IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 4:42am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 39,276

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Face the Past
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
THE DILEMMA! On a planet dedicated to Right and Wrong, four damaged AUTOBOTS must make an impossible choice: kill or cure? Whatever they decide, their lives will never be the same.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
Make no Mistake


Story

Last issue was a gigantic piece of everything happening, in quantum manners, with sonic wrenches, parallel timelines, lost loves rekindled, and purple-soaked betrayals. How does one issue later compare
or stand up to all that, with only four members of the main cast facing an impossible choice and maybe, just maybe, more impossible horrors?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
Be happy in your work


Quite cleverly written, James Roberts' script uses the setting of the four Autobots on Ofsted XVII, and Trailcutter's new reading habits, as the frame for his journey into another type of past than Barber's in RID #34 - the origin of Megatron's ideology, body of work and cruelties he had to endure under the mind games of the functionists.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
Be grateful for your alt mode


The two stories run quite nicely in parallel to each other, and easily distinguishable with the casts being so different as well as limited. And to keep them as relevant to each other as possible, the Megatron story has some very intriguing snippets from present day Trailcutter's current reading of 'Towards Peace', which somehow reflects onto the bots' situation, and the possibly dying Cybertronian in their care.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
Be thankful for the system


What could've simply been a long flashback with some tenuous links to the present turns out to be a much more rounded story in multiple parts, bringing back some old ..er.. friends, from both the distant and the recent past. And thrown in for good measure are politics and some excellent world building, leading into the Days of Deception post-DC phase.


Art

Atilio Rojo takes over from Alex Milne for this issue's setting-up of what's to come in Elegant Chaos. While there are some potential issues with his more rounded style, given the two stories unravelling in the issue, I personally thought it really worked with the more personal themes and touches to Megatron's problematic situation, with some excellent layouts and body language in crucial scenes.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
Be mindful of your betters


What really helped Rojo's linework, though, was regular Joana Lafuente's amazing use of colours throughout. Not only is the Decepticon purple used very appropriately in the background of key moments for all the cast involved, the contrast between Messatine and Ofsted XVII, with such limited environments to deal with, and what actually happens on them, is really brought out.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
We're locked in


Remember I mentioned those 'key, crucial scenes' in this issue? You can imagine they mostly revolve around Megatron - but it's Tom B. Long's lettering wizardry that makes sure they drive home, and firmly lodge into your reading mind. To visually complete the whole ensemble, the two main covers (A by Brendan Cahill, B by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham) shed different lights on the story, while Ken Christiansen's Anniversary variant continues a great streak of homage pieces - see thumbnail.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Four Autobots relaxing on a planet dedicated to Ethics, and finding more they ever wanted to know about it, with dire consequences for some old friends. A miner struggling against a corrupt senate and segregated control system, and facing the nastiest, most intrusive part of it. What do they have in common? Great writing, one set-up issue, an unsettling last page and, obviously, more horrors ahead.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review
In truth, it is about control


As I claimed above, the issue is extremely well put together visually too, as we see Megatron's writing taking centre stage, quite literally, as story and art converge into it and use it as source for their progression and layouts. Make sure to pick this one up, as the stage is now wider than ever - just not where you thought they might be.

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

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


This article was last modified on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 10:30am CDT

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Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1617891)
Posted by Tal El on October 29th, 2014 @ 7:17am CDT
Great issue, and thanks for the review Va'al. As always a pleasant review to read. The last time Rojo took aver pencilling duties I was less than impressed. Of course that issue was a lot of Autobots standing around in a tight space, but it was still too static. This issue he captured a lot of emotion with the four 'Bots discussing the possible life or death choice with the mystery Transformer. I'll be sad to see Trailcutter go, if he goes, he's been a fave, especially since Roberts has made him more and more interesting since the first time he appeared on the Lost Light.

But some questions do arise though...

1) Does this issue take place after Megs and crew reactivated the correct timeline or concurrent? Two of the bots on the planet arrived to the crew after take off, the other two were on board at the beginning.

2) Who is strong enough to beat down the mystery bot and his companion, and who's side are they on?

3) Timeline wise, at the end, was the Autobot symbol in use in the functionalist-strong society, and if so, would it have been so widely used already? I didn't think Pax's proclamation to the Senate had happened yet. But with Megs in the mine and his writings are now being distributed, maybe so. :-?
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1617945)
Posted by ScottyP on October 29th, 2014 @ 11:00am CDT
Tal El wrote:But some questions do arise though...

1) Does this issue take place after Megs and crew reactivated the correct timeline or concurrent? Two of the bots on the planet arrived to the crew after take off, the other two were on board at the beginning.


I saw this sort-of answered on Twitter by Mr. Roberts himself:

@jroberts332 wrote:“@pstinson42: So is all of #Transformers #MtMtE Season 2 taking place on one very eventful day? Not counting flashbacks?” More or less!


Link: https://twitter.com/jroberts332/status/ ... 9648698368
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1617987)
Posted by ScottyP on October 29th, 2014 @ 3:34pm CDT
Didn't want to double post but this thread is dead. C'mon Seibertronians, this thing just came out! The time is nigh to post and speculate!

So now that I've re-read this and stewed on it a bit, I've only got one theory, given the way Vos and Kaon were beat up so badly whereas they've looked dominantly powerful in every other appearance. (Spoiler tags on that last bit due to context clues.) Anyway, here's my theory:

Overlord is/was on Ofsted XVII and he's why the DJD had two guys down for the count.

I'm still fleshing out more detail to it, but it makes sense. Due to this, it's certainly incorrect. Roberts never fails to swerve in the most delicious ways.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1617996)
Posted by RodimusConvoy13 on October 29th, 2014 @ 4:12pm CDT
I'm curious if Brainstorm has a plan and that's why he time travelled to that particular place or if it was random.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618002)
Posted by ScottyP on October 29th, 2014 @ 5:19pm CDT
Well, regarding Brainstorm, in 33 it's presumed that he was the one on the "alternate" Lost Light to have sprung the lock on Overlord so that the DJD would show up. In the current, "real" timeline, or whatever you want to call it, Brainstorm is the guy that gave Chromedome the codes to get to Overlord. Perhaps the intention was the same, only Chromedome fails to stall Overlord long enough to be detected in this timeline and not the other, so the DJD never shows up. Or, Swerve's metafictional bomb prevents him from calling the DJD when he intended to.

So anyway, we have no idea where Overlord ended up, but surely a fall to a planet won't off him. Brainstorm may be attempting in this issue to get to that planet in an effort to lead the DJD to him. Why he then shows up in the past, I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with wanting to retrieve Megatron from that time to "replace" the Autobot Megatron they're dealing with? Or maybe it's to retrieve him to satisfy a potential revenge plot of the DJD/Overlord who would both have beef with Megatron at that point, and he wants some other copy from the past to take the fall?

Of course there's other stuff that could mess this all up too. Brainstorm's been in cahoots with Prowl the entire time so far, and Prowl certainly has some darker tendencies lately. Not to mention Brainstorm's involvements with Ironfist in the past and Prowl trying to play keep away with the Aquetas data he had - maybe Brainstorm's research into the cerebro shells was held back on purpose? He's also got a .01%er spark sitting around in his lab, has an odd relationship with the Dead Universe and Nova Prime, and who knows if the MCP is real or not yet. Any of these things could come into play.


Anyway, that's probably -all- wrong, and a lot of speculation. Either way, his plot has got to be coming to a head soon. I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618092)
Posted by Gekas on October 30th, 2014 @ 12:03am CDT
Based off Kaon saying "See you soon", I think the DJD will show up with Brainstorm, and his prize from the past, Megatron. Some of you guys mentioned this earlier as well, but I doubt the outcome will be what Brainstorm wants. They will encounter current Megatron eventually, and he would no doubt convince his younger self about the errors of the past. This could mean that Brainstorm is giving Megatron tech from the future for his war or some sort of advice. In the end Brainstorm might not be a spy at all, just someone who changed sides during the start of the war. Then again it was on the inside of his face plate so who knows.

Also confused at the end, did Kaon take off with Trailcutter's head and brain?


I'm sure next issue will bring about more questions than it will answer for the past 2 issues.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618160)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 8:57am CDT
Okay, please don't think me crazy (okay, I am crazy but this is going to come off as pretty 'duuuuh') is this issue out?

I can't find it on Amazon (Kindle) which is where I get my comics. It's driving me nuts!
Thankfully I live two blocks from a comics store and have no issues buying the paper copy, I just like having the digital so I can read it anywhere (and it doesn't get shredded/drawn in by the kids)

Edit: Never mind... I did some digging and found out my yes. Apparently Amazon is not selling it, which makes me all twitchy. Sometimes I just want to send the DJD their way <-- bad TF joke!

Off to the comics store!
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618179)
Posted by ScottyP on October 30th, 2014 @ 10:01am CDT
^ Glad you got it sorted out! I think the Kindle editions take a while to go up for some reason. May be due to some deal with Comixology, but I have 0 facts to back that up.

And John Stamoist (excellent screen name, btw), That also makes a lot of sense. Something else I've thought of after sleeping on it - Brainstorm could be Agent 113? Could have been the mole within the DJD mentioned way back in LSotW? Or they could go full blown headmaster idea and say that Brainstorm is dead and that's actually Vos - only going with that due to the faceplates seeming to be analogous at least somewhat, but that could also be a good ol' JR red herring.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618192)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 10:45am CDT
I'd never had a problem with Kindle before... no biggie, I'll just switch to Comixology (well, I did, never made it out due to a 4 year old with an aversion to wearing pants. He will only wear shorts... because he wants to see his knees. When it's 45 degrees out, I kind of insist on pants)
So now I read it... and ... wow... I'm still processing.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618199)
Posted by ScottyP on October 30th, 2014 @ 11:03am CDT
ctrlFrequency wrote:So now I read it... and ... wow... I'm still processing.


Podcast staff gets review copies, so I first read it Friday, and then stewed on it entirely until reading my print copy that I bought yesterday. It took some time to process, but in the end, I really, really like it. Wonderful storytelling.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618204)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 11:24am CDT
Oh I agree completely, that is fantastic storytelling. MtMtE has had some of the best storytelling in it. Especially lately (to me it feels like they have narrowed it down a bit, not trying to pack too many characters in, but giving many characters a chance, we haven't seen old Rodimus in awhile, mentioned, but not seen. It seems like they want a good focus. Give more time to each character to make them not be forgettable in their roles).

I'm still processing on the wow factor. The last RiD left me wanting, this one left me intrigued. Not to say the last RiD was bad, just that there's a spot in every story where you need to sit back and get some non action stuff dealt with so you can have those deep plots and intricate stories.

The Vos thing didn't surprise me. The Rung part did. Megatron's writings left me applauding because of it's relevance to many current, real life issues plaguing Western Society, womens's rights, lgbtq rights, and social casts that have become increasingly more prevalent lately. They handled with so much grace issues that are a hot point in our media right now.

I'm going to have to go back and read it again to catch more detail, but that's just what popped up right away. I liked what they did with TrailCutter too. His journey to sobriety got a bit lost for awhile, it was nice to see him deal with it.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618207)
Posted by Gekas on October 30th, 2014 @ 11:45am CDT
ScottyP wrote:^
And John Stamoist (excellent screen name, btw), That also makes a lot of sense. Something else I've thought of after sleeping on it - Brainstorm could be Agent 113? Could have been the mole within the DJD mentioned way back in LSotW? Or they could go full blown headmaster idea and say that Brainstorm is dead and that's actually Vos - only going with that due to the faceplates seeming to be analogous at least somewhat, but that could also be a good ol' JR red herring.


Good point, never considered the Headmaster scenario. It just feels a bit random that Brainstorm decided to time travel to the past after all the disappearances. If he is the traitor, it wouldn't make sense for the DJD to execute him after he just gave them Overload, a high value target they had been looking for a good amount of time. Brainstorm has had many opportunities to become a traitor in the middles of battles and wars, why choose now to go active even with Overload no longer on the ship? Also I forgot to mention this in the thread for last isssue, but isn't it just a bit sad/pathetic that the DJD, 5 Decepticons, massacred the whole Lost Light who had at least 20+ crew on board...............

Thanks for the compliment my good sir, I'm surprised though, oddly you're the only one who likes it so far hahahaha.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618271)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on October 30th, 2014 @ 4:29pm CDT
For the record, I never said I dislike the name John Stamoist, I just didn't actually SAY I like it. As a matter of fact, I do.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled discussion.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618296)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 5:26pm CDT
John Stamoist wrote:Also confused at the end, did Kaon take off with Trailcutter's head and brain?

I'm sure next issue will bring about more questions than it will answer for the past 2 issues.


I reread now, and missed where you asked this, so I'm going to weigh in on that.
I wondered too. They totally left that up in the air. In the last panel of that scene you can see First Aid, Bluestreak, and Mainframe looking down at the floor inside TC's bubble. Kaon also doesn't appear to be holding anything when he's dissolving as Helix ports him out. But of course he's washed out. He could very well be holding TC's head and brain, but he might not be. Obviously it is meant to not be obvious one way or another for cliffhanger purposes. I'm inclined to think he did leave it (though why he would is odd) since the other three are looking on the floor... but.. who knows.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618309)
Posted by Gekas on October 30th, 2014 @ 6:00pm CDT
Nemesis Maximo wrote:For the record, I never said I dislike the name John Stamoist, I just didn't actually SAY I like it. As a matter of fact, I do.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled discussion.


Why thank you sir, Stamoist will make sure you are taken care of for the rest of your life :P


ctrlFrequency wrote:
John Stamoist wrote:Also confused at the end, did Kaon take off with Trailcutter's head and brain?

I'm sure next issue will bring about more questions than it will answer for the past 2 issues.


I reread now, and missed where you asked this, so I'm going to weigh in on that.
I wondered too. They totally left that up in the air. In the last panel of that scene you can see First Aid, Bluestreak, and Mainframe looking down at the floor inside TC's bubble. Kaon also doesn't appear to be holding anything when he's dissolving as Helix ports him out. But of course he's washed out. He could very well be holding TC's head and brain, but he might not be. Obviously it is meant to not be obvious one way or another for cliffhanger purposes. I'm inclined to think he did leave it (though why he would is odd) since the other three are looking on the floor... but.. who knows.


Yeah the whole scenario was weird. The first weird thing was that he engaged with Red Alert when he asked him to spare his brain. From the few issues the DJD have been in, and from what I can tell, they are merciless blood thirsty killers. So if they are as insane and bloodthirsty as they've been portrayed, Kaon should have destroyed the brain on the spot and laugh. So I thought, Kaon might just want to mess with him, then destroy the brain in front of him, OR he would spare TC due to the fact that he was the one who brought Vos back from the brink of death. So when he said one moment and pressed the brain against the field, I really thought he was going to look at the datapad to confirm that Megatron called off the war. It's obvious Kaon wants to come down and interact with them again, whether it's to talk about the war, to kill them or to gloat about how they have a spy amongst them. I would say to thank them for saving Vos, but we all know that won't happen.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618377)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 8:52pm CDT
John Stamoist wrote:
Yeah the whole scenario was weird. The first weird thing was that he engaged with Red Alert when he asked him to spare his brain. From the few issues the DJD have been in, and from what I can tell, they are merciless blood thirsty killers. So if they are as insane and bloodthirsty as they've been portrayed, Kaon should have destroyed the brain on the spot and laugh. So I thought, Kaon might just want to mess with him, then destroy the brain in front of him, OR he would spare TC due to the fact that he was the one who brought Vos back from the brink of death. So when he said one moment and pressed the brain against the field, I really thought he was going to look at the datapad to confirm that Megatron called off the war. It's obvious Kaon wants to come down and interact with them again, whether it's to talk about the war, to kill them or to gloat about how they have a spy amongst them. I would say to thank them for saving Vos, but we all know that won't happen.

Yeah, the whole situation was just uncharacteristic for Kaon. I was sure he was going to do something downright brutal and didn't do it. However it popped into my head earlier that maybe TC told him how long it would take before the force field dropped so maybe he did leave his head and brain so the three others could stand helplessly by and watch him die without being able to help and then come back for the rest and kill them.
Heck, maybe he's checking out the 'war is over' news... or maybe Helix said something like 'I think I see Megatron up here!' It's so hard to speculate on MtMe.


Looking at this posted it looks like some big huge secret code with the spoiler hI glint :p
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618382)
Posted by Gekas on October 30th, 2014 @ 9:04pm CDT
ctrlFrequency wrote:Yeah, the whole situation was just uncharacteristic for Kaon. I was sure he was going to do something downright brutal and didn't do it. However it popped into my head earlier that maybe TC told him how long it would take before the force field dropped so maybe he did leave his head and brain so the three others could stand helplessly by and watch him die without being able to help and then come back for the rest and kill them.
Heck, maybe he's checking out the 'war is over' news... or maybe Helix said something like 'I think I see Megatron up here!' It's so hard to speculate on MtMe.


Looking at this posted it looks like some big huge secret code with the spoiler hI glint :p


Hahahaha seriously, some massive secerets going on.

I agree with you, it is very difficult to call this series, but that's what makes it so good and fresh. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618392)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on October 30th, 2014 @ 9:42pm CDT
No matter what's going on, we call all perceptive and agree; Trailbreakercutter got fucked up.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618395)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on October 30th, 2014 @ 9:53pm CDT
John Stamoist wrote:
ctrlFrequency wrote:Yeah, the whole situation was just uncharacteristic for Kaon. I was sure he was going to do something downright brutal and didn't do it. However it popped into my head earlier that maybe TC told him how long it would take before the force field dropped so maybe he did leave his head and brain so the three others could stand helplessly by and watch him die without being able to help and then come back for the rest and kill them.
Heck, maybe he's checking out the 'war is over' news... or maybe Helix said something like 'I think I see Megatron up here!' It's so hard to speculate on MtMe.


Looking at this posted it looks like some big huge secret code with the spoiler hI glint :p



I love how my auto correct went all haywire there on 'highlight' :p darn phone (not that the tablet is much better on that) but I'm feeling too crumby to sit at my computer :p (stupid cold!)

John Stamoist wrote:Hahahaha seriously, some massive secerets going on.

I agree with you, it is very difficult to call this series, but that's what makes it so good and fresh. :D
[/quote]

The Transformers comics has gotten me back into reading comics. I'm so picky that I went for 15 years without reading anything. But Transformers, MtMte specifically, has stories so amazingly complex and deep, touching on so many issues, fun and serious; and characters with so much personality that it was impossible to resist! The cliffhangers are well done, I'm never disappointed.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 Review (1618396)
Posted by Gekas on October 30th, 2014 @ 9:54pm CDT
SW's SilverHammer wrote:No matter what's going on, we call all perceptive and agree; Trailbreakercutter got **** up.


Yeah seriously man, he straight up got pub stomped. I mean sure he was low on energy, but Kaon didn't even have a scratch on him.......

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