you're next
The only problems this encounters is that the main plot is not the actual plot, but the conswequences of the twist feel a bit forced at times. All in all, though, a decent return to the Spotlight series, and a nice move to focus on Orion Pax after The Death of Optimus Prime. Next, please.