Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7

Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 2:47pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 21,240

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The Heart in the Machine
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
With the Junkion invasion resolved peacefully, Optimus Prime takes a moment to plan the Autobot's next move on Earth.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
Look at this panel and smile


Story

As we saw last month, the first arc of the new ongoing series focusing on Optimus Prime - but really on Earth after Optimus annexed it to the Council of Worlds (yay space neocolonialism) - and the rebuilding phase is starting. Quite literally. But is everything as it seems in the newtopia of Little Cybertron?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
..then this one, and weep


The usual John Barber device of captions to help the narration along is foregone here, in favour of the established parallels with flashbacks, and actual breathing space in character interactions, starting with Optimus and the President of the US, and Jazz's role in the next issue (but also the past). A change of pace, for sure, and a welcome one given the themes addressed in the book.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
lol sex joke


Not only do we have parallels drawn between violence, guns and ostracism (in particular between Jetfire of the past and Optimus of the present), there are some less than subtle political commentaries on discrimination based on appearance or 'build', if you will - without ever getting preachy or entirely overt. More on this below.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
Functionism. Casually


In terms of plot advancement, then, there is A LOT happening in the book too. A very nice balance achieved in using the characters and their actions/words to seed where the story might be going from here, with Arcee, the colonist recruits, Jazz - and most of all, of course, Pyra Magna.

Art

Taking the reins from Zama, Priscilla Tramontano shines as the artist on the book - and working on both lineart and colouring for the issue - especially in one specific case I want to address: the faceplateless Optimus. That, right there, is part of visual storytelling: Optimus at his non-warring, non-fighting, but coming face-to-face with his realisation from last issue, and as he speaks to humanity on a more common level.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
How accessible does he look, right here?


Not the sole point to highlight about the art, of course, but one I wanted to reiterate nonetheless. Colour-wise, I found it fascinating how Tramontano was able to mimic Burcham's take so far, with the grainier texture, and add some extra light for the superficially lighter tone of the book, like a vibrant comma in the long sentence that is the ongoing series.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
(though Rust Dust is missing a little red)


The lack of that many captions, though still some snarky name tags float around, means that we don't have as much from the hands of Tom B. Long - though there is a very good KRUNG if you wait for it. As for covers, we've seen all of them previously, bar Tramontano's own (in the thumbnail), featuring the Junkion-Optimus monument by Casey Coller and JP Bove, and its parody by Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez, plus of course the regular cover by Zama and Burcham. All can be seen in our database listing here!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

There is a lot more that can be said about this issue, for which I have very little time and space - but some of my thoughts on it are bounced off the Twincast in episode 175 of the podcast, due soon. In the meantime, I wanted to point out that of the many interactions we see in the book, I was glad to have something dealing with Arcee, and Aileron's role is still one that I'm intrigued about.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7
Am I the only one hearing ominous-ness here..?


Pyra Magna is still, however, the biggest presence outside of the titular character, even by just looking at the covers. There is a lot of talk not only about politics but also about faith (again, more thoughts in the podcast episode) in how her and OP interact and confront each other, and there is a lot - a lot - more to come out of this series.

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

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884001)
Posted by Randomhero on May 24th, 2017 @ 7:44pm CDT
I really enjoyed this issue. It was a "after the dust has settled" issue. It was nice to see nosecone pop up for a flashback since the poor guy has been dead for 6 years.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884289)
Posted by ScottyP on May 25th, 2017 @ 5:50pm CDT
I despised the crosshatching texture, or at least my eyes did. Dizzying in a weird sort of way.

That aside, really darn good issue and the direction Pyra Magna is going in is fantastic fun to behold.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884302)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on May 25th, 2017 @ 6:34pm CDT
Now mind you I think it is a good thing for the book, but damn does Pyra piss me off! I'm not sure what it is about her, but she makes me grumpy and generally Brawn-y when I see her and hear her voice (if you call it that, since we now have a voice actor for her), but it's good this time! It adds some tension to the book for me and adds that somewhat good character who also makes her pages more interesting. Slide will totally be her slidekick too when she tries to overthrow Prime (which I still believe will lead into the IDW Power of the Primes thingy, we all know it's coming).

Also, Sideswipe. I know he comes back in 2 issues, but I love what they have done with him and Arcee. I feel like she will be crucial in his "recovery" (based on the cover if you can call it that) too, using her experience coupled with with Aileron's words
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884305)
Posted by Kurona on May 25th, 2017 @ 6:46pm CDT
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:hear her voice (if you call it that, since we now have a voice actor for her)

Wait, what? Who?! :D
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884307)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on May 25th, 2017 @ 6:49pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:hear her voice (if you call it that, since we now have a voice actor for her)

Wait, what? Who?! :D

Marissa mentioned that Pyra sounds like Elizabeth Taylor
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884309)
Posted by Kurona on May 25th, 2017 @ 6:51pm CDT
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Kurona wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:hear her voice (if you call it that, since we now have a voice actor for her)

Wait, what? Who?! :D

Marissa mentioned that Pyra sounds like Elizabeth Taylor

Oooh right, durr. That's fun~
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884349)
Posted by ScottyP on May 25th, 2017 @ 11:12pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Kurona wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:hear her voice (if you call it that, since we now have a voice actor for her)

Wait, what? Who?! :D

Marissa mentioned that Pyra sounds like Elizabeth Taylor

Oooh right, durr. That's fun~
It's all fun and games until the pungent scent of White Diamonds perfume hits your nose :SICK:
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884367)
Posted by Va'al on May 26th, 2017 @ 3:34am CDT
ScottyP wrote:I despised the crosshatching texture, or at least my eyes did. Dizzying in a weird sort of way.


I can see how that might affect some readers, actually, now that you mention it. :-?

I thought it was a very good way of blending Tramontano's glossier colouring style with Burcham's texture.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884500)
Posted by ScottyP on May 26th, 2017 @ 4:38pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
ScottyP wrote:I despised the crosshatching texture, or at least my eyes did. Dizzying in a weird sort of way.


I can see how that might affect some readers, actually, now that you mention it. :-?

I thought it was a very good way of blending Tramontano's glossier colouring style with Burcham's texture.
I appreciated the intent and it kind of worked for the Cybertron scenes, but when it carried over to the Earth stuff I got a bit disoriented. No big deal, went and picked up my last few weeks of pulls and it isn't as bad on ink and paper as on a screen.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884504)
Posted by Kurona on May 26th, 2017 @ 4:58pm CDT
Crosshatching?
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1884590)
Posted by Va'al on May 27th, 2017 @ 3:46am CDT
Kurona wrote:Crosshatching?


Image

Square pixel grains in the backgrounds, across the whole issue.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886010)
Posted by Va'al on June 1st, 2017 @ 5:23pm CDT
In yet more comics news, but probably the last for now, from iTunes, we have a three-page preview of Optimus Prime #8 - aka the Jazz-centric issue with art by Casey Coller and colours with JP Bove! Check it out below, and head back in a couple of weeks for more.

Jazz confronts his past—and the Autobot’s future—in front of millions of television viewers. But will he make the people of Earth understand Optimus Prime's mission... or turn against it?


Image

Image

Image
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886011)
Posted by Randomhero on June 1st, 2017 @ 5:32pm CDT
Man I love Caseys Art. Always have. I get why he doesn't do interiors but I wish he did.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886017)
Posted by Kurona on June 1st, 2017 @ 5:42pm CDT
Oh, we're back to this art! Fantastic! Zama's style grew on me and I do recognise how it was appropriate for the story, and Tramontano I'm also a fan of; but Casey's is my absolute favourite for this book and helped make ex-RiD so great.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886048)
Posted by Randomhero on June 1st, 2017 @ 7:17pm CDT
I think Johana is a better for his line art however. Josh is a good colorist but his coloring is just too inconsistent anymore. With Guido he uses a very realistic modern comic style. With Alex and Zama is uses too much of a old school dot color style and with Casey Nick and Andrew its just so saturated. feels joyless sometimes. its a little jarring at times.



It's nice to see John doing some more coloring though it's very flat
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886116)
Posted by ScottyP on June 1st, 2017 @ 10:24pm CDT
Dear IDWGodJesusAllahXenuJosephSmithKrishnuMosesCthuluITriedAndHopeYourDeityOfChoiceOrNoChoiceWasListed,

Please put Casey Coller on an ongoing.

That is all,

Scotty.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886141)
Posted by Bounti76 on June 1st, 2017 @ 11:51pm CDT
Can we please get rid of the damn captions? Anyone reading this book knows who everyone is.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886150)
Posted by Nexus Knight on June 2nd, 2017 @ 1:32am CDT
Bounti76 wrote:Can we please get rid of the damn captions? Anyone reading this book knows who everyone is.


Uh, no? Considering some monthly readers may not be as into Transformers as others and have to live a life, it's not hard to see how they could forget the names of some of these lesser known bots.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886153)
Posted by Bounti76 on June 2nd, 2017 @ 3:20am CDT
Nexus Knight wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:Can we please get rid of the damn captions? Anyone reading this book knows who everyone is.


Uh, no? Considering some monthly readers may not be as into Transformers as others and have to live a life, it's not hard to see how they could forget the names of some of these lesser known bots.


How about, yeah? If it's a book you subscribe to every month, regardless of how fanatical you are about Transformers, wouldn't you care enough about your monetary investment to follow along with the narrative and learn the names of the characters in the book you're paying for? Lost Light doesn't caption every single issue. Till All Are One doesn't. I genuinely don't understand why OP has to do it all the time, considering all three are books with relatively large casts (TAAO's being the smallest).
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #7 (1886280)
Posted by Nexus Knight on June 2nd, 2017 @ 10:36am CDT
Bounti76 wrote:
Nexus Knight wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:Can we please get rid of the damn captions? Anyone reading this book knows who everyone is.


Uh, no? Considering some monthly readers may not be as into Transformers as others and have to live a life, it's not hard to see how they could forget the names of some of these lesser known bots.


How about, yeah? If it's a book you subscribe to every month, regardless of how fanatical you are about Transformers, wouldn't you care enough about your monetary investment to follow along with the narrative and learn the names of the characters in the book you're paying for? Lost Light doesn't caption every single issue. Till All Are One doesn't. I genuinely don't understand why OP has to do it all the time, considering all three are books with relatively large casts (TAAO's being the smallest).


Not everyone has a good memory. Paying for something doesn't mean you instantly remember everything you read/watched. I know people who care a lot about their stories, but sometimes have to be remind even what the heck is going on.

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