Writer: James Roberts & John Barber
Art: Atilio Rojo, James Raiz, & Livio Ramondelli
Colors: Josh Perez & Livio Ramondelli
Letters: Gilberto Lazcano
Editor: Carlos Guzman
People that know me probably know that I love Transformers and I love crossovers and events. Something like Dark Cybertron should be heaven for me. But it turns out the second chapter of this crossover is just sort of... underwhelming.
Which isn't to say that it's terrible. There's a lot to love here. Writers James Roberts and John Barber give us a couple REALLY awesome moments in this book. I particularly like how Bumblebee deals with the Dinobots (one of the very few moments I've felt that Bumblebee actually DESERVES to be the Autobot leader) and the bar scene with Orion Pax, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus is nicely done. On the other hand, this shows you one of the disadvantages of a twelve part story is that some chapters move slower than others. Most of this book is just the characters waiting around for something to happen. Bumblebee and crew are waiting for the Necrotitan to do something while Orion Pax and company are waiting for Brainstorm to build them a device that will allow them to enter the Dead Universe without getting killed. We DO get to see Orion enter the Dead Universe with a a few select companions but I'd still call this book a waiting game and hopefully not indicative of future installments.
The art on this book doesn't help matters. One of the cool things about most crossovers is seeing seeing a book's regular creative team tackle another book's cast. For example, in Dark Cyberton #1 we saw the crew of the Lost Light as drawn by Robots in Disguise regular artist, Andrew Griffith. However, MTMTE's regular artist, Alex Milne, is completely absent in this book. In his place, we have three separate artists handling art chores for this issue's three different locations. Scenes on the Lost Light are handled by James Raiz. Cybertron locales are drawn by Artilio Rojo. The Dead Universe is covered by Livio Ramondelli. Each artist has a different style that will help readers easily identify where everything takes place but it turns out that some Transformers artists are better (or worse) than others.
James Raiz is my favorite of the three. The level of detail he puts into each figure is impressive. I would have prefered an artist more like Milne (or Nick Roche) to handle the Lost Light scenes and Raiz's close ups on faces are... weird... but there's a level of quality in Raiz's work that makes it really stand out.
Livio Ramondelli also does a pretty good job. Ramondelli's digital colors are always awesome. He's doing better than average figure work compared to his last effort in Robots in Disguise #22. It's just too bad that the storytelling between panels is so poor. Sometimes, it's hard to tell what's actually going on in the scene.
Antilio Rojo is the biggest disappointment in this comic. Scenes on Cybertron involve VERY simplified designs and some poor figure work. Rojo still illustrates some good panels here and there (the full page image of the Necrotitan is very cool) but the overall feeling I get with his work is that it was rushed. Rojo's previous Transformers work in Transformers: More Than Meets they Eye #12 was much better than this.
This issue is the first in the series (besides the Annual) that ISN'T colored by Josh Burcham. Instead, RiD colorist, Josh Perez, steps in. While this gives us some cohesion in coloring for this storyline (Perez also colored the first chapter, Dark Cybertron #1), it would have been cool to see how Burcham would have handled the art and it's sad to see an issue of More Than Meets the Eye without his colors. Regardless, Josh Perez does his usual fantastic job, enhancing every page no matter who's drawing it.
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #23 continues the Dark Cybertron storyline and while I'd like to see this thing pick up the pace, it still moves things along. We get some memorable scenes and the supposed return of a long dead character (which made me smile). While I have some issues with the art, it's not enough to ruin my excitement on this crossover. Hopefully, things pick up for past 3.
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