IDW Transformers: Galaxies #2 Review
Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 8:20am CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP Views: 17,091
A Review of Transformers: Galaxies #2
Starring Ewan McMixmaster
Given the early look we were given of Transformers: Galaxies #1, it feels like ages ago that the first issue hit. Not much has hit in between for Transformers fans other than issue 13 of Transformers and a couple issues of a Hulkling & Wiccan book with "Death's Head" as the title but we aren't really even covering that here.
Transformers: Galaxies #2 is a very good issue that shows this four issue story might end up being something truly great. Read on for some elaboration, but if you want the shortest version of this review possible here it is: this is a fantastic follow-up to the first issue with plenty of depth and none of the typical second issue let-down you might have expected. Transformers fans would do well to pick this up today!
All the images are from the first five pages because let's not talk about it right now, I'm so tired.
Picking off where things left off after issue 1, we find the Constructicons still on the mysterious planet of Malayx where they've just completed an energon processing facility. Thinking their duty is complete, the group is getting restless wondering when they'll be able to return home. Construction bots wanting to go home after a construction job is a simple setup but one that's quite welcome because it lets the subtler details of the characters - or not so subtle in Bonecrusher's case - shine through via plenty of dialogue that never got itself bogged down. Tyler Bleszinski puts a lot of words on some pages and panels but I found that everything flowed smoothly and kept me engaged through to the end. Put another way, larger word count in a comic is never a bad thing when you want to read those words and see what they're adding to the pictures they're accompanying.
While Scrapper, Hook and the other Constructicons are still no doubt the stars of the show, for this issue some others may have stolen it: the Insecticons, whose presence on the issue's cover hopefully make this firmly not a spoiler. There's so much that they bring to this new Transformers universe and some of its wider historical context that it felt like one of the best issues of the old Spotlight books. Finer details and intriguing moments of potential foreshadowing help make the conflict beginning to boil over in the current Transformers ongoing simultaneously clearer and muddier. Throw in some genuinely gruesome panels just in time for Halloween and it's a recipe for a great introduction to this version of Kup's doormats.
Livio Ramondelli handles the art duties once again and, once again, does so expertly. The continued use of blacks around panels adds to the feeling of isolation conveyed throughout which is a very welcome additive on a book set on an alien world. I could go for a little less red in the color temperature from time to time, but given my TV settings this is almost undoubtedly personal taste more than actual critique. The panel sequencing works in a way that prevents the pace from stalling and turning the book into a 20 page exercise in exposition. Editors David Mariotte and Tom Waltz surely deserve praise for the pacing as well, because this definitely felt like a serial to me and not like a purposefully decompressed chapter out of a bigger book coming out later.
Tom B. Long masterfully handles both the volume of dialogue sometimes present and creates some fantastic onomatopoeia graphic text for sounds I never thought I'd hear in a Transformers book. I'm not sure if this is his last work for IDW yet or not, but if it is, a special salute is in order for the years of phenomenal contributions he's made to our favorite robots in disguise.
On covers, the Livio Ramondelli "A" cover is appropriately spooky for the issue and season, with this cover being the one used in this review's news story's thumbnail image. A "B" cover featuring an intimidating group shot from Alex Milne and Josh Perez will also be available at most shops, with Andrew Griffith and Priscilla Tramontano also delivering a ten-copy retailer incentive option also featuring the Constructicons as they prepare to drop the season's hottest tracks. As always, you can also find all the cover images, full credits for the issue and a list of all the characters that appear in the book through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers: Galaxies #2.
Transformers: Galaxies #2 is a comic I found to be pretty great and I'm not going to get too picky about making the verdict here complicated. If that sounds inconsistent, well, let's just say I'm no Ultra Magnus. The point here is that while reading panel after panel and page after page, two things were true. First, I didn't press on out of any obligation to this review or Brand Loyalty or anything else, it was because I genuinely wanted to keep reading. Second and finally, reading this made me feel like the magic is back in Transformers comics, at least for this one issue.
Look out for this issue today, October 30th, where 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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Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on October 30th, 2019 @ 6:29pm CDT
Posted by ScottyP on October 31st, 2019 @ 7:44am CDT
Definitely the most "human" Insecticons I've ever read, or as much as they can be. They still eat metal and turn it into Energon. Kickback might be the exception, he still felt one sandwich short of a picnic.D-Maximal_Primal wrote:This was a good issue 2! I like the insecticon backstory, and the insecticons themselves are pretty dang cool (and creepy). First time I've given more than a thought about them, it was well written!
Posted by Bounti76 on November 18th, 2019 @ 2:05pm CST
This issue is due to be released next week on November 27th, just in time for Thanksgiving (if you live in the U.S.). Of the two current Transformers series, Galaxies seems to be the better reviewed of the two. Will you be picking up your copy next week?
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on November 18th, 2019 @ 6:13pm CST
Posted by snavej on November 19th, 2019 @ 1:21pm CST
Posted by ScottyP on November 27th, 2019 @ 5:45pm CST
A Review of Transformers: Galaxies #3
Another day before a holiday with another issue of Transformers: Galaxies has arrived, this time bringing "Constructicons Rising, Part 3" to Transformers comic readers. Due to said holiday this review is a little late and needs to remain a little truncated, so pardon the haste as we go straight into thoughts on this latest installment.
Issue three bridges the gap in narrative between the first two issues - recall that issue one was primarily a back and forth affair between present and past - which can be a dangerous place to go after ending the previous issue with fantastic momentum and a really juicy cliffhanger. The jump back actually helps here as Bombshell's words from issue #2 now carry more weight. While they sounded cool the first time, now there's a very clear reason for them as well. The same thematic elements remain in play as well with fear driving the actions of many of the issue's characters.
This doesn't mean that this is just an "origin story" type of issue where nothing happens. The relationship between Termagax and a debuting character only previously mentioned in passing has some depth provided, while Wheeljack gets some meaningful time as well. The Constructicons are still the star of course, with Devastator's history being the focal point of the narrative. If you were a fan of what Mairgread Scott did with Bruticus back in Till All Are One, you're also really going to like what writer Tyler Bleszinski has cooked up here. This is not your father's gestalt, but it could be your mother's if you like your mecha stories to give you that nice "I'm a little disturbed but also can't look away" kind of mood.
Livio Ramondelli continues to devastate the line art and colors on this book. Pictured above is what's maybe my favorite panel from the entire three issue run so far. It takes the context of the issue's events to truly appreciate what it does for the visual storytelling and it's just one example of several where that shines through. There are probably a couple panels Livio wouldn't mind another pass at without a deadline, but they're few and far between and easily something a deadline can cause. Additionally noteworthy is his approach towards the aforementioned debuting character, who was originally an Alex Milne design (if I recall correctly, please don't shoot me if that's wrong!) and here keeps a look that's surprisingly faithful to that incarnation but subtly departs from it in a very good way. Tom B. Long navigates some lengthy speech bubble terrain with ease, while the editorial team of David Mariotte and Tom Waltz deserve credit for their role in placing this issue here as it easily could have served as this arc's second installment and not have worked as well.
On covers, the Livio Ramondelli "A" cover is probably the most appropriate to the book's contents and thankfully the (likely) easiest to acquire option. Ramondelli's cover is pictured in the thumbnail for this review's front page post. Winston Chan provides a "B" cover that fans of Termagax will want to track down, with the ongoing's regular artist Angel Hernandez in tandem with colorist Josh Burcham providing the ten-copy retailer incentive option if your shop has those available. As always, you can also find all the cover images, full credits for the issue and a list of all the characters that appear in the book through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers: Galaxies #3.
Spiral, is that you?
This was a tough one to score because it's doing things that the larger story requires, but this also means it takes a step back on briskly moving everything along. I had to ask myself how much I enjoyed reading it and how much was I still thinking about it days later, with both of those questions proving to have highly satisfactory answers for me. Questions about the story and characters I didn't even know I had yet were answered, making this a worthy use of an entire issue for more flashback storytelling. This moment of slight decompression plus a couple of stray panels keep me from putting this one in "perfect score" land like issue 2, but all in all that might still be nitpicking because Galaxies #3 is a highly recommended piece of Transformers reading that you're sure to be thankful for.
. and ½
Look out for this issue today, November 27th, where 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.
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 2nd, 2019 @ 8:20pm CST
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 17th, 2019 @ 7:16pm CST
Milne didn't only just show us the cover either. He was cool enough to share with us the process of creating the cover, which includes his rough lines all the way to the completed cover.
The colors for this cover were done by Josh Perez.
Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
So @IDWPublishing has been kind enough to allow me to show off the cover to Transformers Galaxies issue 5 which is part 1 of the Cliffjumper story.
Shown is the process from pencils to inks to colors and finally with the trade dress on it
Awesome colors by @dyemooch
Posted by Immortal Starscream on December 18th, 2019 @ 8:40am CST
I can almost hear Casey Kasem's voice in my head screaming "I'M NOT BUMBLEBEE REPAINTED!"
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 18th, 2019 @ 5:53pm CST
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on December 19th, 2019 @ 2:39am CST
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 19th, 2019 @ 6:18pm CST
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Did IDWverse ever do anything significant with Cliffjumper, following DoOP? I'm not quite sure where they were going with the set up given in his Spotlight, so I was curious if Roberts or Barber made use of him?
No, he made a cameo in RiD/TF 51 getting shot by Galvatron, and then when he died in Unicron/OP. that was literally about all the significant stuff he did outside of a bit in the 2009 ongoing, All hail, and his spotlight
Posted by ZeroWolf on February 7th, 2020 @ 12:30pm CST
Here's the publisher's description:
“Constructicons Rising,” Part Four! With the help of their benefactors, the Constructicons have once more been empowered. And with power, comes a way for them to escape their exile... and tear everything down in the process! The devastating conclusion to the first arc!
Transformers Galaxies #4 is written by Tyler Bleszinski with art by Livio Ramondelli, and is expected February 19th.
Are you getting this? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews!
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on February 7th, 2020 @ 5:02pm CST
Posted by ScottyP on February 18th, 2020 @ 4:46pm CST
A Review of Transformers: Galaxies #4
84% Spoiler Free-ish
Who did you call inferior when they were writing the October solicitations?
84 days have passed since Transformers: Galaxies #3 was released. Revolutionaries had a 63 day gap between issues 3 and 4 back in 2017 and Lost Light had some rough gaps in between on a few occasions but 84 feels unprecedented and alarming. I'll stop short of saying that IDW (not the book's individual creators) owes any sort of explanation, but will say that this is the kind of thing that kills series and you don't have to take my word for it - ask a comics retailer.
With that out of the way the rest of the review can follow without another mention of it, but it was the elephant in the room here that had to be addressed. If you're reading this review and haven't read Galaxies #4 yet, know that it's a good read that's worthy of your time and the $3.99 (plus tax for many) cover price but do yourself a favor and read issues 1 through 3 again first. You won't regret it!
The issue's events pick up with the Constructicons and the Insecticons ready to execute their plans. The pieces set forth in the preceding issues coalesce here in more-or-less the way you'd expect, which may sound like it's detrimental but this issue is primarily about the action. Each group of Decepticons (yes, they're not technically that yet but c'mon) is doing what they feel they must to survive and break the cycle of control that's caught their lives and suppressed their means to achieve freedom. This issue invites the reader to witness how destruction can be used as a means to an otherwise empathetic end, and while there's some dialogue to catch-up a lapsed or forgetful reader it does bear repeating that the full impact of what Galaxies #4 does is greatly bolstered by recent memories of the trio of issues before it.
Said destruction is very well executed thanks in part to both Livio Ramondelli's art, with its stellar as usual sense of scale, as well as writer Tyler Bleszinski's choice to make sure that by the end of the arc Devastator isn't some mindless behemoth. There was a process taken to get him there, to be sure, but it was laid out convincingly without a huge over-reliance on the earlier introduced Enigma of Combination. Devastator is fully aware of himself as the seventh, shared consciousness of six other sentient beings and while it would have been nice to see him kill at least one character of real consequence, a symbolic panel featuring a representation of such will have to do for now.
The Insecticons have been used sparingly so far but they very nearly steal the show here. While their backstories are almost pitiful, the full brunt of their sociopathic nature is presented and while gruesome isn't a term I'd use to describe it, disturbing might fit the bill here instead. G1 fans will be happy to see some of their signature verbal tics persist along with their general appetite for energon. These feel like the original Insecticons just taken up to 11 and made more brutal, so here's hoping the main book picks them up soon.
Where it all ends up is quite open ended, which is good in one sense as it means the door's left open to more of this story. On the other hand, given the pace of events in the other ongoing there's likely no continuation coming anytime soon making this a great meal that doesn't quite fill you up all the way. That's almost definitely on purpose given an eleventh hour tease of some other characters yet there's still a sense of finality lacking for me, but your mileage may vary.
The quality art continues for this installment, with Ramondelli not only bringing wonderful scale in the line work but also smart colors to distinguish the time of day, giving perspective to the length of time the issue's story takes. The lighting doesn't stand up to close scrutiny in from panel to panel on every occasion, but when it looks so effectively dramatic I struggle to find much detriment in that. One thing I've noticed over time is that Ramondelli's art looks best to me on a bright phone or tablet, then on paper, then on a conventional computer monitor and writing this review on multiple decices throughout the day confirms this for me once again. The lettering from Jake M. Wood has balloons that jump back and forth swiftly at times but the dialogue remains easy to follow. I do have to offer some criticism to the onomatopoeia insert shown above. While it gets the idea across, associating an un-combining gestalt with a computer keyboard sound is certainly less than familiar.
Livio Ramondelli provides the "A" cover as has been the case for this series so far and this is the cover you can find in this review's news post thumbnail. Sara Pitre-Durocher provides a clean looking Devastator with slick coloring effects for the "B" cover while a pixel-art Shockwave and Devastator grace the ten-copy retailer incentive cover from newcomer (to Transformers, at least) Christina Neofotistou. As always, you can also find all the cover images, full credits for the issue and a list of all the characters that appear in the book through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers: Galaxies #4.
Transformers: Galaxies #4 is a worthy finish to a first arc featuring these characters that left me wanting to see more of their journey. The Constructicons managed to introduce some much needed action in a setting and series somewhat devoid of it or even, as it feels at times, the potential for it. A clear plan with careful plotting is evident in this four issue run, further evidenced to me by how it only introduces one really notable element of lore that isn't thoroughly followed-up on by the end of this fourth issue. While a product of happenstance, there's even some nice synergy with Transformers #17 and what's seen from one of its featured characters.
I can't bring myself to call this one perfect but I almost did. It could be the delay's fault, it could be the extremely open-ended nature of its resolution, or you could just know that despite some minor, Scotty-being-picky quibbles Transformers: Galaxies #4 finishes up a four issue arc that on the whole is easily the best Transformers comic output of the past year. Don't forget about this one, show it some support so more Constructicon stories can be made in the future.
Look out for this issue today, February 19th, where 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.
Posted by Rodimus Prime on February 20th, 2020 @ 11:56pm CST
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on February 22nd, 2020 @ 8:56am CST
Rodimus Prime wrote:The arc is only 4 issues so I'm guessing it won't get its own trade. It would be nice to read the story as 1 book even if it's thinner.
Nope, it's being lumped in as a hardback with a bunch of stories from the main story.
Which is sad, I wanted this alone as a trade, I don't want any of the mainline story
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on February 22nd, 2020 @ 9:20am CST
Transformers Galaxies is a 12 issue series that will follow 4 different characters or sets of characters. The first 4 issue arc just concluded and focused on the Constructicons and the origins of Devastator. This issue kicks off a 2-issue series that will focus in on Cliffjumper, and will feature him alongside the Decepticon of Victory Fame Deathsaurus. The 2 issues will revolve around Cliffjumper trying to negotiate an energon deal while using his similar appearance to Bumblebee to make that happen, since the natives practically worship Bumblebee.
You can check out the 3-page preview below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Posted by ZeroWolf on February 22nd, 2020 @ 9:49am CST
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on February 27th, 2020 @ 7:09pm CST
Transformers Galaxies #5 will be focusing in on Cliffjumper, and will take a fun take on how Cliffjumper always looks like a red Bumblebee, and will include Cliff alongside a character famous as the Decepticon Emperor of Destruction of Victory Fame, Deathsaurus. The 2-parter is being written by Kate Leth and Cohen Edenfield, with art by the always popular Alex Milne.
Pitre-Durocher's cover dives right into this Bumblebee/Cliffjumper lookalike business by including a sad and downtrodden Cliffjumper walking alongside a window with Bumblebee smiling back at him from the reflection, with Bee clearly upbeat in the reflection and Cliffjumper surely grumpy at his lot in life.
Check out the covers below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!