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REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

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REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby LOLtron » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:56 am

REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

The Transformers's first internal crossover finally hits the stands.




Writer: John Barber & James Roberts
Layouts: Phil Jimenez
Finishes: Andrew Griffith
Prologue Art: Brendan Cahill
Colors: Josh Perez
Prologue Colors: J.P. Bove
Letters: Tom B. Long
Editor: Carlos Guzman
 

The Story So Far:
The war for Cybertron is over.  Now Starscream controls the planet, having banished the Autobots and Decepticons from his city.  In the far reaches of space, Rodimus leads the crew of the starship Lost Light in search of the legendary Knights of Cybertron while Orion Pax- the former Optimus Prime- pursues the renegade scientist Jhiaxus.  But all of these threads are about to be pulled together as Shockwave- the emotionless former Decepticon- enacts a plan eons in the making.


All the pieces are in place.  It's time for IDW to give us the very first internal Transformers crossover!  While the Transformers franchise is no stranger to crossovers and events, this is the first time we've had two monthly Transformers books that will crossover with each other.    

Writers John Barber and James Roberts work well together and it seems like the collaboration plays to both of their strengths (Barber is a continuity master and Roberts is a world builder).  The issue pretty much lives up to the writers' proclamation that you don't NEED to read any previous Transformers comics to understand this event.  It certainly wouldn't HURT to be versed on the universe, of course.  This event brings in story points from the very beginning of IDW's run on Transformers so if you've read 'em all (that would be me), then you're going to have a more full experience than someone who's just starting on the Transformers.  In addition, everything IN this comic has been set up in both ongoing series, most importantly Robots in Disguise's Prelude comics.  So if you're wondering why Orion Pax and company are trying to escape from a collapsing planet, the answers are detailed in a previous Transformers issue.

As far as the story itself goes, it perfectly sets up a mega event and gets me excited for what's coming next.  The massive cast is introduced, the status is set up, and... oh man, the surprises.  I'm actually shocked that after reading every interview about this thing I could find that I STILL didn't know what was actually going to happen inside the book.  This issue is pretty much all set-up because it HAS to be but it's a very well done set-up.

And then we get the art.  

Brendan Cahill handles the art on the prologue with colors by J.P. Bove.  Cahill's art here is reminiscent of Guido Guidi's work with these characters back in Robots in Diguise Annual #1 which means it's period appropriate.  Bove's colors are suitably "comic-booky" which also complements the time period of the prologue.  I would have prefered the same newsprint-style coloring that Guidi employed in the annual but these colors are probably a better choice since this is the first thing a new reader is going to see of the Transformers.  We don't want to scare anyone away by making them think this is a reprint of an old Marvel story!

The meat of the issue has layouts provided by Phil Jimenez with finishes by Andrew Griffith.  Jimenez is a high profile artist that most comic book fans will recognize from his work across the industy on titles like Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-Man, and Astonishing X-Men (just to name a few off the top of my head).  Having an artist of his calibur on a Transformers book is awesome and I'm a bit disappointed that he only provided the layouts.  Still, Andrew Griffith does an excellent job making these pages SING.  You're basically getting the best of both worlds: a comic book veteran providing high quality layouts with a Transformers artist making the book look like a Transformers book.  Griffith has been impressing me lately on the Robots in Disguise ongoing and his work over Jimenez is even better.  Colorist Josh Perez's work is more muted than the prologue colors but nothing gets muddy.  Perez has plenty of room to work some magic on these pages.

If it sounds like I'm gushing the hell out of this issues it's because I'M GUSHING THE HELL OUT OF THIS ISSUE.  Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1 is light on action and it's heavy on set-up.  I can see this being a criticism but it's also a necessary evil when you start up a multi-part crossover event unless you want to confuse... everyone.  Besides, it feels pretty dense to me... and that last page...



Written or Contributed by SuperginraiX




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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby GHERU » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:09 pm

ok, so, if I wanted to start reading Transformers where would I start?
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby Zechs » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:21 pm

GHERU wrote:ok, so, if I wanted to start reading Transformers where would I start?

For IDW? Shockwave Spotlight or All Hail Megatron.
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby sdsichero » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:28 pm

GHERU wrote:ok, so, if I wanted to start reading Transformers where would I start?


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I'm kidding. The recent IDW pair of series are kind of a dense read if you are not familiar with TF Heck I'm familiar with TF and I find it a bit dense. I didn't much like the first IDW TF series, but it did get a bit better with All Hail Megatron.

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby GHERU » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:40 pm

I've tried to read that issue many times
rather stab my eyes out
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby Zechs » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:08 pm

GHERU wrote:I've tried to read that issue many times
rather stab my eyes out


I just followed the path of Shockwave's plot. First his spotlight then Soundwave's, and then Maximum Dinobots. After that I read All Hail Megatron and that's all I needed to get into IDW stuff after that. Heck the subplot of Shockwave currently harkens back to said Spotlight issue of his.
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sdsichero wrote:
I especially like and admire Zechs. He's everything I wish I could be!

Dragavon wrote:Zechs... is...

Zechs...is...

I can't say it. It's too horrible. Zechs...is...not...wrong...

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:02 pm

Last Stand of the Wreckers is a good start.

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby SuperginraiX » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:08 am

fieldy snuts wrote:Last Stand of the Wreckers is a good start.

I think I've said this before but, yeah, start with Last Stand of the Wreckers. Then read that comic I bought you on comiXology and go from there. :P
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby GHERU » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:14 am

SuperginraiX wrote:I think I've said this before but, yeah, start with Last Stand of the Wreckers. Then read that comic I bought you on comiXology and go from there. :P

Cool
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby MrBlack » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 am

Last Stand of the Wreckers is a good start, and then you can jump straight into the current series (Robots in Disguise and More Than Meets the Eye). Simon Furman's run (The "-ation" books and Maximun Dinobots) is worth reading if the rest of it interests you, since it sets the stage for what comes later. All Hail Megatron is pretty weak. The first ongoing series was stronger, but it didn't really grab me until the end. I liked Chaos Theory/Chaos, but I know a number of people disliked the Deceptigod concept (which I am hoping will get some additional explanation in Dark Cybertron).

I was lukewarm on Dark Cybertron until reading this issue. I'm glad to see Nemesis Prime and Galvatron make their returns, and it looks like we'll see Megatron and Kup (!)return to the playing field as well.

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:20 pm

I think Last Stand is all you need to set up MTMTE as Roberts carried over a lot of his subplots from there like Overlord, Fort Max, Aequitas trials etc.

I do think there needs to be a checklist for Dark Cybertron though as it seems like Shockwave's master plan has been literally 5+ years in the making. Might have to skim through my TF box to see just how many issues it spans :lol:

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RE: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby David Schmitt » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:59 pm

I'm starting from the beginning, so looking forward to reading Dark Cybertron next Fall! Whooo-hooo!

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby Zechs » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:28 pm

fieldy snuts wrote:I think Last Stand is all you need to set up MTMTE as Roberts carried over a lot of his subplots from there like Overlord, Fort Max, Aequitas trials etc.

I do think there needs to be a checklist for Dark Cybertron though as it seems like Shockwave's master plan has been literally 5+ years in the making. Might have to skim through my TF box to see just how many issues it spans :lol:


The Spotlight of Shockwave and Soundwave, Maximum Dinobots, and the energon he deposited on Earth thru the later stage of the "-ation" books. Then his subplot went dead until the Optimus Prime origin and slowly but surely we got a trickle effect of this subplot back when Megatron returned until he abandoned the Decepticons. :smt017

I still wonder if there's more to it than just helping Nemesis and Galvatron out. It's gotta be.
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sdsichero wrote:
I especially like and admire Zechs. He's everything I wish I could be!

Dragavon wrote:Zechs... is...

Zechs...is...

I can't say it. It's too horrible. Zechs...is...not...wrong...

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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby SuperginraiX » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:53 pm

I also think that this is about more than just Shockwave's plans. He's helping Nova Prime and Galvatron so you could include the Nova Prime subplot that ran through Furman's -ation series and blew up in Revelation. Transformers Spotlight: Galvatron, Transformers Spotlight: Optimus Prime, All Hail Megatron #14, Transformers: Heart of Darkness #'s 1-4 (which is one of the only series I've never fully read and I've heard is awful), and all of the Chaos issues on the first ongoing.

My wife read through MTMTE without any previous TF reading with no real problems. She had trouble telling the characters apart but had no issues telling who Overlord was or why Fort Max got into a hostage situation. The series does a pretty good job explaining that without the need to read Last Stand... but Last Stand certainly does inform a lot of what happens in MTMTE. I wouldn't say it's essential but it's certainly the ground floor.
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Re: REVIEW- Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Postby MrBlack » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:31 pm

I gave my wife the very briefest rundown of the overall plot (Cybertron rendered unlivable, now it's better!) before turning her loose on the first volume of MTMTE. She enjoyed it, and she generally doesn't like comics outside of Sandman, Elfquest, and Fables.

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