Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4

Transformers News: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 3:02AM CDT

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


Synopsis

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!


Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
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.

Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
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).

Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
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.

Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
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.

Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
The face you will make by the end of the issue


Final Thoughts

Transformers News: Re: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor Series Thread
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:
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (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]
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1919284)
Posted by Kurona on November 1st, 2017 @ 9:08am CDT
Ooft, I don't like that second cover much. Doesn't fit Bumblebee at all.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1922008)
Posted by Va'al on November 16th, 2017 @ 5:12pm CST
In another bout of iTunes preview magic, we have an initial look at the final issue of the mini-series crossing over two of the current IDW Hasbro licensed franchises - set 200 years before anything we're currently seeing in-universe - Rom vs Transformers: Shining Armor #5!

We start straight off with the Ultra Magnus/Dire Wraith hybrid, so be ready for some eldritch and (robo)body horror from artist Alex Milne - plus obvious spoilers if you're not caught up yet - and some Starscream schadenfreude for those of you into that sort of thing. Check the preview out below, and join the conversation as we wait the couple of weeks left until the book's release.

[quote]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![/quote]







Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1922091)
Posted by Sunstar on November 16th, 2017 @ 11:14pm CST
Starscream and tentacles. OH BOY!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1922167)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on November 17th, 2017 @ 11:40am CST
I'm still interested to see how they are going to handle Magnus and whoever is Magnus at this time. I'm excited to see how Magnus and Vekktral fight it out in mindspace, and I'm curious as to how the wraith takeover will affect the recall switch.

I'm also bummed this series has gotten little discussion. It is a good series, and one of the best actual crossovers
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1922904)
Posted by Sunstar on November 20th, 2017 @ 11:48pm CST
I find anything involving good starscream writing is a fair story. TAAO and this has been wonderful.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923133)
Posted by Big Grim on November 22nd, 2017 @ 4:27am CST
Decided to pick this up on Comixology and admit, I've really enjoyed it. Great art, solid story and Starscream being awesome. Quite like this version of Magnus too.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923147)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on November 22nd, 2017 @ 7:47am CST
So just a quick PSA for anyone reading this series. If you enjoy this series, you might wanna pick up Optimus Prime #13.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923166)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on November 22nd, 2017 @ 9:40am CST
Big Grim wrote:Decided to pick this up on Comixology and admit, I've really enjoyed it. Great art, solid story and Starscream being awesome. Quite like this version of Magnus too.

I'm honestly shocked more people won't read this. It is a great story, and a great crossover!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923195)
Posted by Big Grim on November 22nd, 2017 @ 11:09am CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Big Grim wrote:Decided to pick this up on Comixology and admit, I've really enjoyed it. Great art, solid story and Starscream being awesome. Quite like this version of Magnus too.

I'm honestly shocked more people won't read this. It is a great story, and a great crossover!


It's fun seeing Starscream being a smarmy, evil shit again!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923197)
Posted by Sunstar on November 22nd, 2017 @ 11:35am CST
As evil as he is, I like to see them attempt at seeing how he would fare as a leader. Since most series bait him with it but never go through with it.

This is delightful though - its just so him. I hopefully can pick up all my books from the pull file next week.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923307)
Posted by Big Grim on November 23rd, 2017 @ 9:18am CST
Sunstar wrote:I like to see them attempt at seeing how he would fare as a leader.

Oh agreed! I'm loving him as ruler of Cybertron. This is just a nice kick back to his villainy. :)
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923344)
Posted by Sunstar on November 23rd, 2017 @ 12:35pm CST
Just a side note: is there no quote buttons to quote someone?

@Big Grim: Yep, he's got some lovely characterisation, and sarcasm that goes with his villainy. I love how he manipulates a situation. I love how he gets himself out of a pickle too.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923372)
Posted by Va'al on November 23rd, 2017 @ 5:06pm CST
Sunstar wrote:Just a side note: is there no quote buttons to quote someone?

@Big Grim: Yep, he's got some lovely characterisation, and sarcasm that goes with his villainy. I love how he manipulates a situation. I love how he gets himself out of a pickle too.


There is, but some of the icons have disappeared in their image form. This is being worked on!
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1923912)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on November 27th, 2017 @ 9:11pm CST
News@Rama has a preview of Lost Light #11 at https://www.newsarama.com/37512-thunder ... eview.html

ROM VS. TRANSFORMERS: SHINING ARMOR #5 also has a FULL Preview at https://shar.es/1MvzDh
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1924050)
Posted by Va'al on November 29th, 2017 @ 2:12am CST
A couple of Seibertron.com community members have linked to us to the full previews of this week's comics by IDW Publishing featuring our very own Cybertronian favourites, in two separate series, both on entertainment site Newsarama - second and last to the list is the final issue of the prequel to some of the recent events, and probably more still to come, in the Rom Vs Transformers: Shining Armor mini-series.

Issue #5 tries to bring us to some sort of closure on the plot threads so far, but it mostly looks like the Dire Wraiths have the upper hand as we head back to Vekktral!Magnus, Stardrive, Bumblebee, and Starscream's failed machinations. Check it out below, and check out our review of the issue later this week!

[quote] Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #5
John Barber & Christos Gage (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)
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!
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 #4 (1924119)
Posted by Va'al on November 29th, 2017 @ 11:36am CST

Oh, To Be Young and (Star)Driven
(Spoiler free-ish)




Synopsis
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!


Rom reference



Story

We reach, with issue five, the last part of this mini-series uniting both Transformers and the Solstar Order of Rom and the other Knights. And I'll admit, I'm both glad the conclusion was as satisfying as it was, and a little saddened that the story is entirely over as far as we're concerned in the current IDWverse. Though it's true, repercussions retroactively are felt through Revolution and First Strike, and we have some continuations elsewhere too, Stardrive's story is currently done with.


Or is it



I had my concerns earlier in the series - issue two specifically, as you can read again here - but since then, both John Barber and Christos Gage have been able to diverge from the potentially platitude-filled plot, into a cosmic cluster-truck of a comic, and a truly enjoyable mini-series that attempts to introduce new characters to old stories, and new stories with established characters.


Bonus: added Star Wars reference



The best part of the combination of the two styles, for me at least, was the amount of fun that they clearly had in filling in the stories. The interactions between the Decepticon team, Starscream included, are some of the best examples of robot-banter that come to mind in recent books, and play entirely into good fanservice and references. And best of all, they don't cause tonal whiplash that can be common in this type of story, as we switch to other scenes in the book.


Astrotrain: the new Waspinator



If there is one major critique I have about the issue, and perhaps the series as a whole, it's its supposedly titular character: Stardrive does have a lot of moments, and she does appear a lot more after the initial qualms I had earlier in the series, but there is still a lingering sense of not having had enough about her, with a not entirely satisfying resolution by the end of it all. Which is a shame, given the potential of her story, and I do want to see more of it.

Art

Alex Milne really gives in - as we started seeing in the past numbers - to his technorganic leniencies, as Vekktral!Magnus is pretty much centre-stage for the entire issue, and the reason around the rest of the cast to rally and find their own resolution to their respective plots, with some really exciting choices in the Magnus side of the story, and some fantastic action sequences all the way through.


Borders literally bleeding into panel



The colouring, perhaps, is what is the newest addition to the visual style, and what sets the recognisable Milne hand from other Transformers titles so far - in the best way possible, of course! Josh Perez has been amazing for the entire series, and the gradual sunset in this issue just proves it - plus the addition of Priscilla Tramontano's work to cap it all off towards the end, and I am one visually satisfied reader.


The choom is back!



Tom B. Long on the side of production and lettering has some truly excellent moments too, balancing the work of the artists in such a way that the fonts chosen and the words placed do never cover what the focus should be, and instead draw attention to them. In terms of covers, the one in the thumbnail is the splendid Nick Roche / Josh Burcham action portrait, while the other two (previously seen in news stories) can be found as always in the Database entry for the issue here.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The new approach, for this side of IDW comics at least, of going plot-first was an interesting one - especially given the position that this series would occupy as a generic prequel to a lot of current galactic politics in the Hasbroverse - but it turned out to be an excellent one too. Milne's detail-oriented artwork provided a playground in which Barber and Gage could easily work their stories once the framework was established, without burdening the art with too much exposition.


FURMANISM KLAXON



And as a result, with the effort of the entire visual team, we get a comic that is extremely enjoyable as a piece of art (read: it's pretty to look at), and successful in doing what it had to do: establish the links in the universe that had to be established after the universe had already been set years ago. Barber's contribution was perhaps the most valued in keeping the threads tidy, but Gage had no small feat either, and they synchronised very well.

There are some flaws, such as the second issue's slump, and the trade will undoubtedly prove a much smoother reading overall - and what is perhaps the best outcome of the series is that both target readerships probably got enough page-time each to satisfy being 'lumped together' feelings that inevitable rose at the start. We do find out a lot more about the Order, and the Dire Wraiths are better established as antagonists throughout, and even through the humour - at times almost surreal - there are some really touching moments. Do yourself a favour, and give this series a read!

. :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: ½ out of :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON:

Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1924127)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on November 29th, 2017 @ 11:53am CST
I'll say it again: best crossover in the Hasbro verse.

Though with Stardrive now appearing in Optimus Prime, I wonder where they will go with that very last panel?

I really liked the Magnus part too, the fighting the infection and then taking control was great to see. And at least we got that patch with Minimus' role and longevity in there.
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1924135)
Posted by Randomhero on November 29th, 2017 @ 12:22pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:I'll say it again: best crossover in the Hasbro verse.

Though with Stardrive now appearing in Optimus Prime, I wonder where they will go with that very last panel?

I really liked the Magnus part too, the fighting the infection and then taking control was great to see. And at least we got that patch with Minimus' role and longevity in there.



Yeah you can tell that it wasn’t the plan to shoe horn the ending with Minumus but is anyone is gonna fix something it’s John barber.

Certainly an better patch job than what Lost alight #11 with Thunderclash and Getaway. People were pointing out the error on twitter and Roberts said he’lll have to do some rewriting in the dialogue for the trade.

Great issue and great series this was
Re: Review of IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 (1924138)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on November 29th, 2017 @ 12:29pm CST
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:I'll say it again: best crossover in the Hasbro verse.

Though with Stardrive now appearing in Optimus Prime, I wonder where they will go with that very last panel?

I really liked the Magnus part too, the fighting the infection and then taking control was great to see. And at least we got that patch with Minimus' role and longevity in there.

Yeah you can tell that it wasn’t the plan to shoe horn the ending with Minumus but is anyone is gonna fix something it’s John barber.

Certainly an better patch job than what Lost alight #11 with Thunderclash and Getaway. People were pointing out the error on twitter and Roberts said he’lll have to do some rewriting in the dialogue for the trade.

Great issue and great series this was

I think it worked out pretty well. Kinda odd to have Minimus step out and then back in, but it works. although that then raises the question of that prose story from the end of MTMTE 21 where Minimus was surprised Ratchet knew the Magnus secret
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