Unicron has arrived. Cancel Christmas. Your Major Spoilers review of Optimus Prime #24 awaits!
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith & Sara Pitre-Durocher
Colorist: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 17, 2018
Previously in Optimus Prime: As Unicron approaches, Optimus Prime’s colonist soldiers take matters into their own hands. With Autobot forces spread thin, will anybody stand in their way? And more importantly… SHOULD anybody stop them?
UNICRON IS HERE!
So, Unicron has arrived on Earth after destroying not only Cybertron, but ROM’s home planet as well, but for some reason, he/it is just hovering in space. On Earth, Optimus Prime is having a crisis of faith, made worse by a Cybertronian named Slide who has some choice words for him about the shortcuts he has taken to try an protect his people. Humans and Autobots are dead, and there’s no time for mourning. Taking place as it does in the shared Hasbro Universe, not only is ROM present but G.I. Joe as well, and the Joe team’s Flint has some harsh words as well, mostly for his daughter Marissa, who is… a liaison to Cybertron? I’m honestly not sure, and this issue doesn’t do a lot to explain it, instead focusing on bringing more and more characters together for their end game, including former Decepticon Soundwave, the Dinobots and what I think might be an Inhumanoid, all of whom are simply waiting for the world to end…
WAIT… ROM IS IN THIS?
This issue seems to consist half of the expositional dialogue and half of the character introductions, and as such, it makes for a wildly confusing read for someone who hasn’t been keeping up with all the Hasbro properties. Our basic plot is all about Optimus’ doubts in himself and his leadership, with Slide acting as a megaphone to call out all his worst behaviors, but Slide comes across as rude and unpleasant. (It’s not easy to yell at a being like Prime, especially when he simply takes every bit of abuse and agrees that you have a point.) The art is okay, if somewhat inconsistent when it comes to human faces, making for some super-cartoony facial expressions in the midst of complex and photo-realistic robots. On the one hand, it does remind me of classic Manga tropes (a fully rendered, realistic background with cartoonish or stylized characters is the bread and butter of Japanese comics), it’s not done well enough or consistently enough to make me think it’s intentional, much less an homage.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS *VERY* CONVOLUTED
In short, with a ton of characters, at least four different properties in play and a build-up to the end of the world to get through, Optimus Prime #24 doesn’t really work as a single issue story for me, with some stiff and inconsistent art, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall. I don’t know if this really is the end of the Transformers road at IDW, but if so, this will serve mostly as the palette cleanser before the final battle in the upcoming trade paperback. And frankly, I think it will be better served once it is collected, with more context for readers to work with.