IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 2:50am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 31,946

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That Rung a Bell
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
DESPERATE MEASURES! Four million years ago, as CYBERTRON teetered on the brink of all-out war, a group of Autobots decided it was time to take matters into their own hands. Everyone concerned would subsequently agree that this was a very, very bad move...

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
Off to a good start


Story

As More Than Meets the Eye continues its solitary trajectory through space (on the Lost Light) and time (through the IDWverse as we know it) we follow up on Rodimus and his team in search of duplicitous Brainstorm, his evil plan and whatever he might be up to in Cybertron's past - will history change forever?

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
Percy impressed - good or bad?


Writer James Roberts had stated a while back that Elegant Chaos would be the third and final chapter to his Cybertronian trilogy, after Chaos Theory and Shadowplay. This issue dissipates all doubts about the execution of that promise, as we look once more into previous (past) storylines to develop the current (present) one, by literally revisiting them from another angle.

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
(future?)


The device is extremely amusing and satisfying (and touching, at times, when Whirl, Chromedome, Rewind, Cyclonus, Rung, and Tailgate are involved), for a good deal of the book, but sometimes feels as though there is still too much stalling given the previous issues in this arc. The time travel plot does feel much fresher here, however, which can only be a good thing.

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
EVERYTHING IS FINE


There are a number of twists, yes, towards the very end. I would not call the 'major' reveal entirely surprising, and the parallels present in the issue with Chaos Theory and Shadowplay only aided in finding all the similarities with those scripts and books - but it is very satisfyingly executed nonetheless, with some great secondary developments along the way.

Art

Now, the artwork. As mentioned, the script reuses lines from Chaos Theory and Shadowplay - and the same holds for the visuals, as Alex Milne's work from The Transformers #20 and MTMTE #9 is re-proposed as part of the larger mosaic of the old-but-new story, and it all works fantastically well, even and perhaps especially with the noticeable differences in style. And the new facial expressions are priceless.

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
Happy Whirl!


And the credit also goes to the combined efforts of previous colourist Josh Burcham, and the current regular Joana Lafuente, with the latter finding a great balance of hues to highlight the pacing of the two timelines in one without making the difference too obvious or jarring. It is a thing to behold.

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
*speechless*


Tom B. Long's letters, especially the ones used when Whirl is involved, capture perfectly the moment and tones of the scenes they feature in, and a joy to trace in backgrounds and captions. While the Milne/Josh Perez A cover captures the and Nick Roche/Burcham introduce some new arrivals, so to speak, in the B cover, the thumbnailed Kotteri anniversary cover is a great representation of the lighter MTMTE vibe.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

As far as the aesthetics are concerned, MTMTE #37 is a magnificently laid out, formally and structurally arranged piece of comics art. Reusing old material in such a way that it works with the new was extremely well done, and the multiple angles help with the tone and themes of the arc's script. And what is new is very very new, in such a way that there are no feelings of 'shortcuts' in material.

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review
#38, here we come


With the plot doing what it does, the stories weaving as they do, and the art blending as it can, what really stood out, once again, were some of the interactions between the very extended cast of the book. Not only the usual suspects, or even the ones present on the page, but there is some very good dialogue that meshes wonderfully with the pre-existing scripts, and gives it that little boost which really encourages a reader to go back and revisit older material. In light of next month's big bang finale. Maybe.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: - out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646488)
Posted by sol magnus on February 4th, 2015 @ 6:42am CST
I've been reading these reviews for years (but just didn't post on this site...for anything), and in all that time I've never seen anything remotely spoilerish in the "Spoilerish Ahead" section of these reviews... >:oP
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646490)
Posted by ScottyP on February 4th, 2015 @ 7:14am CST
sol magnus wrote:I've been reading these reviews for years (but just didn't post on this site...for anything), and in all that time I've never seen anything remotely spoilerish in the "Spoilerish Ahead" section of these reviews... >:oP

Having read the book (edit: not implying you haven't) there are indeed spoilerish things in that section, but indeed, not full blown spoilers. Sometimes that section may frame thoughts or feelings before reading, which is another reason it's marked as such. But you are indeed right, it isn't full blown spoilers because reviews and plot summaries are different things and some sites don't seem to know this ;)
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646512)
Posted by Va'al on February 4th, 2015 @ 8:35am CST
ScottyP wrote:
sol magnus wrote:I've been reading these reviews for years (but just didn't post on this site...for anything), and in all that time I've never seen anything remotely spoilerish in the "Spoilerish Ahead" section of these reviews... >:oP

Having read the book (edit: not implying you haven't) there are indeed spoilerish things in that section, but indeed, not full blown spoilers. Sometimes that section may frame thoughts or feelings before reading, which is another reason it's marked as such. But you are indeed right, it isn't full blown spoilers because reviews and plot summaries are different things and some sites don't seem to know this ;)


I dislike spoilers in reviews. But sometimes I feel that I can't appropriately make a comment on the issue as a whole without revealing something. So as ScottyP says, there are parts in there that can be revealing of details I have otherwise only hinted at in the rest of the piece.

I see reviews as an incentive to go out and buy the book, and then think about it again, rather than a stand-in for reading it (the TFWiki does the best job at that, credits to Chris McFeely for it).
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646563)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on February 4th, 2015 @ 10:25am CST
I've been waiting a month to post this, but;
Image
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646569)
Posted by Va'al on February 4th, 2015 @ 10:40am CST
Well played. Good timing. :P
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646611)
Posted by sol magnus on February 4th, 2015 @ 12:46pm CST
Va'al wrote:
ScottyP wrote:
sol magnus wrote:I've been reading these reviews for years (but just didn't post on this site...for anything), and in all that time I've never seen anything remotely spoilerish in the "Spoilerish Ahead" section of these reviews... >:oP

Having read the book (edit: not implying you haven't) there are indeed spoilerish things in that section, but indeed, not full blown spoilers. Sometimes that section may frame thoughts or feelings before reading, which is another reason it's marked as such. But you are indeed right, it isn't full blown spoilers because reviews and plot summaries are different things and some sites don't seem to know this ;)


I dislike spoilers in reviews. But sometimes I feel that I can't appropriately make a comment on the issue as a whole without revealing something. So as ScottyP says, there are parts in there that can be revealing of details I have otherwise only hinted at in the rest of the piece.

I see reviews as an incentive to go out and buy the book, and then think about it again, rather than a stand-in for reading it (the TFWiki does the best job at that, credits to Chris McFeely for it).

I read it. But without having read it, there is no way I would draw the "spoilerish" conclusions you suggest. It's not a gripe, it just seems like a misrepresentation of "spoilerish" - and yes, if I want a synopsis of the issue I hit the wiki.
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1646647)
Posted by Samsonator on February 4th, 2015 @ 2:29pm CST
I just read the issue... sh*t's about to get real!

I also wonder if present Rung's interactions with past events was planned from the start. I wouldn't doubt Roberts being capable of it, but one has to wonder how long ago this time travel insanity was planned...
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647089)
Posted by CrankyOldTruck on February 5th, 2015 @ 2:39pm CST
SW's SilverHammer wrote:I've been waiting a month to post this, but;
Image



:lol: :lol: :lol:

So much Awesome in this!! I can't even imagine how you've been able to sit on this one for a whole month. Well worth it though. :APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE: :P
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647372)
Posted by ScottyP on February 6th, 2015 @ 9:07am CST
So now that I've re-read this a couple times, I like it a lot. The art is definitely much more striking on the printed page.

On that note, Milne's pre-war Cybertron is just glorious. It reminds me of what I always thought Cybertron would be - huge beyond imagination. Getting some serious Floro Dery vibes. Rodion really looked like some of that Autobot City concept art he came up with. I adore that style in sci-fi, where everything is so large and detailed and complex that your brain can fill in gaps wherever it pleases and there's still more to explore. Really cements these as robots, that would build and build and build because they live practically forever and could be that good to do something that complex, but the beauty of it gives the human-like sentience side of it as well. It also draws such an amazing contrast to the current ruined Cybertron and even the dark insecticon-swarm abandoned Cybertron from the AHM era.

Anyway, that's my gushing about that. Search for Floro Dery's art if you haven't, it'll knock your socks off. Would love to see some sketches by Milne like that, I'm sure he's got some amazing stuff like that in his head that we may never see in the actual books.
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647378)
Posted by Va'al on February 6th, 2015 @ 9:15am CST
Look at ScottyP, giving in to his art critic side. :D

I do think that the book does wonderful wonders from a visual perspective, and as I've said in the review, the blend is magnificent. There's enough of a difference to notice it, but not enough to look like a rushed copy-paste job. And the colours are just fantastic.

Still stupidly intrigued by Rung's role in all of this, too.
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647528)
Posted by ScottyP on February 6th, 2015 @ 2:39pm CST
Va'al wrote:Look at ScottyP, giving in to his art critic side. :D

My past (aka "college and the silly few years thereafter") life as a "hippy", if you will, are ashamedly what made me start to really appreciate art, and the effect lingers to this day. You can probably fill in the blanks as to what I mean by that.

Also, I just realized what color Megatron's spark is at the end of this issue. It is not the same as previously stated which means that's certainly significant, right? Last time blue sparks were mentioned was in Zero Point, and it was hinted that this color had something to do with potential matrix compatibility. :michaelbay:
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647544)
Posted by Va'al on February 6th, 2015 @ 3:16pm CST
ScottyP wrote:
Va'al wrote:Look at ScottyP, giving in to his art critic side. :D

My past (aka "college and the silly few years thereafter") life as a "hippy", if you will, are ashamedly what made me start to really appreciate art, and the effect lingers to this day. You can probably fill in the blanks as to what I mean by that.

Also, I just realized what color Megatron's spark is at the end of this issue. It is not the same as previously stated which means that's certainly significant, right? Last time blue sparks were mentioned was in Zero Point, and it was hinted that this color had something to do with potential matrix compatibility. :michaelbay:


Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647591)
Posted by Russimus Prime on February 6th, 2015 @ 5:20pm CST
Just a thought, and I'm sure someone mentioned it before but, I'm wondering if Brainstorm replaces the exposed spark with the point one percenter spark he took from Luna 1.[
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1647990)
Posted by Va'al on February 7th, 2015 @ 2:28pm CST
Well, there is definitely something up with the cover to #38.

Image
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648001)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on February 7th, 2015 @ 2:51pm CST
Does it Have anything to do with how dashing brainstorm looks on the cover?
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648003)
Posted by Va'al on February 7th, 2015 @ 2:54pm CST
SW's SilverHammer wrote:Does it Have anything to do with how dashing brainstorm looks on the cover?


It's almost arcane how attractive he is. My head is masterfully over heels.
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648024)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on February 7th, 2015 @ 3:16pm CST
Va'al wrote:
SW's SilverHammer wrote:Does it Have anything to do with how dashing brainstorm looks on the cover?


It's almost arcane how attractive he is. My head is masterfully over heels.


I know, something happens and im head over heels, i never find out till im head over heels. Dont take my spark, don't break my spark, don't throw it away. Is it bad I had a feeling about this ever since the box for generations brainstorm listed his headmaster hetero-life-mate as "head converts to pilot"? Also I've been calling mine Arcadia and not his Hasbro given name of Arcana
. _ .
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648593)
Posted by MrBlack on February 9th, 2015 @ 8:24am CST
Va'al wrote:Well, there is definitely something up with the cover to #38.

Image

I just noticed that the gun Brainstorm is using is G1 Megatron's alt-mode. :lol:
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648599)
Posted by MrBlack on February 9th, 2015 @ 8:36am CST
Russimus Prime wrote:Just a thought, and I'm sure someone mentioned it before but, I'm wondering if Brainstorm replaces the exposed spark with the point one percenter spark he took from Luna 1.[

I think you're on to something there.

Prediction:

James Roberts has stated that Megatron is a point one percenter, and he obviously isn't on the last page of issue #37. My guess is that by the time Rodimus and co. show up, Brainstorm will have already done the deed. Brainstorm will explain why he did it (to stop the war before it had a chance to begin, most likely), at which point Rewind will provide him with the information from his database, showing him that without Megatron, the Functionists take over the planet. Whirl will have an epic meltdown, having learned that the Functionists were responsible for what happened to him, and Brainstorm will have a change of heart. He uses the green spark he harvested from Luna 1 to repair Megatron, and the original timeline reasserts itself.

This does bring up another point. It still makes no sense that Brainstorm would be a Decepticon mole, especially if his grand plan was to go back in time and kill Megatron. I'm still convinced that Rewind is the actual mole, and that he planted the Decepticon sigil on Brainstorm to cover up his own involvement. I'm going out on a limb and predicting that the last page of the issue has Rewind contacting the DJD, leading into issue #39.
Re: IDW Publishing Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #37 Review (1648625)
Posted by Russimus Prime on February 9th, 2015 @ 9:38am CST
That would make a lot of sense, as Rewind was the only survivor from alt Lost Light, and Rewind is already kind of established as a bit off, buying the "snuff films" from Swindle. Megatron already said that Brainstorm isn't their "normal type" of double agent.

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