Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2

Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 3:42am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 29,365

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Idle Wrecks
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
also, cameos and digs


Story

A giant corkscrew spaceship lands in the Alps. Robots with apparently, arguably, perhaps not some screws loose pop out of it. Hilarity and hijinks (your mileage may vary) ensue. And we bring back a lot of loose threads from a long, long, long time ago in this new issue of Optimus Prime. Resolutions? No, just dangling. Like bait.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
baitin'


What I really enjoy about the two new characters we encounter - Junkions Rum-Maj and Wreck-Gar - is that while the latter carries across a lot of his canonical characterisation, they both also sport some sinister undertones to their easily dismissed comedy relief. Much like charming cannibalistic psychologists, perhaps, but with Eric Idle's voice stuck in your head.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
or his


A point of contention, elsewhere at least, is the inclusion of GI Joe teams in the book. But this is the status of the universe, and the book does some more steps towards acknowledging the wider status of it all. Not just American settings, not just American teams, not just Americans. This feels part of that pseudo-post-colonial shift that started way back when with the colonies being rediscovered.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
only took about 15 years


John Barber is doing pretty much what he wants, now that he no longer has the editorial shackles, and he can delve into older Transformers universe, both within and outside of IDW's. This is some entertaining, and successfully so, storytelling with good characters.

Art

I'll admit, I echoed some sentiments I've seen around about Kei Zama's art in this starting to look a bit more cluttered than the first issue, covers or fan art. My initial worries, however, did not last long. There may be a couple of panels which sport heavier inks (or feel that way) but they never jar with the spot-on designs and backgrounds.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
and references


That is also thanks to Josh Burcham's colour wizardry, marrying the dark linework of Zama's layouts with his muted (yet somehow still vibrant - see? wizard) palette; I could not have thought of a better choice of team for any selection of Junkions. Where there might've been the risk of too dark, colours light it up. Done.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
or don't, but still works


The fears I had about the art were also a little in the lettering, as lots of dialogue means lots of ballooning, means a lot of stuff in the same panel - but I should've trusted Tom B. Long, of course. Both dialogue and sound effects work, and Wreck-Gar's speech pattern is well conveyed visually too. As for covers, we've seen the main Zama/Burcham one, and I spotlighted the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente variant in the preview. We also have another Zoner piece, featuring Arcee, and thumbnailed with this review, the Andrew Griffith/Josh Perez Rum-Maj centrepiece. Admire them all.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The issue is, overall, thoroughly enjoyable, much more than I initially feared I would feel about the book, from the preview. My biggest misgivings were not about the story as much as the art - as I explain above - but they were easily assuaged once you take in the whole story. There is no clutter. There is no lasting distraction.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2
...


What else does it bring, as well as ensuring that the mythos goes forward? Re-evaluation of both Primacy and Monstrosity, old Spotlights and -ations, Budiansky references, G1 references, early days of IDW's Robots in Disguise, i.e. Barber's best output. Until now. This is a series worth keeping at hand and in mind, and it does an excellent job of using those references as complementary, not essential.

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

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850406)
Posted by jasonwilty on January 4th, 2017 @ 4:15am CST
Loving the story, but the art is still killing me.

I have trouble telling what's going on one panel to the next.

Not feeling this at all.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850415)
Posted by Kurona on January 4th, 2017 @ 8:11am CST
Have to say, I did enjoy Issue 2 a lot more than 1. I dunno, something about the first issue felt a bit... off, but this one is right back on track and it's already very entertaining imo.
But yeah, the art is... hm. It's more a personal hurdle for me; not that in terms of quality there's anything wrong with the style, but it's just not to my tastes so it does get in the way a little for me. Just a bit too gritty for my tastes, and maybe a bit too gritty for the story.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850452)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 4th, 2017 @ 12:37pm CST
Va'al wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:I don't know.....compared from Issue #1 to this......the art style is just cluttered, there's no better word for it. There's too much crammed into every panel, too much going on to follow the narrative without multiple re-readings, etc. If it continues this way, I may just unsubscribe from the book and catch up with it on the wiki.

I'm in a similar situation with the art, it feels cluttered as you said, and not as clear as I'd like to see. it's not bad, but it feels...unrefined


Disagree, review coming up soon. :-D

You are right about it clearing up as is went, just wish that first part wasn't as clutteredish
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850476)
Posted by Tigertrack on January 4th, 2017 @ 2:00pm CST
I'm enjoying the flashback episodes more. Learning about Jetfire, and Prowl, and others. Jetfire seems so different now. I think solicits have somewhat let the cat out of the bag with the Junkions, but I'm sure there is more of a twist than seems present by those previews and covers.

I'm good with the art. It's not my total favorite, but it works. GI Joe in it took me back a step... I'm not sure I'm ready for every issue to be a GI Joe and Transformers X crossover now. Well, at least Lost Light is still safe from that.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850532)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on January 4th, 2017 @ 7:21pm CST
No, it's not the art bothering me, it's the horrible colouring. How can anyone call that good? If I hadn't committed to buying #1-6, I'd be out already.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850551)
Posted by ScottyP on January 4th, 2017 @ 9:09pm CST
The art in this book is awesome. Must be the G2 fan in me. It's like having a refined Geoff Senior at the helm. Plus I think Barber's stories tend to work better with a unique visual identity about them. He jumps from super serious to super not often, so it helps me with those transitions better than Griffith's (very good, mind you) cleaner style did in that regard. I mean, how can you not love that last page? Soo good.

On another note, does Shockwave being in the flashback Battle of Junkion panel imply to anyone else that there was a regenesis ore there? That might be a known fact already, I just don't remember Primacy and Monstrosity well.

Tigertrack wrote:GI Joe in it took me back a step... I'm not sure I'm ready for every issue to be a GI Joe and Transformers X crossover now. Well, at least Lost Light is still safe from that.
I figured having four of the six be characters that have been around before that just now-ish became Joes (Spike, Bharwaney, Quinlan, and Josh Boyfriend) was a way of easing them in without being unrelenting about it. That said, I didn't think giving Talon the running narrator role worked for me, but I get why it's there. Just preference on that part, objectively it was fine.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850557)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 4th, 2017 @ 10:00pm CST
I'm finding it entertaining that Jones, TC, and Buster were all on vacation together, and TC was wearing a purple visor to boot!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850607)
Posted by Va'al on January 5th, 2017 @ 3:30am CST
Nik Hero wrote:No, it's not the art bothering me, it's the horrible colouring. How can anyone call that good? If I hadn't committed to buying #1-6, I'd be out already.


How can you not? Could you expand on your critique, please?
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1850613)
Posted by Kurona on January 5th, 2017 @ 4:58am CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:I'm finding it entertaining that Jones, TC, and Buster were all on vacation together, and TC was wearing a purple visor to boot!

Argh, how could I have forgot about that?! Not to put down the rest of the comic but that was one of my favourite parts; I love Thundercracker - and Jones, honestly - so it's nice seeing them and the dog get what is essentially paid leave.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1851133)
Posted by partholon on January 8th, 2017 @ 7:39am CST
yeah im in the same camp too.

ive loved most of barbers work over the years and its great to see him seems to bring back ideas like primal apostiaphis (or however you spell that :) ) , which hasnt been seen since last stand of the wreckers.

its an idea that works so well with the current "prime as space jesus" trope.

but the art is killing me.

its not BAD, in fact in areas it kinda remindes me of a less clear geoff senior (sans his dynamism)

but its WAAAAAY to G2 for my liking. i never like that style and it doesnt help that the whole change feels like a forced "reboot" ala AHM. Albeit without the loss of story quality.

like others it just looks too damn cluttterd and TBH at time i cant figure out WTF im looking at. compared to the sterling work of andrew griffith its just not up to scratch IMO.

WORSE i remember when griffith was getting his feet and ive a horrible feeling were right back to square one with this new lad and he'll be got shot of too just as he's hitting a stride.

basically i blame the dynamics of the comics business for shafting a team that was already doing the business for a cheap No 1 boost.

i'll stick with it for the first arc but TBH "jumping on points " make great jumping OFF points and im in two minds as to keep going.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1851170)
Posted by Shot Put on January 8th, 2017 @ 1:17pm CST
partholon wrote:basically i blame the dynamics of the comics business for shafting a team that was already doing the business for a cheap No 1 boost.


That's not how it happened. Griffith has said that he was burnt out on Transformers after almost five years straight of doing it and wanted to work on other stuff.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1852448)
Posted by william-james88 on January 15th, 2017 @ 9:34am CST
Also thanks to the usual suspects,itunes has provided us with a preview of the IDW's Transformers Optimus Prime issue #3. Below is the description, followed by the preview - more to be expected in the coming weeks!

An uneasy peace between Optimus Prime and the newly arrived Junkions is threatened by Soundwave’s discovery within their massive ship…


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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1852487)
Posted by Deadput on January 15th, 2017 @ 3:39pm CST
Am I the only one who really really likes with how Soundwave's character is being used right now?


It's a more realistic and less drastic turn then what Megatron did with Soundwave being forced to work with Prime but slowly becoming actual friends with him.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1852543)
Posted by ScottyP on January 15th, 2017 @ 8:42pm CST
Barber's Soundwave is becoming one of the best. Has really stood out as well done since RiD 20-ish and just gets better.

I also really like how he's got a rub sign in the flashback and a full on Decepticon badge in the present day scenes.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1852646)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 16th, 2017 @ 11:14am CST
Agreed to both. This Soundwave is probably the best one we've ever had. He's brilliant
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1852748)
Posted by ScottyP on January 16th, 2017 @ 7:42pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Agreed to both. This Soundwave is probably the best one we've ever had. He's brilliant
Well, don't forget Cybertron's Garry Chalk Soundwave who was a mid-00s raver. We'll always have that and the world is better for it.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1853436)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2017 @ 9:05pm CST
Newsarama has posted the full preview for Optimus Prime #3 which continues the present story of the Junkions and the past story of police corruption. It also shows off the first meeting of Soundwave and Optimus Prime, at the time Orion Pax. Check out the preview below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

The first meeting of Optimus Prime and Soundwave, revealed in a preview of next week's Optimus Prime #3.

Optimus Prime #3
John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)
An uneasy peace between Optimus Prime and the newly arrived Junkions is threatened by Soundwave’s discovery within their massive ship…
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Bullet points:
· Part of IDW’s Artist’s Edition Cover Month!
· Variant cover by Joana Lafuente!

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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1853498)
Posted by Va'al on January 21st, 2017 @ 7:28am CST
In other June listings for IDW Publishing comics, courtesy of Amazon.com, we also have the first collected trade paperback for the new ongoing series Optimus Prime. Check out the provisional cover art and more information below - and follow the discussion as it happens in the Energon Pub!

Image


REVOLUTION is over—but the danger to Earth is just beginning. As OPTIMUS PRIME pulls Earth into the larger universe, he’s painted a target on it… and a new alien incursion begins when a corkscrew shaped craft drills into our world! Collects issues #1–6.

Product Details

Series: Transformers
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: IDW Publishing (June 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1631409697
ISBN-13: 978-1631409691
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1853508)
Posted by Kurona on January 21st, 2017 @ 8:17am CST
Something I've really been loving so far about Optimus Prime compared to RiD/Transformers is how much it's focusing on the characters of Jetfire and Pyra Magna.
In RiD/Transformers (post-Dark Cybertron since they're practically different books), we... didn't really learn much of anything about the characters outside the mains. Optimus, Soundwave, Thundercracker, Prowl... that was about it (aside from Arcee which I still have no clue what they're trying to do with her). Which was all fantastic, you can't convince me these aren't the best incarnations of Soundwave and Thundercracker ever; but... their teams were just kind of there. Jetfire, Jazz, Sideswipe, the Combiner teams, basically any Decepticon not called Needlenose... which is what really put the book behind for me (aside from the somewhat shaky plot). I was still enjoying it, but MTMTE and Windblade's comics just had so many more characters that were so interesting and drew me in every time. RiD/Transformers had... Cosmos. Who's great. But when we're shown guys like Kup and Jazz who are supposed to be Optimus' big main team and they get a tad bit of focus at the start, to see them largely ignored and to learn nothing about them was endlessly frustrating.
So already, Optimus Prime is so much better in this regard. It's giving me reasons to care about the larger cast and is doing interesting things with them which I can't love enough. It's fantastic.

Also, Optimus Prime is fixing up one of the few flaws I had with it itself - they brought back Cosmos! They're finally bringing back and showing where the hell all the guys were aside from who's immediately on-hand in Autobot City! Which is nice, because I loved Cosmos. He's great. I never expected a comic to make me care about Cosmos, but... hey, I never expected one to make me care about Rewind or Hosehead's Headmaster either.

This comic is so good.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #2 (1853540)
Posted by Bounti76 on January 21st, 2017 @ 1:40pm CST
Kurona wrote:Something I've really been loving so far about Optimus Prime compared to RiD/Transformers is how much it's focusing on the characters of Jetfire and Pyra Magna.
In RiD/Transformers (post-Dark Cybertron since they're practically different books), we... didn't really learn much of anything about the characters outside the mains. Optimus, Soundwave, Thundercracker, Prowl... that was about it (aside from Arcee which I still have no clue what they're trying to do with her). Which was all fantastic, you can't convince me these aren't the best incarnations of Soundwave and Thundercracker ever; but... their teams were just kind of there. Jetfire, Jazz, Sideswipe, the Combiner teams, basically any Decepticon not called Needlenose... which is what really put the book behind for me (aside from the somewhat shaky plot). I was still enjoying it, but MTMTE and Windblade's comics just had so many more characters that were so interesting and drew me in every time. RiD/Transformers had... Cosmos. Who's great. But when we're shown guys like Kup and Jazz who are supposed to be Optimus' big main team and they get a tad bit of focus at the start, to see them largely ignored and to learn nothing about them was endlessly frustrating.
So already, Optimus Prime is so much better in this regard. It's giving me reasons to care about the larger cast and is doing interesting things with them which I can't love enough. It's fantastic.

Also, Optimus Prime is fixing up one of the few flaws I had with it itself - they brought back Cosmos! They're finally bringing back and showing where the hell all the guys were aside from who's immediately on-hand in Autobot City! Which is nice, because I loved Cosmos. He's great. I never expected a comic to make me care about Cosmos, but... hey, I never expected one to make me care about Rewind or Hosehead's Headmaster either.

This comic is so good.


I agree. I like that it's focusing on other characters and actually giving them some personality, such as Pyra Magna (which is one of the better Transformers names in a long while). I could hope for any characterization for the other Torchbearers, but I'll take what I can get for now.

Still not a huge fan of the art.

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