Megatron is an Autobot, Combiners have been created, Starscream is the ruler of Cybertron. Is there anything else that the Transformers comic books can do to put a twist in the story and shock readers? How about possibly turning Optimus Prime into the villain? The All Hail Optimus storyline is just beginning and Major Spoilers has your review of Transformers #52.
Previously in Transformers: Optimus Prime has announced to the Earth’s inhabitants that the planet is now under his protection. After all the harm both Autobots and Decepticons have caused, he’s looking to make things right. Even while helping throughout the world, not all the world leaders are thrilled about an alien life form taking that much control. After a violent encounter with the U.S. Government, Prime looks for help from the Council of Worlds.
WALLS ARE CRUMBLING DOWN
I’ve been extremely impressed with Transformers and its ability to continually push the limits of where the writers will take the story. I’ve said it before, but there have been significant and meaningful changes that have impacted the brand in ways I’d never thought I’d see. John Barber is clearly setting Prime up for a fall in these opening issues of the “All Hail Optimus” story. As tacky as the premise may sound, Barber so far has made the transition fluid and the story is moving at a natural pace. I’m not 100% convinced Optimus Prime will be the “villain” or evil, but he has started pushing his agenda quite hard on others. I love the way parallels are drawn between Prime and pre-war Megatron. It’s a great look at the characters and shows that not all bad guys start off with the intention of being bad. Barber also does a terrific job of not only maintaining consistency with his own continuity and story but the overall history that the IDW Transformers line has established. That’s a massive amount of items to keep track of and kudos to him for holding it together. I’m really enjoying where this story is heading so far and it’s great to see the walls slowly crumble around Prime. For so long he could rally and inspire any bot but now he is struggling just to get support. Barber teases that there is some nasty secret about Primes and I’m dying to know what that is. Here’s hoping it will be another jaw dropping reveal.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
My main issue with Mr. Ramondelli’s artwork has always been the lack of light in the coloring. Many times I’ve had problems reading a Transformers book illustrated by him and been unable to make out what was happening on the page because of the darkness. That problem is fortunately fixed throughout most of this issue as Ramondelli uses a lot of the warmer palette in his coloring. As usual with his art, the robots are extremely “blocky” and based on how you like you Transformers to look, it will determine how much you like the art. It’s not my favorite but it does bring back some memories of the packaging art that was on the toy boxes. Ramondelli has also gotten better at handling action and there is a great fight between Arcee and Galvatron that only has minor flaws. He also has started making his ‘bots much more expressive which is nice to see as it adds to the story. All around, it’s evident that he is evolving as an artist and I’m glad to see that the colors weren’t the only thing to get warmer in the book.
BOTTOM LINE: START TO ANOTHER EPIC STORY
Transformers #52 feels like it’s the third part of the beginning of another epic Transformers story that IDW has been doing so well these past 5 years. Barber is crafting something and I’m not entirely sure where it’s headed but I’m more than happy to sit back and enjoy the ride. What’s great is a reader could pick this issue up, as well as #50 and #51 and have all the information they’d need to enjoy it. Once again, IDW’s Transformers title is not only doing some great Transformer storytelling, but also telling great stories in general.