Seriously, finding non-spoiler filled images was legitimately difficult.
Here we are, 4 years, 7 months, and a week since The Death of Optimus Prime, which ushered in what has arguably been the best long-form run of Transformers comics in history (that includes Robots in Disguise/The Transformers and all the various one-shots and mini-series within this time period, for the record.) Now that I've read More Than Meets The Eye 55, it feels like the end of an era. Yes, the story is continuing next month, and even once this iteration of the book wraps up with issue 57 there's still the Revolution tie-in book and a relaunch under the moniker of Lost Light, but do you feel it?
It feels like an act is done, the stage set for the next, but the immediate moment finds curtains drawn, house lights brought up, and an audience filing away. They'll mingle and chatter about what's been seen, some will speculate on what's still to come, but when the lights flicker and they come back they're going to know that the immediate next act is not one with the players just seen. Behind the curtains, a director is leaving the chair, costumes are being changed, and new actors are preparing for their debuts.
This drawn out analogy is important, as the content of MTMTE 55 is much more satisfying when considering the perceived feeling of significant change in the universe of Transformers comics. With this preamble done, let's dive into more specifics about this particular issue.
Probably not a good way to get your security deposit back.
While "Season 2" of More Than Meets The Eye has been running since directly after the Dark Cybertron crossover event arc, for this reviewer, there have always been two parts of this "Season": before issue 44, and after. That was the issue where Megatron's journey began to pivot, and it was also the point where the quantitative amount of mysteries that the book held in store seemed to hit a peak. From the last Scavengers two parter and on through "Speak, Memory" and "Dying of the Light", more questions have been slowly answered compared to the amount of new questions that have arisen. With this issue, hold on to your seat - my roller coaster analogy was not just an unusually popular Tweet. This book will hit you with story beats, character moments, major revelations, floods of emotion, and heart pounding suspense in rapid succession without leaving room for much time in between.
A small sample of the intensity that awaits.
Make no mistake about it though, this issue is both the end of and very representative of "Season 2". It's all about the journey, and not every reader, including very devoted MTMTE followers, will be satisfied with every direction taken.
No really, this will be the reaction some of you have. But to which part?
As can be expected of a James Roberts penned book, each turn is clever and well explained within the words and imagery present. If you like "James Roberts clever twists", you'll love this issue to pieces, though the massive amount of content pressed into twenty pages of comic does lead some of these to feel anticlimactic. That's indeed a critique, but the immediate counterpoint is that some things just had to be quickly handled for this story to do everything it wanted to do. Maybe some initial ideas got punted or changed, especially looking back to the solicit for the issue, or maybe they didn't and I just don't fully grasp the solicitation's text yet.
Let's all talk about this in the thread below. I don't think we've got closure on this point.
Some other staff members here on Seibertron have expressed similar laments on this concluding piece of a larger arc, ranging from comments on how the book couldn't quite help "Dying of the Light" top the floor of its reach, to one about some turns not literally being 'deus ex machina' moments yet managing to feel the same way.
To me, this is more of an issue of prioritization and not even pacing anymore. Character moments are, it would seem, purposely given more real estate than answered questions (when they aren't one in the same), and not every fruit borne of promising seeds ends up tasting ripe on the first bite due to this balance. Having had the luxury of time to think a great deal before writing this review, it should be said that while there was some initial bitterness on the palette during the initial tasting, nothing lingered and it's all settled in very satisfyingly. Your mileage may vary, as MTMTE "Season 2", like many delicacies, can be an acquired taste.
I told you - non-spoiler images just aren't abound in this issue!
For the production of the book (full credits may be found here), get ready for Milne, Lafuente, and Long at their very best. Each character looks exactly as your brain tells you their MTMTE iteration looks, complete with super expressive facial features, body language, and movements. These are highlighted by all the 'choom's and 'vromp's you can shake a stick at, with the colors of the characters and environments putting a tidy bow on a beautifully presented package.
Visually speaking, this delivers everything you could want and then some. There are even some visual cues that lead me to believe the events in the latter part of the book may be, well, more than meets the eye.
I think that what is tinfoil may never a'luminate. And I'm sorry.
Hats off to the entire team, even those contributing just in the form of variant covers like Nick Roche, Josh Burcham, Brendan Cahill, and Jean-Paul Bove, and of course to outgoing editor John Barber.
Like the rest of More Than Meets The Eye for the past couple of years, you might read this tomorrow and feel underwhelmed by a few points. If you're someone that's looking for more passive Transformers entertainment and have been highly critical of issues 28-54, you'll be highly critical of 55. If you've enjoyed chewing through every detail, and re-read old arcs over and over looking for clues on where things will go, or if you've just really enjoyed every bit of MTMTE since issue 28 without fail, you'll love this issue.
Ultimately, I found this to be a very satisfying conclusion to a very satisfying arc. The great character work shines, the story moves briskly, and nothing feels to have happened without at least some degree of thought out cause.
Did I like every twist? No, I think at least one huge opportunity for an amazing future story had a big red "abort" button pressed, and some others felt like fanservice that just didn't add anything except for those rooting for certain characters. There were some amazing twists though, and the end in particular has me watching my calendar and eyeing the IDW release schedule thinking only "How could they do this to us?!" Waiting for December is going to hurt.
When reflecting on how long and how deeply I've had to think about this issue, I'm glad to have held off on writing this review until days after my initial read. Thinking back to the moment when I reached the start of the third to last page, and how I was involuntarily at the edge of my chair, heart pounding in anticipation of what was or was not about to happen, the realization strikes that this journey, Megatron's journey, is a story that will stick with me for a long time.
Like Megatron, it isn't perfect, but there's a great deal to love despite a few rough edges.
. & 1/2 out of "Don't Change Back" aka 4.5/5
Bonus! James Roberts' soundtrack suggestions for this issue:
Via the very active Instagram account of the Transformers: The Last Knight marketing team, we have two minor updates. In one clip, embedded below, Josh Duhamel / Lennox, makes a rousing speech about checking the Transformers Facebook page every Tuesday to get behind the scenes updates from the set (we'll stay tuned for you).
In the other, the IDW people were rightfully excited to spot two comics from their production, both part of the Transformers series (and one issue from when it was still called Robots in Disguise) by John Barber, and one with art by Andrew Griffith (issue #13) and one by Sara Pitre Durocher (issue #47). Just an easter egg, or a chance that some ideas might find their way on screen? Check it out below, and speculate away!
Via on-the-ball Transformers fansite Transformers@The Moon, we have another update on the exciting world of trademarks registered from Hasbro with the USPTO: Prime.
Just Prime. No other information on what is might relate to, other than the category 'Toy robots convertible into other visual toy forms'. Is this to be another subline that we'll see soon? Something else entirely? Sound off in the Energon Pub!
Trademark Source: USPTO
Mark (in words): PRIME
Serial Number: 87111650
Filing Date: Thursday, 21st of July 2016
Status: New application will be assigned to an examining attorney approximately 3 months after filing date.
Status Date: Monday, 25th of July 2016
Registration Date: Wednesday, 30th of November -0001
Prior Reg Numbers:
Current Location: NEW APPLICATION PROCESSING
Date In Location: Monday, 25th of July 2016
Class Status: ACTIVE
Category: Toy robots convertible into other visual toy forms
We are postponing our review of The Transformers #55, as John Barber has let people know via Twitter that the issue's release date has been moved to next week (it may still digitally, though, at this point it seems there is some confusion at distribution level). As we aim to release reviews on the day of release for more readers to join in the conversation, we have chosen to follow suit. Titans Return and More Than Meets the Eye #55 will have their reviews up today as scheduled! Thank you for understanding.
The world is a cruel place. TF #55 is apparently next week. So, enjoy those music links over and over. And, you know, read MTMTE & Titans R.
Our podcast star xRotorstormx went wild on these new Alt Modes figures and bought the entire first wave and sent us pictures. While they are blindbagged, there is a small hole in the back where you can try to figure out which character is in the box. A video review after the images will show you how to find the one you want. You will also be able to get an idea of the scale of these when looking at the reviewer handling them. Thse are small 2.5 inch one step figures and the first wave features:
Prowl (who looks super grumpy)
Here are a few words from Rotorstorm regarding her new purchase:
Last night I was able to get my hands on these adorable (yes, I said adorable!) little figures from my local Toys R Us. To me, they are more of a display piece, much like Kreos, as they are simple 1-step figures but I found them quite enjoyable to play with.
They come in blind boxes, similar to the Loyal Subject figures, but much cheaper ($6.99 each). On the plus side, there is a small hole in the back of the box that allows you to see inside a bit so you can try and figure out what character is inside.
In vehicle mode, they look like Micro Machine versions of the G1 vehicle modes and have little wheels that you can drive them around which I got a kick out of. Be careful though with your Starscream nosecone, as I ended up somehow being able to spin him in the wrong direction and scuffed the tip a little.
In robot mode, they are a little top heavy...no surprise there... so it takes a little finagling to get them to stand without any support but it can be done!
and...if you feel compelled...decapitate your prowl to form PROWLASTATOR!
Overall, I think they all look good. Megatron and Prowl could use a little more paint detail but I love that the trucks remind me Micro Machines, Starscream has sparkly blue paint, and how can you not love sad face Prowl?
If you're looking for something simple and fun, I say pick some up. I'm definitely looking forward to wave 2!
//grumpy prowl out
Our other pocastig star, Tigertrack, got Prowl and took some comparison images to giv you a sense of scale.
Lastly, here is a video review of Optimus Prime and a quick quide on how to find the one you want.
Itching for another Transformers related event? TFcon Chicago 2016 has just opened its registration! Just head to their website to purchase entry to one of the biggest fan-run conventions on US soil - right here. Read more below about the announcement too.
Advance ticket sales for TFcon Chicago 2016 are now live and will close October 16th.
Weekend tickets (includes early admission on Saturday) are $50.
Early admission tickets for Saturday (9 am entry) will be $30.
Regular admission tickets for Saturday (11 am entry) will be $20.
Regular admission tickets for Sunday will be $20.
Kids between 5 and 12 are $5 for each day. There is no charge for children under 5 years of age.
Guest appearances subject to cancellation or schedule change, due to professional commitments. Some guests may charge additional fees for autographs and/or photos. All prices are in US dollars. All sales are final, no exchanges or refunds for any reason.
Fellow Seibertronian and one of my ancestors Tigertrack has just sent us a sighting for the Playskool Heroes Transformers: Rescue Bots line, as spotted in his Toys'R'Us in Westland, MI. The round-up includes the Optimus Prime Racing Trailer with Blurr for $29.99, and Rescue Racers Bumblebee and Sideswipe for $14.99 each. Check out photo proof below, and make sure to mark up any new sighting in our database and regional boards!
Beast Wars Tuesdays continues! Did you think we had forgotten about you? As we recover from San Diego Comic Con news, we return to our regularly scheduled appointment with Beast Wars Tuesdays, and we delve into the latter end of the Western canon: Beast Machines! Check back next Tuesday to see our next set of Beast Wars related galleries.
This week, Seibertron.com brings you a look back at two of the drones in the fairly divisive animated series that followed the Maximals and Predacons' (more or less) return to their homeplanet of Cybertron. Vehicons, Basic class, and the springboard for two of the main Generals, the tank drone and motorcycle drone are smaller versions of the ones used for Tankor and Thrust (and the template for the Generations Tankor figure), and true troop builders. Also part of the Battle for the Spark monicker, you can check them out in their galleries by clicking on any of the images below!
After the in-hand images we saw a while back for the two new Warrior class figures in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise line - Scorponok and Windblade - we also have two video reviews for the Decepticon and Autobot, courtesy of tfrWLDNAS on YouTube in his post Roll Out Roll Call haul look. Check them out embedded below!
Seibertronians, we have another Machinima Designer video, similar to the Victorion-centered one we reported on a few days ago straight from the official Transformers instagram. This time it's on the topic of everyone's favorite (not so) jolly green giant, Devastator! The video, embedded below, confirms Devastator will have a part in the show, and his design seems to be based off of the Combiner Wars iteration. Check it out!
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