REVIEW: Transformers – More Than Meets The Eye #11

by

Or – “Awww, YOOOU GOT THE TOUCH!  YOU GOT THE POWAAAAH! YEEEAAH!”

Things on Cybertron haven’t gotten any simpler since the end of the Autobot/Decepticon war, and the former Autobots’ lives are still difficult ones.  Can the Autobot once known as Orion Pax keep his people from becoming worse than the Decepticons ever were?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE #11
Writer: James Roberts
Penciler: Alex Milne
Inker: Juan Castro, Alex Milen & John Wycough
Colorist: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: John Barber
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Transformers – More Than Meets The Eye:   There was a war in space, as sentient robots with transformational abilities battled for the destiny of planet Cybertron.  That war has now ended, and the remaining Transformers left somewhat adrift in the universe. One of those factions, led by Rodimus Prime and his lieutenant Ultra Magnus, has dealt with tragedy, as one of their number, a ‘bot named Rung, has been critically injured.  His crew-mates (led by Rewind, one of Blaster’s cassettes, if I recall correctly) have decided to regale him with a tale of old Cybertron to try to raise his spirits and aid in the healing process.

MAN, THERE ARE A LOT OF TRANSFORMERS…

The biggest problem with a licensed property will always be in remembering what did and didn’t happen in the current reality.  As someone who has casually perused Transformers comics for three decades, I was a little surprised at how easy it was to get into this book.  The story is the classic ‘tale-within-a-tale’ format, and a lot of familiar characters are in play, both onboard Rodimus Prime’s ship and in the flashback.  Said flashback story features a young Orion Pax (the mechanoid who would grow up to take the title Optimus Prime) trying to stop a conspiracy within his own government, a conspiracy to set off a bomb and blame it on a little-known faction among his people:  A group known as the Decpticons.  It’s fun to see the events of 4 million years ago, especially as it features Pax’ first interactions with Windcharger, Skids and other characters that I recognize.  The downside comes in that the cumulative effect of the story gives me a couple dozen Robots In Disguise to keep track of, making for a moment where I felt like I might need a scorecard (lamp shaded by the creator, with one of the Auobots IN THE STORY making his own scorecard to keep everyone straight.

THE ORIGIN OF AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE.

I haven’t spent a lot of time reading the latest IDW series, but I have enough context to know the premise of things, and the art is pretty impressive throughout this issue.  Though there have been modifications to their designs, you can still tell that Orion is Optimus, I recognize Blaster, Rewind, Ratchet and others from the old Generation 1 series, and even the quickie appearance by Prowl makes him identifiable even before his name is used.  Alex Milne delivers some great action sequences (like the ‘Mission: Impossible’ style infiltration mission) and makes even talking robo-heads interesting to look at.  Most awe-inspiring is the twist ending of the issue, which takes the plotlines of the flashback to its logical extreme, and stuns with the revelation that one of the characters we’ve been reading about is actually (SPOILER ALERT!) Shockwave!  Moreover, it adds an element of tragedy and horror to his backstory, while making perfect sense alongside what we already know about Autobot history.

THE BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING BIT OF TRANSFORMERS BUSINESS

Having heard praise for this latest iteration of Transformers and its socio-political overtones, I was nonetheless afraid to pick it up, worrying that my 1985 movie-era frame-of-reference wouldn’t give me enough context to enjoy the book.   Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #11 quickly undermined that worry, making me a little sad that I didn’t jump in 11 issues ago, earning a better than average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. Given that most of the “big names” of Transformers aren’t present and that I missed nearly a year of story, I’m impressed as how strong and how approachable this book ended up being…

Rating: ★★★½☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

Reader Rating

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