IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 3:06am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 41,653

Topic Options: View Discussion · Sign in or Join to reply

Dark Side of Future's Past - The Return
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
THE ENIGMA! At last… the secret origins of CYBERTRON’s golden age are revealed to OPTIMUS PRIME—and what he learns changes everything about the AUTOBOTS’ mission on Earth!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
They're off to meet Michael Bay!


Story

After a month's pause to take a look at Cybertron and whatever mess is taking place over there, we return to Earth's orbit to check in with Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime and whatever mess is about to go down here - by looking at what happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... if you're new to the Transformers, that is. Though there is plenty for veteran fans, too. Read on!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
Ah, the good old days


The frame of the issue is the conversation between Alpha Trion and Optimus, as they take a wander over the dark side of the moon (oh-ho), to discuss important things of importance, without anyone listening in - and we finally find out the role that Trion has played since forever in the shape of Cybertron and its lineage.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
"..and now you tell me you're Professor X?!"


Which leads us nicely into a long flashback of the early days of Cybertron, with Galvatron running around chopping people to bits and decapitating others, stabbing, slashing and generally being his usual killing machine self. The 'twist' however, is that he has a perfectly good reason to do so, and we discover just how far the Enigma teased in the synopsis goes, and what it has to do with Earth and some old frie-- ene-- frenemies.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
Plus this guy


John Barber's dialogue and characterisation in this issue are great: from Skylynx' wonderful quips, to characters calling out each other's pompous formalities, to seeds of deception and scheming planted in some key players of the past, to the roundedness of Galvatron and the deceitfulness of Alpha Trion, and that's without considering the source material being drawn upon for the flashback's plot, and really setting the stage for Combiner Wars.


Art

In addition to all of that, Livio Ramondelli is really on top form with the artwork: there's a lighter, cleaner feel even to some of the busier battle scenes (though some make Galvatron look a bit too powerhouse-y, but that's writer's choice), there is a nice use of reference material again, in both toy form and pre-existing fiction, and some great body language deployed.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
DRAMATIC REVEAL


Also, the lighting and colour used for the contrast between the past and present is switched compared to usual, with dark used for Trion and Optimus' conversation on the Moon, and a lot of light shining over Galvatron's battles. Combine that with some great panel layouts, a cinematographic style of composition, angles and shots, and you have a visually pleasing issue indeed.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
Keeping things in perspective


Tom B. Long returns on lettering, choosing some very well placed addition contrast in caption boxes and dialogue bubbles, with a smattering of great sound effects throughout the book. All serves to further identify the separation and similarity of the different stages, and it all works perfectly. The two main covers by Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez, and Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente also do a great job of hyping up the Galvatron element, and it is a great part of the issue - but don't miss out on the stunning Ken Christiansen 30th anniversary variant (thumbnail).


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I have tried hard to not give away any of the major plot points, names of key characters, storylines or references, as I think this issue needs to be enjoyed as a new exploration of Cybertron's past in the comfort of personal reading. But I also believe fans of different Transformers continuities will really enjoy the various parts of fiction that are touched upon, and how Barber brings them all under the one issue.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review
Without leaping to conclusions


Ramondelli's art does some great things with Barber's writing, too, and accomplishes some nice visual clarity and dynamism needed for the warrior 'king' Galvatron. It also gets closer in its shading and hues as the past and present become darker and darker as they converge, with a great final sting tying us back to the running thread of RID so far. As we get ever closer to the beginning of Combiner Wars, this issue does great things to actually make me look forwards to it. Well played.

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

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


News Search

Got Transformers News? Let us know here!

Re: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review (1616026)
Posted by padfoo on October 22nd, 2014 @ 5:51pm CDT
I am really liking what I see here Ramondelli's art has some extra cleanliness about it this time.
Re: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review (1616038)
Posted by 1984forever on October 22nd, 2014 @ 7:44pm CDT
"Only a Prime can kill a Prime".

Galvatron killed Nexus Prime.

Galvatron serves no master (Prime).

Galvatron is the missing Megatronus reformatted!
Re: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #34 Review (1616457)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on October 24th, 2014 @ 7:18am CDT
1984forever wrote:"Only a Prime can kill a Prime".

Galvatron killed Nexus Prime.

Galvatron serves no master (Prime).

Galvatron is the missing Megatronus reformatted!

Image

Featured Products on Amazon.com

Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Legends Class Autobot Tailgate" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Leader Evolution Rodimus Unicronus" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Megatronus Prime Master" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Solus Prime Prime Master" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Power of the Primes Punch-Counterpunch and Prima Prime" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Legends Class Cindersaur" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Bumblebee -- Energon Igniters Nitro Series Optimus Prime" on AMAZON
Buy "Masterpiece MPM-7 Bumblebee" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Autobot Sovereign and Alpha Trion" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Legends Class Autobot Rewind" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Voyager Class Megatron" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Voyager Decepticon Nitro" on AMAZON
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #289 - No Thanks Given
Twincast / Podcast #289:
"No Thanks Given"
MP3 · iTunes · RSS · View · Discuss · Ask
Posted: Monday, November 29th, 2021

New Items on eBay

Buy "Transformers War for Cybertron Earthrise Titan Scorponok MISB in stock now" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Titan Class Trypticon New In Box MISB" on EBAY
Buy "New Transformers Generations TITANS RETURN Leader Class DECEPTICON OVERLORD" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers: Combiner Wars - Scattershot Voyager Class - NEW NIB" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Titans Return Autobot HOT ROD & Firedrive Deluxe Class - BRAND NEW!" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Dinobot Adventures Dinobot Squad Grimlock Dinobot Snarl and Pred..." on EBAY
Buy "SLUG Transformers Cyberverse Adventures Deluxe Dinobot Hasbro 2021 New" on EBAY
Buy "TRANSFORMERS Unite Warriors UW-08 COMPUTRON w/ Perf. Effect Upgrade & Coll. Coin" on EBAY