THE WAR TO END ALL WARS! Can the Autobots prevail against JHIAXUS’ New Cybertronian Empire? The disastrous invasion ends in dramatic and shocking fashion with twists, shocks and surprises galore, and STARSCREAM right in the thick of things. Dark forces are stirring for the final chapter of the original TRANSFORMERS epic!
Meanwhile, at Hasbro HQ
We are really really almost there this time, with only one issue left after this. And with everything converging and clashing into a massive multidimensional mayhem muddle, readers are left to unravel the threads by themselves. Stream crossing allowed, but not recommended. Let's try making some sense of it.
Example 1: Mayhem
For those keeping count, we have the Dark Matrix Creature, Starscream/Underbase, Jhiaxus, Galvatron and Primus (or is it?), in terms of main plotlines, with most characters involved with Jhiaxus in the Hub Network, Rodimus, Ultra Magnus and Wreckers included. In fact, Starscream and Shockwave might be involved, too.
And if that aspect takes the main stage, it is also resolved way too quickly, with the secondary stories explored not as much in detail - though we do get to see a lot more of Spike, trapped in Zero and dealing with his own issues, and the Dinobots, still on Cybertron, still dealing with the Primordials, still not doing much, really.
Pffft. Was it inside him..?
While Simon Furman is clearly trying to make sure all ends meet, there is not enough space in these final issues to squeeze all the plots and characters and stories that have been, admittedly, slowly building up since #80.5. It's fun, it has action, but it falls short in terms of the longer run, unfortunately.
If there is one thing I really don't have anything bad to say, though, it's the artwork. Guido Guidi does some amazing pencilwork, and Stephen Baskerville's inks feel once more like the perfect complement to the whole show. The Galvatron panel, shown in the B cover too, is exceptional, and some of the wider shots are truly spectacular.
Thinking out of the box?
It's all obviously enhanced, especially by adding an organic and sidereal sense where needed, respectively, appropriately, amazingly by John-Paul Bove's colours. We've come to see the astounding developments in the style, and the multifaceted skills this man has, and he does not leave us disappointed. Nossir.
..the colours, they're too good.. the artwork.. it's..
Add to that Chris Mowry's lettering, in an action packed issue such as this one, and you have one explosive combination. As far as covers go, Andrew Wildman and Jason Cardy bring a powerful Starscream to life on A, Guidi's Galvatron graces B, and Geoff Senior and Josh Burcham go all out for the RI version, attached to this review!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Was it bad? No. Was it enjoyable? Yes. Did it do a lot of things right? Absolutely. Did it feel rushed? Definitely. This has been a fear for a while, escalating the action and plotlines towards the end of the run, with a conclusive deadline set really not that far away at all. A shame, because these final arcs really came up again.
Oh and this guy's still pretty much dead
As I said though, it's a thoroughly enjoyable issue, with a lot of things done well, excellent artwork, colours and covers galore, including some amazing Shockwave, Galvatron and Starscream (ish) moments. Are we ready for next month's final-definite-forrealsies conclusion?
CYBERTRON FALLS! The monstrous NECROTITAN ravages the world—but is there anyone left to save it? Meanwhile, in deep space, ULTRA MAGNUS and the crew of the LOST LIGHT struggle to make sense of what they find in the depths of the scarlet sea!
Or just punch it in the face
And here we are, probably the last set-up issue before the big show takes place, as was teased for the next chapter. But before we get to the clash of titans, let's take a look at what this issue does, the new characters introduced, reveals and building up of some old fr--enemies, shall we?
Figures sold separately
Once again, John Barber and James Roberts focus on multiple plotlines at once, from the Lost Light's crew dealing with Metroplex, Ammonites and newcomers Chromia and Nautica, via Pax and Rodimus in the Dead Universe, dealing with Nova and Kup, to the chaos on Cybertron, with Starscream uniting with Prowl, Soundwave and the other 'outcasts'.
And then you have the three new additions: Chromia, Nautica and Windblade, who play a fairly big role in the issue, and one that nicely sets up what may happen later (mini-series included). They're nicely characterised, and topically enough, there are echoes of other female trios in the three's dialogue lines.
Nicely done, Roberber
I was a little disappointed in Starscream being shunned once more in favour of other key players, though I suppose ReGeneration One is dealing with his more powerful incarnations. Though what is his actual Chosen role? Megatron is mocked, undermined yet ultimately I can't help but like him on the scene, too - and Bumblebee. Plus we get a better look at Rodimus' hand, and his real thoughts, for once.
We still have the three artists working on different sections. James Raiz masterfully pens the new additions and a magnificent Metroplex; Livio Ramondelli decidedly darkens the mood for Rodimus and Orion, and dastardly Nova Prime; Atilio Rojo expertly blends a beaten Starscream, bombastic Megatron and brilliant Prowl. And Bumblebee.
Rodimus and his fetish, again
And then you have the colours, with Ramondelli taking care of his own sections, with a lighter palette this time round, it seems. And Josh Perez on Rojo and Raiz' interiors. He kills it, again, with two very different approaches on each style, but both equally brilliant.
What does the Ammonite say..?
Tom B. Long's lettering is still pretty excellent too, from the flaming title page to the sound effects. Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr offer a nice cover with this issue's Tailgate toy, Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente tower over cover A - and then there's Alex Milne and Josh Perez' mouthwatering RI cover. Look at it. Just. Look.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This issue may placate the ire of some readers who thought the whole Windblade affair was going to be blown out of proportion in the April series, beginning to reveal why and how she and the other two, Nautica and Chromia show up, and their importance to the story. We don't get to see much, but it's enough to make want to read more!
Eye'm definitely in!
There was humour, there were revelations, there was a lot of actual rooting for Megatron, after all. There were Nautica, Chromia and Windblade, Rodimus, Whirl, Ratchet - all good characterisation. There was the beginning of the Necrotitan and Metroplex fight we saw teased a while back. There is good art, and an amazing cover. It was good.
A HERO FALLS—AND ONE RETURNS! The struggle in the DEAD UNIVERSE heats up as ORION PAX—the ’bot who was once OPTIMUS PRIME—and RODIMUS struggle with the legacy of PRIMES! Meanwhile, the Lost Light is under attack in deep space—and SHOCKWAVE and the terrifying NECROTITAN threaten CYBERTRON!
And here we are, halfway through the BIGGEST EVENT OF THE EVER HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, according to the solicits since at least two years ago. And I feel like we've hit a bit of a lull, though not an unwelcome one in the issue itself, rather in the plot - unevitable? Maybe. Let's read on.
Eye eye, cap'n!
We're back to the three storylines, following the Lost Light crew inside Metroplex, the boxed lot in the Dead Universe and Starscream's (barely) Cybertron. While the first two actually advance a little, the latter in particular seems to not do much other than re-establish the threat of the Necrotitan and Starscream's connection to it. And a little bit on the 'outcast' faction, I suppose.
And drop in Tankor! Hi Tankor
The other two plotlines, on the other hand, do a little more, with the biggest parts played out in the Dead Universe, especially towards the end of the section. We get some interesting goings-on with the otherwise static situation of the trapped characters, and exchanges are made between Nova Prime and his (ex?) heir Orion - and other things happen.
No, Rodimus, we're not
The final page brings us a fairly big revelation about one of the other players in the story, though see below for more on this. The lull is expected, at this point in the series, and it realy could be worse, and there are still some good moments of characterisation if not plot advancement. I did like the snuck-in addition on Slug's name-change, too.
We're back to three separate art styles, with James Raiz on the Lost Light/in Metroplex' body, Livio Ramondelli in the Dead Universe and Atilio Rojo on Cybertron. And I have to say, I have no major complaints this time round (bar one)! Raiz in particular really shines in this issue, with thinner inks and some crazy panel work; Rojo's lines are a lot nicer too, and really work with the setting; Ramondelli is suited to the DU, until the last page reveal - it took me a while to figure out what was going on, and it detracted from the reveal itself.
Escher-ing in the new year
Josh Perez does is still doing some pretty amazing work, blending into both Raiz' and Rojo's style, and still keeping in tone with the er.. tone of the story being told. Some of the nuances are really cool, especially tha dark/light fade-ins. Ramondelli's colours are also good, as I've said many times before, really suit the Dead Universe - even with the proviso above.
Hardhead is quite the thinker, clearly
Gilbert Lazcano appears to be the regular letterer for now, and I really like some of his more creative moments, like the issue's title page and the Dinobots' speech. All in all, the issue looks good, but that final page really did not do it for me I'm afraid. The two covers by Phil Jimenez and Brendan Cahill are great though, especially the latter!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I've been saying throughout, we've hit the plateau, and it was to be expected, really. Some of the characters (Getaway, Astrotrain, Dinobots, Flatline) get more of an occasion to take the spotlight, even if just for a little while, but the introduction of Tankor so suddenly does feel a bit odd, and blatantly a toy advertising device.
Yeah, sounds about right
I wasn't as bothered with the three different styles this time either, except for that final page (OH I was very annoyed for a bit), and the Escher style scenes are excellent, as are some of the bigger splashes and spreads, with the added bonus of really good, mood-setting colouring too. Next?
. ½ out of
PS: What is going on with the Dinobots' names..? Isn't the big one Sludge? Why is he called Snarl? Just bad speech-bubbles? Halp.
Seibertron.com member Transformermegazord has shared a video review of Hasbro's upcoming Transformers Generations Deluxe Skywarp. The figure is redeco of the now familiar Transformers: FoC Seeker mold, which rounds out the Seeker trio with the previously released Starscream and Thundercracker. Takara Tomy has already released a version of Skywarp using this mold, however it features a much less traditional color scheme than it's Hasbro counterpart. Check out his review embedded below.
DARK FORCES RISE! JHIAXUS—the mysterious senator who deleted himself from Cybertronian history—is back… but as friend or foe? RODIMUS PRIME is forced to question the motives of Primus himself—does he drag the AUTOBOTS into a war they can’t win… or side with an “enemy” who seeks only one thing: universal order?
Because what could go wrong..?
And here he is. Been teased for some time now, we've been developing a back story, dealing with the aftermath of the battle with Galvatron (while Optimus keeps building things in Oklahoma, as you do) and the primordial Cybertronians settling in - and there's quite a message going on with that plot, too - and now, Simon Furman brings Jhiaxus slap bang in the middle of it.
Surprise, he's a show-off
And he seems nice enough, if you ignore the thick, constant judging of everything on Cybertron, and the fact that his minions are terrifying and evil, and he's insanely rational and evil and supervillain-esque. Have I mentioned the minions are terrifying and evil? And racist/specieist? Surely the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree..
Rodimus Prime deals with Jhiaxus, who goes in full-on explanation mode - yet, still works, quite nicely, too. He's been set up to be an arrogant, learned, self-centred ex-senator, and that's exactly what his character is like. And there seems to be a reason behind all his power, too.
He's backed up by Hasbro!
I'm impressed. Furman plays well with his fairly expanded cast, while never losing sight of the threat posed by Jhiaxus. The Dinobots are brought in for a "subplot" of sorts, that ties in with the rest, we get to look at the continuation of the Fort Max plot, even if just for a glimpse, and the conclusion is very very fan-worthy
Guido Guidi is still on art duties, with Stephen Baskerville inking the gorgeous linework. I still sometimes forget that this is not Wildman at his best, as Guidi has done an amazing job at emulating the style while still keeping his own touch in the art. The more organic characters look brilliant, and Jhiaxus' face is something to be in awe.
As for colours, JP Bove once again delivers some stunningly chromed and slick paintjobs to absolutely everything, from organic technobirds to possessed giant robots to gold-shining faces and rubble, guns, skies and more. I'm still not sure how he does what he does, but does it he does, and does it well.
Chris Mowry's letters do a great job of helping out with the more action-based sequences, too, without ever getting in the way of the artwork - which is always a good thing. And make sure you take a look at all the covers: other than Andrew Wildman's classic A cover, Guidi's Fortress Maximus is a thing to behold, and Geoff Senior's cover is a fun as always!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Ok, this was really fun. Furman's dialogue can get a little our of hand, especially reading this and Dark Cybertron together, but it still fits the characters. The action in this one is well-plotted and justified, and the storyline looks very promising. And I really hope other readers get the kick I got at the two revelatory point in the issue
Next: Another good plan
I'm running out of things to say about the artwork, though it never ceases to amaze me. This is what most older readers will remember from the earlier days, with the new injected into it. It's shiny, it's gritty, it's beautiful, it's face-y and it's all due to the more or less Italians (and Baskerville). Yes, I just went there.
STARSCREAM UNDER FIRE! The all-new, all-redesigned, all-leader-of-the-planet STARSCREAM makes his move! Will he stand up for CYBERTRON, or fall under SHOCKWAVE’s onslaught? Meanwhile—the Lost Light receives a desperate call from help from an old friend!
His fabulous, sassy move
PREVIOUSLY, in the reviews: People in the Dead Universe, people on Cybertron, people on the Lost Light! Orion Pax, Starscream, Ultra Magnus! Got it? Got it! (!) But, on the other hand, the Roll Call page has shifted, and that's a nifty little placeholder, actually, giving a sense of the different scenes and their cast.
Dead people in the universe?
John Barber and James Roberts keep weaving the tale of this previously unknown prophecy telling of the advent of a Dark Cybertron, with cyclopses, titans, comets and the such. So it all makes sense. Or does it? I'm not sure how far I can buy into a long-standing legend that has never really been heard of before, though.
I like what they're doing with Rattrap, even the very explicit reveals about his character or potential ulterior motives. What I also like is the Magnus-driven plot aboard the Lost Light, pointing to a different use of his character, now that all the layers have been sliced off. And Brainstorm is still great.
The plot is actually unexpected at this point, I was not anticipating the Necrotitan's involvement so soon, nor was I expecting its aftermath so quickly. I am extremely intrigued by what on earth is Shockwave planning, that's for sure. Will we ever know?
I feel a lot better about the artwork in this issue, even if it is the same two artists: James Raiz for Lost Light Scenes, Atilio Rojo for Cybertron scenes. The latter's linework looks much better, inexplicably, since last week's issue, and there are some brilliant shots of some (sigh) 'old friends'. Raiz really works well with Magnus and Brainstorm, and the inks don't look as dark as previously, though it can get a bit cluttered at times.
Where we're going, we don't need no chairs
I was going to say something about the colours and how they work with the lines but HOLY HOTPANTS BATMAN. Josh Perez takes splash and spreads to new levels, and you'll see what I mean when you read it! The colours are good all over, but those scenes are ridiculously good. Tom B. Long is equally impressive in his lettering, and never gets in the way unless needed. But when he is, he adds some great personality to the noises and sounds.
Wait for it...
As I said, the two different styles work a lot better for me in this issue, for some reason. Maybe it's the script transition, maybe it's the colours, maybe it's the tone getting darker, but whatever it is, it works. Make sure to check out Nick Roche's cover B for some added goodness, too.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
It's getting there, oh is it getting there. We're finally clocking into what might be happening, we get some good action out of it, the characters are being set.. and yet, it feels like we're going back to previous Barber-isms. We'll have to see how it all plays out, but I am not impressed or surprised at the final pages, nor at the big event of the issue. Hm. I like it, but I'm annoyed at it, too.
Well put, Arcee
The art seems to blend better for me, and Perez' work on the two styles definitely contributes to that. I'm glad we only have two artists this time round, and I'd rather this were the case from here on. I have a feeling this issue will only pass readers' judgement once we see how the aftermath evolves.
THE DEAD UNIVERSE! ORION PAX—the ’bot who was once OPTIMUS PRIME—joins RODIMUS and the crew of the Lost Light in a desperate bid to outmaneuver SHOCKWAVE—by returning to the legendary Dead Universe! Meanwhile, BUMBLEBEE faces down the biggest—literally biggest—threat he’s ever seen on CYBERTRON!
After the setting up and minor reveals in DC#1, it's time to get things going. But first - We get another brief 'Previously' page, which while nice (and bit melodramatic), did not feel as necessary this time round. We'll see if it becomes customary, and if it overstays its welcome in the next issues. The Roll Call page was nice, on the other hand, even if just to convey a sense of the cast, and its major players.
Drama! Excitement! Exclamation marks!
While Bumblebee/Goldbugfire and the Auto/Dinobots stand around on Cybertron not doing much, Orion Pax and his crew now aboard the Lost Light concoct their plan to approach the Dead Universe, to which we've been introduced for so long now it feels like that relative you always dread at family reunions - though Brainstorm seems fascinated by it.
Unsurprisingly, to be fair
It seems as though the dialogue has picked up again, and it may or may not be more of Roberts' words than Barber's this time round. But it does feel welcome. The two writers manage to approach the characters of Orion and Starscream in a good, more nuanced way, giving us a better look at what might be happening below the surface.
..that also works
It is gaining some momentum, and we're developing a much better sense of what is at stake and what may happen, with the focus shifting to other characters than the ones we're all execting (though I worry about falling back onto the same ones eventually) - but I feel it'll work a lot better in TPB format than as a single issue.
Now, the artwork. I'm having some trouble making my mind up about this. I welcome the introduction of new names into the franchise, and it's good to see variation between different styles. But having three artists (Raiz, Rojo and Ramondelli) with very different styles in the same story does not convince me as much. They all do an impressive job, though Rojo's faces can seem a little off in proportion, but I feel as though Raiz and Rojo could've been swapped, with the latter on the Lost Light and the former, darker style, on Cybertron.
Though that is a gloriously dark Starscream
The colours, however, are Perez' usual goodness. They play really well with the sources of light and shadows in the panels, and the two different art-styles, without jarring with Raiz' darker or Rojo's lighter lines. Ramondelli, as usual, colours his own art, and does an equally good job in terms of tone and mood setting. The new letterer, Gilberto Lazcano, is intriguingly light-touched, and I would like to see more from him in the future.
Red meets orange, in dim light
The three styles work by themselves, with some shining moments for each, but I have a hard time deciding whether I like their juxtaposition or not. I have nothing to complain about the colours, and even though I chose not to show any Ramondelli images in the review, his work is good and definitely well suited to the tone of that part of the story. The cover by EJ Su is also excellent!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The story seems to be gaining its ground, and seeding some future plot elements nicely. It still reads as a bit jumbled though, even if just because of the sheer scale of the cast and settings for the action to take place. I'm fully confident, though, that by next month, once this and RID have had a chance to settle, we'll be back to the usual, expected greatness.
There's a prophecy with PUNS!
The confusion is not entirely helped out by having so many artists work on different parts; even if it does make clear where we are, the styles don't always work with the tone. The colours, on the other hand, always suit the style. I am curious to see what will happen as this goes on, and if it is to be the new standard to differentiate settings.
SOUNDWAVES! The origin of SOUNDWAVE concludes as the master of sound confronts SHOCKWAVE in the ruins of Cybertron! Will they be friend—or foe? Will the DECEPTICONS stand with SHOCKWAVE—or will they join the AUTOBOTS? It’s the moment of ultimate choice.
Er.. a hint?
Almost there. This issue finally marks the end of the long-winded, at times dragged out, pulled along, kicking and screaming prelude to the big event - Dark Cybertron. John Barber takes his time a little longer to give us more of a look at two (well, several) of the key players.
A big happy family, really
Continuing almost seamlessly and effortlessly from last month's story, issue 22 dives right back into Soundwave's story, weaving together his past with his present, his rise in Megatron's crew and his now questioning of Shockwave, whom we come to realise he never actually trusted all that much.
The early years
It's not just talk, as a lot of action takes place between the different characters, with some excellent fight scenes between Shockwave and Soundwave and their respective minions. But the real pulp of the story is Soundwave's own development. Barber has really pulled out all the writing pens on this one, just as Roberts did with Shockwave.
Yep, he's making it up
In a highly personally enjoyable Memento-with-literary-moments story, one of the most inconic characters in the franchise has finally been given a good, meaty backstory that you can sink your teeth in, revealing a whole new side to him. Top notch, I say.
As with the previous one, Andrew Griffith and Livio Ramondelli alternate art duties, with the former focusing on the present and the latter working on flashbacks from the past. Some readers have complained about the stark contrast, but personally I adored the transitions, and how the script linked them.
Or you know, a couple of months
Colour duties fall again to Priscilla Tramontano for Griffith's linework, and boy does she keep on giving. Especially compared to Ramondelli's smokey work (though still fantastic) for the flashbacks, Tramontano's work in the present is crisp, glossy and pleasure to look at.
LOOK AT IT
Shawn Lee's lettering is still impressing me, and the first image of this review shows just what a good letterer can do to a script, to make it look even better. A shout out also goes to Casey W. Coller, who provides the art for cover B, assisted on colours by Joana Lafuente.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Barber knows how to play with continuity, and it's nice to see a two-parter story with some sort of closure, even if it is moving backwards through time. We see an early Soundwave and his real powers, we see the real importance of Ravage and the bird-cassettes, we get so much good stuff in here it's unbelievable.
All together now!
A lot of people still complain about the art, but I adore it. Griffith, Ramondelli and Tramontano do a terrific job, and the lettering works really well. I'm really looking forward to Dark Cybertron next month, and these past two issues have definitely set it up even more for me.
AND ONE SHALL RISE! Yep, a there’s a new Prime on the block (and the old one isn’t gone yet), and just in the nick of time too, as Cybertron shudders and reels under the dual assault of BLUDGEON and his WarWorld and a spitting mad GALVATRON. But is the advent of RODIMUS PRIME a boon for Cybertron or one more dark domino falling in the headlong rush to universal armageddon?
That's ..a good indication of it, yeah
So here we are, final issue of the second-to-last arc 'Destiny', Bludgeon's mighty plan to take down Cybertron's dwellers, concocted with Soundwave and the remaining Decepticons on the planet. They've all been fighting all along, now Hot Rod is back as Rodimus Prime, Grimlock is back as, well, Grimlock, and here's where it ends.
Unless... it never ends
Rodimus Prime became his proper self in ReGeneration One #0, revealing a glitch in the time-space continuum bound to destroy everything if not rectified. Though it seems here that his newly found power may have deeper ramifications, and the end of the series will truly be eventful.
Among the returning cast, Grimlock retakes his spotlight on the main stage, commanding the primal creatures from the planet's core, clearly due to the brief experience with Primus' possession. Furman seems keen on dragging every character introduced to far into the issues that remain - not that we're complaining!
There is a lot going on in here, though most of it is fighting, bashing, thumping, fighting and hinting at 'there is more'. And yes there definitely will be more, but for now, it's extremely enjoyable to see a Rodimus in action, Bludgeon's deluded speeches and a Grimlock worth of Furman's deepest desires.
The artwork duties are still taken on by Guido Guidi, at least on the pencil side of things. And whoah. There is so much going on in this issue, in terms of action and fight scenes, that it can be really hard to figure out what is going on - but it isn't, because it all looks so fluid, also thanks to Baskerville's inking work.
..as a coarsing river..
JP Bove is still at it with his rainbow of magic crayons, making everything look so crisp yet with that throwback feeling about it. Some of the action scene renderings in colour are just stupidly amazing, with motion blur added to the already highly dynamic linework.
The lettering doesn't get in the way of the artwork, but does complement it nicely - Shawn Lee really has stepped up quite a few notches in his work since the beginning, and it's a pleasure to see him working on Furman's effects so.. effectively. As always, the artistic team are a bundle of pretty pretty joy. (And the covers are worth a look at too! Wildman and Cardy and Senior and Burcham keep doing some magnificent work.)
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Furman has a lot of fun playing with two of his favourite characters, and his baroque prose in Bludgeon's speeches just shines through. There isn't too much in terms of story or depth in this particular issue, but it does give a satisfying end to the arc, whetting our appetites for more.
It'll be so epic, even the explosions go DOOM
Artistically, it's hard not to adore what Guidi, Baskerville, Bove and Lee have been able to do in this final issue of the penultimate arc. The sense of frenzy, hectic buildup to climactic scenes and the confrontation between Rodimus and Bludgeon are the perfect sauce for Furman's (vast) eloquent (predatory) script.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: THE MOVIE! When the Autobots set off on their mission to find the Knights of Cybertron, RODIMUS gave REWIND a simple instruction: film everything. The result is a documentary that will forever change your perception of life on board the Lost Light. Discover RUNG’s secret! Meet the greatest Autobot of all time! And learn what SKIDS really got up to on Hedonia!
Remember him? Remember?!
We were told by the solicits and various interviews with James Roberts that this would be a breather issue, an actual 'filler' comic (for those of you who love throwing the word about), and it definitely does do that. But it does a little more too, both in terms of looking back, fleshing out and dropping some hints at what Dark Cybertron might bring.
JUST OPEN THE DAMN BRIEFCASE
Roberts has plenty of time and space in this issue to work his humour and dialogue, without falling into the tonal discordances that occur during big emotional moments or fight scenes. Setting the story mostly during downtimes allows him to just play around with characters and episodes we've seen so far. And the individual panels format really brings out the more idiosyncratic lines by the Lost Light crew.
But, as I said, there's a little more to that. We're introduced to an (apparently) even more advanced and belligerous mechanical civilisation, the Ammonites and the Terradores, which seem to be multiple combiners of adorable little minicon-sized robots. Or are they? Are they hiding anything? Is there.. more than meets the eye?
Yep, we'll definitely see ultra-biners
The issue overall is definitely a recap and a pause, but there are two moments that make it fit even better in the path to Dark Cybertron. The Thunderclash episode and the Hedonia expanded story were actually blended together fairly well, while still having the 'these are just two things that happened' feeling about them. And find out Rung's altmode.
As mentioned, teased and prodded at for quite a while now, this issue marks the return of James Raiz on artwork duties, and it's definitely different from Milne or Roche's approach. Raiz has a darker, heavier touch to his lines, while still not losing in details. Some readers will complain, but I personally like the different style.
So was I, Cyclonus, so was I
Josh Burcham works quite nicely with Raiz's darker style, bringing a light touch and a touch of light to the heavier lines in the pencils and inks. He works particularly well with the different camera perspectives, shifting tones slightly for the Rewind vs Lost Light security camera shots.
Red Alert's presence/paranoia is *everywhere*
The lettering doesn't have to do too much in the issue, but Tom B. Long still has some nice moments, in the style I've come to expect from him. All in all, I like the different texture of the artistic side of the issue, and don't think it detracts anything from the story or its details.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I mentioned above, we get to delve a little into the life of some of the major cast members of the Lost Light, expanding on some episodes, almost answering a couple of questions and preparing the stage even if very briefly, for what is ahead. And Rung's altmode. And be prepared for some really, really silly humour.
The art might not appeal to all readers used to the Milne or Roche approaches, but I would still suggest considering it as how Rewind sees the world through his camera - Raiz does a great job in picking up on the artistic qualities of the entire run, and reproduces them perfectly, in his own style.
A final comment, though, to this final issue of what Roberts calls Season 1 of MTMTE. I can't shake off the feeling that this and the prose extract from #21 could have somehow been shrunk together, allowing for some more light on the Tyrest situation. In any case, it's a good issue, and one I think we'll need once we lose cast members (as Roberts has, as per usual, teased).
. out of
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