Most people know I love me some Transformers. I've pretty much gushed over everything IDW has produced as far as their mainline Transformers comics go (their luck with Beast Wars and that animated movie mini are not as good). I've loved everything from Infiltration to All Hail Megatron and have done my best to try to get the Review Group to read some TF Comics at every chance.
So, when I say that this is an incredibly mediocre effort, I'm totally serious. The Spotlight series usually does a great job letting us get to know a particular Transformer and shows us how that Transformer is different than the rest. Shane McCarthy's written some great Spotlights since he's been given the reigns of the mainline. Blurr and Jazz were great character pieces and the All Hail series has made some great twists along the way. This story could really feature anyone. Cliffjumper could be Seaspray and there would only be a few changes in the plot to accomodate. It shows us only that Cliffjumper is able to take down a platoon of nameless Decepticons single handed... but that's something that Brawn could probably do as well if you're looking for a tiny terror. As far as personality goes, this doesn't delve into Cliffy's as much as Drift or Blurr's Spotlight did under McCarthy's watch. It's basically a generic story that happens to feature an Autobot in it. It's got some good scenes and plays out well but fails as far as Spotlight goes. And no one transforms. I don't need transforming in my Transformers comics but it's always nice to be reminded what this whole premise is about.
As far as art goes, this thing does a great job. It seems that the only comics that IDW cares about when it comes to art come from Hasbro. I actually ended up dropping Angel recently because I just couldn't put up with their string of poor artists (and the story just dragged to the point of boring when After The Fall ended but I digress). The generic Decepticons look like real 'cons. The colors make everything pop. Cliffjumper looks very cool. Panel flow works well (another problem from recent Angel comics).
So we've got a generic but well told story about an Autobot that looks nice and shiny but could feature a variety of 'bots in the starring role. Still not a terrible comic but nowhere near as good as All Hail Megatron, Spotlight Blurr, Spotlight Drift, or Spotlight Jazz.
Transformers Spotlight Cliffjumper, I give you a 7. McCarthy's weakest effort but it's still a damn Transformer comic.