Spotlight: (Everyone but) Hoist!
With this issue, 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 ones we've already covered: Orion Pax
. Check again later this week for Thundercracker and Bumblebee.
But now, on with what you came for – Spotlight: Hoist
FACE OFF! HOIST has always managed to fade into the background: until now. Trapped on an alien planet with a narcissist, half a scientist and a creature that may or may not turn into a catapult, the Lost Light's mild-mannered maintenance engineer must confront the five most dangerous DECEPTICONS ever.
They're not joking!Story
In quite the departure from the usual Roberts style, the issue opens with some very 'silent' pages. But it works, it's a nice action scene, it feels right, and Hoist gets to explain what is going on pretty soon. And we get to see Sunstreaker, Swerve, Perceptor and Bob (!).
We get to see a lot of them, actually. Perceptor is unexpected, if anything, and admittedly, doesn't do much except provide plot-advancement and dialogue. Unsurprisingly, it's Swerve who provides the social glue between the shipmates. And we get another glimpse into his own personal story, which really isn't what he makes it out to be.
Yes, yes you are
Sunstreaker (and Bob!) is a nice return, and Roberts looks at some of his threads left over from previous series, including Bob (!). The main character, Hoist, does not have that much more page time, but still goes through a lot, especially towards the end. He's resourceful, quick, clever and just a really nice guy, actually.
And boy does he look good in a crossbow
The twists in this story are nice, but a little predictable to the attentive reader. Most of the plot can be figured out from the very first page if you look at it carefully. Still, Roberts makes a nice bottle episode out of it, and does nice things with the characters. Shame about the wasted Metrotitan plot.Art
Agustin Padilla, of Rage of the Dinobots
fame, provides the artwork, and does a really nice job with it! The scenery looks brilliant, and Swerve and Hoist are really good; Sunstreaker is a different take on the character and I can't disagree with artistic licence. But where is Perceptor's scope-eye? Hm? Hm?
You're a sniper-scientist, dammit!
Joana Lafuente is absolutely astonishing on colours. Seriously, this thing just looks gorgeous. The characters' eyes are constanstly glowing, and not in a tacky way, whereas the softer tones really show off the artwork and help convey the loneliness of the fallen ship and its crew.
Shawn Lee on letters does some nice stuff too, as there's a lot of silence to fill in, and quite a bit of anguish as well. Overall, a better Padilla result than More Than Meets the Eye 16, I believe, with pencils and inks done by the same artist, and an excellent team altogether! The visual storytelling is absolutely amazing, too.ThoughtsSpoilerish ahead
I do have some minor gripes about this issue, especially in terms of linking it to the Metrotitan plot (even less than Spotlight: Bumblebee
!). And some of the art for the characters' faces leaves me a bit unsure. But overall, this is a very nice, very clean, spot-on issue. And it has two of my new favourite jokes about the IDW series.
I wanted moooore...
For various reasons, I am placing this below Spotlight: Trailcutter
and on par with Spotlight: Orion Pax
. They are very very different comics, with different agendas and entirely different tones. But the character development in this one is excellent, and it's really self contained, and it just works. But it could have done much much more.