Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4

Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 2:50am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 32,879

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We Didn't Start the Pyra
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
NEW CYBERTRON! Optimus Prime struggles to unite the Junkions, Cybertronians, and humans—but will diplomacy be scuttled when the Junkion’s secret comes out?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Fair.


Story

We return to Earth, which has Cybertronians and Junkions on two sides of an agreement which may not be, as humans reluctantly also maybe agree to disagree, while two leaders very much disagree as other two leaders disagreed in the past. We return to John Barber's vision of the new order of the things - Optimus Prime #4 is here!

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Oh, and we start here, yes


Let's get this out of the way: Optimus is reaching peak Prowl. There are a number of moments where this is obvious, and I can't but think of this being a consequence of Combiner Wars (still) and his moment so close to the Autobot's master manipulator - other than being around him for pretty much the entirety of his life as an Autobot himself, of course.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Chekov's prop?


It's good, it's very good to see some development of Pyra Magna's character, as all of the Torchbearers were teased as having secrets and intrigues which we are still waiting pay-off for. But having that development also be pitted against Optimus is a super extra treat. Two very strong leaders with strong ideals, in their own way, against each other for very similar causes, at not the best time, but also maybe the best time too.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Pyra BURN


The rest of the story is a very good exercise in build-up, I felt, too, with a subtle increase on the pressure valve (up to the final act, where subtlety is chucked out the window) - but also a very welcome distraction in the form on Thundercracker and Buster, and a lot more about Marissa Fairborne in just a couple of pages.

Art

We knew of Alex Milne's subbing in for Kei Zama in this issue, and it's very good to see him back on a TF book interiors, even halfway through an arc. He keeps to the style that makes him beloved to the fandom and readership, while also thickening some inks, and adding a lot of black, black spaces for added tension, emotion, and pacing.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Also, his humans look really great in this issue


What is truly extraordinary on the art side of things, though, is the combination of Milne's lines with Josh Burcham's continuity colouring, keeping the transition between the two artists as smooth as possible for the book (the blue shading really does help), without sacrificing the differences of the two styles. It's a feat he achieves perfectly, I feel, and really helps the issue.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
Blue, the color of the planet from far, far away


The devices used in the script to carry along the narration require skill from the lettering side of the book, once more in the capable hands of Tom B. Long, who is also still painstakingly bringing us mini-bios for each character as we read through - and somehow manages to never make it intrusive. There is a full roster of TF veterans in the cover roll, and you can see all of them and full credits in our database entry here, from Zama to Griffith, with Nelson Daniel, Casey Coller, Joana Lafuente (thumbnailed), Burcham and Josh Perez fully acknowledged too.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Having Pyra Magna as the point of view for the running commentary on the issue is a great way of bringing in her voice on top of the placing against Optimus' leadership, and a welcome addition to that of Arcee, and Soundwave so far - and using the parallel threads of the past (the panels mirroring Zeta and Optimus are exquisite and very revealing) alongside the multiple storylines in the present and her personal beliefs, works out as a very revealing and definitely enticing, plot movement and pacing.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4
They visit Sicily!


The reintroduction of a different, but established, visual team does not disrupt the book at all, and the whole issue comes across as perhaps a seminal one in the aftermath of whatever may happen with the Junkions in the arc - will Pyra Magna get something more than she expects? How will the colonists react? What role will Aileron play?

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

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1861964)
Posted by Bounti76 on February 22nd, 2017 @ 3:23am CST
Great issue, but I have to disagree about the lettering slightly. The mini-bios are rather intrusive, because they happen every single issue. Add that to the narration boxes and speech bubbles and it looks slightly cluttered. Pyra Magna's little mini bio says the EXACT SAME THING that her narration does right next to it. Clutter. There's no need to recap who everyone is Every. Single. Time.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1861980)
Posted by Va'al on February 22nd, 2017 @ 4:03am CST
Bounti76 wrote:Great issue, but I have to disagree about the lettering slightly. The mini-bios are rather intrusive, because they happen every single issue. Add that to the narration boxes and speech bubbles and it looks slightly cluttered. Pyra Magna's little mini bio says the EXACT SAME THING that her narration does right next to it. Clutter. There's no need to recap who everyone is Every. Single. Time.


I can see your point, for sure, but I'm also coming at the comic from this perspective: This is the book that non-TF readers have been told to go read after Revolution. Those captions are for them, not us. And for what they do, I don't find them that much in the way (and I love the comments in some of them, too).
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1861987)
Posted by Bounti76 on February 22nd, 2017 @ 4:29am CST
Va'al wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:Great issue, but I have to disagree about the lettering slightly. The mini-bios are rather intrusive, because they happen every single issue. Add that to the narration boxes and speech bubbles and it looks slightly cluttered. Pyra Magna's little mini bio says the EXACT SAME THING that her narration does right next to it. Clutter. There's no need to recap who everyone is Every. Single. Time.


I can see your point, for sure, but I'm also coming at the comic from this perspective: This is the book that non-TF readers have been told to go read after Revolution. Those captions are for them, not us. And for what they do, I don't find them that much in the way (and I love the comments in some of them, too).


True, some of the comments are amusing, I agree. And it makes sense why the captions, I just hope it won't be a permanent thing.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1861989)
Posted by Va'al on February 22nd, 2017 @ 5:06am CST
Bounti76 wrote:
Va'al wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:Great issue, but I have to disagree about the lettering slightly. The mini-bios are rather intrusive, because they happen every single issue. Add that to the narration boxes and speech bubbles and it looks slightly cluttered. Pyra Magna's little mini bio says the EXACT SAME THING that her narration does right next to it. Clutter. There's no need to recap who everyone is Every. Single. Time.


I can see your point, for sure, but I'm also coming at the comic from this perspective: This is the book that non-TF readers have been told to go read after Revolution. Those captions are for them, not us. And for what they do, I don't find them that much in the way (and I love the comments in some of them, too).


True, some of the comments are amusing, I agree. And it makes sense why the captions, I just hope it won't be a permanent thing.


They should fade out, hopefully, yes!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1861996)
Posted by Hydrargyrus on February 22nd, 2017 @ 6:12am CST
Cool! Torchbearer characterization. Wonder what Dustup's little secret is.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1862009)
Posted by Randomhero on February 22nd, 2017 @ 7:58am CST
I really wish I gave a damn about this while Optimus/Pyra/Matrix thing. Originally I did but with Primal winning the contest I don't really care anymore and it's due to we know her and Victorion won't take the Matrix. Now I'm just asking "well how is that going to work?" Two characters named Optimus, both will have the title of Prime and the matrix is broken. Obviously IDW is going to do their own thing and base the story as loose as possible with the toy line like Combiner Wars and Titans Return but the fan vote stuff is included regardless. I'm sure Carlos, John, and Margaret are all sitting down saying "alright how the hell do we out this together?"
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1862045)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on February 22nd, 2017 @ 10:20am CST
Alright, so hear me out.

First, this is my favorite comic right now. I am loving this book.

Second, with the matrix: what if seeing as how it is now prominently shown up the alternate universe in Lost Light, the matrix from that universe is ready to make a transition over, much like how Regeneration one brought a good matrix to a world where the matrix no longer exists. also, what if there is a way for colony worlds like Caminus to restore the matrix, seeing as how they are playing off of the glowing matrix on Caminus dealio

Also, Damn I hated Optimus towards the end. You outright said you are just using people who worship you even though you acknowledge frequently you are not. I want something from that combining experience to show up again, so that way it makes more explicit sense Prowl has infected him,the same way I wish the other bots force to combine would show up to show the side effects of that.

Either way, loved the issue
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1862051)
Posted by Randomhero on February 22nd, 2017 @ 10:39am CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Alright, so hear me out.

First, this is my favorite comic right now. I am loving this book.

Second, with the matrix: what if seeing as how it is now prominently shown up the alternate universe in Lost Light, the matrix from that universe is ready to make a transition over, much like how Regeneration one brought a good matrix to a world where the matrix no longer exists. also, what if there is a way for colony worlds like Caminus to restore the matrix, seeing as how they are playing off of the glowing matrix on Caminus dealio

Also, Damn I hated Optimus towards the end. You outright said you are just using people who worship you even though you acknowledge frequently you are not. I want something from that combining experience to show up again, so that way it makes more explicit sense Prowl has infected him,the same way I wish the other bots force to combine would show up to show the side effects of that.

Either way, loved the issue



I do agree but I do like this Optimus than simon furmans Optimus that just refuses to do anything except stand around and do nothing but I am kind of tired of atheist Prime. Yes the proof of is very ambiguous in IDW and is all based on personal perception but come one Prime. The damn thing came out of the ground essentially, reformatted you twice and remade the planet.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1862229)
Posted by ScottyP on February 22nd, 2017 @ 8:16pm CST
MagicDeath wrote:Cool! Torchbearer characterization. Wonder what Dustup's little secret is.
It'd be great so see it go in depth a little more beyond just Pyra. By the end of this one the others were standing in the background and it was effectively a metaphor for what most of them are in the book!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1862256)
Posted by Kurona on February 22nd, 2017 @ 9:46pm CST
First Aid was given characterisation in MTMTE; Blast Off and Onslaught were given characterisation in TAAO; it's finally OP's turn to give characterisation to the Combiner components :D
Maybe after this we can finally learn something about the Aerialbots after 31 years of their existing. Probably not!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1863241)
Posted by EmirateXaaron on February 27th, 2017 @ 8:05am CST
I'm really enjoying Optimus Prime so far. Heck, even my dad, who's a mild GEEWUNer is enjoying the story so far. The only thing I'm worried about is that Rumble and Frenzy were "hi and die" characters. We only just lost Ravage, and so I don't wanna see my favorite duo die so quickly into the series.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1864609)
Posted by Va'al on March 6th, 2017 @ 5:37am CST
The Optimus Prime ongoing series is also showing off some more variant covers, over on Previews World, with the Retailer Incentive and Subscription covers for issue #5 surfacing - and bringing Andrew Griffith and E.J. Su (which interlocks with the Lost Light #4 cover, up next in the news) along with them! Check them out below.

NEW CYBERTRON! It's battleground: Earth once more, as the uneasy peace between Optimus' forces, the Junkions, and G.I. Joe collapses amidst betrayals and subterfuge. Will Optimus Prime and Pyra Magna be able to put aside their differences-or is war really the only way forward?


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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1864778)
Posted by WreckerJack on March 6th, 2017 @ 5:49pm CST
Optimus has really buff thighs. He didn't skip leg day.

I want the Sharkticon cover though. I don't know a comic store that carries it though. Bummer.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1864868)
Posted by Va'al on March 7th, 2017 @ 3:11am CST
WreckerJack wrote:I want the Sharkticon cover though. I don't know a comic store that carries it though. Bummer.


Ask!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1865104)
Posted by bodrock on March 8th, 2017 @ 2:51am CST
I'm super-late to the party on this, but ALL HAIL OPTIMUS PRIME!
IMG_5207.JPG
IMG_4221.JPG


I'm workin through MTMTE Vol3 still so I'm waaay behind. :HEADHURTS:
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1865109)
Posted by Kurona on March 8th, 2017 @ 3:15am CST
bodrock wrote:I'm workin through MTMTE Vol3 still so I'm waaay behind. :HEADHURTS:

It's a pretty good journey aside from the crossovers; have fun :)
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1865110)
Posted by bodrock on March 8th, 2017 @ 3:23am CST
Thanks Kurona! :BOT:
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1867633)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 18th, 2017 @ 8:58pm CDT
Comic Book Resources has updated with the full preview for Optimus Prime #5! This issue sees the Junkions and their Sharkticon armada take on the Autobot on Earth as they try to protect all the really important humans they managed to amass for the unexpected show stopper. Meanwhile, we keep an eye on Jazz as he tries to make a new human friend. Check out the preview, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1867675)
Posted by Bounti76 on March 18th, 2017 @ 11:46pm CDT
Daaaaaaaang. Prime's getting scary. Looks like more of Prowl's influence from their Optimus Maximus time is seeping in.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #4 (1867686)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 19th, 2017 @ 4:02am CDT
I wonder if it's less "Prime is being corupted" and more "Prime is tired of everbodys shit".


Of course, that can serve as an alternate definition for Prowl, too.

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