IDW Publishing 2017
Written by John Barber & Christos Gage
Illustrated by Alex Milne
Coloured by Josh Perez
Lettered by Tom B. Long
Starscream forges an unholy pact with the Dire Wraiths—and Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus are hot on his trail. Unfortunately for them, Rom and the Solstar Knights don't know the difference between Autobots and Decepticons—and they're ready to fight all comers!
Picking up where we left off last issue in the midst of a confrontation between Decepticons, Autobots and the Solstar Knights will have to wait while we get some more background information to see how exactly it got to this. If there’s one thing I can say it’s that both John and Christos not only have a passion for this universe but both are exceptional writers in their own right and together blow me out of the water. The flow of the story is amazing, the structure of the book is fantastic and the characterisation is superb.
The guys really do an incredible job here mixing in the background information, how exactly the Dire Wraith and the Decepticon’s managed a team-up, with the action that’s encountered along with long standing prejudices. Before all this I never thought of Autobots as having bigotry and prejudices and here they are on full display and it adds a whole new dimension to the characters that actually make them more interesting. This kind of personality depth is something i’m not used to when it comes to them so suddenly i’m sitting up and becoming more interested in what’s going on.
Alex and Josh are killing it on the interiors here. The attention to detail and the sheer amount of work we see in every panel brings the fantasy to life in ways that make you feel like a kid again. It’s got that perfect blend of being seen as realistic and yet it’s got that colourform colours that make it so childhood. The use of page layouts are great and angles and perspective that we see being used really makes this easy and fun to follow.
I love how we’re seeing the relationship between the Solstar Knights and the Autobots that seems to encompass the entirety of their mistrust for each other coming to the forefront in one story. That Stardrive is a Decepticon raised by the Knights to become one and her loyalty to the Knights is stronger than to her own kind is the perfect catalyst for bringing us this kind of intense and action packed arc.
Bumblebee being one of the few characters whom I’m actually familiar with, well aside from Rom, fits into this nicely. He’s a mainstay character who is usually in the supporting role so to see him as a youngster and open minded type who looks, sees and questions what’s going on around him gives him that validity to his being more the kind of sentient being that we can care about and support, get behind.
It’s amazing the level of talent on display in this Hasbro Universe. That it can come from cartoons and a toy line to be such an incredible story based adventure is wonderful to see.