Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2

Friday, September 15th, 2017 3:54PM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 20,740

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

Transformers vs Rom?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis

Starscream forges an unholy pact with the Dire Wraiths—and Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus are hot on his trail. Unfortunately for them, Rom and the Solstar Knights don’t know the difference between Autobots and Decepticons—and they’re ready to fight all comers!

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
Even STEVE!


Story

Once again, I find myself apologising for the lateness in delivering a review, and I won't use the usual IDW jab to justify it. The series we cover at Seibertron.com deserve our attention no matter when they come out, and sometimes it's just too much to get all in one go with other news around. So my apologies, and on with the show.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
..ok, posh face


After a fairly impressive opening act with the first issue, Shining Armor #2 does something bizarre for this new mini-series set as a prequel to current Hasbro Universe ongoing events: it stalls. The issue itself is not static, but all the set-ups and building we saw in the first book are effectively just repeated in the second chapter... out of five, which is the frustrating part of this.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
Can you hear the Blum?


Where characters like Starscream get good lines and characterisation (previous points still stand), Ultra Magnus has a lot to be talked about, the Dire Wraiths are a serviceable villain overall - but the supposed pivot of the series, the Cybertronian Knight of the Solstar order, Stardrive, is relegated to background character almost immediately, for the entire issue.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
one of five* panels she's in


There is some more decent world-building, yes, but I was curious to see how Barber and Gage would approach the difficulty of the character they introduced, and am left a little whelmed overall at her handling, to be instead replaced by a lot of fighting and interactions between the Autobot crew and Starscream/Dire Wraiths - a fault of the plot-first approach? More below.


Art

Alex Milne's art is still in top form. There is a good discussion over here about the use of negative space for emphasis, too, in case you're interested. What stands out most for me in this issue are the designs, flitting between organic and mechanic, Cybertronian and Dire Wraith, Solstar Knight and everyone else - and finally, a full Cybetrtonian-Dire Wraith hybrid (infection, really), which I'll leave to you to discover in full.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
but I want to show you the design at least


Josh Perez does not have an easy task with the choice of subject, as the lighting on chrome is different from metal, and different still from organic and spikes - but he performs the duties magisterially, working beautifully in tandem with Milne's lines and compositions.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
ftoom you too


Equally, the lettering by Tom B. Long is very apt in playing with those elements of space mentioned in the Refined Robo article I link to above, and not using up all of the space left by a very dedicated artist with his panels. You can view all the cover variants, with credit, in our Comics Database, as usual, and choose your favourite - but the one used for the thumbnail is the Nick Roche / Josh Burcham one.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

As I said, I wonder whether the elements that made me feel as though I was reading the same issue again have something to do with how the writing task is approached in this series, compared to other methods that Barber usually employs. Point notwithstanding, the preview for issue 3 already shows significant improvement, so we may just be looking at a pacing issue in the serialisation instead.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2
OK maybe nine panels


I do want to see more of Stardrive. I do want to find out more about the character and her torn origins - but I also feel like Rom fans may also be slighted in this issue, as it's very much about the Cybertronian presence in relation to the wider cosmic order (Council, Consortia, even Solstar Order, but mostly by name and references), and will happily welcome more work from Gage's input in the remaining three books.

. :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: out of :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN:
Credit(s): IDW
Search Got Transformers News? Let us know here!

Most Popular Transformers News

Most Recent Transformers News

Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911195)
Posted by Tigertrack on September 15th, 2017 @ 8:07pm CDT
I'm sure this was discussed already, but we're looking at someone else other than Minimus in the Ultra Magnus armor, right? His actions are just so out of character compared to the current version.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911196)
Posted by ScottyP on September 15th, 2017 @ 8:10pm CDT
This is much nicer than I would have been to it. #JusticeForSkyblast

Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911212)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on September 15th, 2017 @ 9:38pm CDT
I don't get the "nothing happened, just a fight scene" criticism. Like, yeah, it was a fight, but this issue established a lot of the key plot points, including the Dire Wraith/Decepticon alliance, how Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus became aware of the Decepticon activity, and what happens when a Dire Wraith tries to infect a Cybertronian (something that was teased as being a big deal back in ROM #4.)

I actually think having Bumblebee narrating this issue works really well because of how similar he is to Stardrive. He's a young bot who doesn't shoot first and ask questions later and genuinely wants to get along with everybody. And considering how ROM-heavy the last issue was, its good to pull back and see things from the Cybertronian perspective.

Also, Va'al, I gotta say, I really don't get this part of the review: "will happily welcome more work from Gage's input in the remaining three books." Do you really think that Gage is only contributing things in regards to ROM? Cause I can go ahead and tell you that's not how comic books work.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911238)
Posted by Va'al on September 16th, 2017 @ 1:16am CDT
Daniel Adkins wrote:Also, Va'al, I gotta say, I really don't get this part of the review: "will happily welcome more work from Gage's input in the remaining three books." Do you really think that Gage is only contributing things in regards to ROM? Cause I can go ahead and tell you that's not how comic books work.


Daniel, I would like to ask you to stop assuming that no one but you knows how comics work. This is not the first time you've made that statement relating to someone disagreeing with your reading or appreciation of a text.


As for the point I was trying to make, which I realise is phrased badly now: what I've seen in these two issues is a lot of Barberisms, rather than Gage's take on characters that I know he writes well. I'm not saying only Barber is writing the books, or that one writes one side and the other writes the other, just that - to me, while reading - I felt like it was a mostly Barber script in its development of certain points. And I'd like to see more recognisable thumbprints of Gage's handiwork in the next issues, alongside Barber's.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911241)
Posted by Kurona on September 16th, 2017 @ 1:41am CDT
Tigertrack wrote:I'm sure this was discussed already, but we're looking at someone else other than Minimus in the Ultra Magnus armor, right? His actions are just so out of character compared to the current version.

That's what heavily implied. [spoiler]Especially since, well, Magnus dies in this.[/spoiler]
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911251)
Posted by Tigertrack on September 16th, 2017 @ 5:28am CDT
Kurona wrote:
Tigertrack wrote:I'm sure this was discussed already, but we're looking at someone else other than Minimus in the Ultra Magnus armor, right? His actions are just so out of character compared to the current version.

That's what heavily implied. [spoiler]Especially since, well, Magnus dies in this.[/spoiler]



I know the covers highly suggested that, I just always take covers with a huge grain of salt. If there's more info, whoops, I missed it. Thanks!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911328)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on September 16th, 2017 @ 4:12pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
Daniel Adkins wrote:Also, Va'al, I gotta say, I really don't get this part of the review: "will happily welcome more work from Gage's input in the remaining three books." Do you really think that Gage is only contributing things in regards to ROM? Cause I can go ahead and tell you that's not how comic books work.


Daniel, I would like to ask you to stop assuming that no one but you knows how comics work. This is not the first time you've made that statement relating to someone disagreeing with your reading or appreciation of a text.


As for the point I was trying to make, which I realise is phrased badly now: what I've seen in these two issues is a lot of Barberisms, rather than Gage's take on characters that I know he writes well. I'm not saying only Barber is writing the books, or that one writes one side and the other writes the other, just that - to me, while reading - I felt like it was a mostly Barber script in its development of certain points. And I'd like to see more recognisable thumbprints of Gage's handiwork in the next issues, alongside Barber's.

Alright, I'll admit that got a little dickish. I'll try not to do that again. Thank you for clarifying what you meant.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1911907)
Posted by ScottyP on September 19th, 2017 @ 10:14pm CDT
Again coming to us from PreviewsWorld, a look at the Fico Ossio variant cover for Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 is now available. Look for this issue sometime next month, and check out the cover mirrored below!

[quote](W) John Barber, Christos Gage (A) Alex Milne (CA) Fico Ossio
Stardrive is torn between joining her fellow Transformers and staying with Rom and his knights... and the fate of an innocent world rests in her choice! [/quote]



Also of note, the Nick Roche variant cover featuring Ultra Magnus that was originally solicited as a cover for issue 2 of the same series has been moved to the cover roll for this fourth installment instead.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1912908)
Posted by Va'al on September 26th, 2017 @ 3:01am CDT
Out this week from IDW Publishing are two next chapter in the current Hasbro universe that involve Transformers - and next up, it's a full preview of the third issue of the past events taking place in Rom vs Transformers: Shining Armor! Come back for a review of the issue later this week, too.

[quote]Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #3 —Cover A: Alex Milne
John Barber & Christos Gage (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)
Crash-landed on a mysterious planet and pursued by both Decepticons and Dire Wraiths, the Solstar Knights and Autobots will have to set aside their differences in order to save themselves!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
An all-star lineup of Christos Gage (Rom), John Barber (Optimus Prime), and Alex Milne (More Than Meets the Eye) tell the never-before-revealed secret history of Rom and the Transformers!
[/quote]













Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1913212)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on September 27th, 2017 @ 1:14pm CDT
Review will be coming. Had internet issues yesterday, today was cut short due to some stuff, an interview tomorrow, and helping someone move Friday. I'm hoping to have the review tomorrow morning sometime
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1913317)
Posted by ScottyP on September 28th, 2017 @ 8:37am CDT
3 was pretty. Not actually bad story-wise like 2 was, but nothing's landing deep. Characters go around and do things and look really nice while doing those things. They have understandable motivations for those things. Two days later I kinda forget what they were. It's like one of the lesser Ghibli movies for me at this point - nice to look at and clearly made with care and passion but for whatever reason all you get at the end of the day is Princess Kaguya.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1914430)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on October 4th, 2017 @ 4:51am CDT

Processor Over Matter
A Seibertron.com review of IDW ROM Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #3



Synopsis

[quote]Crash-landed on a mysterious planet and pursued by both Decepticons and Dire Wraiths, the Solstar Knights and Autobots will have to set aside their differences in order to save themselves![/quote]


ROM: voice of every character in Hasbro Crossovers so far



Story

After the good story starter of issue 1 and then the stall out of issue 2, we are mostly back on track with a pretty good issue 3 of the Transformers vs ROM. The story progressed, we got some great characterization, and we got a good setup for the final 2 issue run.


Sata totally should have surfed on the little yellow rolling disk



Firstly, the positives: Ultra Magnus, at least in this past incarnation of himself, is a great character in the book, and may be the best overall. Following this incarnations actions, such as his dismissive attitude towards organics, how he feels about the Solstar order, and overall how he is such a hardnose to everyone around him, it really is quite a journey. and I love me some Magnus smack talk (or at least I think it was smack... he could be dead serious).


Wonder if he was taking "Talk 'em to death" lessons from Prowl



Livia is also a pretty great character to follow, and overall I am enjoying the 3 non-transforming Solstar knights we have featured. They each have some good characterization to them, though Livia with her points of view on Wraiths, Cybertronians, and how a planet needs to be razed because Wraiths have set down is interesting to read and follow.

Keeping with the knights, I enjoy this issue from ROM's perspective, though it felt like it did bog the issue down a few times, like the issue should have moved forward that extra step instead of giving that panel or 2 to ROM where it wasn't necessarily needed.


Stardrive and ROM: voices of reason



It was also good to get to Stardrive more, and she does finally regain her share of the issue. I enjoy her as a character, how she tries so hard and feels the pain of her 2 worlds colliding and her simple desire to help. Now mind you that last page is surely setting up the last 2 issues, and it will also set up her fate. It was not what I was expecting to happen, but then again I really should have seen something like that coming. Also, I liked how the actual act of Transforming is used here. It's good to see that seemingly sometimes forgotten aspect of Transformers get overlooked.

One last note is I love the Wraith/Con talk. The Wraiths are creepy and the cons are very distrusting and overall disgusted by the Wraiths, and it is fun to watch how uncomfortable they are with each other. Snarkscream is perfectly suited for his role here, and I continue to hear Steve Blum every time Screamer speaks. The comments thrown around by both sides make me smile too.


the Blum is strong with this one



Art

Art work for the series continues to be run by Alex Milne, and once again his art has done some justice to the series. One thing that has been stated in past reviews for the series and is worth restating here is his ability to draw the technical, the organic, and find ways to blend the 2. In a series where half the name is robotic and the other half is organic coated in chrome armor, and where the current setting is an organic planet, this attention to detail is key, and Milne continues on with that balance.

Also important is how the artwork handles the Dire Wraiths, which can be difficult considering the whole "organic transformer" sort of ideal behind them. But once again, the artwork is able to handle the transformations and that sort of infestation style the wraiths have in stride.


Taking lessons from the Fallen



Coloring is handled this issue by Josh Perez, who also does some very nice work, but with an ever so slight critique: the warmth of the environment throughout the issue. The issue makes many remarks on how cold the planet is, yet the coloring portrays a slightly warmer planet than described, with the sky using brighter colors than maybe a dimmer winter evening would usually have and the surrounding landmarks featuring a neutral green that should have been several degrees cooler to properly show the chill of the surrounding landscape.


See? The explosion blends in more than it super heats it



Lettering is handled by Shawn Lee, and the lettering is done well. One thing I love about the series is how anything associated with the Wraiths has the inverted speech bubble coloring and the font styling. It really helps them stand out and adds another layer of just how bad they really are.

If you're interested in the variant covers, you can find them all in our database entry here. In the thumbnail is the one by Casey Coller!

Final Thoughts


No... don't remind me



After going slightly off-track with issue 2, I feel issue 3 gets us back on track wonderfully. It was an overall good issue, but yet nothing wholly special. It didn't have that wow factor that left an impression on my mind and memory. But, I will say that with 2 issues to go, I feel this is the best crossover event that has happened thus far, I'd say better than the criminally underrated Revolutionaries series (which was great, honestly!). I look forward to seeing the end of the series, and I hope the final 2 issues can slam this thing home. This has great potential, good writing, great art, and a chance to hold the crown of best crossover event so far. Just avoid too much talk, add some action, and some sort of defining moment to end the series, and BANG! you got it!

Score
:SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: 1/2 Out Of :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS:

Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1914534)
Posted by DeadCaL on October 4th, 2017 @ 4:03pm CDT
This is my favourite TF comic at the mo :D Proper bad guys, proper space adventure, proper D'bag Starscream. And it's nice seeing Milne get cut to loose with the art.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1914535)
Posted by Va'al on October 4th, 2017 @ 4:04pm CDT
Thanks to the usual iTunes uploaders, we have a three page preview of the next issue of the miniseries from IDW Publishing Rom vs Transformers: Shining Armor! The fourth issue continues its quest of telling Stardrive's story, featuring on this version of Ultra Magnus as the running narrator - check it out below!

[quote]Stardrive is torn between joining her fellow Transformers and staying with Rom and his knights… and the fate of an innocent world rests in her choice![/quote]







Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1914678)
Posted by ScottyP on October 5th, 2017 @ 11:53am CDT
That was a good three pages. Hopefully this and issue 5 keep up the pace, took a little longer to get here than I'd have preferred but again, promising start to 4!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1914973)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on October 6th, 2017 @ 10:28am CDT
A good preview, though i really hope we don't get a Wraith/Magnus combo. Wouldn't that corrupt the whole trigger hand thing so he could teleport back?

Either way, I like this version of Magnus.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1917065)
Posted by Va'al on October 17th, 2017 @ 5:53am CDT
Our final IDW Publishing comic book preview for now features the penultimate chapter in the mini-series set in the past from both Rom's world and the Transformers - as Stardrive's story continues, and Ultra Magnus deals with some stuff right about now. Check it out, and head back here after its release for a review!

[quote]Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4
John Barber & Christos Gage (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)
Stardrive is torn between joining her fellow Transformers and staying with Rom and his knights… and the fate of an innocent world rests in her choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
An all-star lineup of Christos Gage (Rom), John Barber (Optimus Prime), and Alex Milne (More Than Meets the Eye) tell the never-before-revealed secret history of Rom and the Transformers![/quote]













Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1917103)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on October 17th, 2017 @ 10:15am CDT
I'm going to be writing the review in about an hour or so, but this issue is pretty great, there is some good stuff to look forward to! The preview itself is pretty good too
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1917237)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on October 18th, 2017 @ 3:01am CDT

Kong: Wraith Island
A Seibertron.com review of IDW ROM vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4



Synopsis

[quote]Stardrive is torn between joining her fellow Transformers and staying with Rom and his knights… and the fate of an innocent world rests in her choice! [/quote]


My actual face come page 16



Story

Here we are, issue 4 of 5, the leadup to the grand finale, the final chance to brace ourselves for the great conclusion. And let me tell you: the issue is spectacular in so many ways. Barber and Gage have done their job in an awesome way.


Oh, it really has been



Let's get this out of the way straight out of the gate: this story is strange and weird, spectacularly so, and would not fit anywhere else but in the pages of a crossover from 200 years ago. The very concepts tackled over the course of the story, dealing with possession, wraith magic, and techno-organic fusions are very unique, and really only have 1 chance to be done right. And in this series, they are all done right. They are done in never before seen ways that really do capture your attention and make you want to see more (go to page 15's King Kong scene followed by the 16/17 shot to truly understand why this statement is so).


He's just jealous he's not getting all the praise



Outside of the absolute uniqueness of the story and the concepts, we have some fairly good characters to go with things. Character building, as was said in the previous reviews, is nothing to really be concerned about, seeing as how all characters involved already have good characterization already set up, or we won't really need to worry about what kind of characters they are for long. I liked how Magnus was used for the brief narration moments, how deliciously manipulative Starscream is, and how the character's voices work with each other, drowning out the more boring ones and providing a good overall balance.

So, good established characters, decent new characters, bizarre concepts and magics, and you have Shining Armor!

Art

Art duties are covered by the famous team of Alex Milne and Josh Perez, and while the story has been pretty good, save for some him-hawing around in issue 2, the art has not wavered from the amazing spectacle that it is. The characters, the backgrounds, and the spectacle that is the weirdness and outlandish of Shining Armor all shine through with Milne and Perez. The lines are great, the designs are good, the expressions are juicy, and the coloring works better this issue, with the nighttime better fitting the cold atmosphere described and the rising sun allowing the curtain to rise on the final sprint to the finish of the series a great scene.


Like I said, expressions



Shawn Lee covers the lettering in this issue, and while there is nothing really spectacular to write home about, there are no faults in the lettering. The speech bubbles don't inhibit the visuals in any way, and the standard knight/cybertronian speeches collected with the wraith bubbles are a nice balance.


The face you will make by the end of the issue



Final Thoughts


I laughed at this. Had to include it



This series has proven to be one of the best crossovers the shared universe has had so far, and I would go so far as to say it is the best, but Kup and Action Man over in Revolutionaries makes that a bit difficult. The story is a good one, even if the main new character, Stardrive, is a bit predictable. The Wraiths and the Decepticons are great in this story though, and the art is fantastic, perfectly capturing how unique this series is. This is an issue I would highly recommend, and I'm hoping issue 5 finishes this off nicely, because it deserves it.

.:SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: out of :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS: :SG-CONS:

Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #2 (1919271)
Posted by Va'al on November 1st, 2017 @ 3:20am CDT
Courtesy of Previews World, we have variant covers for the upcoming final issue in the Transformers vs Rom: Shining Armor miniseries set 200 years before current events, and featuring the first interaction between Cybertronians, the Solstar Order, and Dire Wraiths. Check out the art below and in our database entry, by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham first, by David Messina second, and join the conversation in the Energon Pub!



[quote]Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #5 Cover B
(W) John Barber, Christos Gage (A) Alex Milne (CA) Nick Roche
Bumblebee vs. Rom vs. Starscream vs. the Dire Wraiths! All alliances are off-this is a fight for survival! Torn between her Cybertronian heritage and her Solstar Knight upbringing, Stardrive takes control of her fate!
In Shops: Nov 29, 2017
SRP: $3.99[/quote]



[quote] (W) John Barber, Christos Gage (A) Alex Milne (CA) David Messina
Bumblebee vs. Rom vs. Starscream vs. the Dire Wraiths! All alliances are off-this is a fight for survival! Torn between her Cybertronian heritage and her Solstar Knight upbringing, Stardrive takes control of her fate!
In Shops: Nov 29, 2017
SRP: $3.99[/quote]
Transformers products from AMAZON

Featured Products

Buy "Transformers: The Last Knight Mega 1-Step Turbo Changer Dragonstorm" on AMAZON
You save: 50%
Buy "Transformers Platinum Edition "Year of the Goat" Exclusive Masterpiece Soundwave by Hasbro" on AMAZON
You save: 47%
Buy "Hasbro Transformers Generations combiner wars deluxe protectobot groove" on AMAZON
You save: 35%
Buy "Transformers Robots in Disguise Warrior Class Strongarm Figure" on AMAZON
You save: 31%
Buy "Transformers: The Last Knight Optimus Prime Voice Changer Helmet" on AMAZON
You save: 25%
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Six Shot and Decepticon Revolver" on AMAZON
You save: 23%
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #190 - Spacebridge Sunset Boulevard
Twincast / Podcast #190:
"Spacebridge Sunset Boulevard"
MP3 · iTunes · RSS · View · Discuss · Ask
Posted: Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
Transformers products from EBAY

Items Ending Soon