IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #46 Review
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 1:45am CSTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al Views: 33,536
What does it mean to be a DECEPTICON in a postwar universe? Was MEGATRON’s rise to power the inevitable consequence of configurative determinism? Is it possible to "disprove" an ideology? Who decided that all the badges should be purple? In this issue, the Scavengers ponder at least one of these questions.
First of all, a note of apology and of due credit. Life this side of the screen gets busy, and a lot of the wording and thoughts for this review are worked in tandem with ScottyP (my saviour). On the other hand, the issues getting in the way of writing the review actually feed 'nicely' into the topics of the issue itself!
Whatever lacklustre comments I made last month for the first part of this story, and of James Roberts' style in approaching it, have definitely redeemed themselves by issue #46. There is plenty of character development, plenty of plot direction, and some really good work in terms of addressing wider post-war issues for the TFverse overall, no longer limited to the other titles.
Some characters clearly stand out, in terms of how they are portrayed and their role to the story, with Krok, Fort Max and Crankcase definitely taking centre stage. The rest of the cast, though, is not set aside, and we have some excellent moments with pretty much everyone involved, through a wide range of (e)motion, too.
I do have some criticisms by the time the book comes to a close, though I will mention them more below. The standout point, if a little clunky in some of its execution, was looking at not only physical, not only theoretical, not only ideological consequences of the war - but the repercussions on the mental health of many of those who took however little a part.
The visual team on this issue is gigantic, as Alex Milne prepares the pages, layouts and pencils, while Brian Shearer, John Livesay, John Wycough and Milne conjoin inking powers to bring a very different, multi-faceted look at some of the outer spaces of the Transformers universe currently explored, inwards and outwards.
Both sides of which are cleverly rendered in tone and volume by the excellent colouring, shading and hue work of Joana Lafuente, who deftly includes one of the wider-ranging palettes we had currently seen on this book, at least since the Swerve issue and Hedonia, and some seriously emotional contrasts in dark/light games.
Multiple inkers clearly (?) required multiple letterers, as regular Tom B. Long is joined by Chris Mowry - and with the Scavengers and Grimlock involved, you just know there's going to be plenty of font-based fun. And there is. The main cover also shows more of spotlight on one of the key players of the issue, as teased in #45, with Milne teaming up with Josh Perez again, as Nick Roche single-handedly Fort Maxes out for the artist edition variant (see thumbnail).
Practically copying Scott's words now, the issue does a very good job, along with some parts of Transformers: Redemption, at dealing with the often underrepresented consequences of war, and the individual repercussions of that state. It's no longer factions of Autobot, Decepticon, colonies or unaligned, but rather those who can let go of the war and those who hang on to it desperately.
The criticism I mentioned? Other than the couple of niggles above, the conclusion feels a little too nebulous, a little too complex and too much of a stinger to a wider story that we have only really started seeing - and it felt like a kick to remind us that, yes, we are still part of a wider narrative. Some will love it, I found it a little ..whelming. That said, definitely worth the read.
Credit(s): IDW, Va'al, ScottyP
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Posted by Randomhero on November 11th, 2015 @ 8:13am CST
Roberts writing is really channeling the writing of DWs patyk and mcdonough's ongoing where it's jumping everywhere, it's asking too many questions and answering too little. While it gets around to EVENTUALLY it is spending too much time laying down too many foundations and finishing the construction way too far down the road. It's expecting you to remember stuff 20-30 issues later anymore. Necrobot and agent 113 are great examples of that. While I had no problem with the resolution of those a majority did.
All that aside, I'm starting to wonder if the functionalists still have a big part in MTMTE. I'll try not to get too spoiler in this but it's been over a week now since the issue came out but that Cog symbol keeps showing up and cogs are a huge deal with the functionalists and not the Knights of Cybertron. Yes the cog symbols has something to do with the map and the matrix but we still don't know what the matrix is in IDW because religion is an unproven thing in IDW. We know rodimus and thunder clash has the map in their heads but they too carried the matrix to a point where it was fused into them.
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on November 11th, 2015 @ 8:55am CST