Writer: John Barber & James Roberts
Art: Robert Gill & Livio Ramondelli
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr. & Livio Ramondelli
Letters: Tom B. Long
Editor: Carlos Guzman
With this issue of Robots in Disguise, the Transformers Dark Cybertron crossover is at it's halfway point. So how is this event doing so far?
On the positive, this storyline is a lot of fun with some deep rewards for longtime readers. Barber and Roberts are building off of every IDW-verse story that has come before. I really enjoy seeing Nightbeat and Galvatron again. The Dead Universe? Loving it.
While I'd like for the pace to pick up in this thing, we are getting some great character interactions. Cyclonus was already fascinating but it's his place in this story that really has me interested. He served Nova Prime for six million years and even though we've seen that his ideology doesn't match up with Nova's, we also know that he REALLY misses the Cybertron "Golden Age" that Nova Prime promises to bring back. Beyond that, we still haven't learned what Shockwave is REALLY up to (because it's heavily hinted that Shock's endgame isn't Nova Prime's return to power). So, if nothing else, this comic has me asking questions about what's coming next. That's a good thing.
Now, what's not a good thing... would be the art. I've been pretty critical of the artists working on the Dark Cybertron Crossover and with the exception of Nick Roche showing up for a couple pages in More Than Meets the Eye #24, we haven't really seen any "A" grade Transformers art since the opening chapter. This crossover would have been a better highlight of the world of Transformers if only series regular artists Alex Milne and Andrew Griffith would have frontlined the event. Instead, the book is illustrated by what are essentially guest artists. This isn't ideal when you're promoting the Transformers comicbook line to new readers.
RiD #24 is split into two storylines. The first happens on Cybertron and is drawn by Robert Gill with colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.. Gill is an upgrade from Artilio Rojo who handled most of the Cybertron scenes in previous chapters. Some characters are a bit off model but that's been a problem throughout this event no matter who's on art duties. Gill brings some wow-factor with his panel work and you can tell that he's a promising artist. He just needs a little more time in the trenches before he's ready for prime-time.
The second storyline happens in the Dead Universe and, like previous chapters, is illustrated by Livio Ramondelli. His colors, as always, are incredible. The figure work and panel-storytelling is less impressive. It WORKS but it's based almost entirely on Ramondelli's colors.
In much the same way, Dark Cybertron is working because the writers are doing such a fantastic job. I'm always concerned when a storyline is set up for twelve parts because it's hard to make something last that long without putting in filler scenes to stretch things out. So far, Dark Cybertron is moving slowly but purposefully. Nothing feels wasted and everything draws you further into the Transformers world. We're half way done and I'm still looking forward to what comes next, despite my misgivings on the art.
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