Dual Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #22
Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 3:35am CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al Views: 20,652
The final battle begins—and when it’s over, nothing will be the same. Everything that Lost Light—and More Than Meets The Eye before it—has thrown at you, from the biggest plot twist to the smallest incidental detail, has been leading to this: all your favorites, arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand, ready to go out in style.
Crucible continues, and we find ourselves following on from precisely where we left off last issue, with its ending leading directly into this opening, meaning that our efforts to keep spoilers to a minimum are taking even more of a toll on the review writing. For this, and for reasons that will become clear, this piece will look different, as Va'al and ScottyP argue over the book instead - unlike what you might see in other places, this process actually has different views and sides!
V - First thing first, from a story perspective: I can see how this issue is technically, as a piece of ongoing serialised comics fiction, a good issue. What I personally took a problem with was how it dealt with some of its implications in light of previous criticisms I've brought into the fabric of MTMTE/LL. Specifically, its tendency to 'redeem' characters with a morally objectionable past and track record. A point which you disagree with.
S - New information, especially when it was not known by dead characters before they died doesn't redeem them, at least not to me. Getaway's methods were still a step too far and Scorponok was being subversive even without knowing what he might have accidentally been helping. One of the themes throughout the series is about knowing when to empathize with a character and their decisions as opposed to sympathizing with them. Understanding and forgiveness are different lanes on the same highway, but one of them can still be a breakdown lane if that's what's called for. This issue of Lost Light hits that point again subtly, but in the wider context of the bigger story the reiteration is enough for it to be effective here.
S - As is typical with Lost Light, the character moments and beats in their journeys take center stage here, though there is a nice amount of progression and revelation to be found in the larger plot to go along with that. A returning character that appeared at the end of LL 21 makes a real impression here, including a short but long-awaited moment with a former ally.
V - I definitely agree with that, given the encounters and beats we have with some of the lesser front characters, but well beloved by readers and integral to the story being told about that character. believe, in the grander scheme of things, my biggest issue is with Tyrest.
S - Tyrest's foundational character trait is that he used to be really wise and good and just but he's super broken now, to the point where Prowl has to send Getaway and Skids to take him out but they nudge-gun him into being even worse. This issue furthers the mental health analogy of his character arc even further - his mind wasn't healthy to the point of corruption, misplaced (though well intentioned) treatment made it worse, and now he's truly forgotten who he ever was. Again, I find no redemption here as we were told from the get-go that he really was a good 'bot at one point.
V - I still don't entirely buy that point, and I do think something better could've been done with the analogy - I find some of it a little questionable, though narratively appealing. He is an ethically questionable character - on par with Prowl, Prime and Megatron - by his and the story's own admission, only now to have received validation with the GA's reveals.
S - One thing that deserves mention is the substantial payoff related to the larger story which occurs in this issue. Years of details, plotting, and planning (and Oxford commas) coalesce in ways that need to be witnessed to appreciate. For possibly the first time, it feels like the amount of questions still to be answered before the series wraps up is truly dwindling. In a way, all but probably one of these revelations was exposed in the past through some contextual clue in dialogue or in a background visual clue or possibly even by Hasbro (and this is possibly a spoiler click if you choose to accept it.)
V - I'll admit that some of the clues left since the beginning of the story, while not appearing to be directly linked until right now, and the reliance on trivia and minutiae and panel-analysing for some major plot points, has at times dampened my enthusiasm for the book. Especially of recent, as I think I've pointed out previously. And I'm sure some readers will also undoubtedly grimace at past references coming to play so many years later
S - I feel like this issue explains itself substantially enough, verbally and visually, that you will be entertained even if you forgot about these supporting details. Even if that weren't the case, leaving a trail of clues and breadcrumbs that build upon one another in fun ways is part of the identity of this series, and without that attention to detail it would be a different series. Were the back catalog some monolithic, inaccessible, and hyper-expensive ordeal this might be a detriment, but as it isn't, to cast all of the self-referential material in a negative light feels like it'd be the equivalent of admitting that you wanted to be smarter than the story, not learn from it.
V - I wouldn't cast it entirely in a negative light, as we've both been doing this sort of work with the books, but I'll stand my ground a little on this one: we had a similar appraisal but opposite reaction for Optimus Prime #21, and I wasn't too willing to let this one slide - story wise - if it weren't for what we said about the characters above.
S - Not how I'd describe my take on OP 21, but we're not here to talk about that issue, are we?
V - Brendan Cahill is at the artistic helm this issue, with what is probably his most successful take on the Transformers characters yet, and for an issue with this sort of impact, we couldn't have asked for more.
S - No disagreement in this part. This is Cahill's best Transformers work ever. There is just a hint of some of the "roundness" that's bugged me about (some of) his earlier work, but he's evolved here to make it much more of a charming, Andrew Wildman-esque robotic round rather than the almost organic kind of round that I felt from some other recent issues.
V - His use of body language in particular, with the specific example of that character we mention earlier, is a testament to the development of both the artist and the character - in spite of any qualms I might personally still have about the latter.
S - SPACE BATTLE! :ahem: Great use of the layout to tell a visual story that frames in and influences the other character and "mytharc" moments that are the focus of the book. There's plenty of room to make your own head-canon side stories. Maybe Riptide can boat himself through space like it's Transformers: Energon.
V - And we have an excellent chromatic guide giving us a hand in Joana Lafuente's take on the lineart, aptly giving the right spotlights and hues to the interior/exterior scenes, both in the literal and figurative sense.
V - The general dialogue flow is what helps issues like this one to make the landing point of the script, and having clearly demarkated lettering - such as the one by Tom B Long, who also manages to have some font fun in the process - is what ensures something like that to work. And what is particularly appreciated, speaking to our point above, is that editorial assistance from David Mariotte was well signposted, for readers wanting to go back and check the major crumbs leading to this point.
S - I uploaded all the covers and made mention of all the creator credits in our Vector Sigma Database entry for Lost Light #22, so check that out if you'd like but be warned that the character appearance list might spoil some details! The particular cover used for this review's news post's thumbnail image is the "A" cover by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham.
V - This issue made it out, entirely by accident and par for the course for the IDW schedule, earlier than its supposed release. And what I saw in reaction to it on the internet was an outporing of emotional responses that extremely heightened my anticipation for the issue to be fully available. And I think that got in the way of my more reasoned appreciation of again, what I believe to be an otherwise very good piece of comics work, reminding me of my own difficulties with one of the underlying threads part of the MTMTE/LL narrative thread.
S - Lost Light #22 deserved a huge hype train and it got very little of an official one with the botched release timing. That said, I think the early reactions were entirely justified as countless pieces of a large puzzle suddenly clicked together here in a beautifully illustrated and written piece of science fiction. This review could never hope to properly analyze it all, especially with the attempt at spoiler avoidance, so be sure to experience it for yourself.
2012: "I'm totally Swerve, he's clever and funny!"
2018: "I'm Misfire and I have no idea what I'm doing."
Scotty [im]P[erial magistrate]'s Verdict
S - Without hyperbole, for me this was probably the most rewarding payoff in a fictional story that I've ever experienced. I was so close to being right about That One Guy, but at the same time could not have been farther away. Here's to you, eyebrows.
V - I don't feel like repeating myself once more as to why I find it so hard to distance my personal reading filter on this issue (and the series) from the issue itself. As a book, this chapter does everything it needs to and more, more or less following its plotted path from the start, and that is impressive enough. The fact that it took two very invested people at least four days to put down thoughts on it, I think, speaks to its success as a piece of media. As for a score, however, I cannot honestly give it one. Make do with ScottyP's if you will!
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Posted by Bounti76 on August 8th, 2018 @ 4:01am CDT
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 8th, 2018 @ 5:37am CDT
Posted by Ironhidensh on August 8th, 2018 @ 8:18am CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:It's never too late to achieve your childhood (or bothood) dreams.
Now that the issue is out......
Rung revelations aside, my favorite part was seeing how Megatron took his second chance and became a doctor like he once off hand mentioned.
Posted by AlphaBass on August 8th, 2018 @ 8:30am CDT
That is all.
Edit: Actually, you're quite right. His fusion cannon a med kit? His being dissatisfied with saving mere billions? Kinda wish we had more time with this version.
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 8th, 2018 @ 8:54am CDT
I think ll was my favourite of today's idw releases, followed by unicron and then op.
Posted by AlphaBass on August 8th, 2018 @ 9:42am CDT
Posted by ArmadaPrime on August 8th, 2018 @ 10:15am CDT
Naturally, having had my previous theories utterly shot down, I'm already brewing more. The important group mentioned by the Magnificence last issue of Rodimus, Rung, Ratchet, and Tailgate is still left unsolved, and you better believe I've got a couple of Thoughts on that!
As far as the issues actual reveals go though, cripes. Some of that is incredibly obvious in hindsight, some of it is so genius that despite all the perfectly blatant clues I was still shocked, and one in particular was more of a "huh... okay, okay, I can see that... I guess...".
My only other not-completely-spoilerful thought is that this issue really leaves me jonesing for a certain, very expensive repaint to be made...
Posted by Va'al on August 8th, 2018 @ 12:38pm CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:Ironhidensh wrote:It's never too late to achieve your childhood (or bothood) dreams.
Now that the issue is out......
Rung revelations aside, my favorite part was seeing how Megatron took his second chance and became a doctor like he once off hand mentioned.
The repair kit in there was one of my favourite parts in the pointing out the 'not going back'. That, and how hunched he looks in a lot of the scenes, body language has completely changed.
Posted by Big Grim on August 8th, 2018 @ 2:16pm CDT
Megatron’s Fusion Cannon actually being a huge medikit with all the trimmings made me grin almost as much as page 1 made me gawp!
Posted by snavej on August 8th, 2018 @ 3:17pm CDT
Z3ROhour wrote:D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I'll tell you what though, I think the most controversial character, in a bad way, from IDW was Star Saber though. Squeaky clean to mass murderer in the name of religion. That pissed a ton of people off
All the time!
Horrible things happen in the name of religion
practically every day
since the dawn of mankind.
Mankind? What about Transformerkind?!
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 8th, 2018 @ 4:38pm CDT
Cahill did fantastic art here!! I love his art, but this one truly nailed it. Well done!
Now for spoiler stuff:
first thing first, I am so glad they brought Megs back and what they have done with him. He's really truly changed, and I agree with Densh about how he becoming a medic was great. It was his first dream, mentioned offhand to Ratchet, and here we go, he lived up to it, and is a better one than First Aid and Velocity. Love the cannon/Med kit too.
As for the guiding hand, I am not convinced. I want to believe, but I am not convinced.
I actually think it is Rung, or another member of the crew, who gets sent back in time after witnessing the events of Functionist Cybertron and becomes the grand architect. I don't fully believe he is Adaptus yet, or that the members named are truly who they are, namely Tyrest and Rung.
I also take issue with now putting Tyrest in a good light and making him a member, even if he doesn't remember who he truly is. He's the one bothering me the most.
Rung as Primus though is awesome. I still hope it's true.
And if he is, here is how the 4 the magnificence keeps mentioning fits in: Rodimus the matrix bearer, still somehow needed for this capacity, Rung as Primus, Ratchet as the medic, and Tailgate as the muscle. That is how they will defeat Functionist Cybertron. Pretty sure the "blow up" plan is simply to get them there, and then discover what they really need to do. And they blow up the remaining functionists too.
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 8th, 2018 @ 5:13pm CDT
Posted by MaverickPrime on August 9th, 2018 @ 1:11am CDT
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 9th, 2018 @ 2:34am CDT
MaverickPrime wrote:I don't understand the "Hasbro may have spoiled it" with the Prime Master, could someone please explain to me what they meant?
Basically the Prima prime master symbol kinda looks like Rungs face, glasses and all. This is a spoiler of course as Adaptus called out Rung as Primus
Posted by Va'al on August 9th, 2018 @ 3:16am CDT
Courtesy of Previews World, and notified via news staff WreckerJack, the cover has been mirrored below, and seems to follow on from the variant for issue #22 - which you can see in our database here - in which Rodimus and Megatron are 'arguing but not fighting' with this time a very fighty Tyrest and Pharma. Check it out!
(W) James Roberts (A) Jack Lawrence (CA) Geoff Senior
The final battle is here! Bots will live, bots will die, and the craziness can only increase! We're halfway through a finale six years in the making! And if you've ever loved a bot, you won't want to miss this.
In Shops: Sep 05, 2018
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 9th, 2018 @ 3:31am CDT
Posted by Amelie on August 9th, 2018 @ 4:22am CDT
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on August 9th, 2018 @ 7:24am CDT
Amelie wrote:Given how long Senior has been out of comics - this cover looks leaps better than some of his Regeneration One covers, so hopefully he's more into the swing of things again.
Actually I think some (not all) of his Regen One covers are far better than this one (though this one's nice too) but generally he's still a great artist and still produces TF comic art I find far more appealing than anybody else. Him actually doing several pages worth of actual comic panels was the only reason I bought that Requiem of the Wreckers (cos, like just about every other IDW G1 story I've read, the story itself did nothing for me). Many of his convention commissions are great too.
Posted by Randomhero on August 9th, 2018 @ 7:50am CDT
The timeframe for this series. Holy crap is it bad.
This arc is taking place 4 weeks after Dying if the light which took place 3 weeks before everything else. So in one week All hail optimus, titans return, revolution, revolutionaries, first strike, the entirety of Optimus Prime, requiem of the wreckers, and till all are one took place. Also in the span of time the scavengers made time to stop off on earth during revolution.
Yeeeeeeeah umm no?
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 9th, 2018 @ 8:17am CDT