IDW The Transformers #45 Review
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 3:32am CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al Views: 33,292
JETFIRE and KUP lead a team to investigate the mysterious ONYX system. Meanwhile, GALVATRON… well, GALVATRON just doesn’t like anybody.
There is a web being woven, in which each piece of the puzzle so far seems to slot, slide, slip and get trapped. SkyLynx, Kup, D.O.C., Jetfire, Soundwave, Galvatron, the Onyx system, Blackrock, Faireborne, even Thundercracker and Buster. How does it hold together? Perhaps it doesn't.
John Barber, a long while ago now, talked about what was then Robots in Disguise as being the intrigue, thriller, Rome/Borgias/Game of Thrones-esque counterpart to the sitcom/space opera of MTMTE - and if anything were to prove that point further, it's this issue, with no doubt. The main plot carries on the workings of devious Blackrock mostly...
...but also those of Galvatron - perhaps even more so - as the Autobots are used for purposes that are still not entirely clear at this point. In fact, they seem to be the flies of that web. Galvatron's goals are shrouded in what comes across as pure cruelty, almost for the sake of it, if we are to take the example of Skywarp's function in his eyes - a repeated, ongoing agonising torture.
What Barber is setting up is big, very much so, and informed by Combiner Wars in more ways than one, but giving some really emotive aspects to the lesser used characters, while keeping the spotlight pointed just to the side of the key players of something even bigger about to go down.
Andrew Griffith continues a very strong stretch of regular work with this series - though I sometimes still find myself wondering at some of the human jawlines. His Galvatron is magnificently terrifying, and the way in which the art is laid out just ensures that, yes, he is in control of the space he inhabits. Not to mention some splash pages that...
...with the addition of Josh Perez's colour-work, really drive the 'point' home. A lot of the action, if not all of it, takes place in a strange, ethereal locating of spaces that are both inside and outside - and then you have the snow scenes. So much snow. So much.
Tom B. Long is busy on this one, for pages and pages, in a sequence that I do not want to spoil for anyone reading, but the fontwork gives a fantastic sense of the scale of it all, and of what is at stake in the longer narrative of the upcoming issues. As for covers, the Griffith and Perez take on the main variant, while Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente add their own spin to the Autobot crew (thumbnailed). And of course, we have seen the Kei Zama and Yamaishi incentive variant Galvatron, being diplomatic.
If you were paying attention to other aspects of the Transformers universe, not just its fiction, you might start spotting some patterns emerging that were not there initially. Barber's weaving is intricate, logical, underlying a slower pace than MTMTE at times - but this month, this is definitely the book that delivers the most punches, in my view.
There are several moments - stunningly and darkly rendered by the visuals team - that feel not too dissimilar from major game-changing episodes or scenes in those same shows that stand as inspiration, and no one is really in control of their fate or condition, except for whoever is actually pulling the strings. Read this.
Credit(s): IDW, Va'al
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Posted by pie-man on October 1st, 2015 @ 4:03am CDT
I've been looking forward to this issue cause of the return of Jazz. I'm not optimistic about his fate
Can't wait even more for the next issue.
Posted by Starsaber468 on October 1st, 2015 @ 6:27am CDT
Posted by Optimizzy on October 1st, 2015 @ 8:41am CDT
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on October 1st, 2015 @ 8:54am CDT
Posted by MrBlack on October 1st, 2015 @ 9:39am CDT
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2015 @ 11:15am CDT
MrBlack wrote:This is really Barber at his best. He builds things up very slowly so that you feel the protagonists have a handle on things, and then BAM! Rug pulled out from under them, all hope is lost. It's what made his final arc in the first "season" of Robots in Disguise so fantastic.