IDW Transformers #36 Review

IDW Transformers #36 Review

Friday, December 12th, 2014 7:05am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 75,518

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Something Afoot
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
DAYS OF DECEPTION! All-out war erupts on the streets of Tokyo when PROWL finally gets his hand on the one human he wants to get revenge on… and when PROWL gets revenge, it’s never pretty.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
They're civilians!


Story

We left the Earth crew of Cybertronians, both sides, to deal with Blackrock and the, so far not entirely understood, Onyx Interface ramifications - while on the other side, Decepticons under Galvatron and Soundwave may or may not be involved with humans too, and Thundercracker is still mulling over what he saw a while back.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
You weren't there man..


Linearity? Not really. But John Barber's writing, and pacing of the different sides of the storylines running through, are clear to follow, and the framing of the story in Thundercracker's dealings with Soundwave, and Prowl's official motives, are a very good introduction to everything going on, without anyone really telling us as readers what that actually is.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
An Enigma


The rest of the issue works through bike chases, Bourne or Bond style dealings, some Terminator type of sequences and sees the return of the relationship between Prowl and Arcee, now that the latter is aware of something being very wrong with the bulked-up cop and his intentions towards Spike. Or whatever is wrong with Prowl in general.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
Don't think that's it


Barber is continuing to seed both Combiner Wars and a longer game from what I can tell, tinkering with characterisation for the key players, reintroducing the human factor without dwelling too long on it, showing actual interplay between the different sides and characters. And it works, it really does work throughout the whole issue, and undoubtedly will continue.


Art

With multiple storylines, the art was bound to playing around too, but the solution of having two distinct artist/colourist teams turned out to work even better than expected. Regulars Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez take the more-or-less main plot forward, with some fantastically executed action sequences, and great backgrounds - probably also thanks to Griffith's latest travels to Japan.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
BIKECHASE with SASS


The Brendan Cahill and Joana Lafuente cooperation, however, is the big surprise in this issue. Looking after prologue, epilogue and flashbacks, the two conjure up a gorgeous sequence of panels, from storytelling, to linework, to colours to facial expressions - ranging from Buster to humans to Cybertronians alike, and it looks amazing.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Review
Amazing


The lettering, once more in the hands of Tom B. Long, adds to the already fantastic deployment of backgrounds and personal voices, with some simple and simply effective touches scattered throughout the story. To top it all off, there is an amazing collection of variant covers, from the Griffith/Perez Faireborn main one, Casey Coller and Lafuente taking over Spike and Prowl's connection (thumbnail), and a truly wonderful Alex Milne/Perez 30th Anniversary variant!


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

This was a very well-paced, nicely-framed action-packed espionage-cum-thriller science-fiction-y issue of a franchise known for its reluctance to fit into any genre box. John Barber continues to impress with his writing skills, and seems to have really found his writing stride after the Dark Cybertron event, keeping the mastery of sequential storytelling already there.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers #36 Reviewoads/1417023627_d7.jpg[/img][/url]
And puns!


Visually, issue #36 is stunning. The scenes are well laid-out, Cahill and Griffith mesh exceedingly well together, and the presence of two colourists like Perez and Lafuente, who also combine so majestically just increases the enjoyment factor of the printed book. Days of Deception is not an arc to be missed.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: ½ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


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Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629250)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 12th, 2014 @ 7:18am CST
As much as I am looking forward to the rest of this arc, I'm beginning to dread a cop out coming in terms of prowl. Is it really wrong that I want this to be the true prowl? Not one being controlled or possessed. Just him thinking this is what's best for everyone.

EDIT: where are my manners? Great review as always Va'al :)
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629251)
Posted by Va'al on December 12th, 2014 @ 7:32am CST
There's one panel on page 19 in particular that has me wondering about what is going on with him.. :-?
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629254)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 12th, 2014 @ 7:38am CST
Va'al wrote:There's one panel on page 19 in particular that has me wondering about what is going on with him.. :-?



Now I'm going to have to run upstairs and get my tablet to look as to what was on page 19. :-x :grin:

I have to say, the end was quite unexpected though. I honestly was not expecting that. I expected Spike to survive the issue, but not what Prowl said.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629255)
Posted by Va'al on December 12th, 2014 @ 7:51am CST
The panel in question is the dialogue between Long Haul and Prowl as they are chasing the humans. You'll see what I mean. :D

But yeah, the ending was peculiar - I wonder if it'll seed into a worse outcome, or actually continue moving along that more positive line.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629257)
Posted by Randomhero on December 12th, 2014 @ 8:13am CST
I don't think he's being controlled or possessed. He's just getting messed up from combining. Their minds are all alike except his to a certain extent and its gettng all screwy for him
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629259)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 12th, 2014 @ 8:19am CST
Randomhero wrote:I don't think he's being controlled or possessed. He's just getting messed up from combining. Their minds are all alike except his to a certain extent and its gettng all screwy for him

Yeah, I don't want that to be the case either.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629264)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 12th, 2014 @ 8:41am CST
Va'al wrote:The panel in question is the dialogue between Long Haul and Prowl as they are chasing the humans. You'll see what I mean. :D

But yeah, the ending was peculiar - I wonder if it'll seed into a worse outcome, or actually continue moving along that more positive line.


My page 19 has Galvatron on it :/ But I'm assuming you were referring to the mix up on the name?

As for the end, I think that it will continue along more positively. I'm thinking this because at heart, he's true to his faction, no matter what else might be going on in and around him.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629289)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 12th, 2014 @ 9:18am CST
Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629293)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 12th, 2014 @ 9:24am CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.



That's what I was thinking too. It seemed a very odd mistake.
Va'al could have that scene on page 19 where we have 17 though. Who knows what crazy official preview version he has :)
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629295)
Posted by Randomhero on December 12th, 2014 @ 9:26am CST
I think it's a lot interesting than him standing behind a desk saying why this person is more expendable than that person. Prowl is doing what magnus accused him of in dark cybertron. He finally putting the gun in his hand and pulling the trigger himself
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629345)
Posted by Va'al on December 12th, 2014 @ 12:39pm CST
ctrlFrequency wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.



That's what I was thinking too. It seemed a very odd mistake.
Va'al could have that scene on page 19 where we have 17 though. Who knows what crazy official preview version he has :)


That is the one. It's 19 on mine due to the multiple covers being included. :P
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629354)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 12th, 2014 @ 12:59pm CST
Va'al wrote:
ctrlFrequency wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.



That's what I was thinking too. It seemed a very odd mistake.
Va'al could have that scene on page 19 where we have 17 though. Who knows what crazy official preview version he has :)


That is the one. It's 19 on mine due to the multiple covers being included. :P

#-o

Honeslty, as I started thinking about it, it occured to me that it might be different in Europe. I never though about the different covers.

But anyway, I knew it had to be intentional; John Barber doesn't make continuity errors.

I feel like that's a Chuck Norris joke.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629742)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 13th, 2014 @ 9:17pm CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
Va'al wrote:
ctrlFrequency wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.



That's what I was thinking too. It seemed a very odd mistake.
Va'al could have that scene on page 19 where we have 17 though. Who knows what crazy official preview version he has :)


That is the one. It's 19 on mine due to the multiple covers being included. :P

#-o

Honeslty, as I started thinking about it, it occured to me that it might be different in Europe. I never though about the different covers.

But anyway, I knew it had to be intentional; John Barber doesn't make continuity errors.

I feel like that's a Chuck Norris joke.


I'm totally with you on the intentional thing (and the Chuck Norris joke thing!)

Next time, Va'al, subtract two from your page number for the rest of us! (Though I'll probably automatically unconsciously do that anyway :) )


Now I'm starting to theorize on what it all means. Between that and what Prowl says to Spike at the end, it seems that the true Prowl is showing through, well that's my theory, and even though I was right on my theory on Brainstorm, my theories are mostly end up wrong :p
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629754)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 13th, 2014 @ 9:54pm CST
I don't know what to make of Prowl, and I love it. Every time I feel as though I've got a handle on him, he does something unexpected. So far, he keeps saying that everything he does is for the Autobot cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes rogue and decides to take over the universe.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629760)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 13th, 2014 @ 10:38pm CST
Now that would be something!
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629761)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on December 13th, 2014 @ 10:58pm CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:I don't know what to make of Prowl, and I love it. Every time I feel as though I've got a handle on him, he does something unexpected. So far, he keeps saying that everything he does is for the Autobot cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes rogue and decides to take over the universe.


For another star trek analogy, prowl of late has been kinda reminding me of Odo from DS9, in that despite the fact they says they want justice, it's really more of order that they desire, if that makes sense.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629777)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 13th, 2014 @ 11:56pm CST
SW's SilverHammer wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:I don't know what to make of Prowl, and I love it. Every time I feel as though I've got a handle on him, he does something unexpected. So far, he keeps saying that everything he does is for the Autobot cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes rogue and decides to take over the universe.


For another star trek analogy, prowl of late has been kinda reminding me of Odo from DS9, in that despite the fact they says they want justice, it's really more of order that they desire, if that makes sense.

Yeah, I get what you mean. In fact, I think he makes a comment about that in that issue of AHM when he has Perceptor rebuild Kup.

This is Prowl's internal monologue from that comic:
image.jpg
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629821)
Posted by Va'al on December 14th, 2014 @ 5:13am CST
ctrlFrequency wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
Va'al wrote:
ctrlFrequency wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Page 19 nothin'. My surprise came form page 17, when Prowl calls Long Haul "Scrapper". even though he seems fully aware of what happened to the latter in the previous ongoing series. He had a scene in an earlier issue where he used his name in odd context.



That's what I was thinking too. It seemed a very odd mistake.
Va'al could have that scene on page 19 where we have 17 though. Who knows what crazy official preview version he has :)


That is the one. It's 19 on mine due to the multiple covers being included. :P

#-o

Honeslty, as I started thinking about it, it occured to me that it might be different in Europe. I never though about the different covers.

But anyway, I knew it had to be intentional; John Barber doesn't make continuity errors.

I feel like that's a Chuck Norris joke.


I'm totally with you on the intentional thing (and the Chuck Norris joke thing!)

Next time, Va'al, subtract two from your page number for the rest of us! (Though I'll probably automatically unconsciously do that anyway :) )


Now I'm starting to theorize on what it all means. Between that and what Prowl says to Spike at the end, it seems that the true Prowl is showing through, well that's my theory, and even though I was right on my theory on Brainstorm, my theories are mostly end up wrong :p


My next review copy has about seven covers before it begins. :-?
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629833)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on December 14th, 2014 @ 6:16am CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
SW's SilverHammer wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:I don't know what to make of Prowl, and I love it. Every time I feel as though I've got a handle on him, he does something unexpected. So far, he keeps saying that everything he does is for the Autobot cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes rogue and decides to take over the universe.


For another star trek analogy, prowl of late has been kinda reminding me of Odo from DS9, in that despite the fact they says they want justice, it's really more of order that they desire, if that makes sense.

Yeah, I get what you mean. In fact, I think he makes a comment about that in that issue of AHM when he has Perceptor rebuild Kup.

This is Prowl's internal monologue from that comic:
image.jpg



(Please not im not saying this to get a rise out of people or to be a dick, like prowl thanks to tfwiki, I just happen to think that this political ideology happens to be part of his character as of now.)


Yeah, prowl kinda reminds me of Odo due to the fact he's a bit of a fascist. Now I don't say that in the modern way that people find facists, nazis, communism, and socialists ideals interchangeable, I mean it more in the old-school sense. Prowl has, from what I've gathered, unwavering devotion to the autobot cause, and he seems to have an ultranationalistic view, of the autobot cause, being an almost organic entity which binds certain parts, of, cybertronian society together by their ancestry and is a natural unifying force of said people. He seems to believe there needs to be a leader that exemplifies, embodies that cause, but that leader's not Optimus. Because of this, it seems prowl has a social Darwinist ideology as well between the autobots, the decipticons, and the N.A.I.L.S. In the pre dark cybertron run of R.I.D, seems to be willing to try and purge parts of cybertronian society of what he would view, as socially weak or degenerate people, the cons and the nails, while simultaneously promoting the creation of strong people, autobots, in order to survive in a world defined by perpetual political conflict. The only thing that really stopped him was the fact bumblebee was in charge, and even then he work toward that utra nationalistic goal behind the scenes with arcee. He, to an extent, believes that political violence, is just another tactic to advance, viewing them as almost a necessity.
Re: IDW Transformers #36 Review (1629862)
Posted by Va'al on December 14th, 2014 @ 9:40am CST
Yeah, he's bound to have totalitarian tendencies to transition from police force (enforcers of status quo and some type of order, however misguided it may be) to the Senate's security (like police, but even more narrow minded and focused). And a corrupt Senate at that, under the control of Sentinel, Zeta, Proteus and the Functionists.

I don't think this was really ever in question with the IDW take on him, other than when in RID he was revealed to have been brainjacked by Bombshell - which was also, to a lot of readers, the biggest problem alongside Megatron's return, in the pre-Dark Cybertron run. Which is also what I'm hoping will not happen this time round: not only is it an overused plot device, it would ruin the wonderfully erratic characterisation that he has received since Dark Cybertron!

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