IDW Transformers #3 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 6:47PM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 23,862

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"Nothing lasts forever... so why not destroy it now?"
A Review of Transformers #3

Free of any explicit spoilers, but some may be unintentionally implied.
Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
It is indeed - still not Beast Wars

The latest era of IDW Publishing's Transformers continues with its namesake book's third chapter, out today. Cybertron is increasingly in a state of unrest, and as the sole survivor of the three reviewers that started out reviewing this series with issue 1 last month, it is the readership as well? Is it really all that bad? No, but it isn't all roses either. Read on for more of what was good and what wasn't fortunate enough to be called such.

Plus, if you didn't already know, you can buy Transformers comics directly from Seibertron.com's eBay store! The A Cover, B Cover and Retailer Incentive 35th Anniversary cover are all available now, but don't wait on the incentive cover as it's moving fast.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
SIEGE wait no it's not. Can it be? It's just a Prime Soundwave retool.

The issue gets off to a pretty solid start, with a surprising introduction as seen in the preview pages published before release taking the time to explain another surprise appearance, the Decepticon Ascenticon Quake. Adding personality and depth to obscure characters is always an appreciated note and the opening of this issue is effective at succinctly establishing why Quake of all characters is someone that would take the Autobot security detail aback. Coupled with the mounting tensions of what's happening on Cybertron - with more Prowl helping too - the first six pages of the issue were a very promising start.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
Guess what?

Then we get to Rubble and Bumblebee. Do you like naps? Just thinking about this stretch of the issue puts me to sleep. That's not good. Something here was not engaging or missed connecting and it goes on too long given what it ultimately accomplishes. Rubble and Bumblebee talk for about five pages and repeat some beats from earlier issues while adding a couple nice small elements to the world-building going on. I found it to be a couple pages too many, so when Rubble then gets seven more pages of walking and talking with some different characters it lead me to tune out. The new character of Geomodus was fun but again remained on the page entirely more than necessary. Nothing objectively bad is in here content-wise, but the pacing in this middle stretch of the issue reminds me more of Tom Bombadil in Fellowship of the Ring than a fun Transformers adventure. Some readers might find this to their taste, to be fair.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
Did they teach you that phrasing in fancy lad school?

The last two pages did plenty enough to keep me interested in continuing to read the story, assuming they're a sign that business is about to pick up. Orion Pax takes a journey on his own out into the lands of Cybertron with intriguing sights seen along the way and graciously doesn't talk his entire time out there. Wanting to know more is good and the developments at the tail end of this issue were definitely noteworthy, though it may be that they just seemed that way after twelve pages of talking and walking.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
Don't tell me it's Botanica time already

The same creative team returns with Angel Hernandez and Cachét Whitman again splitting the line art duties, with Joana Lafuente providing the color-glue to bond the Tom B. Long lettering glitter. I have a feeling if I tried to make an analogy that falls apart like that, the editorial team-up of David Mariotte and Tom Waltz would be there to set me straight. There's not much to say that hasn't already been stated in the reviews for the first two issues, though it's worth noting that fans distracted by toy details will find this lets up on them somewhat, some of the time. Hernandez also provides some appreciated detail in the pages placed in a larger outdoor setting, and while some of this is attributable to precisely where the setting is for a given page or panel, it's still a notable way for the artist to contribute to the world-building that is still in full-force during this third issue.

The covers feature the professional Transformers debut of Anna Malkova, a special 35th Anniversary cover from Guido Guidi as the ten-copy incentive that is in no way indicative of the book's contents as is often characteristic of special incentive covers like it, plus a cover from long time fan-favorite Nick Roche with colors from Josh Burcham. This cover in particular is used for this review's news story thumbnail and deserved an extra note because it really can be a page 19.5 if you want it to be, and while that may have happened purely by chance it's a fun touch. You can also find images of all of the book's covers along with full credits for the issue in our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers #3, but please note it contains a character appearance list which may spoil you on something if you're really sensitive to the most minor of non-spoiler "spoilers".

Editor's note: there was a page at the start of our provided digital review copy indicating a third John Gallagher cover featuring Jetfire may be available, however a search at the retailers that carried his covers for issues 1 and 2 yields no results. Please let us know if you find this available so we can add it to our credits.

Verdict
Transformers News: IDW Transformers #3 Review
He's talking about the plot, see

Have you ever eaten a sandwich that's pretty good, but the bread is entirely too dense and makes the whole thing take way too long to eat because you have to chew way more than you want to get another bite of the good parts in between? That was this issue for me. The issue's fun and fascinating details with obvious effort put into world building were marred by dialogue that was too dense without enough flavor to carry the issue through smoothly. No matter how outstanding some areas really were, just like a sandwich chain with fantastic meat but so-so bread, this issue brings the painful parts of this new series along with it in enough volume to drag down the final output. The score below reflects a little bit of leeway given since this is the third issue of a completely new series, but only a little.

Final Score
. :BOT: :BOT: ½
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
"Average-ish"
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Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019263)
Posted by Beachjezus on April 17th, 2019 @ 6:56pm CDT
I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly - but the fact that Orion Pax is basically the inner robot of the upcoming toy of Galaxy upgrade Optimus Prime is sooooooo distracting to me.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019265)
Posted by william-james88 on April 17th, 2019 @ 7:08pm CDT
Honestly, that's how I always feel about Barber. Will probably be dropping this book soon.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019276)
Posted by Ultra Markus on April 17th, 2019 @ 8:38pm CDT
Beachjezus wrote:I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly - but the fact that Orion Pax is basically the inner robot of the upcoming toy of Galaxy upgrade Optimus Prime is sooooooo distracting to me.

yeah its a bit weird having Cyberton Optimus Prime as Orion Pax :???:
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019295)
Posted by Flashwave on April 17th, 2019 @ 11:23pm CDT
Maybe I am losing my mind, but I feel like I have heard the name Geomodus before. Froid was not a character I needed to see ever again, but it was nice to see IDW willing to reincorporate their older stuff. Hopefully not too frequently, this needs to be its own thing, but cameos are good.

I can agree with rhe sucky pacing here, but I'm still intrigued. With the action at the end of the last book with Megatron I really thought we were going to get some traction, but this is something of a letdown comparatively. Shame
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019306)
Posted by ScottyP on April 18th, 2019 @ 7:14am CDT
Flashwave wrote:With the action at the end of the last book with Megatron I really thought we were going to get some traction, but this is something of a letdown comparatively. Shame
Very good point about the momentum not being carried over, makes the end of 2 feel less intense than it did previously. Ironhide's telling me how things went for them but I would rather see that go down.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019308)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on April 18th, 2019 @ 8:03am CDT
A big part of comics is show, don't tell. It is a visual medium after all and if you're not doing that, your series isn't going to last very long.

Maybe, it was a mistake to have IDW keep the license...
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019311)
Posted by ScottyP on April 18th, 2019 @ 8:37am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:A big part of comics is show, don't tell. It is a visual medium after all and if you're not doing that, your series isn't going to last very long.
I can hear my old acting coach shouting the same thing in my head :lol:

The frustrating part is how this was done pretty well with Quake. Here's a bad guy, here's his shrink talking about why he's a bad guy while a page shows him doing bad guy things like ripping off faces. More like that would be great.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019313)
Posted by Immortal Starscream on April 18th, 2019 @ 9:03am CDT
so far, the new comics arent gripping me much either. that being said, I do seem to notice a few striking similarities between whats going on here, and some of the backstory in cyberverse. particularly bee and windblade. with hasbro forcing this relaunch, and an upcoming siege based cartoon, I cant help but wonder if this is aligned continuity 2.0.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019332)
Posted by Seibertron on April 18th, 2019 @ 5:50pm CDT
Diamond failed to ship Transformers #3 Cover B (the one with Windblade and Bumblebee). Did anyone happen to see that cover variant at their comic book store today? Trying to figure out if other retailers received their copies or if IDW failed to deliver that cover variant to Diamond (or however that process works).
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019353)
Posted by ricemazter on April 18th, 2019 @ 8:57pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:Diamond failed to ship Transformers #3 Cover B (the one with Windblade and Bumblebee). Did anyone happen to see that cover variant at their comic book store today? Trying to figure out if other retailers received their copies or if IDW failed to deliver that cover variant to Diamond (or however that process works).


You mean the one with the Optimus and Megatron painting motif? I found that one in my shop today. And I think Diamond is THE comic distributor, so they're shipping it to some locations at least.

On another note, I'm also having a hard time feeling this series, both for the pacing and that I'm getting almost zero personality from any of the characters. Part of this might be because all they've been doing for three issues is talking, but everyone from Optimus to Bumblebee seems to speak with the same voice.

Sure they talk about different subjects, but they all seem to speak with the same gravitas. Is Bumblebee impulsive, carefree, easygoing in this continuity? I don't know. No one seems to have any identifiable quirks or character traits that would make them distinct.

One small detail I do like is the appearance of organic creatures in the background of many shots, a subtle hint at one of the big differences in this continuity.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019355)
Posted by Seibertron on April 18th, 2019 @ 9:52pm CDT
ricemazter wrote:You mean the one with the Optimus and Megatron painting motif? I found that one in my shop today. And I think Diamond is THE comic distributor, so they're shipping it to some locations at least.


Yes, Diamond has a monopoly on comic book distribution. I don't understand yet how they get the books or where the books are printed. So if Diamond doesn't have enough to fulfill their orders, who's fault is that usually? IDW for not printing enough on time, the factory, Diamond? I'm just frustrated that they didn't fulfill an order for the Seibertron.com store. Hopefully they'll come next week.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019368)
Posted by Ironhidensh on April 19th, 2019 @ 4:15am CDT
Seibertron wrote:
ricemazter wrote:You mean the one with the Optimus and Megatron painting motif? I found that one in my shop today. And I think Diamond is THE comic distributor, so they're shipping it to some locations at least.


Yes, Diamond has a monopoly on comic book distribution. I don't understand yet how they get the books or where the books are printed. So if Diamond doesn't have enough to fulfill their orders, who's fault is that usually? IDW for not printing enough on time, the factory, Diamond? I'm just frustrated that they didn't fulfill an order for the Seibertron.com store. Hopefully they'll come next week.

Things like this are why I'll never regret switching to digital.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019372)
Posted by william-james88 on April 19th, 2019 @ 6:40am CDT
Seibertron wrote:
ricemazter wrote:You mean the one with the Optimus and Megatron painting motif? I found that one in my shop today. And I think Diamond is THE comic distributor, so they're shipping it to some locations at least.


Yes, Diamond has a monopoly on comic book distribution. I don't understand yet how they get the books or where the books are printed. So if Diamond doesn't have enough to fulfill their orders, who's fault is that usually? IDW for not printing enough on time, the factory, Diamond? I'm just frustrated that they didn't fulfill an order for the Seibertron.com store. Hopefully they'll come next week.

I worked in a comic shop and had to deal with that all the time. It's Diamond's fault. They are the distributors, they took your order and they are the ones in charge of filling it.
If there is a mishap from IDW, Diamond should let you know.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019393)
Posted by ScottyP on April 19th, 2019 @ 1:28pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:Diamond failed to ship Transformers #3 Cover B (the one with Windblade and Bumblebee). Did anyone happen to see that cover variant at their comic book store today? Trying to figure out if other retailers received their copies or if IDW failed to deliver that cover variant to Diamond (or however that process works).
Just picked it up from my pull box locally, so yeah it's around. Sounds like a Diamond thing.
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2019755)
Posted by william-james88 on April 23rd, 2019 @ 10:33pm CDT
the third John Gallagher exclusive is up for preorder at Mutant Beaver Comics: https://mutantbeavercomics.com/collecti ... -600-w-coa

Image
Re: IDW Transformers #3 Review (2022074)
Posted by David Leese on May 20th, 2019 @ 1:29pm CDT
Hi all,

Apologies that I'm so late to the party; I've been making my own video reviews of each of the issues so far (and as I've only just found this site, it might appear as if I'm a few weeks behind, but I will catch up).

My review of Issue 3 - a review of the plot (such as it is) and content:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VJuzkitw14

Summary: still more set-up and not much actually happening. The amount of walking and talking rises to a ridiculous level.


Thanks
David

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