Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 11:12AM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 18,300

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

Falling Pains
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
The Falling, Part 2: The arrival of Onyx Prime throws Cybertron into chaos—because he hasn’t come alone. Onyx’s treacherous companion forces Soundwave to finally make a choice: is Optimus Prime a friend... or foe?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
...


Story

John Barber is extremely busy this week, with his handiwork appearing in two major stories for the Optimus Prime series, and one of his greatest strengths appears loud and clear in both: his knowledge of the franchise and how to weave together multiple pasts into something that makes complete and utter sense in a new story thread, be it through one line comments to Aligned, cameos from Beast Wars, or anything in the Annual (see review here!).

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
Hey, it's Alpha Bravo!


To add to all that, Barber's Soundwave is one of the better developed, multi-faceted, and narratively functional for experimentation in script and page layout characters that has emerged out of the IDW universe of Transformers - and this issue cements it. You almost miss the point of view just before the climax of the issue, until you realise you hadn't, you just skipped a beat.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
my heart just did again


That said, I'll also reiterate what I had mentioned previously to ScottyP about Onyx Prime, with an added caveat that comes out of this issue specifically: he is terrifying, imposing, well-crafted and grounded in enough lore and versions of reality to make him come across as the threat that he is, and what his presence means to the different characters who face him.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
More Beast Wars!


With those two major points in mind, though, there is one dangling issue I want to address with regards to the pacing and the narration: the story will most definitely feel chaotic, fragmented even, at times - but hold on to those fragments, as they serve a purpose, and they're never entirely unintentional.


Art

Kei Zama on lineart truly does wonders with her darker inks and shadows, even for an issue that deals a lot more with nuance than it might initially look like. The art, then, perfectly fits the script, the fear and threat that both Onyx Prime and Liege Maximo have brought to Cybertron are physically palpable. Additionally, the page and panel layouts are gorgeous and gorgeously functional, especially with Soundwave at the centre.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
literally, at times


And if Zama's art is well suited to the script, Josh Burcham's colouring work on the lineart just makes sure that is most definitely indeed the case. It helps us work through the fragments and the parallels alike, where the art might at times throw a little more shade over comprehension than is perhaps necessary.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
unf


What is left of the visuals, then, is what holds the narrative together - which would otherwise be a headache-inducing task, were it not for the balancing act of Tom B Long and his careful lettering of dialogue, captions, and placing on the page and in the panels. There is no unintended misdirection.

As for the covers, the one thumbnailed spotlights Casey Coller and John-Paul Bove's variant for this arc, with the silhouette suggesting the point of view taken in the issue. The other two, the main Zama/Burcham early Cybertron take on a happy family (*my heart*) and the Marcelo Matere (no colour credit given) Prime on Prime action can both be seen in our database entry here.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Any story that features John Barber's Soundwave is already looking good to me (there are some exceptions in the recent past, but let me have this), and linking current day situations with the character's parallels from his own personal and ideological past is a great way to frame a story that already did something similar, yet entirely different, with the Mistress of Flame last month.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16
lol jk


There is politics, there is personality, there is a strand of dark humour that just works when spoken deadpan (again, Soundwave) and with the artistic team working so hard to make this story come across for the weighty matter that it is, you might even miss a twist that may or may not be there - but if it is, and once it kicks in, you'll grin worse that Onyx Prime's apparently permanent grimace.


. :RUBSIGN: :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 Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943070)
Posted by Randomhero on February 28th, 2018 @ 11:18am CST
I had a hard time following the last couple pages. It kinda looked like Soundwave was overwhelmed and unleashed some kind of sonic explosion but it wasn’t. I waited for the wiki summary to explain it was an unknown explosion.

That said I loved the issue all around. Really great!
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943074)
Posted by Sunstar on February 28th, 2018 @ 11:46am CST
I read both, but I need to re-read #16 when I don't have a migraine. I adore Thunderbuns <3
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943089)
Posted by Va'al on February 28th, 2018 @ 1:08pm CST
That is a thing I do not have a hard time imagining. As I said in the review, it works for having Soundwave as the narrator/POV - but it doesn't make it easier on the brain power.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943100)
Posted by ScottyP on February 28th, 2018 @ 1:55pm CST
Va'al wrote:That is a thing I do not have a hard time imagining. As I said in the review, it works for having Soundwave as the narrator/POV - but it doesn't make it easier on the brain power.
Yeah it tooks me a few days and a couple reads to really work it out. I got it in one read, but appreciated it after the second.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943111)
Posted by Counterpunch on February 28th, 2018 @ 2:54pm CST
OP 16...

I think, it all comes down to, "Onyx Prime...have you come to draw us together or pull us apart?" -- "Sometimes, Mistress...a leader must do one to accomplish the other."

So, all the players are eventually brought into one place, literally drawn together.

The explosion happens. I don't know how or why.

Doubt is cast among them all. A unified Cybertron is in disorder.

Liege Maximo is left smiling.

>:oP

What I don't know...

Is Onyx Prime a part of Maximo's plan? I don't think so because he seems genuinely pissed off about Alpha Trion.

What happened to Soundwave? I think somehow Maximo influenced him and broke down the control Soundwave showed at the start of the book.

Is there an unreliable narrator here? Was some part of what we saw and read not truthful?
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943141)
Posted by Randomhero on February 28th, 2018 @ 7:14pm CST
So this is Power of the Primes right? this is everything John has been building up in the background since issue 30 of RID 4 years ago ever since we saw the flashback of Galvatron fighting headmasters and meeting Alpha Trion.

There has still been no talk of doing a POTP event like Combiner Wars and Titans Return for IDW and we know POTP line is only going till december.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943179)
Posted by Sunstar on March 1st, 2018 @ 1:05am CST
In regards to the Annual:

[spoiler]Where Starscream wants to send a message to the outside, is he the reason the guys attack thunder?[/spoiler]
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943204)
Posted by Randomhero on March 1st, 2018 @ 5:48am CST
So I talked to John Barber on Twitter. No power of the Primes event for IDW
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943234)
Posted by snavej on March 1st, 2018 @ 1:12pm CST
I'm going to be really annoying and point out a single-letter mistake in the OP Annual: Marissa's speech bubble, 1st panel, page 18, '... who's only it it for himself.' - should be 'in it'. :KREMZEEK:

Anyway, I liked the Annual overall: nicely irreverent. Thundercracker is a MACHINE (literally) for writing ultra-clunky dialogue. '... go back to writing fan fiction.' Ha! Burn! :twisted:

Hackensack is a George Lucas-type director. He's going to be very cheesed off trying to work with Thundercracker, who should really stick to fighting, transport and booming.

Trypticon 'classy'? That's serious sarcasm!

How in hell does Thundercracker (or most other Transformers) use a human-built smartphone with his giant fingers?! :-?
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943244)
Posted by Sunstar on March 1st, 2018 @ 2:45pm CST
snavej wrote:I'm going to be really annoying and point out a single-letter mistake in the OP Annual: Marissa's speech bubble, 1st panel, page 18, '... who's only it it for himself.' - should be 'in it'. :KREMZEEK:

Anyway, I liked the Annual overall: nicely irreverent. Thundercracker is a MACHINE (literally) for writing ultra-clunky dialogue. '... go back to writing fan fiction.' Ha! Burn! :twisted:

Hackensack is a George Lucas-type director. He's going to be very cheesed off trying to work with Thundercracker, who should really stick to fighting, transport and booming.

Trypticon 'classy'? That's serious sarcasm!

How in hell does Thundercracker (or most other Transformers) use a human-built smartphone with his giant fingers?! :-?


very carefully. I can barely use one with my tiny fingers.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943299)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on March 1st, 2018 @ 11:28pm CST
Is it wrong i wish the cassette bros' movie was titled 'Rumble and Frenzy Do America"? Also flamewar is way to cute. I hope because she has a similar body type to rodimus, Hasbro or somebody makes her mainline.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943334)
Posted by ScottyP on March 2nd, 2018 @ 9:03am CST
Randomhero wrote:So I talked to John Barber on Twitter. No power of the Primes event for IDW
This pleases me. The narrative wasn't/isn't leading to anything resembling the toy line!
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1943650)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 3rd, 2018 @ 8:08pm CST
Thanks to a new listing from Amazon.com, we have word that Volume 4 of the IDW Optimus Prime ongoing will be released on November 20 of this year. The listing shows that the trade paperback will collect issues 15-21, and is collectively focusing on Onyx Prime and what he has brought to the table, as recently seen in issues 15 and 16 of the series.

You can check out the cover below, as well as the description of the book, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

[quote]Darkness falls over Cybertron as the legendary Onyx Prime returns, throwing the planet into chaos! What does this mean for Optimus Prime--and the Earth?

As Onyx and his comrades sow panic and dissension on Cybertron, Windblade defends an already tense planet against a secret that could shatter it forever, Soundwave questions a fragile alliance, and Optimus confronts a mystery that goes back millions of years.

Collects Transformers: Optimus Prime issues #15-21.[/quote]

Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1947726)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on March 23rd, 2018 @ 10:13am CDT
Not sure why, possibly extreme delays, but OP #17 & #18 we taken off the shipping calendar as reported to ComicList at http://www.comiclist.com/index.php/list ... 03-21-2018

<!-- ia0 -->Screenshot_2018-03-23-10-10-19.png<!-- ia0 -->
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1947745)
Posted by Va'al on March 23rd, 2018 @ 11:51am CDT
Targetmaster Kup wrote:Not sure why, possibly extreme delays, but OP #17 & #18 we taken off the shipping calendar as reported to ComicList at http://www.comiclist.com/index.php/list ... 03-21-2018

[attachment=0]Screenshot_2018-03-23-10-10-19.png[/attachment]


As far as I know, OP 17 was moved to April 18, meaning OP 18 will also have to move along
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1949017)
Posted by Va'al on March 29th, 2018 @ 4:02am CDT
Directly from artist Kei Zama herself on her Tumblr blog, currently main and cover artist on IDW Publishing's ongoing Transformers comics series Optimus Prime, we have the covers for upcoming issues #17 and #18 of the title, with lineart provided and coloured final version of both (handiwork of Josh Burcham, of course).

You can check them out below, as Devastator takes centre stage on the first one, and Solus Prime hammering away in her forge on the latter - and then join the conversation in the Energon Pub!

[quote]

Optimus Prime #17 cover

Written by: John Barber
Art by: me
Colors by: Josh Burcham @dcjosh​
Letters by: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
[/quote]





[quote]

Optimus Prime #18 cover

Written by John Barber
Interior art by Livio Ramondelli and Pitre-Durocher @spewpew
Colors by Josh Burcham @dcjosh​
Letters by: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
[/quote]



Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1949018)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 29th, 2018 @ 4:05am CDT
Solus prime is looking very good in that art, would be nice if we eventually got full sized figures for all the primes. So far by my count we got four (five if you got nexus prime from he club)
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1949048)
Posted by Manterax Prime on March 29th, 2018 @ 9:25am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Solus prime is looking very good in that art, would be nice if we eventually got full sized figures for all the primes. So far by my count we got four (five if you got nexus prime from he club)

Alpha Trion, Optimus, Megatronus........who's the fourth?
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1949058)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 29th, 2018 @ 9:59am CDT
We got vector prime in the cybertron line
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #16 (1949060)
Posted by Manterax Prime on March 29th, 2018 @ 10:15am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:We got vector prime in the cybertron line

D'oh! I forgot.
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #203 - Light Bringer
Twincast / Podcast #203:
"Light Bringer"
MP3 · iTunes · RSS · View · Discuss · Ask
Posted: Sunday, July 15th, 2018
Transformers products from EBAY

Items Ending Soon