IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review

IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 10:13am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 19,769

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The Last of Her Kind
A Review of Transformers Annual 2021 by Mr. Micromaster

Spoilers Ahead
Editor's Note: Yes, 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!

Overall, this book is an incredibly fun read with excellent art. If you have not been enjoying the current ongoing series you may want to pick up Transformers Annual 2021 because it has some of Brian Ruckley’s best overall writing in the series so far. Alex Milne as always delivers with the art.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review


Speaking of Milne’s art, lets talk about it first because it's just superb as per usual. The action scenes feel dynamic and well done. You can really feel the emotion on the characters faces especially, Lightbright's. John-Paul Bove’s excellent coloring helps Milne’s art feel different than his work in the previous IDW Transformers continuity. The lettering by Jake Wood is pretty good overall. One minor gripe with the lettering is that after Airachnid's introduction, most of a panel showing her new design is taken up by speech bubbles that maybe could have been moved around to show more of the art.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review


Ruckley’s writing is on point for this issue. The character moments are excellent this issue and everyone gets their chance to shine. Scattershot has a particularly epic moment where Thunderwing tries to intimidate him and Scattershot just is not having any of it. There are many other well written character interactions, including one where Lightspeed and Lightbright have a great moment together about what it is like to be a City Speaker. Another fun example is the interaction between the Technobots and Bludgeon which I found quite humorous. There is also an implied history between them. Probably one of the most interesting interactions is between Lightbright and her titan Lodestar, you can really feel that they have a deep connection.

The conversation between Lodestar and Vigilem is rather interesting. The two are starkly different, Lodestar is content with the present where as Vigilem longs for the glories of the past. In this respect Vigilem and Thunderwing are quite alike. In the past Thunderwing was a mighty figure during the expansionist days of Cybertron but now he is relegated to the backwater that is Hexagon. He is also someone who loves to hear the sound of his own voice, as Strafe puts it. Airachnid is a nice inclusion and even though she is on the cover I forgot about her, so her appearance came as a nice surprise to me. Here she is cast as a mad scientist which is an interesting take on the character.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review


The story is overall very engaging and kept me invested throughout. I never once checked my phone or opened another tab while I was reading. The emotional core of the book is Lightbright and Lodestar. We see their bond and how they're hesitant to hunt down and potentially kill another Titan. The ending is quite the gut punch, as while our heroes escape the clutches of Thunderwing and his cohorts, they do not escape tragedy.

Verdict
Transformers News: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review

This annual is all around excellent. The writing, the art and the coloring are all top tier. That is not to say it is perfect. The fight between Lodestar and Vigilem should have gotten a bit more page real estate to truly invoke the sense of Lodestar's struggle to defeat Vigilem. The characters and concepts introduced in this issue were very fun to read about, but in an issue that feels like a side-story, without follow-up it ultimately will not matter, so here is hoping we pick back up on the threads introduced in the near future.

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 Annual 2021 Review (2107014)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on June 9th, 2021 @ 8:38pm CDT
Love me some Technobots. From what I've heard, this was actually a pretty enjoyable story, I'll have to give this one a go
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107394)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on June 14th, 2021 @ 9:41am CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:Love me some Technobots. From what I've heard, this was actually a pretty enjoyable story, I'll have to give this one a go


Same the Technobots are one of my favorite combiner teams. They have a lot of great moments in this issue.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107405)
Posted by Dark Ops on June 14th, 2021 @ 11:38am CDT
This story kind of goes to what I was saying earlier about how IDW 2.0 has some nifty ideas, but you need to take the story away from Prime and Megs. They kind of drag the rest of the 'verse down around them. Ruckley can write a good tale, good action, good dialogue and characterizations, but Prime and Megatron seem less like characters and more like caricatures anymore.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107493)
Posted by ScottyP on June 15th, 2021 @ 2:09pm CDT
Dark Ops wrote:This story kind of goes to what I was saying earlier about how IDW 2.0 has some nifty ideas, but you need to take the story away from Prime and Megs. They kind of drag the rest of the 'verse down around them. Ruckley can write a good tale, good action, good dialogue and characterizations, but Prime and Megatron seem less like characters and more like caricatures anymore.
I think the improvement in the action scenes for this issue is almost all on Milne. No way to prove that, but the fact that it's suddenly fun to visually read makes me think this.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107708)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on June 18th, 2021 @ 4:33pm CDT
I think Transformers media needs to get away from Prime and Megatron altogether. Or at most keep them as background characters others talk about or refer to. I hate to say it, but they're getting old as the focal points of every story. It's like everything happens to them, and everyone else is just window dressing or a prop. The lore is full of interesting and colorful characters, as the previous IDW stories showed us, why can't we have more of that?
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107977)
Posted by ScottyP on June 22nd, 2021 @ 2:29pm CDT
Among the pair of new Transformers comics available tomorrow is Transformers #31 which kicks off the series' "Lord of Misrule" story arc. The solicitation brief for this issue says to expect some adventure with Perceptor and Jumpstream, and is copied below.
Optimus Prime's Autobots are starting to fray. They need energon and supplies that they just don't have access to. But Perceptor has a plan-if he can supercharge Jumpstream's teleportation powers, the Autobots will have all sorts of new access to Cybertron. Of course, that relies on the experiment going right and things can never be quite so easy...

Check out the preview below and look out for this book digitally, at your local comic shop, or on the Seibertron.com eBay store tomorrow.

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Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2107991)
Posted by Bounti76 on June 22nd, 2021 @ 3:42pm CDT
I'm getting IDW 2005 Brainstorm vibes from this version of Perceptor.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2108060)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 23rd, 2021 @ 5:22am CDT
Maybe this series would work better as prose? They're just not really doing all that much with the visual medium.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 Review (2108097)
Posted by Mr.MicroMaster on June 23rd, 2021 @ 12:25pm CDT
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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.
Re: IDW Transformers Annual 2021 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 Annual 2021 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.

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