IDW Transformers #31 Review

IDW Transformers #31 Review

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 1:06pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 31,266

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Into the Thick of It
A Review of Transformers #31 by Mr. Micromaster

Spoilers Ahead
Editor's Note: Yes, once again and as you saw in the title above this review is not authored by who its news posting says, but instead by guest reviewer Mr. Micromaster. With that out of the way, let's let him get to it. Thanks, Mr. Micromaster!

Transformers #31 is pretty good, the writing is good and the art is even better, it's great in this book. If you have not been enjoying the current IDW ongoing this issue probably will not change your mind, especially since this is another one of those issues that is pretty much all talking but it is probably the best execution of it.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #31 Review
Strongarm, Master of Foreshadowing

Let’s start with the story of this issue. As I mentioned beforehand this issue like many issues in this series is a lot of talking but this is by far the best execution of that story format. This is probably because it is not just one conversation happening but a variety of different conversations which pick back up on various threads from past issues, and their absence has been an issue in the past. It also has a new thread with a relatively new character in Jumpstream.

Picking up on the older threads provides several nice moments in this book. The opening text crawl of the book reveals it has been 40 cycles since the end of the last issue, which is about a month and ten days, give or take. The issue picks up right where TF #30 left off with Provoke who was one of the ghosts that Cyclonus was seeing, and it turns out she is actually alive and has been in stasis for nearly two mega-cycles (nearly two thousand years). This leads to a nice scene between Cyclonus and Flatline with some emotive facial expressions from artist Anna Malkova. Another welcome moment is the catch-up scene between Ultra Magnus and Optimus, which also serves to fill the reader in as well.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #31 Review
I'm back!

Sideswipe and Bumper are also back in action in this issue after taking a beating in issue #20. There is a fun moment between Bumper and Sideswipe where Bumper asks Sideswipe for an opinion on his new arm. There are also several interactions with Jumpstream and Preceptor in his lab that give you a better sense of who these characters are in this universe.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #31 Review
Looks like Scrounge has some competition

Now on to the art. Malkova’s art as per usual is good and is complemented nicely by David Garcia Cruz’s colors. Malkova’s faces are pretty expressive, for example, you can really see the sadness on Cyclonus’ face and the insanity dripping from Sunstorm. Her cityscapes are impressive as well. Angel Hernandez’s art is also good though personally I prefer Malkova’s art. I will say though that Runamuck’s proportions seem off, but Hernandez’s art does shine in the alternate Cybertron. Jake Wood’s lettering is good as per usual and no obvious issues stuck out.

You can find full credits for Transformers #31 in our Vector Sigma Database entry for this issue

Verdict
Transformers News: IDW Transformers #31 Review

Overall, I enjoyed this issue. For me there were enough significant things happening in this issue to keep me interested throughout. I am legitimately interested to see what happens in the next issue.

Final Score
. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:


This issue is out today, 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.


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Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108136)
Posted by ScottyP on June 23rd, 2021 @ 9:53pm CDT
This is going to look weird following the review on the front page, but again, I didn't write the review. Moving on.

The first half of this issue might have been, character-wise only, some of the strongest stuff in the run. With all the follow-up to various disparate plot threads, I thought it was leading to them coalescing in some cool way.

Instead the later part of the issue had an insultingly stupid twist to bring back a villain known only through reference and allusion, who we also learned isn't even a Cybertronian earlier in the issue.

Everytime I see hope, something else jumps in and further cements my opinion that this book is really bad. If there isn't a new writer after this arc, I'm dropping the main TF book from my pull list which is really hard to do as a collector. Only happened once before in late '09, was back in by mid-2011 for that huge turnaround so maybe they've got another one in 'em.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108142)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on June 23rd, 2021 @ 10:41pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:This is going to look weird following the review on the front page, but again, I didn't write the review. Moving on.

The first half of this issue might have been, character-wise only, some of the strongest stuff in the run. With all the follow-up to various disparate plot threads, I thought it was leading to them coalescing in some cool way.

Instead the later part of the issue had an insultingly stupid twist to bring back a villain known only through reference and allusion, who we also learned isn't even a Cybertronian earlier in the issue.

Everytime I see hope, something else jumps in and further cements my opinion that this book is really bad. If there isn't a new writer after this arc, I'm dropping the main TF book from my pull list which is really hard to do as a collector. Only happened once before in late '09, was back in by mid-2011 for that huge turnaround so maybe they've got another one in 'em.

I definitely agree with you the first half of this issue is probably the best part. While personally I liked the plot twist at the end I understand where you’re coming from and if the plot twist falls flat next issue it will be a dud in my opinion. Honestly while I have been enjoying this book lately there have definitely been moments where I thought about dropping it. I agree with you honestly changing writers would not be a bad thing for this book. You could give Ruckley a Galaxies style book where he could tell smaller more contained stories I think he’d be great at that.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108181)
Posted by ScottyP on June 24th, 2021 @ 11:56am CDT
^ Yeah I feel like Escape is touching more on the kind of story he wants to tell. Cybertronians interacting with dozens of alien species and the consequences of war removing that element from their culture is a neat thought, and I think he wants to get more into it, but as ANSR said above:

AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Maybe this series would work better as prose? They're just not really doing all that much with the visual medium.
The kind of story I suggested may also work better as prose. Though the stuff early on with Rubble going through that market-like area gave plenty of material to visually digest too, so who knows.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108189)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 24th, 2021 @ 1:07pm CDT
Plenty to digest, sure. But it's not really as dynamic or interesting as it could or should be. I dug out and re-read issue one, the other day. In comparison to Infiltration #1, it really lacks a visual punch.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108201)
Posted by shawnmct on June 24th, 2021 @ 3:14pm CDT
I loved this issue. I'm still constantly confused, as I think the series is tackling too many plots at the same time, but it's still really enjoyable.

It really looks like they're setting up a version of Sunstorm's Dreamwave arc. Which is one of my favorite arcs in all of Transformers, and why Sunstorm is one of my favorite characters.

I love Perceptor being front and center, but dislike the near cavalier attitude he's been displaying towards safety. But, he's still there.

How the end twist is executed will determine how I feel about it. Definitely caught my attention, though. I imagine we're about to get A LOT of backstory.

Also, during that 'universe jump' (my best description of Jumpstream's trip), what's with the black seeker?

Fun questions, now it will depend on what the answers are!
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108227)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on June 24th, 2021 @ 6:05pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Plenty to digest, sure. But it's not really as dynamic or interesting as it could or should be. I dug out and re-read issue one, the other day. In comparison to Infiltration #1, it really lacks a visual punch.
So would that be the fault of the writer for not setting/describing the scene well enough or the illustrator for not executing said description?
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2108237)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on June 24th, 2021 @ 7:42pm CDT
I like that Perceptor. For some reason, I am hearing Star Wars Bad Batch Tech when he talks. Plus the yellow eyes are sharp looking
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110160)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on July 14th, 2021 @ 10:16am CDT
Luckily, Nothing Came of It
A Review of Transformers #32 by Mr. Micromaster

Spoilers Ahead
Editor's Note: Yes, for a third time and as you saw in the title above this review is not authored by who its news posting says, but instead by guest reviewer Mr. Micromaster. With that out of the way, let's let him get to it. Thanks, Mr. Micromaster!

For the most part I have been enjoying the Transformers ongoing consistently since issue #20. Unfortunately, I found this issue to be rather disappointing. Personally, I was hoping this issue would reveal more backstory to Exarchon, but alas last issue’s plot twist was honestly disappointing thanks to this issue.

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Action Master Bumble Bee Jetpack not included

Now let’s brighten up this review by talking about the only real positive of this book. That being the art. In the same vein as last issue, Anna Malkova and Angel Hernandez are on art duty for this issue. While Hernandez’s art style is not my favorite, he still delivers a plethora of dynamic action scenes in the beginning half of the book. The latter half of the book is drawn by Malkova who knocks it out of the park. David Garcia Cruz kills it on coloring with his colors working great with both Malkova and Hernandez art. Jake Wood’s lettering as always is done competently and doesn’t interfere with art.

You can find full credits for Transformers #32 in our Vector Sigma Database entry for this issue

Image
Cyclonus seeking help to escape this lackluster book

I found the plot to be utterly lacking this issue. I felt like first half of this issue with Jumpstream could have been shortened to two or three pages, as it really didn’t amount to anything all that special or interesting. I feel like these pages would have been better spent exploring the ramifications of Jumpstream “cross overing” or more time with Cyclonus and Provoke. Something I had been enjoying about this series was its nice character moments, but this issue lacked those. I feel like the first half of this issue didn’t allow the rest of it to breathe.

Verdict
Image
Unfortunately, the audience didn’t.

The plot this issue lacked anything to make it feel special or standout. This issue really felt like I was just reading banal dialogue rather than reading an enticing Transformers story. For me there was maybe one and half interesting moments from this issue. I also found the plot twist at the end of book rather unnecessary and uninteresting. The only saving grace of this issue is the art. Malkova and Hernandez did excellent and dynamic work this issue. I am hoping next issue will better than this one, it definitely sounds more interesting in the solicitation.

Final Score
. :BOT: :BOT: ½
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:


This issue is out today, 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: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110163)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on July 14th, 2021 @ 10:31am CDT
Rodimus Prime wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Plenty to digest, sure. But it's not really as dynamic or interesting as it could or should be. I dug out and re-read issue one, the other day. In comparison to Infiltration #1, it really lacks a visual punch.
So would that be the fault of the writer for not setting/describing the scene well enough or the illustrator for not executing said description?


Weird that today was the first time a reply alert for this thread appeared :-?

Not knowing the illustrator's prior work, if they are new to the business or not. If it is the former, I would put it down to a lack of story boarding/scene setting by the writer.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110202)
Posted by Moody magpie on July 14th, 2021 @ 1:17pm CDT
Is it worrying that I'm enjoying the Transformers/MLP more than the current ongoing series? Come back James Roberts all is forgiven!
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110245)
Posted by Windsweeper on July 14th, 2021 @ 5:45pm CDT
I've just read this issue and actually enjoyed it.
The alternate world/future piqued my curiosity. Interesting to see Skywarp as an army builder though it's a shame the exclusivity of his Siege mold prohibits picking up a few of the figures.

Nice to see Powerglide make an albeit short appearance and Black Jack among the rebels.

I like Flatline's portrayal so far. He's not a stereotypical, sadistic, evil doctor. He seems to care about his patients.

Not a fan of Exarchon so far but that's because I don't like seeing Megatron enthralled.

I liked the mention of Nucleon and it's effects on Bumblebee's rebels as I loved the Actionmasters growing up.

It's a shame the reviewer didn't enjoy the issue but each to their own.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110255)
Posted by ScottyP on July 14th, 2021 @ 10:29pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
Rodimus Prime wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Plenty to digest, sure. But it's not really as dynamic or interesting as it could or should be. I dug out and re-read issue one, the other day. In comparison to Infiltration #1, it really lacks a visual punch.
So would that be the fault of the writer for not setting/describing the scene well enough or the illustrator for not executing said description?


Weird that today was the first time a reply alert for this thread appeared :-?

Not knowing the illustrator's prior work, if they are new to the business or not. If it is the former, I would put it down to a lack of story boarding/scene setting by the writer.
I know nothing if Angel Hernandez's career before Transformers, but TF 2019 #1 was his first work for TFs. He peaks early, goes away for a long time, then returns to draw the end of 31 and most of 32.

His parts of 32 are a sloppy mess. Spotlight: Thundercracker level bad art. Heart of Darkness level bad. Lumpy characters in wonky settings participating in clumsy action.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110356)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 15th, 2021 @ 8:01pm CDT
I say this as someone who reads the wiki entries just to keep up, I have no interest in actually buying the main book (except the annual, I will discuss after this), I like the sounds of Exarchon. And that twist from the end sounds great. Exarchon is a breathe of fresh air that was needed, a real threat and a unique one at that. I like the idea of him being the true big bad and not Megatron, especially since Megatron kinda really sucks.

Now, the annual: I actually bought the annual, courtesy of Seibs, and it's my first actual book I bought of the new continuity. I plan to get Galaxies 1-6, but I'm still salty they didn't do those 6 together in a trade and bundled them with 6 other issues from the ongoing or something like that.

anyway, annual: I got it because Lodestar is cool, Milne was on art, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, Dirge, and Airachnid were antagonists, and Computron at long last shows up in something! I will admit, I liked the story, and I really did like the Technobots. The 1 thing I didn't like was the pacing: the fight between Lodestar and Vigilem was hardly a fight, and Computron appeared but barely. It feels like those big moments got less screen time then they should have.

Outside of that, I enjoyed it. I will enjoy reading it some more too
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110523)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on July 18th, 2021 @ 8:23pm CDT
Windsweeper wrote:I've just read this issue and actually enjoyed it.
The alternate world/future piqued my curiosity. Interesting to see Skywarp as an army builder though it's a shame the exclusivity of his Siege mold prohibits picking up a few of the figures.

Nice to see Powerglide make an albeit short appearance and Black Jack among the rebels.

I like Flatline's portrayal so far. He's not a stereotypical, sadistic, evil doctor. He seems to care about his patients.

Not a fan of Exarchon so far but that's because I don't like seeing Megatron enthralled.

I liked the mention of Nucleon and it's effects on Bumblebee's rebels as I loved the Actionmasters growing up.

It's a shame the reviewer didn't enjoy the issue but each to their own.

I am glad you enjoyed it even though I couldn't. However I do agree with you that was nice to see Powerglide and the rebels being action masters was one of the more interesting things from the book.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2110524)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on July 18th, 2021 @ 8:55pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
Rodimus Prime wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Plenty to digest, sure. But it's not really as dynamic or interesting as it could or should be. I dug out and re-read issue one, the other day. In comparison to Infiltration #1, it really lacks a visual punch.
So would that be the fault of the writer for not setting/describing the scene well enough or the illustrator for not executing said description?


Weird that today was the first time a reply alert for this thread appeared :-?

Not knowing the illustrator's prior work, if they are new to the business or not. If it is the former, I would put it down to a lack of story boarding/scene setting by the writer.
I know nothing if Angel Hernandez's career before Transformers, but TF 2019 #1 was his first work for TFs. He peaks early, goes away for a long time, then returns to draw the end of 31 and most of 32.

His parts of 32 are a sloppy mess. Spotlight: Thundercracker level bad art. Heart of Darkness level bad. Lumpy characters in wonky settings participating in clumsy action.

That's the weird thing about this series almost everyone involved has very little experiences in the comic realm. Hernandez probably having the most working for DC, then IDW starting with Star Trek and now TF. Next being Ruckley who wrote a handful of books for IDW before TF. Last but not least being Malkova with the TF series being her first ever work in comics.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2111666)
Posted by commander shockwav on July 30th, 2021 @ 9:38pm CDT
Okay, I haven't really read anything since the Lost Light stuff.

Tell me what you think is worth reading since then. Because I know most of it is probably fluff and am looking for something with some substance. I'm partial to the US/UK Marvel run and most of IDW's stuff up to the Lost Light.
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2111747)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 1st, 2021 @ 5:38pm CDT
commander shockwav wrote:Okay, I haven't really read anything since the Lost Light stuff.

Tell me what you think is worth reading since then. Because I know most of it is probably fluff and am looking for something with some substance. I'm partial to the US/UK Marvel run and most of IDW's stuff up to the Lost Light.

Read issues 1-6 of Galaxies and the 2021 annual. those are the good stories so far
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2111848)
Posted by Big Grim on August 2nd, 2021 @ 1:42pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:Read issues 1-6 of Galaxies and the 2021 annual. those are the good stories so far

I agree with this. During a sale, I picked up the on going and got up to date. It's terminally slow story pacing featuring boring versions of characters you love walking every where.

Galaxies 1 - 6 and the Annual were absolutely stonking reads though.

~ Grim
Re: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2111911)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on August 3rd, 2021 @ 11:01am CDT
The Middle Man
A review of Transformers #33 by Mr.Micromaster

Spoilers Ahead

I found this issue to be a definite step up from the last issue. It was a joy to read rather than a chore. Issue 33 is a simple and humorous read with a seemingly important character moment for a particular character.

Image
Gobots Rule Transformers Drool


This issue does its job well and manages to squeeze in a smattering of humor. It delivers a story about a rescue mission that also helps set up the next arc of the series. We also get a glimpse of what it is like in occupied Iacon, well at least for the decepticons anyway. This issue like many in the past has a lot of enjoyable character moments. Charger and Firebeast were a personal highlight for me. That is not to say this issue’s plot is perfect though, as the emotional moments in this issue lack depth.

You can find full credits for Transformers #33 in our Vector Sigma Database entry for this issue


Image
That’s another character for obscure character bingo


The art for this issue is done by Bethany McGuire-Smith. McGuire-Smith illustrates a myriad of emotive faces and competent action scenes. McGuire-Smith’s art is competent and well done and suits this issue well. There are a lot of interesting illustrations in this issue such as bots dancing and wrestling. David Garcia Cruz’s colors compliment McGuire-Smith’s art well. Jake Wood’s lettering is on point as per usual.

Verdict
Image
Join us on the next exciting episode of the Transformers


Overall, this issue is very well rounded with competent art and a nicely structured story. While this issue won’t win any awards, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but there are a few things that hold it back from soaring to above average heights, such as emotional moments that lack feeling.

Final Score
. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:


This issue is out today, 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: IDW Transformers #31 Review (2111949)
Posted by ScottyP on August 3rd, 2021 @ 2:55pm CDT
IDW's 2019 reboot of Transformers continues tomorrow with the latest chapter of the "Lord of Misrule" story as its 33rd issue hits local comic shops and digital marketplaces. Here's what they tell us to expect in the issue:

(W) Brian Ruckley (A) Anna Malkova (CA) Ed Pierre
"Lord of Misrule: Swindle's II". Bumblebee is a lot of things-an ex-Ascenticon spy, a wanted fugitive, and currently working as a go-between for Swindle and Optimus Prime's Autobots. With Swindle and his crew's help, Bumblebee's got a chance to free the long-captive Elita-1 and finally finish his search for justice for Rubble's murder by bringing down Barricade. But when working with criminals, even the best laid plans are destined for trouble.

IDW Publishing has shared a five page preview of this issue, which you can check out below.

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