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!

Writer – James Robers
Pencils – Steve Kurth
Inks – Juan Castro
Colors – J. Aburtov and Graphikslava
Publisher – IDW Publishing
Cover Price – $3.99

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.


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.


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.


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.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Reader Rating



About Author

Thomas J. Angelo has lived life to the fullest since birth and is living proof that people can see their dreams become reality. He has hunted ghosts, been a prison guard, graduated from professional wrestling school, written a novel for young adults, and taught middle school Social Studies. Writing for Major Spoilers is yet another fantastic adventure. A comic book fan for life, Thomas is a huge fan of Marvel comics and has also jumped into DC’s New 52. In addition to comics, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of WWE trivia and Disney’s animated films. Someday he hopes to write his own comic series.


  1. Ever since the Transformers’ vehicle modes were modified in More Than Meets the Eye and Robots In Disguise, I pretty much stopped reading Transformers except for Regeneration One. I also hated the more cartoony anime look (think more Transformers Animated than Transformers: Prime) of the Transformers in the books. Yes, it makes more sense and is more realistic for the Transformers to transform into their Cybertron vehicle modes than their Earth vehicle modes, but I, like most fans (or all fans) prefer their Earth vehicle modes. Plus, I didn’t like the writing and the directions both of these books were going in. I think only the hardcore and newer fans will like the look and feel of the current books. IDW really blew it on the Transformers!

    Regeneration One, on the other hand, is the best Transformers book that IDW is still doing. It is geared more towards the older fans of the original cartoon and Marvel comic book. The writing of one of the original Transformers writer, Simon Furman, and original Transformers artist, Andrew Wildman, make it worth buying every month. The only problem I have with the book, is that I think you have to ignore the continuity of Generation 2 (G. I. Joe is in the book, and the Earth looks normal) for Regeneration One to make any sense.

    • Regeneration is decent, but makes it very obvious that Furman really hasn’t grown much as a writer in the last 20 years. More Than Meets The Eye, on the other hand, is not only the best Transformers fiction ever written in any medium, but is one of the best comic books running today, period. You’re depriving yourself of a great, great series by refusing to read it.

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