It’s the end of the world as he knows it, but he’s still Prime. Your Major Spoilers review of Optimus Prime #25 awaits!
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Kei Zama
Colorist: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Previously in Optimus Prime: The battle is over. Heroes have fallen. Worlds have died. Now Optimus Prime faces his final ordeal-as past, present, and future collide. Who will stand with him? And when it’s all over, who will carry the mantle of “Prime?”
“‘TIL ALL ARE ONE!”
Millions of years ago, on Cybertron, Alpha Trion created a robot named Orion Pax. That creation, hinted at in the old-school ‘Transformers’ cartoon, is explicitly shown here, with Orion awakening after a difficult creation, but Pax quickly becomes a police officer on Cybertron. We see events from his life and past, all the while cutting back to the present day, where Earth is suddenly now the home to every Cybertronian, since Megatron ate their homeworld. We not only get important moments in Prime’s history, but bits and pieces of missing history, including the earliest appearances of the separatist faction that would become the Decepticons. At the same time, we get closure for the characters we’ve come to know and love, including Arcee, Bumblebee, Starscream, Thundercracker (who wins an OSCAR, of all things, for his screenplay), all the while building to an ominous funeral. Finally, our storylines converge as Optimus removes his faceplate, declaring “No more masks.” Embracing his fate as the one true Prime, he accepts his fate.
COMMENCE TO REBOOT
The fact that the funeral is for Optimus Prime as an abstract concept, while the fate of his body and spark are left somewhat ambiguous feels appropriate somehow. As we saw in the last issue of ‘Lost Light’, the creative teams had time and space to prepare for the end of this Transformers iteration and the questions raised in this issue (the classic superhero conundrum, wondering whether they fight chaos or somehow create it, as well as complex ruminations on identity and belief) aren’t really answered, but they are put to rest. The visuals are excellent as well, and the nerd in me appreciates the amount of reference that had to go into this issue. Orion Pax has the same design that he did back in ’85, with slight adjustments to fit the more realistic technology of the modern IDW books, and I’m once again amazed at the amount of expression Kei Zama gives to metal faces.
BOTTOM LINE: A WELL-CRAFTED ENDING
For a number of years, IDW’s Transformers books have taken the toys of our youth and crafted deep, complex stories with them, and this issue is no exception. Optimus Prime #25 is a fond farewell to more than a decade of those tales, celebrating Optimus Prime and his convictions on freedom while admitting the faults in his character, featuring some excellent art and a goosebump-inducing final couple of pages, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. It’s hard to generate real drama and emotion out of an ending knowing that a reboot is coming in 2019, but this issue pulls it off admirably. For my part, I think I’m going to miss Bumblebee and his pal, ghost Starscream, most of all.
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OPTIMUS PRIME #25
Unicron has come and gone, and now it's time to wrap this iteration of the Transformers, and they pull it off with style.