REVIEW: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
IDW’s TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT series focuses on the individual lives of the Autobots and Decepticons, often taking place before the war that tears their homeworld of Cybertron apart. The story of Orion Pax (now known as Optimus Prime) is one such story, taking place generations before the Transformers arrived on Earth. Hit the jump for the review!
Previously in TRANSFORMERS: IDW has done a fine job of fleshing out the war between these battling ‘bots. Their war has taken them from Cybertron to Earth and everywhere in between. The spotlight issues have done an overall good job of giving personalities to the Transformers, helping to turn an idea made to sell toys into a space opera for the 21st century.
THE STORY OF A DESK CLERK WHO CAN TURN INTO A TRUCK
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: ORION PAX drops the reader right into the start of the conflict between the Cybertronians. The Decepticons have revolted and the Autobots have begun recruiting to their side. Enter Pax, who has just joined the Autobot ranks. We’re given a brief introduction to some of the other Transformers before Orion Pax is sent on his first mission, a hostage swap between the Autobots and Decepticons. This task takes Pax through some dangerous and desolate terrain before ending in a throwdown with the Decepticons.
The story isn’t bad, really, but it’s a bit by-the-numbers, even for a series featuring gigantic fighting robots. The point of a spotlight is to give the reader some background on a character, something new that the reader hasn’t discovered yet. Orion Pax (or Optimus Prime) has always been the Superman of the Transformers universe…unflinching morals, a big red and blue boy scout, but not a lot of depth to the character. Throw in some groan-inducing jokes about his “lucky face plate” and we end up with a somewhat uneven tale.
DILLON’S REALISTIC ART – WAIT AND WATCH
One thing IDW has consistently done well with the Transformers franchise is provide great artwork. In a world where every character could be depicted as blocky and indistinguishable, the artist takes the time to make every robot unique. Even the vehicular forms of the Transformers retain their identity and characterization. Battle sequences are action-packed yet easy to follow, something Michael Bay could never get the hang of. There are also some interesting character designs. The Decepticon leader, Bludgeon, is missing half of his face, and it creates some interest and intrigue. When artwork can do that, it’s a success in my book.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR THE CYBERTRONIAN HISTORY BUFFS
This is a book for Transformers fans or perhaps for those new to the franchise. It’s not essential reading to understand any part of the Transformers universe or storylines. It doesn’t give any new insights into the motivation of the soon-to-be Optimus Prime. But it does offer up a fun little slice of sci-fi action. If you’ve never read an IDW Transformers book, this book will give you a small idea of what the title is like, but it may not leave you wanting more.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!