Review of IDW Transformers: Salvation One-Shot
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 2:07am CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al Views: 17,448
Exiled from civilization, the Dinobots are the last line of defense against the ultimate Cybertronian dinosaur—Trypticon! But how much are the Dinobots willing to sacrifice for a world that hates them?
We now return to your yearly schedule update on the Dinobots, minus Grimlock, because we wouldn't want you to forget that the Dinobots are very much still a thing, except when they're not (most of the time), but here - the third part of the Barber/Ramondelli 'we need more Maximum Dinobots' story: after Punishment and Redemption, comes Salvation.
Despite my initial tone there, John Barber is actually able to bring together a lot of previous material into the book, and clear out some air that needed airing, from Trypticon (and even Chaos and Monstrosity) fulfilling the toy quota without a special event, to Bludgeon, Strafe, Swift and the general characterisation of the Dinobots (plus other characters, which I won't go too into here) - and carrying over some Redemption material, at risk of otherwise being ignored.
All the character work, of course, is to be nicely found in Bludgeon too. He follows quite steamrollingly in the footsteps of Jhiaxus and Thunderwing - his predecessors in more ways than one - of being a complete cosmic rustheap. However, the Dinobots are most definitely the stars of the book: character, dialogue, interactions, snide comments and shade are all perfectly in line with their personalities as developed in IDW, but also with callbacks to other TF tropes.
I am aware of the fandom's divided opinion on Livio Ramondelli, but the book - in my opinion - shows an artist working on full throttle, with some very well laid out passages and compositions, some clearly defined sequences, and designs that are both recognisable and well-utilised for the individual characters involved in the book. And splash pages and spreads have always been his forte anyway.
Not to forget, Ramondelli provides his own colours too - which sometimes still leaves me wondering what a different colour artist might do with that lineart - and he captures the various moods of this dark but still somehow hopeful story well, bringing different lights and hues to the scenes that take place. Even on the vaster scale of Cybertron's plains.
Tom B. Long's lettering work - with all the above said, perhaps works best with Ramondelli too, giving a chance to the particular style with words that pair and weave with the fiery scenes, or moody scapes. And the caption positioning, of course, eases the reading beautifully. There are two covers alone for the issue, one by Ramondelli, one by Jeffrey Veregge (thumbnailed), but both spotlight the giant space dinosaur in the room in their own way, and are both really great.
This review was a piece of cooperative work, between staff members with diverging opinions, but one point that we agreed on was this: Salvation does not work with new readers. It relies a real lot on previous stories, previous plot, pre-existing characterisation, and general TF lore that may not be enjoyed fully by newer fans of the comics.
But! But for long-term, heavily invested readers - on the other hand - that same reliance of all of that material (Chaos, Syndromica, Monstrosity, Redemption, even TAAO and RID) means that the one-shot does not fit in its own name, and still delivers an incredible accomplishment for a team of characters that is often overlooked but widely appreciated in the fandom.
This article was last modified on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 3:37am CDT
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Posted by Randomhero on June 14th, 2017 @ 6:21am CDT
Posted by Kurona on June 14th, 2017 @ 7:02am CDT
Posted by ScottyP on June 14th, 2017 @ 8:36am CDT
Posted by RNSrobot on June 14th, 2017 @ 12:53pm CDT
I'd like John Barber to stop using a million name tags and somebody's inner monologue now, please.