Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 5:55AM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 14,243

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But Who Is Jazz, Really?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
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?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
Hey, I got here eventually


Story

Once again, I find myself apologising for the lateness of this review - let's call it doing an IDW shall we? just to make me feel better - and making it fall so close to all the Transformers: The Last Knight news. On the other hand, the IDW Optimus Prime ongoing in unquestionably good and staying good, so swings and roundabouts!

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
Topical


The usual framing device that John Barber uses for most of his TF writing is replaced here by a fairly ingenious magazine style interview - the very same interview that has been prepared in previous issues leading up to this one - with the perspective being Jazz, playing along pretty much behind the scenes all along so far.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
..except, well, you know..


Jazz, as pointed out in the previous issues, is an interesting choice of character - Cybertronian character - for a first big mediatic approach to Earth after Optimus' power-grab/forced annexation/colonialist actions. And all of those threads come up, and create the crux of the story...

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
Hmmmmmmmm


But, while Jazz is indeed the main player and spotlight taker in the issue - almost literally - Jetfire and Pyra Magna also take on some very shiny roles, both in flashbacks and present for the former, and the present and a potential future for the latter. There are things afoot, and there are still creases to smoothen out from the past. Hopefully before everything spirals again.


Art

Zama is away from the book again this month, letting Casey W Coller to cover the interior art for a change. And Coller's art has a regularity to it, a crisp, linear feel to the lines and outlines of the character designs and layouts, that may very much appeal to recent readers - and fits perfectly with the framing device of the script.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
Just look at it..


The artistic collaboration here is with John Paul Bove, and a special one it is at that. Bove has shown how he can mimic several colour styles in the past (and is the colour wizard behind the Hachette definitive collection, too), but what he does here is keep the continuity with Burcham while also adding a lot of his own shine to it.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
..look at it!


Of course, Tom B. Long is on lettering, and the different formats offer a whole new playground for his skills too - I actually wonder how much of his production set went into the final look of the issue, and if so, he was excellent. As for the covers, the thumbnail spotlights the Coller/Bove variant, but all the other versions of excellent art can be found in our database entry!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The magazine style interview is not an entirely original comics device (recently seen in the likes of The Wicked and The Divine, for example) but the way that it's employed in his issue, and how Barber manages to blend this new toy with his trademark running POV commentary - and how it feeds directly into the story - is extremely pleasing, and satisfying.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8
OH! THIS is when it happens


The characters, with Jetfire and Pyra Magna taking the biggest chunk, have some very very nice developments in backgrounds and perspective, and there's plotting and planning set up for things about to happen - plus gorgeous designs from Coller and Bove, covers included. Why would you not want to pick up this issue, you cool cats you?

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: + out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1891095)
Posted by Kurona on June 21st, 2017 @ 6:17am CDT
I think this might be my favourite issue yet - I've fallen completely in love with Jazz and Jetfire. This is up there with Soundwaves and MTMTE Revolution as one of the best standalone issues in IDW Transformers imo
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1891100)
Posted by Randomhero on June 21st, 2017 @ 6:38am CDT
I loved it but I was really expecting Jazz to say something like "look, he was going to kill my friend and commander. I did what I had to do. I'm not proud of it and I can't ask for forgiveness but I ask to let me help"

That's all I really wanted. Not to say this was a bad issue at all. Casey is my fav artist and john is my fav writer and it was a solid issue.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1891123)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on June 21st, 2017 @ 8:55am CDT
Randomhero wrote:I loved it but I was really expecting Jazz to say something like "look, he was going to kill my friend and commander. I did what I had to do. I'm not proud of it and I can't ask for forgiveness but I ask to let me help"

I was hoping Jazz would mention that too, and maybe even mention how said friend then saved the universe (maybe not so much that last part). But it was a great issue, the best of OP so far IMO
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1893208)
Posted by Va'al on June 29th, 2017 @ 7:34pm CDT
Via the usual iTunes source, we have a three-page preview for the upcoming issue #9 of IDW Publishing's ongoing Transformers series Optimus Prime! If you missed our review of issue #8, you can find it here, and then check out the opening pages for next month's book below.

[quote]THE LIFE OF SIDESWIPE! A Junkion machine finally gives long-injured Sideswipe a new lease on life! But when his brother goes missing, Sideswipe and Arcee return to Cybertron—and nothing will be the same between them ever again.[/quote]





Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1893213)
Posted by Kurona on June 29th, 2017 @ 8:03pm CDT
I'm getting heavy Wheeljack revival vibes from this. I wonder if that's intentional... :-?
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1895271)
Posted by Va'al on July 9th, 2017 @ 2:35am CDT
In other IDW Publishing news, the Optimus Prime ongoing Transformers comic sees its issue #9 released this coming week, and we get to go back to Sideswipe as he gets released of his tank - and more! Check out the full preview below via CBR, and come back to Seibertron.com for a review after the book's release!

[quote]THE LIFE OF SIDESWIPE! A Junkion machine finally gives long-injured Sideswipe a new lease on life! But when his brother goes missing, Sideswipe and Arcee return to Cybertron—and nothing will be the same between them ever again.

Don’t miss the Optimus Prime cover by Mondo artist Tom Whalen, part of our Tom Whalen Cover Month!
Variant cover by ZEROB!
[/quote]













Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896212)
Posted by MrBlack on July 12th, 2017 @ 10:29am CDT
I know folks complain about these "filler" issues, but that was one of the best single issues that John Barber has written.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896216)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 10:38am CDT
I want to see Barber write a lot more character-focused issues, because if the past three have proven anything, it's that he's really friggin' good at it. It's ironic because MTMTE/LL was considered the character-focused one while ex-RiD/TF/OP was considered the story-focused one... but I'm honestly finding myself liking some of these characters on the same level as if not higher than some of the Lost Lighters. Jazz is certainly fitting in comfortably between Chromedome and Whirl.

I wish we'd gotten more of this during post-Dark Cybertron ex-RiD because the lack of fleshed out characterisation among Prime's crew was probably the biggest problem I had with it; it was a great storyline and there were fantastic characters in Optimus, Prowl, Aileron, Soundwave, Cosmos, Thundercracker etc. but I didn't feel connected to most of what was supposed to be the main protagonists. But now I do. I love Sideswipe, Jetfire and Jazz a hell of a lot more than I used to and Barber deserves any praise he gets for these issues.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896222)
Posted by Va'al on July 12th, 2017 @ 11:22am CDT
MrBlack wrote:I know folks complain about these "filler" issues, but that was one of the best single issues that John Barber has written.


Review incoming, but basically. Yes. That.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896301)
Posted by Va'al on July 12th, 2017 @ 5:41pm CDT

Swipe Left
(Spoiler free-ish)




Synopsis
THE LIFE OF SIDESWIPE! A Junkion machine finally gives long-injured Sideswipe a new lease on life! But when his brother goes missing, Sideswipe and Arcee return to Cybertron—and nothing will be the same between them ever again.


Also, Bob!



Story

It's fascinating what we get to read in Transformers comics these days, really. Truly fascinating how we've had so much character development taking over the steady progression of plot for a couple of issues, and how breathers have become such a staple in the major arcs that another 'filler' issue isn't really regarded as such. But it still is. And yes, it fills.


(Up)side(down)swipe



John Barber has shown a sharp increase (which is probably a lot more steady, but since stepping down from editorial, the writer in him has just leapt streets ahead, for me) in his talent for capturing voices, both through the established techniques like the caption narratives, and newly acquired tricks in recent issues and sidelines.


Side(lined)swipe



In this case, we mostly see the entire issue through the eyes and voice of Sideswipe, as he is awakened from the stasis he was in for a while now already, and we explore this new world to him - the old world of Cybertron in the new reality - and to some newer readers (if we consider Revolution or OP #1 as their starting point), with some assists from Arcee of course, in one of the best platonic friendships the publisher has to offer right now.


More like brobots



The framing of story is interesting, insofar as it tries to follow up just briefly on the Jazz-centric events of the previous issue, but then fully delves into this second spotlight in two months. It takes a deep breath - and plunges an unexpected blade into several sparks. Hard.


Art

What Kei Zama achieves in the issue is really quite extraordinary, bringing her heavy lines and inks back to Cybertron, making Sideswipe himself essentially look like his G2 incarnation while still keeping in tune with the continuity in design, and adding her twists to the fairly numerous cast of the issue, and with delightful composition cues from RID #33, too.


plus dem background characters



Josh Burcham ups the amping on the grittyness in all the right spots too, playing with lighting and saturation to achieve some very Sideswipe action sequences, mixed in with more calm, tranquil palette choices for the other scenes around them, in yet more proof that he and Zama can work wonders in thick ink and grainy layers.


Yaniger smile!



Tom B. Long also has more work on his hands, with plenty of captions to place around the page, some very good and in fact very subtle fonting work across the book, and carefulness not to cover up lines of dialogue and panel layouts for the overall effect. The cover we're using in the thumbnail is the variant by Casey Coller (EDIT: also on colours!), which best captures the issue's tone by the end too - all other covers can be seen in our database entry right here!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I have not commented, not one bit, on the ending / resolution / twist of this book. I talk about it now in the vaguest of terms, and only really to preface a couple of misgivings that people might have about the art or even the dialogue - both of which might seem too on the nose or to go in circle a bit in spots. There is a reason for that. Keep reading.


Keep breathing.



Take your time with this one, as it closes a number of plot points that we probably wouldn't have addressed in any other satisfying way, cleverly employs known techniques to original results, and had some very strong reactions on staff - ranging from anger, to sadness, to adoration. We're warning you, and it still won't be enough.

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

Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896302)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 5:49pm CDT
The only anger this issue got from me was when the comic showed... those two. You know who I'm talking about. They're even in the review. *shudder*

Otherwise the score is fully deserved. An excellently well-done issue that proves OP isn't just "that other" IDW Transformers ongoing and is fantastic in its own right.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896309)
Posted by Nik Hero on July 12th, 2017 @ 6:35pm CDT
I hated the revelation of what this whole episode was. Hated it. But it was good storytelling nonetheless.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896325)
Posted by Randomhero on July 12th, 2017 @ 7:42pm CDT
This issue did not make me sad in the slightest. I finished it and smiled. It was amazing. Best issue of Optimus prime so far. It was a celebration life, not death.

Halfway through I figured it out. Once marissa mentioned wreck-gar was just a head and he wasn't and the whole scene at the warehouse blew over so fast I knew what this was. Not complaining, it was clever and I liked it.

Also I liked skids and Mudflaps cameo. They're characters I've never had a problem with.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896329)
Posted by TF-fan kev777 on July 12th, 2017 @ 7:53pm CDT
Randomhero wrote:This issue did not make me sad in the slightest. I finished it and smiled. It was amazing. Best issue of Optimus prime so far. It was a celebration life, not death.

Also I liked skids and Mudflaps cameo. They're characters I've never had a problem with.


I like your way of thinking there. I started out a little mad because he's always been my favorite Autobot, with Skywarp as my favorite Decepticon and now one is dead and the other is stuck with G I Joe in the IDW-verse. But man, what a very touching and cool way to let him go out.

Plus, now maybe he'll get an updated toy, hell maybe even in wave 6 of TR. TR seems to love putting out dead bots from the IDW-verse (Galvatron, Astrotrain, Ravage, Hardhead, Quake, Topspin, Twintwist, Sky Shadow, Flywheels, anyone else?).
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896331)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 7:55pm CDT
TF-fan kev777 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:This issue did not make me sad in the slightest. I finished it and smiled. It was amazing. Best issue of Optimus prime so far. It was a celebration life, not death.

Also I liked skids and Mudflaps cameo. They're characters I've never had a problem with.


I like your way of thinking there. I started out a little mad because he's always been my favorite Autobot, with Skywarp as my favorite Decepticon and now one is dead and the other is stuck with G I Joe in the IDW-verse. But man, what a very touching and cool way to let him go out.

Plus, now maybe he'll get an updated toy, hell maybe even in wave 6 of TR. TR seems to love putting out dead bots from the IDW-verse (Galvatron, Astrotrain, Ravage, Hardhead, Quake, Topspin, Twintwist, Sky Shadow, Flywheels, anyone else?).

Thunderwing! He even started that trend in Generations 2012 before it was cool! :lol:
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896333)
Posted by Sigma Magnus on July 12th, 2017 @ 7:58pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
TF-fan kev777 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:This issue did not make me sad in the slightest. I finished it and smiled. It was amazing. Best issue of Optimus prime so far. It was a celebration life, not death.

Also I liked skids and Mudflaps cameo. They're characters I've never had a problem with.


I like your way of thinking there. I started out a little mad because he's always been my favorite Autobot, with Skywarp as my favorite Decepticon and now one is dead and the other is stuck with G I Joe in the IDW-verse. But man, what a very touching and cool way to let him go out.

Plus, now maybe he'll get an updated toy, hell maybe even in wave 6 of TR. TR seems to love putting out dead bots from the IDW-verse (Galvatron, Astrotrain, Ravage, Hardhead, Quake, Topspin, Twintwist, Sky Shadow, Flywheels, anyone else?).

Thunderwing! He even started that trend in Generations 2012 before it was cool! :lol:

Triggerhappy, off the top of my head. Too lazy to go looking. :lol:
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896336)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:04pm CDT
Sigma Magnus wrote:
Kurona wrote:
TF-fan kev777 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:This issue did not make me sad in the slightest. I finished it and smiled. It was amazing. Best issue of Optimus prime so far. It was a celebration life, not death.

Also I liked skids and Mudflaps cameo. They're characters I've never had a problem with.


I like your way of thinking there. I started out a little mad because he's always been my favorite Autobot, with Skywarp as my favorite Decepticon and now one is dead and the other is stuck with G I Joe in the IDW-verse. But man, what a very touching and cool way to let him go out.

Plus, now maybe he'll get an updated toy, hell maybe even in wave 6 of TR. TR seems to love putting out dead bots from the IDW-verse (Galvatron, Astrotrain, Ravage, Hardhead, Quake, Topspin, Twintwist, Sky Shadow, Flywheels, anyone else?).

Thunderwing! He even started that trend in Generations 2012 before it was cool! :lol:

Triggerhappy, off the top of my head. Too lazy to go looking. :lol:

Scourge as well! Sentinel Prime died in the TR comic tie-in -- though he died in that, uh, body-was-never-found-I-totally-won't-return comic book villain way.

Then there's Horri-Bull, Nightbeat died before he wasn't dead, Wilder's technically in Titans Return because he's the same as Fangry...

... man, this is depressing.
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896344)
Posted by YoungPrime on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:34pm CDT
Did I mention that I hate this art.......

As much whining as I hear about LL's art at least it's legible. But whatever, still haven't read ep. #6 and probably won't bother with this one either.

Revert back to Cybertron....To h3ll with these humans!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896345)
Posted by Tigertrack on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:36pm CDT
Excellent review of an emotional issue. I was one who went through a gamut of emotions. I was angry because I was hoping for the miracle, it was set up as such, and in having my own expectations be thrown back at me in such an extreme manner... Sideswipe's always been a favorite. Mostly because of his alt mode and somewhat brash, but fun attitude, and his interactions with his brother which I could relate too.

Well executed writing and art. I think Optimus Prime has been my most looked forward to reading each month. It's been really well done. I'm converted. I've always been the reader who wanted less to no humans in my comics to finally evolve Transformers fiction to a higher, more enjoyable level. I didn't think it was possible to include humans and for us to reach the level of story that we're at here. I've been proven wrong and it's awesome!

Lambobros forever!
Re: Review of IDW Optimus Prime #8 #transformers (1896361)
Posted by ScottyP on July 12th, 2017 @ 9:51pm CDT
Snare was the first thing that tipped me off to "this isn't really happening" because John Barber wouldn't let a Predator jet in as a background character. They're too famous as being Decepticon cannon fodder in LSotW!
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