IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review

Sunday, March 8th, 2020 3:07pm CDT

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Bumblejumper
A Review of Transformers: Galaxies #5

Spoiler Free-ish
Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
Orion Pax knows what toys sell

After four issues of the Constructicons and Devastator wreaking havoc, Transformers: Galaxies #5 arrives to start a new sidestory with a new creative team featuring everyone's favorite Mini-Bot Bumblebee...

...as the setup for a running joke about the issue's actual lead character, Cliffjumper. Paired up here with Deathsaurus in one of the most unlikely Transformers tandems imaginable, an off-Cybertron mission to retrieve Energon completes all the setup you need to know. Does the issue pull off this strange alliance? Read on to find out.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
Guess a Sunday review's a good time for that reference

Kate Leth and Cohen Edenfield make their writing debut for Transformers comics in this issue, providing some possibly welcome levity after the tonally serious previous arc of Galaxies. A somewhat simple plot is aided by extra helpings of character, as both of the issue's stars receive plenty of time and context as they depart for and commence with their mission. Most of the unnecessary world-building-through-wooden-dialogue from certain other issues of the other ongoing series is absent here, with cues about the status of the world such as the now persistent Energon rationing being presented much more naturally in conversation. Another positive about the writing here is that there's no worry about one main character being the surrogate for one writer with the other for the second, as the characters' voices are distinct and generally true to what G1 fans would expect.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
Brownie Monsters!?

Almost as soon as I typed that last sentence, a realization swept over that Cliffjumper has zero weaponry throughout this issue and presents little desire for it, immediately offering an obvious counterpoint to said previous conclusion. Since this is a two-parter, we'll let it stand as a TBD. Deathsaurus does live up to a more G1-like characterization, coming off at times as the terrifying Emperor of Destruction and during others as exactly the kind of villain that would be in an '80s cartoon show. Despite the relative faithfulness to his original incarnation, I can't help but miss the excellent, imaginative take on Deathsaurus from More Than Meets The Eye and his fascinating, dramatic inner conflict which added another dimension to him that's missing here.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
But it is also non-GMO and free range?

Speaking of MTMTE, Alex Milne makes a welcome return on this issue, bringing with him the outstanding work that we've all come to expect. Deathsaurus looks as familiar and imposing as ever with the scripting work giving Milne ample opportunity to depict his alt mode in several great sequences. The Probat race depicted within is both unfamiliar and reminiscent of some of his previous depictions of alien races, but where he really shines on this issue is in his depiction of the planet, also called Probat. A gorgeous double-page spread near the beginning of the issue and another scene with Cliffjumper by a fireside later on really show Milne's range, and it's an absolute delight to look at. It likely helps that Josh Perez handles the colors on this issue, making excellent use of lighting and shadow to help cast the mood. A unique palette is also present in a short flashback sequence that leaves no doubt in the reader with regards to what they're looking at.

More of this artistic "Dream Team" is welcome at any time, IDW!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
The better onomatopoeia returns!

Jake M. Wood is now our regular letterer it would seem, and he deserves credit as well for his role in the artistic presentation. The distinct bubble style and font used for Deathsaurus in alt mode avoids looking like gimmickry and instead elevates the character during the book's later sequences. Series editors David Mariotte and Tom Waltz keep the book well paced throughout and have kept it very accessible to readers that don't follow the ongoing series while also ensuring it fits in with the rest of this new-ish universe.

Four cover options await for this installment, with Milne and Perez's "A" cover used as this review's news story thumbnail image. The other regular cover available features a cheeky Bumblebee by Sara Pitre-Durocher that fits in thematically, while the 10-copy retailer incentive cover from Anna Malkova helps deliver an idea of some of the book's tone. Fans that frequent especially busy shops can possibly look forward to Kei Zama and Josh Burcham's intimidating depiction of Deathsaurus on a 25-copy incentive cover. 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 #5.

Verdict
Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review
I'll be excited when Ben Hasbro realizes there's demand for your toy

The stunning art alone is enough to recommend that Transformers fans keep reading the stellar Galaxies series as it continues to outshine its parent publication in practically every way. The story here is simple and has some twists and turns, though there are a few times where it gets so wordy that one can't envy Wood's job of bubble placement. As the first half of a two-part story arc, the issue's momentum is stymied just as it picks up and releasing its follow-up a week later would have made sense while also clearing some of the backlog of delayed issues that IDW is working through. While that's not to be, it's also something that would only ameliorate a minor negative factor as the issue's characters elevate it in a significant way.

The art on Transformers: Galaxies #5 is a 5/5 while the story, for me, is a 4/5 so let's split the difference -

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


A late review means this issue is out now, 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: Galaxies #5 Review (2056057)
Posted by NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE on March 8th, 2020 @ 8:14pm CDT
Anybody figure out where these Constructicons Rising fits into this reading order?
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056135)
Posted by ScottyP on March 9th, 2020 @ 10:25am CDT
NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Anybody figure out where these Constructicons Rising fits into this reading order?
Anytime after 12 and before 15, in my opinion. Not tied in tightly enough to have one "correct" place so putting it in the roughly intended publication order works for me. The second hardcover coming out in June will provide a more definitive spot.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056184)
Posted by NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE on March 9th, 2020 @ 5:19pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Anybody figure out where these Constructicons Rising fits into this reading order?
Anytime after 12 and before 15, in my opinion. Not tied in tightly enough to have one "correct" place so putting it in the roughly intended publication order works for me. The second hardcover coming out in June will provide a more definitive spot.


Works for me.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056191)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2020 @ 6:36pm CDT
Very good review, I fully agree!

I loved the pairing, it was a pairing of bots I didn't realize would work but yet it really worked well
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056331)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 10th, 2020 @ 8:19pm CDT
Thanks to Alex Milne on Twitter, we have some line art from the just released IDW Transformers Galaxies #5.

The line art that Milne shared with us today comes from 2 different pages: Page 11 and Page 16. Page 11 features Cliffjumper and the Probats around a fire enjoying the light, while Page 16 features a beast mode Deathsaurus losing his temper, what one might call a "Catastrophe". The pages show the level of detail Milne puts into his pages, and the results can be nothing short of stunning.

Also, we get to admire just how good looking Deathsaurus is, and just how great Milne draws him in this comic.

Check out the pages below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056344)
Posted by Stormshot_Prime on March 10th, 2020 @ 10:35pm CDT
incredibly gregarious as usual.

It's great to have different artists take their hand at Transformers, but man Alex Milne should ALWAYS be on the back-burner for that EXCELLENT art.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056375)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 11th, 2020 @ 11:29am CDT
I really can't help thinking this series is being intentionally delayed to sell the mainline series? This book is only two stories in, and a vast improvement over that one.

I'm thinking this is definitely the IDW book I'll trade wait for.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056377)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 11th, 2020 @ 11:36am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:I really can't help thinking this series is being intentionally delayed to sell the mainline series? This book is only two stories in, and a vast improvement over that one.

I'm thinking this is definitely the IDW book I'll trade wait for.

As far as I'm aware, it's only been collected in with the mainline series and not getting its own seperate volume. Meaning that you have to buy the collected trades for the main line just to get Galaxies, at least, at this junction.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056379)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 11th, 2020 @ 11:44am CDT
Interesting. I'll wait and see until we've crossed the '6 issue' Trade threshold, to see what's occurring. I definitely refuse to support the mainline book, so if need be, I'll grab back issues of this one.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056419)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 11th, 2020 @ 6:45pm CDT
Stormshot_Prime wrote:incredibly gregarious as usual.

It's great to have different artists take their hand at Transformers, but man Alex Milne should ALWAYS be on the back-burner for that EXCELLENT art.

Alex Milne should be attached to almost every Transformers project in some form ever. He is far and away my favorite artist
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2056469)
Posted by Quint on March 12th, 2020 @ 6:29am CDT
Best active artist for IDW Transformers by a country mile.

His pencils are probably in the top 3 all-time greats for the IP.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057331)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 20th, 2020 @ 9:17pm CDT
Thanks to Apple Books Preview, we have our first preview for the upcoming Transformers Galaxies #6!

Transformers Galaxies #6 follows up to Galaxies #5, serving as the 2nd and final chapter in the Bumblebee, er Cliffhanger, um dangit! Cliffjumper saga! In the previous issue, we were left on the last page with Deathsaurus standing menacingly over Cliff, not even able to get his name right, asking if he was ready to stoop to his level. And here we start with a look at Cliffjumper's birth, which itself was apparently unexpected, unwelcomed, and he was apologizing for existing from his first moments.

We must now see if Cliffjumper can rise up and make a true name for himself, and stand tall against a fearsome Deathsaurus!

Check out the preview below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Image

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Image

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Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057339)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 20th, 2020 @ 9:58pm CDT
galaxies has been so good, no real bad parts to it at all yet, not even really subpar.

I am excited for the issue!
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057360)
Posted by sol magnus on March 21st, 2020 @ 8:00am CDT
Hilarious and sad all at the same time. Best Galaxies so far.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057427)
Posted by steve2275 on March 22nd, 2020 @ 10:41am CDT
ohhhh pretty
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057668)
Posted by ScottyP on March 24th, 2020 @ 5:25pm CDT
Cliffstabber
A Review of Transformers: Galaxies #6

Spoiler Free-ish
Image
The entirety of issues 5 and 6, distilled into a panel

A flurry of recent releases culminates just in time for a partial shut-down of the comics world* with the conclusion to Transformers: Galaxies' second short arc featuring Cliffjumper. Issue five provided mostly one joke to carry the proceedings and readers of the preview for this sixth issue will know that it carries the torch of this same humorous case of misidentified Autobots. Can that carry the story somewhere meaningful? Read on.

*Transformers: Galaxies #6 is still being released today, this only impacts books scheduled for release from 4/1 onwards

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Pictured: the reveal of every new Studio Series Deluxe Class wave

The same writing team of Kate Leth and Cohen Edenfield continue on for this issue and pack in much of the same humor as before, but it manages to work throughout and not approach a level of overkill. Transformers fans are certainly familiar with the concept of slight variations on the same thing and while a critical eye could pierce the humor for that reason, I find the creativity that it took to come up with said variations remarkable enough to give the repetition a pass. If you're just looking to this one for the jokes, there are a few less of them here but you'll Bee happy to know they continue aplenty.

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Did we need this?

In a slight narrative turn to prevent the entire story from becoming a joke, Cliffjumper does team up with one of the alien inhabitants to accomplish his goals. While this part of the structure made sense for carrying the plot where it needed to go, there was a bit of lingering that made the issue feel ever-so-slightly, and I really mean slightly stretched out. Maybe it was the nine-panel page repeating a sequence of narrative captions from issue five that caused me to feel this way, as they extended the length of reading time for what should have been a fast-flowing sequential action scene without adding anything to the story's themes that most readers couldn't have figured out on their own already.

Image
Deathsaurus knows to practice good hygiene

Despite the Spotlight: Cliffjumper vibes which didn't work for me, the character building here for Deathsaurus was well done. This is definitely not the "Victory" incarnation or is it the More Than Meets The Eye war general. While that could have been said after issue five, Galaxies #6 makes this continuity's version of the character much more clear. Alex Milne's contribution to this via his line art can't be denied, as the facial expressions he gives to the character in both modes helps convey his tone quite effectively.

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Underrated series, I agree

Milne is joined this time by David Garcia-Cruz on colors, and while the quality doesn't take a dip there's also just enough inconsistency between the two issues to be noticeable. Cliffjumper is more red in issue 6 than in 5, the landscapes and interiors aren't the same grays and in something only noticed by putting the files side by side, Deathsaurus' alt mode's "eyebrows" are colored in by Garcia-Cruz whereas Perez left them white. I'll concede that last point is a bit picky, but hopefully the other things aren't as noteworthy on a printed copy. Jake M. Wood and Val Lopez combine for a "letters and design" credit and do well navigating a script that varies between too busy and just right. Tom Waltz and David Mariotte's touch here seems to have kept most things in order and progressing in a tidy way throughout, but the nine-panel page mentioned earlier in this review really should have leaned in more to the high-level of skill Alex Milne delivers with visual storytelling rather than rely on the amount of words that it had.

The three cover options provide an "A" cover by Milne and Perez, which serves as this review's news story's thumbnail image. Another readily order-able "B" cover by Bethany McGuire-Smith is also available though in a rare turn given her usual quality work this cover frankly looks unfinished, to me. George Caltsoudas shows that at least someone understood the "horns and guns" nature of Cliffjumper with the ten-copy retailer incentive cover for this issue. 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 #6.

Verdict
Image
Deathsaurus sums up the first dozen or so issues of the ongoing

Transformers: Galaxies #6 is still a very good comic but not quite as fun as the first half of the story from issue 5. The continued fantastic humor and art are held back to a small degree by an attempt at adding emotional gravity that felt somewhat superfluous, though it did take the story where it needed so it's tough to call it any super serious detriment.

Put together, this short two-issue story arc provides an ample dose of entertainment featuring robots and levity at a time when at least the latter is sorely appreciated. Cliffjumper lives up to the jokes about him to some degree but shows a little of his mischievous streak by the end and Deathsaurus gets enough characterization to know he'd probably call me a peon for giving the score below, so the strong production and characters leave me feeling this is a job well done.

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


This issue is out today, March 25th, 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, but you may want to call to get their operational status before making a trip.
Re: IDW Transformers: Galaxies #5 Review (2057890)
Posted by Neurie on March 26th, 2020 @ 3:45pm CDT
sucks over 3/4 of the readership cant actually get a copy due to Diamond shutting down and all comics being in quarantine.

Cant even buy it digitally for some reason :(

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