IDW The Transformers #44 Review

IDW The Transformers #44 Review

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 3:50am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 31,408

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You Weren't There, Man
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
LOVE AND HATE! Two emotions only inches from each other—and TRACKS and NEEDLENOSE have felt them both. On opposite sides of an eons-long war, what happens when they meet again? And what’s ARCEE up to on CYBERTRON?

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Solved. Next!


Story

John Barber takes a slightly different turn with this month's issue of The Transformers, while still keeping up the Combiner Wars aftermath threads, and dipping into some of the material unearthed with the Combiner Hunters one-shot. And we get to sort of see some old friends, too.. read on to find out more about #44!

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Um.. burn? I guess?


It may seem a little odd at first to have Arcee framing the story, as it initially focuses on Tracks and Needlenose, as synopsis, previews and advance material readily suggest. I mean, ignoring the very first flashback page, of course. But if there's something Barber is good at, it's blending multiple linear (or not) stories into one.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Yeah, I mean, jeez


And there is one particular story that he adds in to the side which is bound to raise some eyebrows, wrinkle some brains and worry some worriers. Though thinking about it, it's not that out of place for what and how the character has been established previously, in this very series, even though there is a new twist to it this time round.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Here's a hint..


And with Needlenose and Arcee, we have a double-sided look at where this series might be going, as the vacuum left by Megatron, the vacuum left by the civil war, leads into yet another shift in the precarious status quo of the various events of the past couple of publication years. Where to? We'll have to wait and see.

Art

The linework is actually a lot more linear, and definitely well-suited to the story, than we might expect. Andrew Griffith does a mighty fine job in offering both exterior and interior shots, for an otherwise very static issue - in terms of action (though there are some hectic moments). And the final page is everything, once you realise.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Static as in tension


Josh Perez' colours are magnificently accompanying the grimdark - I mean it in the best way possible! ok, bleak, bleak! - setting for the issue. Inside and out. There are some truly stunning passages slower moments in the narration, and it all just works, beautifully.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
BROOD


Tom B. Long gets some fun parts too, adding signs and sounds where the locations really needed some, and keeping the dialogues and fonts in check across the board. I will never stop being amazed at how easy he makes it look. We have seen the two main covers in the past, featuring a self(ie)-keen Tracks and Needlenose by Griffith and Perez, a melancholy Arcee with Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente, and the entirely appropriate and adorable tumbnailed RI variant by Agnes Garbowska.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

As I was writing the review for Combiner Hunters, I kept saying, and made clear in the piece too, that I hoped to see further development from Arcee's lines in further issues of the ongoings. I really did not have to wait that long, as Barber takes the step a couple of inches further in this issue, and surrounds it with an extremely well-taut series of lines across Cybertron (mostly).

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #44 Review
Because I'm Bba-- Arcee


It takes a seriously impressive variety of previous storylines that have been somewhat suspended as corporate did its thing, and may be a hint towards IDW authors being able to write their own stuff and redevelop it for a while yet. Which can only be a good thing, whatever the voices say.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


This article was last modified on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 3:59am CDT

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Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715867)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on August 5th, 2015 @ 3:55am CDT
Real quick, just because I like to keep most of my comics in a chronological order in regards to story progression (with some exceptions) Should I place combiner hunters before or after this issue?
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715868)
Posted by Va'al on August 5th, 2015 @ 3:57am CDT
SW's SilverHammer wrote:Real quick, just because I like to keep most of my comics in a chronological order in regards to story progression (with some exceptions) Should I place combiner hunters before or after this issue?


Before. Definitely.
If you look at the review of CH, I mention something in there about its timeline placing!
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715870)
Posted by MemphisR56 on August 5th, 2015 @ 4:09am CDT
Was that Action Master Thundercracker among the Exticons? Who was the Conehead in that groupshot? Dirge? Didn't quite seem to be his colours.

Also, nice visual callback to Rodimus's speech at rivets field on that last page there. So it looks like Needlenose is gonna be starting up his own decepticon splinter faction? *and* he was in a relationship with Horribull(hurrah for first canon gay faction leader!) and we finally get a reveal that Starscream was talking to a hallucination of bumblebeewhile he's by himself. Makes me want to re-read season 2 of RiD to see if that makes anything about his methods a little clearer.

It was a good issue, I get the feeling the whole thing could be avoided if tracks wasn't such a tool though. :-?

Any ideas who that member of the badgeless was?
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715872)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on August 5th, 2015 @ 4:11am CDT
Va'al wrote:
SW's SilverHammer wrote:Real quick, just because I like to keep most of my comics in a chronological order in regards to story progression (with some exceptions) Should I place combiner hunters before or after this issue?


Before. Definitely.
If you look at the review of CH, I mention something in there about its timeline placing!

Thanksies ^u^
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715882)
Posted by Randomhero on August 5th, 2015 @ 7:04am CDT
I loved this this issue. It had a lot of great things in it. Loved the MTMTE homage at the end.

Nice to see Skullgrin even though he's dead...lol
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715892)
Posted by ScottyP on August 5th, 2015 @ 8:28am CDT
I don't think this is super spoiler-y, but just in case, I'll throw this in tags. Barber managed to make Needlenose kind of cool. I didn't even think he was cool when I was 6 years old, although Spinister and Quake having way cooler toys are mostly responsible for that. Darkwing/Dreadwind too, Needlenose kind of felt like a cheap, worse version of them.
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1715931)
Posted by jogunwarrior on August 5th, 2015 @ 11:04am CDT
Nice not seeing any humans in this preview!
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1716292)
Posted by BATTLEMASTER IIC on August 7th, 2015 @ 2:29am CDT
So the Protectobots appear to have separated from their combined form as Defensor and have begun making their return to the Lost Light.

Is anyone else looking forward to what happens when the Lost Light gets its own combiner?
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1716339)
Posted by Optimizzy on August 7th, 2015 @ 9:04am CDT
BATTLEMASTER IIC wrote:So the Protectobots appear to have separated from their combined form as Defensor and have begun making their return to the Lost Light.

Is anyone else looking forward to what happens when the Lost Light gets its own combiner?


Honestly, I dont think it will affect much. Roberts may do something with it, but only as an aside? I'd like to explore the real psychological affects of the process and MTMTE seems like a good spot for that.

OH and because of this issue, I finally got a RTS Tracks (not planning to get the MP)...

Now maybe I'll need to get a subscription service.
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1716457)
Posted by Va'al on August 7th, 2015 @ 5:22pm CDT
Sp-p-p-p-p-oiler!






From Andrew Griffith:

Image
Re: IDW The Transformers #44 Review (1716475)
Posted by Optimizzy on August 7th, 2015 @ 7:23pm CDT
Nice. Really good page. Love how it compares to Rodimus speech.

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