IDW Transformers Halloween Special Review
Thursday, September 30th, 2021 11:22am CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP Views: 13,140
A Review of Transformers Halloween Special 2021
A Few Spoilers Within
When was the last time Transformers had a Halloween special of any sort? Was it for the Generation 2 comic? Regardless of what the answers to those questions were, the answer now is yesterday, as the Transformers Halloween Special 2021 was released. This side story to the Transformers Ruckleyverse features Starscream on a journey out to the spookier parts of Cybertron and while I'm easily able to file this one in the "not for me" category, it's definitely for someone and there are potentially fascinating ideas explored. Read on for more.
Transformers tends to do horror best when it's on accident, so writer Dan Watters was faced with a pretty monumental task in crafting a story that's appropriate for this property while still fitting the intended seasonal theme. I'm far from an aficionado of the horror genre so while this personally landed as a pointless story that I could have gone without ever knowing, the fact is that there's some genuinely creepy description to go along with Anna Malkova and Nahuel Ruiz's imagery. It may not be anything you didn't already think about while watching Beast Machines twenty years ago, but it puts those similar ideas in your face where you can't ignore them or wonder if you really get the idea. Here, those ideas and themes are clear and if you're into this sort of story, they're probably effective too.
There's some decent world and character building to be found for the wider Transformers (2019) continuity as well within this one-shot. There's nothing that you can't live without if you're following that story, but it's nice to see that this issue, like the Valentine's Special before it, does add on to an existing universe. There's more to learn about Cybertron and much more about Starscream in particular, who's been pretty neglected amidst the massive cast of the ongoing.
As mentioned earlier, Anna Malkova handles the lineart while Nahuel Ruiz is on color duty for this extra-large issue. Things have been too busy for me to pick up my physical copy of the book, so while on the low-res/low-dpi review sample I can find times where the lineart looks sloppy and confusing, especially with some of the landscapes, experience leads me to believe it will look much better on the printed page. Ruiz's best color work is found in the lighting effects, as well as on Malkova's technorganic circuitry detailing panels. Jake M. Wood handles the letter work as is the usual case these days, and the only critical point on these would be for one of the interactions between Starscream and the organic creature he encounters where the organic's "ook" feels out of place when reading top-to-bottom, left-to-right - but maybe this is a case where most people read in a circular fashion, or would on the printed page, so this criticism may be a moot point. I'm going to blame the digital review sample again if so because for those of you that don't know, these things are potato quality.
There are two covers currently available, the regular one by Nicole Goux and a ten-copy retailer incentive cover by Livio Ramondelli which is featured as this review's news post's thumbnail. There's an exclusive cover as well which I have no idea how one gets ahold of, you can see that and the other covers plus full credits for the issue through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers Halloween Special 2021.
This latest seasonal special serves a purpose while doing a little building-work in the wider continuity where it's set, features some creative writing by Dan Watters and even provides a little bit of action somehow. The art seems to probably be ok despite some potential issues, but either way it complements the story being told to deliver what looks like a pretty creepy package overall. If you like the horror genre and Transformers, you'll probably be into this. I'm only into one of those things so I could take it or leave it, but can't deny that is is for someone.
Not for me, but for someone, so I won't go too hard on it.
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.