IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 7:39am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 71,632

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Timey Wimey Stuff
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
OUTLAWS! Before the war, Orion Pax was part of the Establishment—until a friend opened his eyes to the truth behind the lies and he vowed to overthrow the system. Now, it seems as if his newfound enemies are willing to go to any lengths to see him dead—even if it means waiting four million years...

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
Yup, definitely enemies (?)


Story

You will probably remember what happened all the way back during the 2009-11 ongoing series, in particular the Chaos Theory arc that James Roberts co-wrote. You might also have in mind the continuation of that story in Shadowplay, the Shockwave/Orion Pax arc during the first season of MTMTE. If you do not, you probably want to brush up for issue 36, as Elegant Chaos continues the pre-war story.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
Oh, and all of that, too


Though not exactly as we might all remember it so far (strange choice of words, I know, but you've seen what's been happening in MTMTE so fa r, right? The trousers of time have many legs, and several are unravelling at the same time). Time travel only muddles plotlines, by its own nature, and this issue is not exception.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
Realimus


Which, unfortunately, finds itself to come to standstill in the overall trajectory of the series post-Dark Cybertron. Don't get me wrong, the issue is a great read, fantastic interactions, good dialogue, characters and Whirl. Especially Whirl, in both his present and present-in-the-past situations, along with some amusing time-paradox musings.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
WHIRLMAS


But it doesn't really do much else, sadly. It reinforces old situations and concepts; it has a smirk-inducing conversation between two key players which is really a one-sided admission and reflection; it sets the stage, but only that smidge more than the last two-three issues, for Elegant Chaos. And I wanted it to do more.


Art

As far as unintentional bottle episodes happen, however, the art brought to the issue by Alex Milne is a joy to behold - especially in its cranked up expressivity in both facial and body language, including some of the least likely to be able to do so (looking at you Whirl). On top of that, action sequences are magnificently laid out, with a proliferation of double-spreads and panels spanning multiple pages.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
Whirl is BOOOOOOOOREEEEEEDDDD


Which are obviously but enhanced by Joana Lafuente's gorgeous colour approach, already from the very first panel of the very first page. And it just gets better from there, really, adding action to action, emotion to emotion, decoration to interiors, atmosphere to planets and making everything look just so good.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
I mean


Tom B. Long and his lettering are not to be underestimated, either - and the title of the issue, and the arc, are an example of the font magic that man can do. The subtle sounds around the scene are also cleverly worked in, and never intrusive, but definitely still there. In terms of covers, we've seen the Alex Milne/Josh Perez Anniversary piece already, and the main one with juiced up Roller - check out the thumbnail for the moody Nick Roche/Burcham Orion Pax variant.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

As I said above, the issue is not a bad read, a bad comic or a bad piece of writing. It just did not do what other issues playing around with time, or indeed, arcs in the Functionist plotlines have done previously, such as the wonderful Shadowplay. That is not to say that we may very well see this all play out fantastically as of next month or the forthcoming issues in general.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review
Roberts, you there?


From an artistic perspective, though, the book dazzles and deals a dizzying delight - not only because of some wonderfully executed double-spread pages, colours and composition, but as a general aid to extricate the intricacies of the potentially convoluted plot. Here's to you, visual storytelling. Make sure you track down a paper copy of this one.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


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Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630745)
Posted by Madeus Prime on December 17th, 2014 @ 9:17am CST
Oh, my, god. Happy Whirl is adorable.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630748)
Posted by Va'al on December 17th, 2014 @ 9:22am CST
Madeus Prime wrote:Oh, my, god. Happy Whirl is adorable.


I had to settle on one panel, but there are SO MANY.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630779)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 10:28am CST
I'm in love that we got to see Whirl again!

I'm not loving the double page spreads..... though it was okay on the PC, my tablet couldn't do it without sliding it all over the place. I prefer reading on the tablet. (Comixology... Kindle handles double pages far better, but even then, it's still more difficult on the small screen)

Oh and Rodimus saying "'Sup." with the smirk. I know that's just something we should expect from him, but man it made my day.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630783)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 10:37am CST
I loved Megatron's conversation with Orion. He's so classy.

Also, I loved when Whirl forgot he had been in prison at this point. Also, Wheelimus Prime is looking for something to take out of context. Ask and you shall recieve!
image.jpg


Also, did Roller survive? His fate was left somewhat ambiguous. I fear the worst.

Also, i liked the lead up to Trailbreaker's alcoholism.

Also, also.

But I agree with Va'al; not a whole lot happened in this issue, and it kinda felt like filler. Like, Ready Whip. Tasty, but little substance.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630797)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 11:01am CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:I loved Megatron's conversation with Orion. He's so classy.

Also, I loved when Whirl forgot he had been in prison at this point. Also, Wheelimus Prime is looking for something to take out of context. Ask and you shall recieve!
image.jpg


Also, did Roller survive? His fate was left somewhat ambiguous. I fear the worst.


They never show it, so I guess we assume he survived. He was too prominent to the story to simply be cannon fodder.

Nemesis Maximo wrote:But I agree with Va'al; not a whole lot happened in this issue, and it kinda felt like filler. Like, Ready Whip. Tasty, but little substance.


I came to the conclusion that Roberts can't break out of the novel style of writing. Which is great, I'm willing to bet he's already written of the issues for the next 2 years, it leads to a very cohesive story, and very little subplots getting forgotten. But with a limit of 20 some pages per issue, we get a lot of 'build up' issues that would, in a novel, be just a blurb (you know, a page or two of set up before the chapter of action). But we have it fed to us in bits. So it gets boring.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630813)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 11:31am CST
CTRLFrequency wrote:They never show it, so I guess we assume he survived. He was too prominent to the story to simply be cannon fodder.

That's my hope. But I could see Roberts dealing with it later on in a posthumous way, like out of the blue somebody says "Man, I miss Roller" and then later we get flashbacks or explanation to how he may have been killed.

As to Roberts' writing style, I somewhat agree. Usually, he doesn't put out too many build up issues that feel like build up issues. By comparison, most of RID was paced specifically to BE a build up Prowl's actions and consequences. Right before Dark Cybertron, Barber's Monologues were pretty slow, even by RID standards. What I would love is more miniseries by Roberts.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630817)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 11:44am CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
CTRLFrequency wrote:They never show it, so I guess we assume he survived. He was too prominent to the story to simply be cannon fodder.

That's my hope. But I could see Roberts dealing with it later on in a posthumous way, like out of the blue somebody says "Man, I miss Roller" and then later we get flashbacks or explanation to how he may have been killed.

As to Roberts' writing style, I somewhat agree. Usually, he doesn't put out too many build up issues that feel like build up issues.


Sometimes it's unavoidable. I think that's where it is at right now. Especially when laying ground work for something big, if you're laying a lot of ground work, slow paced build up might not be able to be avoided.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630822)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 12:06pm CST
I'm not trying to be negative about it, because you're right, it IS unavoidable sometimes. I see it as a compliment towards Roberts, as even when he does give us filler issues (#34 comes to mind), it doesn't feel rushed or slow.

As for letter statement, that was a little non sequitur. I was just making an observation; miniseries are always my favorite Transformers stories.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630826)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 12:21pm CST
I didn't think you were being negative. :)
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630861)
Posted by Va'al on December 17th, 2014 @ 1:27pm CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
CTRLFrequency wrote:They never show it, so I guess we assume he survived. He was too prominent to the story to simply be cannon fodder.

That's my hope. But I could see Roberts dealing with it later on in a posthumous way, like out of the blue somebody says "Man, I miss Roller" and then later we get flashbacks or explanation to how he may have been killed.

As to Roberts' writing style, I somewhat agree. Usually, he doesn't put out too many build up issues that feel like build up issues. By comparison, most of RID was paced specifically to BE a build up Prowl's actions and consequences. Right before Dark Cybertron, Barber's Monologues were pretty slow, even by RID standards. What I would love is more miniseries by Roberts.



Roller is Tarn.


That is what the internet has declared. Discuss. :P



As for the 'meh' element of this issue, I agree pretty much with all the comments made by the two of you - unavoidable lulls in a sustained stretch of good storytelling. It's a shame that it coincided with the beginning of a fairly convoluted plot.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630866)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 1:37pm CST
Va'al wrote:
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
CTRLFrequency wrote:They never show it, so I guess we assume he survived. He was too prominent to the story to simply be cannon fodder.

That's my hope. But I could see Roberts dealing with it later on in a posthumous way, like out of the blue somebody says "Man, I miss Roller" and then later we get flashbacks or explanation to how he may have been killed.

As to Roberts' writing style, I somewhat agree. Usually, he doesn't put out too many build up issues that feel like build up issues. By comparison, most of RID was paced specifically to BE a build up Prowl's actions and consequences. Right before Dark Cybertron, Barber's Monologues were pretty slow, even by RID standards. What I would love is more miniseries by Roberts.



Roller is Tarn.


That is what the internet has declared. Discuss. :P


That is the internet rumors I have heard too. I can see it. And there's certainly a basis for it being set up. And it would be a good time to fit it in. I won't discredit it.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630875)
Posted by Va'al on December 17th, 2014 @ 1:47pm CST
I'm not sure all quirks are accounted for, yet.

Addiction to transforming - only really the one scene in this issue where it happens.
Blind devotion to Megatron's writing - probably being set up in this issue, with Pax recommending it to Roller.
Music/sound/spark manipulation stuff - not much in terms of that yet.
Point one percenter - yes, that's there.

The shape sort of fits, too. And the March solicits bring the DJD back to the fore, too.


I love speculation. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630886)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on December 17th, 2014 @ 1:58pm CST
Va'al wrote:I'm not sure all quirks are accounted for, yet.

Addiction to transforming - only really the one scene in this issue where it happens.
Blind devotion to Megatron's writing - probably being set up in this issue, with Pax recommending it to Roller.
Music/sound/spark manipulation stuff - not much in terms of that yet.
Point one percenter - yes, that's there.

The shape sort of fits, too. And the March solicits bring the DJD back to the fore, too.


I love speculation. :D


There's totally plenty of time to build the not present traits into Roller to make him Tarn. That's why I can see it. Of course, who knows, we could be wrong and Rollers dead. But there's always that 'who knows what happens to him after that scene ends'. Since we really don't know who was up in that ship hovering up above the field.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630891)
Posted by prjkt on December 17th, 2014 @ 2:04pm CST
I wonder if Brainstorm's journey has something to do with the point percenter spark he harvested from Luna 2...
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630899)
Posted by Randomhero on December 17th, 2014 @ 2:21pm CST
prjkt wrote:I wonder if Brainstorm's journey has something to do with the point percenter spark he harvested from Luna 2...


You wouldn't be wrong. There are two distinc spark types that went. Vitreous-positive abd ferrum-negative.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630905)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 2:31pm CST
Va'al wrote:Roller is Tarn.


That is what the internet has declared. Discuss. :P

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630908)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 2:34pm CST
Va'al wrote:Roller is Tarn.


That is what the internet has declared. Discuss. :P

Image
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630951)
Posted by Va'al on December 17th, 2014 @ 4:20pm CST
That good or bad, NM? :P
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630957)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 17th, 2014 @ 4:34pm CST
For you, Va'al, it can be both. ;)
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #36 Review (1630960)
Posted by Va'al on December 17th, 2014 @ 4:38pm CST
I am getting a lot of ambiguous compliments today on here.

I blame Whirl.

Image

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