Writer: John Barber
Art: Andrew Griffith (present) & Livio Ramondelli (past)
Colors: Priscilla Tramantano (present) & Livio Ramondelli (past)
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Soundwave has always been one of my favorite characters. There's a lot of reasons for this. He was the first Transformer toy I ever owned, he's got a really cool design, the cartoon gave him an awesome voice, and his loyalty to Megatron sets him apart from other Decepticons (like Starscream and Shockwave). But... that's about all you ever get to know about him. He looks cool, sounds cool, and will carry an injured Megatron off the battlefield instead of killing him. We never learn what motivates him and the bio included with his original toy is almost completely disregarded in every one of his G1 iterations.
Leave it to John Barber and the rest of the creators on Transformers: Robots in Disguise to shed some light on a twenty-nine year old robot.
This issue picks up right where Robots in Disguise #21 left off, making it the first two-parter during the series' Dark Cybertron Prelude issues. It continues to show Soundwave's present day action mixed in with flashbacks that give us some extra insight on his character. Just like last issue, the flashbacks are handled by artist Livio Ramondelli while the present scenes drawn by Andrew Griffith with colors by Priscilla Tramantano. Writer John Barber continues to work past Soundwave appearances to give us a clearer picture of the current leader of the Decepticons. While I noticed a lot less continuity fixes this issue, the story DOES help explain why Soundwave had once worked for Senator Ratbat and why he "switched loyalties" to Megatron way back in Megatron Origins. Most of all, it gives Soundwave an origin and a purpose all in one neat little package.
Andrew Griffith's art keeps on shining in the present day scenes. Griffith really has a handle over the current character designs and his panel work is dynamic. Priscilla Tramantano's colors complement Griffith's lineart, making everything look distinct and readable. In contrast, Ramondelli's digital painting in the past scenes isn't as good as it was last issue. His figure work just isn't as strong. While the different art styles help to distinguish past and present scenes, I seriously wonder what Ramondelli's solid colors would look like over a stronger Transformers artist. Regardless, Livio Ramondelli's coloring is pretty awesome.
This is another continuity heavy issue and a second-parter to boot so, again, it's not going to be a good issue to begin your Transformers collection. However, if you've been following the comics, even sporadically, this issue is a good read. Not only is it a good character piece for Soundwave but it sets up the last pieces in the lead up to Dark Cybertron.
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About the Author - SuperginraiX
SuperginraiX is the biggest sap on The Outhousers' payroll (wait, we get paid?). He reads every issue of every crappy Marvel crossover so you don't have to. Whats worse is that he pays for his books, thus condoning Marvel's behavior. If The Outhouse cared for his well being at all, they'd try and get him into some sort of rehab center. But, alas, none of us even know how to say his name. For a good time, ask Super why Captian America jumped off the Helicarrier in Fear Itself. Super lives in the frozen wastland that is Minnesota with 15% of the state's population living under his roof: a wife he makes wear an Optimus Prime mask, two gremlins, and his mother-in-law.
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