IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review

IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 10:16am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 36,262

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Guess Who's 'Jack
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
WHEELJACK REBORN! After months unconscious, WHEELJACK awakens to find a strange, new CYBERTRON! STARSCREAM rules—OPTIMUS PRIME has made peace with MEGATRON—and WINDBLADE controls the city. What’s a scientist to do… but uncover the greatest mystery in TRANSFORMERS history?

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
Smart bot


Story

In the previous issue, Earth was exposed, Galvatron revealed, Prowl came clean and many many shots were fired, as Thundercracker continues his screenplay. But.. in the previous issue, Starscream retakes control of Cybertron, Chromia comes clean, and Windblade agrees to maintain the status quo just a little longer. Robots in Disguise #33 picks up a lot more from where Windblade ended than #32, and Wheeljack is finally back.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
Just in time for MP-20!


And it is with Wheeljack that we rediscover Metroplex, Iacon and Cybertron, touching base with players from earlier stories and plots, re-establishing some of the relationships between the current Cybertronian rulers, personalities and gatekeepers. And we get an interesting look at Starscream from a John Barber perspective, as well as a quite sweet moment of reconnection with Ironhide.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
The things he's seen


And you know what? Barber's writing in this issue is a very different tone from previous RID stories - there's a light-heartedness, an empathy and a running streak of humour and positivity, even in the aftermath and stage of what is actually the plotline bubbling beneath the surface, that brought several smiles during every reading of the issue.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
*chortle*


After the revelations of #32 and the machinations of Prowl, whose influence is very much still felt on Cybertron, after the horrifying and shocking happenings of MTMTE's latest arc, not only was this issue welcome, it slipped in quite comfortably in the overarching story, cleverly playing a very very long game.


Art

If there is a style that could really suit the tone that Barber took for Wheeljack's view on the world, it is Sarah Stone's. We've seen her big scale multi-panel, multi-page spreads, and those come in very handy with recaps. But we've come to know her work also for the sheer expressivity of teh characters, in body language and facial reactions. Even with faceplates.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
See?!


And if the tone of the writing can't do the job, then it's down to hues of colour and background work to spruce it up a bit. Stone's rendition of the new Cybertron, something that is constantly pointed at throughout the story, definitely plays with the gritty, grim reality of a war-torn planet which is both relieved and a little at a loss as to what to do with itself.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
So.. karaoke


The lettering, in very subtle touches, works very well with the lighter feel of the issue asa whole ,and Tom B. Long does a commendable job of highlighting what is needed without being intrusive or distracting at all. As for the covers, we have seen the Casey Coller and JP Bove convention exclusive, and spotted the Coller and Priscilla Tramontano variant in the solicits. Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez take over a brilliant Lazarus pit main cover, and Stone offers a gorgeous 30th Anniversary Fisitron treat (thumbnail). Gotta catch 'em all?


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Some readers might be put off by the return of the running caption monologues device, even though it is from the perspective of one of the brightest, and nicest, minds of Cybertron. And there is virtually no action to claim that name - except for party-action - as we follow Wheeljack's refresher journey through the last six months (in-universe) and current, Starscream-led, Cybertron.

Transformers News: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review
With him in charge? Yeah


So what does this issue do, then? It does start building a stage for Combiner Wars. It does recap on where we are in the Transformerverse, Earth briefly included, and reaching quite far back. Both of which are big things, yes, but some might complain it's not really that much. But it does it so well, so light-heartedly, and freshly, in both style and art, that it's enough to provide a breath of air between two heavy story arcs for the two series.

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


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Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608464)
Posted by Samsonator on September 24th, 2014 @ 10:51am CDT
Well, I'm definitely thinking they're setting up for Combiner Wars now. Especially after Starscream introduces Wheeljack to "Alpha-Bravo", the new recruit who'll serve as a replacement for Superion's deceased arm, Slingshot. Gotta make it work in-fiction so we're less upset about the toy! If the Combiner Wars line and the comics are going to be influencing one another, though... I'm really hoping this opens the door for a Prowl-headed Devastator in toy form.
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608502)
Posted by reVelske on September 24th, 2014 @ 1:48pm CDT
It's also likely no coincidence that the entire Protectobots team are on Lost Light!

RIP Slingshot though ;_;
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608512)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on September 24th, 2014 @ 2:19pm CDT
reVelske wrote:RIP Slingshot though ;_;


#RIPSlingshot2014 spread the word
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608518)
Posted by Shuttershock on September 24th, 2014 @ 2:57pm CDT
I'm curious if Slingshot is dead or just critically injured and won't be able to serve as a limb. I've no particular attachment to him, it just seems more likely he's badly injured, since it's so hard to kill these guys. Wheeljack said he could see his spark, though he might have been talking about a vacant spark chamber. Either way, I can get used to the idea of AB and Powerglide as new volunteers for Superion.

I'm wondering how Wildrider/Offroad and Blackjack will work out now, given this explanation. Will 'Rider simply quit the team or be unavailable, so they have to sub him out? Offroad's style looks too different to have just changed bodies and names. Same goes for adding a supplemental Jackpot, when they formed without him in Costa's ongoing? Maybe something to do with stabilizing their minds, since they didn't work well together the last time.
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608558)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on September 24th, 2014 @ 7:09pm CDT
It finally hit me: when Stone draws Ironhide, his face reminded me of someone, but I couldn't place it. But now I've got it! He kinda looks like Clint Eastwood. Fitting.
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608863)
Posted by chaosmage42 on September 26th, 2014 @ 12:29am CDT
i always though of iron hide as clint eastwood -old grizzled -ect

also also that powerglide is also the other bot screamer brought it with alpha bravo so there is that -i can't wait to see what happens when we have combiners on all sides squaring off -im hoping monstructor will get a toy but i don't know if they survived or not
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1608965)
Posted by Shuttershock on September 26th, 2014 @ 11:35am CDT
chaosmage42 wrote:i always though of iron hide as clint eastwood -old grizzled -ect

also also that powerglide is also the other bot screamer brought it with alpha bravo so there is that -i can't wait to see what happens when we have combiners on all sides squaring off -im hoping monstructor will get a toy but i don't know if they survived or not


I think Starscream's rundown implies that Monstructor managed to slink off in the chaos, plus he name drops the Stunticons and how Swindle made them into an imperfect combiner once.
Re: IDW TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #33 - Review (1609542)
Posted by chaosmage42 on September 29th, 2014 @ 12:42pm CDT
and you can bet money that they will be back -since the stunticons are getting a toy it and the protectobots and the combaticons -im just hoping monstructor gets one since he is an underused combiner -i didn't even know who he was it i looked him up after idw put him in that one comic. A lot of transformers don't get new figures for every 100th bumblebee mold there are a million missfires and treadshots that don't -the club does make a few of those -which is something i wish they would do more of instead of making even more new characters to add to the mix why not go through all the unused characters and use them instead -sure you will need to put some big names in but fill the other toys with people who don't get much attention

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