The Eulogy for Transformers Ongoing - Reviewing 'The Death Of Optimus Prime' One-Shot
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 10:51AM CSTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Tigertrack Views: 74,383
....Out today in stores, IDW’s One-Shot story wraps up the events of CHAOS, and sets up readers for the next step in IDW’s Transformers comic fiction, the introduction of two new separate titles, ‘Robots in Disguise’, and “More Than Meets the Eye’.
*SPOILERS AHEAD (you can see the preview, which in itself has many spoilers in our recent news).*
After the last mostly-useless Transformers issue (in my opinion) from IDW, this one with its ominous title, and with Optimus Prime’s history of dying in other fictional iterations, seemed like it would be another obvious, and simple issue that I could read and then throw aside, and not really care to read again. I was pleasantly surprised by the content in this issue, the ramifications of the storyline, and the fantastic way the title misleads, and yet, is true.
Transformers D.O.O.P. (not the Marvel X-Force version), is creatively done by the team that brought you the ‘Last Stand of the Wreckers’ mini, a popular recent story under the IDW banner, with John Barber co-writing with James Roberts, and Nick Roche on art.
First off, there are NO HUMANS in the story nor do they seem like they will play a role any time soon. To me this is refreshing, especially with the overly human centric writing of the previous Transformers Ongoing series, and the overall seeming generalization by many Transformers genre creators that there must be human characters for the Transformers to interact with before any of us common folk will truly understand their motivations. Bulls--- I say!
Even though it is number #125, and described as a one-shot, this issue is essential to new and old readers alike! It’s not a story of its own. It involves the recent past events and leads into the future two series.
Again, series and issue spoilers...
Taking place a few weeks after the final events of CHAOS, this issue focuses on what has happened on Cybertron since Optimus Prime rushed the matrix into vector sigma to stop ‘DVoid’s (eye roll) attempt to sack the galaxy using Cybertron’s dead husk as his jumping point.
How did this stop ‘DVoid’? Cybertron was reborn, and there was no dead husk for DVoid to use. Perceptor and Wheeljack can’t explain it we are told in a Hot Rod exposition, so I won’t try to go any further than that.
Spoiler. Optimus Prime is not dead! His previous action with the matrix caused vector sigma to send out a signal to all Cybertronians that Cybertron was ‘reset’, safe to return to... reborn, but a ‘primordial’ form as Hot Rod puts it, like the very beginning of Cybertron.
Did you know there were other groups of Cybertronians in the galaxies besides the Autobots and Decepticons? Probably. If you read DRIFT’s mini we ran into one of them. We find out there are many, many, many more than those. A mass exodus from Cybertron due to the ramifications of the civil war happened, and now the opposite is happening...during the three weeks many members of the race are returning to repopulate and take back the planet they once called home.
Resettlement by these groups sets up the monumental ramifications that the Autobots must now deal with: how they are perceived by the returning masses of N.A.I.L.S (non-affiliated indigenous life-forms), how they will ‘re-create’ Cybertron, and what identity the Autobots will have now that they have won, so to speak. The Decepticons are imprisoned, and defeated. Megatron is nowhere to be found. And the returning masses of Cybertronians who left the planet, see the Autobots not as peace-loving heroes to be celebrated, but as the winning faction in a civil war, a civil war that had caused the planet to die, and forced many folks to abandon it.
This is what has me interested to continue with these new series. This is what for some reason, I feel like I have been waiting for for awhile. That the Transformers stories can be worthwhile and interesting without them having to be related to humans. That there is more to Transformers society than the battling Autobots and Decepticons and their historic conflict. That the Autobots are not ‘good‘ in every Cybertronian’s eyes. This is the direction that new writers James Roberts, and John Barber are taking our group.
Hot Rod and Drift want to go searching for the lost civilization of earliest Cybertron, and it seems like the empty matrix husk may be the key to this quest. Bumblebee wants to help create Cybertron again. Where does Optimus fit in?
This issue has some fantastic surprises. For those who like Dai Atlas making an appearance in the DRIFT mini, another leader, this one from Super God Masterforce is introduced as being a possible major player and leader for the NAIL Cybertronians in the new ROBOTS IN DISGUISE series.
The continuing addition to the lore of Optimus Prime’s character is what I love about this book, while it continues to enhance and develop the rest of the Autobots’ courses into the next series. I am quite happy with Prime’s finale. Ongoing attempted to give Prime more characterization, change him from what he is, but ultimately, his identity was what it was and he could not change that, nor could his writers. Optimus Prime’s final choice in the issue, and thus, the series, is logical but unexpected, and although it seems like a re-ran, it feels different, and it’s this difference that to me makes the character seem more Optimus Prime than he has ever seemed to me.
The art is Nick Roche art at his best. Same style as “Last Stand...”, it seems recognizable, and comfortable, but I also think based on the success of ‘Last Stand...” it lends credence to the new story and direction. Unlike when Don changed his style, and the looks of all the Transformers forever, Nick’s familiar style may help people to buy into ‘More Than Meets the Eye’. Yes, it’s still cartoon-y and over emotive, and in some cases overly lengthened and skinny appendages as Nick’s critics have said, but it is part of a creative team’s style that worked very well previously, and in that this reader finds interest and comfort.
After reading this issue, I am excited for the two new series to begin. It’s nice to know they are NOT a reboot, but a continuation using what happened before, and driving it in what ultimately seems like an uncharted, but desirable direction with a team of creators that I and many other readers have confidence in.
This issue is refreshing, and with its many choices of covers, it’s an excellent collector’s piece as well, even though the story itself is reason enough to want to have this. It’s a great starting piece for people coming on, it’s a nice wrap up and new compass direction for those of us who blindly read, follow, and consume any Transformer fiction thrown in front of us. It’s a direction that has really only been hinted at on the fringes of the recent minis and spotlights that readers like me have wanted them to explore more.
Sorry I've never written a eulogy before, and neither was this actually intended to be one (that is way too creative for me on my limited time budget), I see this issue as the eulogy for TF Ongoing, it's buried, and time to move on.
Enjoy Issue #125. I did. And no, Optimus Prime is not dead. Heroes never die.
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Posted by Tigertrack on December 21st, 2011 @ 11:54am CST
I hope you got the idea that this is a worthy issue for readers, and collectors alike.
EDIT: And I love that Sideswipe has adopted his G2 look. I hope Nick/James explain why, because nobody else has had that noticeable of a change in looks, especially to another very WELL KNOWN look.
Posted by Random on December 21st, 2011 @ 5:27pm CST
...I thought that was Sideswipes G2 form, but wasn't sure. Glad someone else noticed it too. Makes me wanna get the G2 series again, although I wonder f the reboot of the G1 comic will touch on ANY of that.
Guess I'll find out.
Thanks for the review!
Posted by El Duque on December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:36am CST
Posted by Supreme Convoy on December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:23am CST
I wonder if that was Mike Costa's intention or if James Roberts and John Barber found a loophole.
Posted by dinogeist on December 22nd, 2011 @ 4:31am CST
i'm guessing idw will do a marvel TF G-1 comic homage by having shockwave lead the decepticons in the comics in idw on-going 2012.
Posted by Chaoslock on December 22nd, 2011 @ 6:04am CST
El Duque wrote:Wow, OP is such a bad ass he can't even be killed in a book titled "The Death of Optimus Prime".
And the other autobots know this so well that they won't even bother looking for him when he dies. He probably dies more than people get drunk (and according to the first few pages of the comic, the after-effects are the same)
Posted by Prime Evil on December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:27am CST
OK, first off I do want to say that I've only bought issues #22+23 (Chaos theory pts 1&2), skipped everything in between, and then picked up the Death of Optimus Prime one shot. IMO, I didn't need the filler issues. I kept up on what was going on through some of the forums and it wasn't impressing anyone. I also flipped through a few pages, but didn't see much that was sparking my interest. But knowing Mr. Robers will be sinking his teeth into this as well and being such a milestone issue, I had to pick this up. (Was able snag the Nick Roche cover )
Not disappointed at all. This was exactly what I want in a TF UNIVERSE. I know they say that this issue isn't a reset, but for me, it's a much needed..."fresh start". It's not like everything we knew prior to this issue didn't happen. It did, but the focus has been reset. I love how this issues sets up what will be to come. I love the utilization of post US Season 3 characters. They haven't been fleshed out in the US, so lets get some new characters to use. (Metalhawk) There's a lot of good social issues in this issue that can resonate the current real world politics and society (If reading Chaos Thry pts 1&2 and this one shot). Some great revelations about Prowl. I'm really looking forward to Rodimus, Drift, and Magnus's journey to find the Knights of Cybertron. Yeah for epic space adventure!! And then we have BB trying to be a leader to the Autobots and the incoming Cybertronians. Heck, now they gotta figure what to even do with the Decepticons! Just so much to sink your teeth into with just this issue. So many good directions that they can take these stories. If the creative team can stay on point like this, 2012 could be a very great year for Transformers comics.
I almost forgot! The Death of Optimus Prime. And what a great way to say goodbye. His monologue throughout until the very last page was just they way Prime should be. I felt so happy for him once the issue was done. Even for me, I felt his weight lifted off of MY shoulders. I cannot wait till we see him or when the bots will really need him again. But until now, goodbye Optimus. I hope you continue to evolve into a better person now Orion Pax. Someone without burden.
Posted by Tigertrack on December 22nd, 2011 @ 10:41am CST
I was so put off my Costa's comments about how he didn't know how robots would react to things (I would need to reread the comments to know exactly what he said), and that writing Transformers was ultimately very difficult because of that (obviously).
It's nice to see that others enjoyed this issue as much as I did, and the direction they seem to be going in.
Someone out there has to not like it though.
And the idea of how the Decepticons fit in now, and whether they are still across the universe fighting as well, will be interesting for them to explore as well. Will we see some defect to the Autobots? Will we see them become NAILS? Will they continue to try to rule the new population by violence, or bug out to see if they can regroup and gather strength again.
Ultimately, I feel better about how this is going after this issue.
The Prime/Orion Pax thing was an awesome way to write this. I love the fact that OP has taken this direction, the ultimate sacrifice so to speak, but different than many would consider.
Posted by Prime Evil on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:42am CST
Oh, and the term NAIL's, I like where they may be going with this. Something to show discrimination. Bad, but needed for this story to show how personalities will reflect who believes what. Just BB saying he wanted to unite the Autobots and NAIL's made me cringe. If I was a non affiliated Cybertronian, I'd hate to be called a NAIL. I'd prefer just a simple Cybertronian. But life isn't simple is it.
And with Costa, I tried. I really did try. To me, it was so bad that I had to stop collecting TF comics. I had pretty much everything since the beginning of DW until IDW's ongoing 13-14. I can't remember because I just didn't care with what was going on.
Posted by Tigertrack on December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:29pm CST
But when BBee and SS used the terms, I guess my head heard it more like NBE 1 (pretty neutrally said, simply a shortened form instead of having to say the whole bloody thing -- no malicious intent), but yes, you could be right, because it does seem easier to just refer to them as Cybertronians, and Autobots, and Decepticons...
Unless of course they refer to Autobots and Decepticons as AILS. Then it is just a matter of fact, I would think.
Posted by JRFitzpatrick7 on December 23rd, 2011 @ 5:42am CST
Posted by dinogeist on December 24th, 2011 @ 12:28am CST
. don't read further if you don't want to get spoiled.
The TF Prime cartoon & IDW Chaos writters colloabration i'm referring to is as follows: (1)in both the TF Prime cartoon & IDW Chaos. Optimus used the matrix to defeat the big evil huge ball of energy bad entity. the matrix was empty of it's stuff. then afterwards optimus became Orion pax. (2)in both Chaos & TF Prime,The beginning origin stories of optimus & megatron were show. how they met,what shaped their unique destines & how they became enemies.
I suspose it's possible Hasbro got involved & asked both the TF Prime cartoon writters & IDW Chaos writters to put in key info like megatron's & optimus origin stories. so they could flesh out that chapter. then hasbro could work towards their next project of fleshing out the original 13's story.
Posted by Joetx on December 30th, 2011 @ 3:04pm CST
Since this issue is a 1-shot, I bought it b/c I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it later on. I'm glad I did buy it b/c it's a well-written issue & the artwork isn't bad either. I hope Barber & Roberts will keep it up in TF: RID & TF: MTMTE, respectively.
The speech OP gives to the crowd has got to be 1 of, if not the best, pieces of TFs exposition ever.
Posted by Chaoslock on January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:31am CST
Earlier issues (Ongoing), I could skip under 5 minutes - this one, even with the shorter page number, took me half an hour - the time I expect from a comic.
Hands down for Roberts and the new writer, I'm glad I re-newed my preorder for the IDW Transformers franchise.
Posted by F Prime on January 3rd, 2012 @ 10:53am CST
Tidalwavex wrote:I just want to mention that it appears their was some sort of colloabration between the writters of the TF Prime cartoon & the IDW Choas writters.
. don't read further if you don't want to get spoiled.
The TF Prime cartoon & IDW Chaos writters colloabration i'm referring to is as follows: (1)in both the TF Prime cartoon & IDW Chaos. Optimus used the matrix to defeat the big evil huge ball of energy bad entity. the matrix was empty of it's stuff.
Some of this is from older continuities. The idea that the Matrix takes out Unicron is classic...shown in the '86 movie and the Marvel comics. The matrix being rendered empty after use can be seen in the Return of Optimus Prime episode of G1 when Op empties it to eradicate the Hate Plague (because, of course, wisdom and hate are natural enemies....like sharks and lions.)
Posted by cybercat on January 4th, 2012 @ 4:41pm CST
I admit I was frothing at the mouth reading the preview. And everything I said then is true. Starting with 'For being dead, Optimus sure is doing a lot of walking around!'
He's not dead of course. He's in Teh Fyooture! Like...three weeks after the last time we saw Optimus. Apparently combining the Matrix with the Well of Sparks is like racing that Delorean up to 88 miles an hour, only...weaker. I mean, man if I had that happen to me right now I'd miss out on winter break but that's about it. Not really the level of apocalyptic distress I'd imagine.
Okay I partly jest. In addition to booting Optimus literally just about into next week, it created a pulse that did two maguffiny things. One it kickstarted the whole making life thing (aw damn, looks like mechpreg's not IDW canon. I weep tears.) and these are Non Aligned Indigenous Lifeforms, or, as Sideswipe and his new BFF call them 'nails'. Cute, huh? Sentient mechs who come from the planet you come from, but they're DIFFERENT and therefore you should BEAT THEM. Um. racism, yeah?
Additionally the pulse sent out a signal ~*across the universe*~ (echo voice effect) so all these apparently BAJILLIONS of Cybertronians--former Autobots, former Decepticons, mechs who flipped the war the bird and took off because they had some crazazy objection for dying for a cause they want no part of--are returning home.
Let's....yeah, let's leave out the three weeks and FTL calculations which would tell us that maybe these Cybertronians were hiding astronomically speaking in Cybertron's back yard. They're all coming back. Okay? Because they are more than just refugees, my people. They are PLOT DEVICES.
Metalhawk, who has the honor of being the first newcomer Optimus personally is a dick to, basically tells them all off. Metalhawk, not gonna lie, kind of rocks.
But what about all those Decepticons?
Oh, hello there plothole! Apparently Megatron managed to defeat the 'decepti-god' (still kind of choke on that one) and they all fell apart, Megatron SOMEHOW god knows where. But the others came to their senses.
The Autobots, who are, you will remember, supposed to be the good guys (and I needed to remind myself of this AT FULL VOLUME in my car while reading this) decide that NATCH, the only solution to this is to round up the 'cons and keep them imprisoned in...the big-ass gun from Kimia. Yep. They're IN THE BARREL OF A WEAPON. (I-isn't there some Linkin Park song about that? 'broken people living in a loaded gun'?) Because, yeah, that's perfectly reasonable and civil.
So, all these non Autobots, non Decepticons who frankly don't give a petrorabbit's booty about the war but want their planet back because the Autobots have clearly proved they're incapable of handling the responsibility. This is probably a ginormous metaphor about GWOT.
ANYWAY, so the Matrix is empty. Kaput. Fizzled out. But no worries, because here's Perceptor and he is DELICIOUS. Like someone finally remembered Perceptor. And we discover that the Matrix is also a MAP.
You might want to strap yourself in for some serious retconning.
YOU ARE NOT READY
Right. See. Apparently unbeknownst to...lol ANY OF US, Drift apparently had many many talks with Dai Atlas. (I hope they didn't all end in jawshots). AND Dai Atlas was apparently obsessed (YOU ALL REMEMBER THIS RIGHT?) with finding the map to Cyberutopia. (Oh god kill me now, another STUPID name to look forward to).
Dai Atlas's name really isn't Dai Atlas. NOPE. It's really Dei Atlas. "GOD MAP".
Seriously folks. I was sitting in my car and headdesked, minus the desk. The horn scared some poor shopper. Yes this made me honk my car horn WITH MY HEAD. Because yes, apparently Old Cybertronian isn't flaky anglicized Japanese, OH NO, it is Latin. In the genitive case, even!
But of course, Drift speaks up saying this stuff. It's Drift, which means the general reaction is "STFU DRIFT" They all tell him he's a moron for believing in the Knights of Cybertron. Despite you know, ALL THAT PROOF AND STUFF IN CRYSTAL CITY. Despite, you know, what that senator told Optimus in Chaos Theory. Nope. ANYTHING Drift says perforce is wrong.
But that's really a bigotry pratfall compared to the rest of the issue where they continue to hate People Wut R Different Frum Us. Yeah, uh, how are you going to build a perfect new society when you insist on being dicks to anyone not an Autobot (and Drift)?
So, riots ensue (see what I mean? This is a metaphor for OWS, too!) and shit goes down and Bumblebee makes the BRILLIANT command decision that you know what? We're outnumbered as fuck out there. You know what the logical thing to do right now would be?
If you said surrender, you're wrong.
If you said entertain their demands, you're also wrong and clearly haven't been paying attention to what a (I should probably not say this word on a nice site like this so...BLEEEEP) Bumblebee is. (Seriously, who put him in charge?!?!)
If you said: release the [strike]hounds[/strike] Decepticons to go wreak 31 flavors of havoc on the newcomers who, remember, came here wanting to rebuild, congratulations. You are correct.
If you still maintain the Autobots have ANY moral superiority over even these Nails, much less the refugees, I suggest you have been living in North Korea for a bit too long.
Rodimus is the only one not a jerk. He sides with Drift. Prowl and Bumblebee are dicks (it's like they're having some bizarre competition here)
Okay, so, riots, exacerbated by Bumblebee's AWESOME leadership. And Optimus...bails.
Seriously. In what is possibly the WORST command decision of his career (I do not know for sure because there are so many!!) once again, Optimus decides life is too hard and he's going to turn his back on the Autobots again. Didn't he do this on Earth? Didn't that...not work out so hot? Yeah, why do people follow this guy again?
Before he leaves, he gives one half of the Matrix to Bumblebee (who will probably draw eyes on it and start talking to it) and the other to Rodimus. If you feared Rodimus would become Prime, relax. THERE IS NO MATRIX [strike]ONLY ZUUL[/strike], i mean therefore, no Prime. So he buggers off shortly afterwards, making a big speech about how freedom is for all sentient beings, INCLUDING HIMSELF and he's gonna grab him a doublefist of freedom. And Optimus Prime is dead...but Orion Pax is reborn.
Okay I did flip a small table there. Force of habit.
SO all in all. They're clearly setting up a complete clusterbomb situation for the new upcoming series. Bumblebee should win a prize at speed for how fast he FUBAR'd peace on Cybertron. And Rodimus and Drift and apparently Ultra Magnus are off to have ADVENTURES!!!1!!! together. Not sure where the rest are (I selfishly want Perceptor to go help hunt for the Knights of Cybertron Drift/Percy shipper that I am!) and lol NO idea about Megatron.
I'm going to probably regret saying this (and feel free to mock me when I do!) but I gotta say I didn't hate this as much as I'd expected to. More than that, they've really set some interesting stuff up to happen next. I had wondered how the hell 'the war's over' was going to lead to a good comic series. Wonder no more! Optimus and Megatron are likely to return at some point, and I hope we actually get to see more of the cons. It was great to hear Ratbat, gotta say. So, I may sound like a mental patient, but I'm not giving up on the franchise yet. There really is some potential and as long as they keep people like Costa way the hell away from it, it really has some promise. I hope.
Posted by F Prime on January 4th, 2012 @ 5:48pm CST
hellkitty wrote: Sentient mechs who come from the planet you come from, but they're DIFFERENT and therefore you should BEAT THEM. Um. racism, yeah?
I don't think there is any racism here......the anger is over ideological differences, not race.
I'm going to probably regret saying this (and feel free to mock me when I do!) but I gotta say I didn't hate this as much as I'd expected to. More than that, they've really set some interesting stuff up to happen next. ........There really is some potential and as long as they keep people like Costa way the hell away from it, it really has some promise. I hope.
Wow....after reading all of that (and, yes, I did read it all...some good points, BTW) I certainly wasn't expecting it to end this way. It was all HATE HATE HATE HATE *surprise hug*.