Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 9:54am CDT

Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 14,121

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It's time for your monthly dose of Rucklin' and rulin', or something, as the ongoing Transformers title from IDW Publishing reaches issue 35 tomorrow. This is the second part of the "Sea of Rust" story, and features art by Anna Malkova, colors by David Garcia Cruz and Evan Gauntt, and letters by Jake M. Wood. The official synopsis for the issue says:

(W) Brian Ruckley (A) Anna Malkova (CA) Joana Lafuente
"Sea of Rust," part two! Termagax has many secrets - information that could forever tip the scales in the favor of the Autobots or the Decepticons. As the Decepticons close in, she allows Optimus Prime and the two other Autobots she respects into her inner sanctum to share her knowledge. But will the Autobots be able to act on it before the Decepticons start their siege? And where does Skywarp factor into the equation?

Check out the preview below and be sure to pick this issue up tomorrow at your local comic shop, through a licensed digital comics retailer, or via the Seibertron.com eBay store.

Transformers News: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Transformers News: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Transformers News: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Transformers News: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Transformers News: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35

Credit(s): IDW Publishing


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Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116303)
Posted by Big Grim on September 21st, 2021 @ 10:26am CDT
I gotta admit, that is a cool way to have Sky Lynx deploy troops. And Shockwave looks AMAZING there.

~ Grim
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116325)
Posted by Razorbeast88 on September 21st, 2021 @ 1:08pm CDT
Who is the character next to Shockwave in that last panel?
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116333)
Posted by bluecatcinema on September 21st, 2021 @ 2:00pm CDT
Razorbeast88 wrote:Who is the character next to Shockwave in that last panel?


I'm guessing Shadow Striker.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116338)
Posted by Windsweeper on September 21st, 2021 @ 2:32pm CDT
Nice to see Blades' bloodlust portrayed.

Flamewar is funny, egging Hyperdrive on.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116340)
Posted by Razorbeast88 on September 21st, 2021 @ 2:37pm CDT
bluecatcinema wrote:
Razorbeast88 wrote:Who is the character next to Shockwave in that last panel?


I'm guessing Shadow Striker.


Thank you!
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116421)
Posted by ScottyP on September 22nd, 2021 @ 6:36am CDT
When You Dig a Trench, Guns Appear, Corpses Appear, Nothing Good Happens
A Review of Transformers #35

A Few Spoilers Within
Image

The long road through the Cybertronian War, or at least one of them, continues onwards with today's release of Transformers #35. Several months of build-up and maneuvering have culminated in a showdown at Termagax's house, House. While a single issue alone will never be enough to get me back "in to" this series, it came as a surprise to find plenty to like in the trenches of this series' latest installment.

Image
Stooges

Most of "Lord of Misrule: Sea of Rust II" takes place in the same setting as issue 34, though after a brief but pretty enjoyable skirmish at the beginning the action cools. An opportunity to have one very well focused issue, or at least relatively for this series, is cast aside so we can find out what "Skywarp" is up to this month. Some readers will like that, but I found it distracted from what this issue was doing on the whole. My intense dislike of what Brian Ruckley has done with the character and the series' presumable overarching villain probably doesn't help here.

Image
Someone's been to the dentist lately

That aside, and without giving too much away, what this issue does is set up and begin to execute a big, exciting, fun to read set-piece battle between a bunch of Autobots and a just-as-large group of Decepticons. It provides at least a small amount of payoff for the series' excessive cast, jumping from group to group while nearly managing to pull off the impressive feat of building up that cast in a positive way as it does so. While I didn't like every development within the battle and found Optimus Prime to be abhorrently misused during it, it was still very exciting and makes this the most entertaining issue of the series in a long while.

Image
He's used better here than in Earthrise, I promise

The art steals the show here without question, as Anna Malkova shows off every skill she's developed as a Transformers artist in as big a way as could be imagined. There are dozens and dozens of characters in this issue doing dozens of different things while conveying a wide spectrum of emotion and it's hard to pick a spot where things ever get bad, though Sandstorm's teeth are a little weird. David Garcia Cruz and Evan Gauntt provide the colors, and outside of the orange tinted hues of the Sea of Rust looking marvelous there's great lighting work as well. Jake M. Wood's letter work never distracts and some of the effects serve as a welcome compliment to Malkova's transformation sequences. You can't literally hear Sky Lynx or Sixshot transform, but you will and they sound very different. Tremendous stuff.

This section went a bit long so remember that as always, you can find all the cover images and full credits for the issue through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers #35.

Verdict
Image
You're Outta' Time?

Transformers #35 could have been another chapter of this series where I frantically looked to push this review off onto another staff member, but the art and key battle sequence provided enough entertainment that I wanted to let you all know about it. There's certainly still a healthy helping of things I really, genuinely disliked, but at least there's cool stuff here to distract from, say, one of the hands-down worst versions of Optimus Prime that has ever existed, which I'm happy to go into on the boards where spoilers can roam more freely.

If you ignore everything but the battle scenes this is a 4.5/5, but on the whole, the issue has some really excellent stuff that's dragged down by its wider circumstances and context. If you've been enjoying the series, ignore my "average" rating for this one and keep that high score in mind instead.
Final Score
. :CON: :CON: :CON:
out of
:CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:


This issue is out today, September 22nd, and you can pick it up at the Seibertron.com eBay store or at your local shop, check here to find the closest shop to you.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116426)
Posted by ZeroWolf on September 22nd, 2021 @ 7:28am CDT
You say most misused optimus...is that even worse then what they did in the latter days of IDW 1?
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116427)
Posted by Randomhero on September 22nd, 2021 @ 7:38am CDT
I went back this weekend and read issue 1 to current with all the mini series and tie ins and I’m just going to say it, this is some of the best transformers comics I’ve read in over 5 years. I like the first IDW-verse. I think John barber is without a doubt one of the best writers there’s been. While RID/TF/OP had its ups and down I enjoyed it a lot. That said I think this current iteration of the comics is without a doubt on par with the first year of RID and MTMTE in 2012 and is leaps and bounds better then the 5 years of MTMTE/LL. It’s pacing is better, it’s actually paying things off while also exploring other lore and giving some wonderful character development but also it’s not written like a f$@?ing television show but not just a television show it’s not written like red dwarf/dr who fan fiction. It’s written like a comic but not only a comic but an ongoing comic and what I mean by that is I couldn’t tell where the arc breaks were binge reading it all.

I love the stories, the characters and what’s going on with them. You can complain about Skywarp all you want but he’s being handled not too dissimilar from how he was conceived by Bob Budiansky. A deadly character who is kinda off and a prankster. Hate to break it to ya but Brian Ruckley read the bios of characters and is utilizing them to a very good extent.


I’ve seen people complain about the pacing and how slow the series and how little goes on and it’s all talking. Reading it from start to current, the pacing isn’t slow. It’s not just talking and there’s tons of stuff going on! The problem have been the delays. Even I was struggling a little at a point but reading it all I blame the delays and that’s unfortunate but that’s not the story’s fault.

I’ll say it again I think this is some of the best transformers comics in over 5 years and I highly recommend it. It’s leaps and bounds better the the last 2 years of the the original IDW verse and better then the -ation start that’s for damn certain and I loved the -ation series a lot.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116504)
Posted by ScottyP on September 22nd, 2021 @ 6:18pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:You say most misused optimus...is that even worse then what they did in the latter days of IDW 1?
He spends this issue talking to Termagax while the big ol' cool battle scene happens instead of participating in it. I don't care how important that talk is to him, no Optimus should ever do that. He doesn't seem to give one crap that some of his soldiers are out there probably dying and I mean, wow, unless the point is that he's just not any better or much different from Sentinel then I don't get it.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116505)
Posted by ZeroWolf on September 22nd, 2021 @ 6:30pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:You say most misused optimus...is that even worse then what they did in the latter days of IDW 1?
He spends this issue talking to Termagax while the big ol' cool battle scene happens instead of participating in it. I don't care how important that talk is to him, no Optimus should ever do that. He doesn't seem to give one crap that some of his soldiers are out there probably dying and I mean, wow, unless the point is that he's just not any better or much different from Sentinel then I don't get it.

Ah I get what you're saying.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116513)
Posted by Randomhero on September 22nd, 2021 @ 7:31pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:You say most misused optimus...is that even worse then what they did in the latter days of IDW 1?
He spends this issue talking to Termagax while the big ol' cool battle scene happens instead of participating in it. I don't care how important that talk is to him, no Optimus should ever do that. He doesn't seem to give one crap that some of his soldiers are out there probably dying and I mean, wow, unless the point is that he's just not any better or much different from Sentinel then I don't get it.


Oh Bullshit no he doesn’t spend the issue inside while the battle is going on. Optimus shows up over halfway through the issue and the battle doesn’t even kick off till page 22/23 spread out of 24 pages. and it’s only the beginning! This is once again a shining example of the staff, mainly you due to this review just trying to find stuff to dislike and is reaching to a point of just being sad.

You just don’t want to enjoy this series. You ignored blatant problems with roberts books and gave them perfect scores acknowledging the problems but admitting not caring about them which should have been a the last time you ever shoulda have been allowed to review comics personally because thats a bad reviewer there and you’re just looking for stuff to criticize with this series because you don’t want to like it.

He spends his time BEFORE the battle truly kicks off full force trying to talk sense into Termagax and convince her that while she refuses to join a side, she running out of options and he has his second I command with him helming the battle. Someone who is regarded as one of the greatest soldiers in cybertoanian history. Something that’s establish Optimus is not. The same second in command that refused to let him meet megatron and volunteered to go instead due to his safety and importance when he wanted to talk peace but he is here at this time during this due to how important this situation is. We don’t know Optimus’s war history because it hasn’t been explored other then he was present during the war the threefold spark. Where he’s at currently is where he should be. Trying to convince the most important person there aside from himself(because he’s a prime) to get involved and hey, guess what? Spoiler: he does.

You wanna complain Optimus isn’t there on the battlefield and that “no Optimus should do that” but that Roberts who you’ve always held in such a high regard showed Optimus sitting in a bubble surrounded by monitors watching and coordinating battles. But no Optimus should do that…unless it’s written by a writer you like. But again, MTMTE/LL. see the issues and flaws, doesn’t care because bias and likes the series.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116596)
Posted by Hydrargyrus on September 23rd, 2021 @ 11:49am CDT
Now, I’m not big into comics, or even reading this series (still making my way through IDW1), but I’ve been keeping an eye on the reviews and have seen many of the responses readers have had. It seems to me that there’s a good chance these pre-/early war story arcs will be much better in retrospect, when one isn’t limited to one issue a month, and when more of the seeds planted here have paid off. To borrow a phrase from ScottyP’s Beast Wars review, the approach here could very well be "writing for the trade" (I could be using that entirely wrong).
As I said before, I’m not finished with IDW1 yet, but so far it seems like MtMtE was much more focused on the stories within individual issues and small story arcs (often underdeveloping some of the longer-term stuff). On the other hand, IDW2 looks like it places heavy emphasis on world-building and planting seeds for later plots. So it would make sense that each series appeals to a largely different audience.
I could be wrong, though.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116603)
Posted by Randomhero on September 23rd, 2021 @ 12:56pm CDT
Hydrargyrus wrote:Now, I’m not big into comics, or even reading this series (still making my way through IDW1), but I’ve been keeping an eye on the reviews and have seen many of the responses readers have had. It seems to me that there’s a good chance these pre-/early war story arcs will be much better in retrospect, when one isn’t limited to one issue a month, and when more of the seeds planted here have paid off. To borrow a phrase from ScottyP’s Beast Wars review, the approach here could very well be "writing for the trade" (I could be using that entirely wrong).
As I said before, I’m not finished with IDW1 yet, but so far it seems like MtMtE was much more focused on the stories within individual issues and small story arcs (often underdeveloping some of the longer-term stuff). On the other hand, IDW2 looks like it places heavy emphasis on world-building and planting seeds for later plots. So it would make sense that each series appeals to a largely different audience.
I could be wrong, though.


The problem with later IDW-1 was quite a few things. Barber was handling too many characters and too many plots and characters and plots were getting dropped along the way to make room for other characters and plots and he was putting toy tie ins in the books. Something he’s said was an option and not a hasbro mandate. He tried to back peddle a little here and there and while sometimes it would work sometimes it just didn’t. With roberts he was more character focused then anything with the plot playing on the back burner and wouldn’t self edit and it hit him in the end. He was given over a year to wrap up lost light. Most writers don’t get that but was given 12-14 issues to wrap up his story and he just refused to change the story to be more streamlined and it fell apart with the end. Characters and plots sprawling 6 years are introduced and dropped sometimes in one or two pages instead of reworking them to flow. Roberts had no problems spending issues over issues retconning other writers work to make his stories make sense but couldn’t do it to his own stuff. I like the original IDW verse a lot. 13 years of reading it from start to finish and as whole it’s the best transformer fiction the franchise has ever had and longest running but it’s not perfect nor should it have been expected to have been but they could have done better and handled it better. John could have been more focused on the stories he was telling with RID/TF/OP and James should have had an editor later who should have stepped in more and actually been an editor instead of just a credit on the inside of the book because that’s all that was. Only time he really had to go against his plan was being asked to put Megatron in the book. That and he was as writing it like a Tv series and not a comic book. He even referred to post dark Cybertron as season two. Comics are not written like shows. They’re written like comics and James wanted to make a transformers show and the structure did not always work. I would love to see James do a show though! I think him handling characters on a transformers cartoon would be exceptionally amazing.

I really enjoy this new IDW verse a lot obviously. I remember years ago when it kicked off I said in the first review when it came out it’s pretty good but opened with a line that said “before earth” and I was pulled out by it because that line really implied it’s only a matter of time before it hits the status quo of traveling to earth. 35 issues later and the war has been kicked off finally, reasons for the factions have been explained, liens are drawn and it really is implying that going to earth isn’t in the cards for this universe anytime soon and I dig that a lot. This series is not predictable at all. It’s established that there’s so much that’s happened to the transformers before the war especially with this whole exarchon character that’s been built up as the worst thing that’s ever happened.


The original IDW verse had to spend issues upon issue dealing with flashbacks and back peddling to establish lore. This new universe isn’t dealing with that because they’re doing it now instead of later
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116733)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on September 25th, 2021 @ 10:43am CDT
I tried giving this a shot when it 1st started, but after 5 or so issues I gave up, it was boring as hell. I suspected at the time it might be better to read it through TPBs. I'm probably still going to do that.

James Roberts is a mediocre comic book writer.

IDW-1 being the "best Transformers fiction the franchise has ever had" is a matter of opinion and 1 I don't share. It's probably in the top 10, maybe even top 6. But considering ALL the continuities and fiction from the last 37 years, it's not something I am eager to revisit as certain others.
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2116838)
Posted by Hydrargyrus on September 27th, 2021 @ 10:43am CDT
You’ve made your point quite eloquently there, RH. Thanks for the response.
I remember, years ago, due to my tendency to see things in absolutes, I was confused about the general consensus on the quality of writing in MtMtE/LL and asked about it on the boards here. With the help of a very kind user who took the time to respond to my silly question, I came to largely the same conclusion.
Steering back on topic, I suppose a lot of this comes back to the idea that different things will bother readers different amounts. So while one reader might be able to look past the flaws of a series and really enjoy it, those same flaws might detract from the story too much for another.
One of first IDW comics I read was the Dark Cybertron arc, and, because I prefer more scientific believability in stories, I was put off of TF comics for a while. Shockwave’s plan was just too over-the-top. When I read the same arc again years later, after having read the stories leading up to it, I appreciated the meetup between the casts much more and paid less attention to the specifics of Shockwave’s plan. So I guess something similar might occur for readers if these new comics, where reading them in a different way makes them more appealing.

You mention that it doesn’t look like Earth will show up for a while here. Is there any indication that the Ark or something like it will show up soon? Or is Cybertron looking like it will be habitable for a while longer?
Re: Five Page Preview of IDW Transformers #35 (2117014)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on September 28th, 2021 @ 5:00pm CDT
I hope that doesn't happen for a long time either. There's a lot of potential in telling stories that take place on Cybertron, the Transformers having been at war for millions of years before arriving on Earth. Honestly, the whole crashing on Earth story is getting pretty boring by now. NO MORE HUMANS.

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