Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19

Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 3:17am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 21,176

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A Singular Choice
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
“The Falling,” Part 4. Onyx Prime’s motivations are clear, and his scheme seems unstoppable. Heroes have fallen, and hope dwindles for the survivors. Cybertron’s last chance of salvation is in the hands of… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
GEE, I WONDER WHO


Story
After a whole issue of backstory, and after one of shocking revelations, we have an aftermath of an issue that tries dealing with the consequences of it all, while trying to handle the seemingly infinite cast that John Barber has been playing with for a long time now - meaning that not all have the space to get the treatment they entirely deserve, but where we do, the highlights are excellent.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Big and green, the joke was there all along


The major issue taking place within the story, for me and some of the other staff I consulted with before writing the review, is the unfortunate timing of the solicitations and Unicron FCBD book: they spoil what could've been a fairly well played, if not touching, moment in the pages of this arc, removing some of the subtlety that was attempted since early Till All Are One issues.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
including some of Starscream's traits


That said, seeing Onyx Prime at the height of his threat - notwithstanding his actual identity at this stage; he is indeed still both characters, as they both exist simultaneously in the past and the present - is thrilling, even with the timeline and rhetorical headaches the story itself might be producing. On the other hand, the reveal/truth about the story is still a little.. eh.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Arcee however is great


Overall, though, and with one more issue to go before the conclusion of this narrative arc, I'm ..strangely not entirely impressed. The build-up in previous issues, including the backstory, exposition filled issue of last month, had felt so much tenser and vibrant than the current unravelling of plot and mythology, and it feels as though too much is happening at the same time for all of it to be actually final or of serious consequence. More on this below.


Art
Sara Pitre Durocher takes over from Kei Zama in this issue, and brings her signature style along to another look at Starscream still hung up on the ending of Till All Are One (for a little while, at least). And after the Ramondelli break last issue, this shift works out really well, even in the stark difference between the heaviness of the lines, and the softer (but clear) direction this month.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
also, the flashbacks are glorious


Of course, the effect is also helped by Josh Burcham, who does some pretty amazing stuff, bringing the darker, muted tones of his regular colouring style on this series to the cleaner, sleeker art style of Pitre Durocher, without losing the continuity with previous issues or watering the art itself down for the sake of visual coherence.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
..I just really wanted to show this panel off


There are several instances in this issue where the font-mastery and balloon placing of letterer Tom B Long ensures that the humour or pacing of the interaction hits its mark, and by several, I mean a lot. Seriously - a lot. And they all land.

Casey Coller continues to perform excellence, with colourist John Paul Bove, as the variant cover that features all the major players (thumbnail). And as we had already seen previously, but you can do so again in our database entry (warning. there be spoilers) here, Kei Zama and Bove also deliver a fantastically creepy Shockwave-centric main cover too.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If my opening statement seemed unfair to the script, it's fair to also say that the focus on the characters that are explored is very well.. focused, and explored. There are some misgivings about Devastator and Starscream's behaviours, and my general feelings about the reveal are still not overly positively thrilled, but I'm enjoying the story moving forward even with those speedbumps.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Aileron also has some Seriously Good Moments


Still, even with all of that, the issue is stunning to look at, and having now had three different art teams for the past three months is working out surprisingly well - which bodes even better for the increased frequency schedule that is supposed to take place after this month, to arrive at the final conclusion of it all alongside Unicron. I'll still shake my fists at IDW's schedules, though.

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

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962252)
Posted by AlphaBass on May 30th, 2018 @ 7:48am CDT
Came in to see Starscream's figuratively smoldering remains after Shockwave roasted him by calling him a fool.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962264)
Posted by Shot Put on May 30th, 2018 @ 10:08am CDT
I noticed a mistake in the review: there's two more issues in this arc, not one.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962494)
Posted by snavej on May 31st, 2018 @ 3:16pm CDT
So, in issue 18 Shockwave kills Optimus by throwing him off a building. However, during the hunt for Galvatron, Optimus is shown to have very powerful flight capabilities. What the fudge?! :roll:
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962507)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on May 31st, 2018 @ 4:25pm CDT
snavej wrote:So, in issue 18 Shockwave kills Optimus by throwing him off a building. However, during the hunt for Galvatron, Optimus is shown to have very powerful flight capabilities. What the fudge?! :roll:

In the hunt for Galvatron, Optimus had the time to get a jetpack while Arcee and Cosmos chased and distracted Galvatron and Astrotrain.

In issue 18, Optimus is badly wounded and in enemy hands, with no jetpack. And he was absorbed into a small singularity/black hole, not hitting the ground
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962538)
Posted by Sunstar on May 31st, 2018 @ 8:16pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
snavej wrote:So, in issue 18 Shockwave kills Optimus by throwing him off a building. However, during the hunt for Galvatron, Optimus is shown to have very powerful flight capabilities. What the fudge?! :roll:

In the hunt for Galvatron, Optimus had the time to get a jetpack while Arcee and Cosmos chased and distracted Galvatron and Astrotrain.

In issue 18, Optimus is badly wounded and in enemy hands, with no jetpack. And he was absorbed into a small singularity/black hole, not hitting the ground


And that is HOW it happened.

It was also seen in G1 where the decepticons fell into the magma, they fell and did not take flight. Chances are Oh shit is the first reaction before jumping into flight, a short distance probably is harder to recover from than a long drop. If Starscream fell 40 feet, he might just fall. But if it was 400 after the inital Oh shit, he probably would fire his thrusters and correct himself.

Also, if you are falling head first, and you've got thruster feet -or any downward facing source of thrust, then you are likely to hit the ground faster if you fired them. If you are falling backward - recovery might be harder due to the abnormal perspective (you may not be aware of where the ground is.) falling feet or belly first chances of recovery are likely higher.

Optimus prime fell backward into a singularity (black-hole.) Black holes are said to be able to alter one's experience to time. the closer to the event horizon, the slower things appear from the outside. Being that this is a small singularity, then the effects might be minimal, but possibly enough that elapsed time for prime may not be enough for him to react to fly. Autobots are inherently non fliers, so even if he had a jetpack in subspace, the time it may take to retrieve it would be too long for such a short distance.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962570)
Posted by snavej on June 1st, 2018 @ 6:42am CDT
How is it a 'black hole' when it doesn't consume the entire planet? It's something else, like a portal. The use of the wrong term is just IDW 'bigging itself up'.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962581)
Posted by Randomhero on June 1st, 2018 @ 10:27am CDT
snavej wrote:How is it a 'black hole' when it doesn't consume the entire planet? It's something else, like a portal. The use of the wrong term is just IDW 'bigging itself up'.



It’s an artificial black hole. It’s not a natural one that doesn’t follow the same physics as a regular black hole.

If megaton can use space bride technology to siphon the dark matter of a black hole to power himself up from his eyes than a small stable black hole can exist on Cybertron.

It’s also a comic book about giant alien robots fighting where prime once opened the matrix and reformatted an entire planet into a primordial state sooooo yeah. Maybe not try to base it too much in reality.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962592)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 1st, 2018 @ 11:42am CDT
Hey some scientists can't agree on black holes anyway
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962605)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 1st, 2018 @ 1:30pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Hey some scientists can't agree on black holes anyway


They are still gravity based... >:oP
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962607)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 1st, 2018 @ 1:43pm CDT
What about the ones who don't think they exist? Plus as randomhero pointed out this isn't a natural black hole but an artificial one so which is all it needs to be otherwise we start picking apart everything.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962616)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 1st, 2018 @ 4:03pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Plus as randomhero pointed out this isn't a natural black hole but an artificial one so which is all it needs to be otherwise we start picking apart everything.



Scrolling back, I see the issue here. It's language. A "Black Hole" and a "Singularity" are not interchangeable terms. They can in fact refer to different things.

A singularity, in many examples, is the central point of a Black Hole. Within the gravity well, not part of it. Therefore a Singularity can exist without causing calamitous damage to Cybertron itself.

ZeroWolf wrote:What about the ones who don't think they exist?


Most likely the same kind of people that deny evolution and think the Earth is flat... 8-}
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962639)
Posted by BombshellDaBug on June 1st, 2018 @ 7:51pm CDT
AlphaBass wrote:Came in to see Starscream's figuratively smoldering remains after Shockwave roasted him by calling him a fool.


Literally my favorite part of the issue.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962690)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 2nd, 2018 @ 6:23am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:Plus as randomhero pointed out this isn't a natural black hole but an artificial one so which is all it needs to be otherwise we start picking apart everything.



Scrolling back, I see the issue here. It's language. A "Black Hole" and a "Singularity" are not interchangeable terms. They can in fact refer to different things.

A singularity, in many examples, is the central point of a Black Hole. Within the gravity well, not part of it. Therefore a Singularity can exist without causing calamitous damage to Cybertron itself.

ZeroWolf wrote:What about the ones who don't think they exist?


Most likely the same kind of people that deny evolution and think the Earth is flat... 8-}

The sad thing is the amount who believe in things like that are on the rise and their theories are getting stupider.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1962909)
Posted by Sunstar on June 3rd, 2018 @ 10:58pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:Plus as randomhero pointed out this isn't a natural black hole but an artificial one so which is all it needs to be otherwise we start picking apart everything.



Scrolling back, I see the issue here. It's language. A "Black Hole" and a "Singularity" are not interchangeable terms. They can in fact refer to different things.

A singularity, in many examples, is the central point of a Black Hole. Within the gravity well, not part of it. Therefore a Singularity can exist without causing calamitous damage to Cybertron itself.

ZeroWolf wrote:What about the ones who don't think they exist?


Most likely the same kind of people that deny evolution and think the Earth is flat... 8-}


I'll have to re-read up on that. If I am mistaken, then I will be soon corrected.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963109)
Posted by KorsO on June 4th, 2018 @ 11:06pm CDT
Hello all.

Quite the long Hiatus. Just manage to catch up and read Optimus issues 17-19. Re-read all 3 copies twice.

Not sure if I'm in the minority here.
But having Shockwave being the big revelation throughout a big significant portion of IDW Cybertron history (the era of the 13 Primes) was really quite a ...
Huge Letdown for me.

When I reached the panels, I was like, what really? All that 'Cybertronian myth yet cool different era history exposition' build up in multiple books is due to the machinations of one bot, Shockwave? I was (waiting for years) expecting more actually. New reveals and different character arcs from that time to play their crucial roles in the makings and consequences of that era... Not Shockwave. I honestly felt that reveal kinda cheapen out the lore.

I was quite content actually of Shockwave's current development, from being Jhiaxus's student, to a rebelious Senator seeding plans for a better Cybertron, getting caught and was subject to direct shadowplay & empurata by the then senate, turned to cold calculative intellect ruled by cold logic, derived from that conducted secret cruel experiments on bots, life and worlds alike in the name of science, conjured up an elaborate plan spanning eons in the making of alternate source of energy ultimately for the use of fulfilling his dark cybertron prophecy deeming life is chaos thus it should not exists, and ultimately at the very last moment saved by Orion Pax/Optimus by overcoming his millions of years shadowplay conditioning, where in the end sacrificing himself to save the universe. That was a beyond Epic character Arc.

This Shockwave being alive transported back in time and taking Onyx's prime mantle orchastrating the bulk of Cybertron history is just feels like an easy cop out of more layered and complex rich new revelations.

At this point, Boo John Barber. Had so much hope.

Hope Roberts will end his run with a bang. Not going half arsed since its ending.

Sorry folks. Just my honest two cents :( ...

Anyone else is of like impression ?
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963120)
Posted by Va'al on June 5th, 2018 @ 12:48am CDT
I agree on the letdown, and was still holding on to the possibility of it all being a Liege Maximo ruse/projection/illusion. Alas, no.

Don't get me wrong, I like how it's being written, but I don't think this was the story that I wanted - nor the one that I cared to see developed. Shockwave (and Bumblebee) were gone. Megatron is still gone. That was fine.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963169)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 5th, 2018 @ 7:48am CDT
At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the Knights of Cybertron are linked to Shockwave and/or Auto-Megatron in the alternate universe. Just makes the scope of IDWverse seem so.. small and unambitious.

I know throughout his work, Furman had his favourites that always had their time to shine (Galvatron, Grimlock etc). This is another example of that. Shockwave is clearly one of Robert's biggest favourites, obvious since the overly convoluted Shadowplay.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963201)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 5th, 2018 @ 10:49am CDT
...but Roberts doesn't write op, barber does.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963208)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 5th, 2018 @ 12:05pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:...but Roberts doesn't write op, barber does.



And? Barber didn't write Shadowplay or Dark Cybertron, of which this entire characterisation of Shockwave is based on. It's certainly not based on Furman's iteration from Spotlight and Maximum Dinobots.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19 (1963218)
Posted by ScottyP on June 5th, 2018 @ 1:13pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:...but Roberts doesn't write op, barber does.



And? Barber didn't write Shadowplay or Dark Cybertron, of which this entire characterisation of Shockwave is based on. It's certainly not based on Furman's iteration from Spotlight and Maximum Dinobots.
Barber and Roberts co-wrote all 12 issues of Dark Cybertron.

I think this version of Shockwave is very heavily the Furman/G1 character, with a new wrinkle in his backstory. I would agree that he reads funny now but it's one reason that I hold out hope for the "Shockwave done it" twist really being "Liege Maximo is making it look like Shockwave done it"

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