CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Drift #3
Reviewed by Blackjack
"How far will we go to get what we want?"
Other than the fact that I can't tell Drift and Wing apart at times (must the two's heads be drawn so similarly?), I actually enjoyed this issue much better than the ongoing. Sure, it's chock-full of fan characters, but at least it tries to tell a story.
McCarthy's style of writing has improved a lot since his stint with AHM, thus giving Drift several nice monologues. Now that we have had all the banal cliché origin crap behind us, it's the 'change of heart' phase. While much of it is still predictably clichéd, at least the author knows where he's going with this story. Drift's change of heart benefits from having a miniseries instead of just a spotlight.
It's just a shame that this miniseries wasn't drawn by someone like Guido or Roche. I am of the minority in the fandom who like Milne's art, but for someone going through an emotional change like Drift here, it doesn't really show much emotion. He channels too much of his inner Pat Lee. Plus, must he give Dai Atlas that shadowed eyes thing?
Dai Atlas basically fills the generic 'stubborn king
' trope to Drift's noble anti-hero, while Wing fills the Obi-Wan
trope. The big guy, Axe, seems to be a redshirt, so is the red female-looking Circle of Light member that looks like Wing's twin sister. Lockdown fills the role of generic villain without being too generic, although I would've preferred that the page given to the alien trader be given to Lockdown instead to define his character. Why Lockdown wants to work with the slavers is a little confusing, though, if you're unfamiliar to the opportunistic bounty hunter of Animated, since now it seems that he's ignoring Megatron's orders to bring Drift back and instead is playing with the aliens' game.
The alien slavers are more interesting third-parties than Skywatch, and kind of reminds me to stuff like the Mecannibals from the Marvel days of old. While there are some holes in the plot (like how Drift managed to sneak out in the first place), the plot's picking up to a climax, and for once I am actually optimistic about something related to Drift. Perhaps it's the fact that he has a toy now (which I have standing on my desk), or maybe it's because of McCarthy's improved writing skills. Whatever the case, though, this issue in the miniseries has exceeded my expectations.
Sure, it's not Wreckers
brilliant, but at least it tries to tell a story and succeeds in it. The point is that the story is delivered, we are getting somewhere with this, unlike the ongoing. Sadly the character designs for the Circle of Light members are rubbish, Gundam-ish and repetitive... had they used more Japanese characters instead of scratch-building them, it would’ve been much better to look at.
Sure, the ending that's going to come in issue four is predictable – Drift will no doubt turn good, either Wing or Axe (or both) will die, Lockdown and the aliens will be defeated yadda yadda yadda – but I keep up hope that McCarthy might surprise us.
After his initial upgrade at the end of issue one, Drift gets another
upgrade. As of the end of this issue, Drift has been fully upgraded into the Cybertronian look he sports throughout All Hail Megatron
. And he has his swords now, naturally.
The alien slavers want to be immortal, by way of grafting Decepticon/Cybertronian technology into their body. Previously they had ‘upgraded’ themselves via biotechnological grafting and implants, in a manner akin to Animated Lockdown (albeit with organic stuff instead of mechanical). This seems somewhat akin to various sci-fi aliens, of whose names I can’t recall right now.
Megatron wants Drift back unharmed, despite his trying to overthrow Turmoil, since Drift is such a capable soldier and stuff.
Dai Atlas is a seasoned veteran, the oldest of the ‘Knights’, and had fought before in many wars prior to the Autobot/Decepticon war.
Is Wing that naïve not to press Drift on for what he did out there?
For that matter, how did Drift evade everyone in the city? After all, from the flashback it seemed like the meeting went on for some time.
Throughout the flashback, Drift’s Decepticon insignia disappears and reappears from frame to frame.
Drift: "There's an army of slavers out there preparing for war, and very soon they'll be on your doorstep."
Dai Atlas: "How could you possibly know that?"
Drift: "Because I just made a deal with them to sell you out for my freedom."
Lockdown: "Deadlock. This planet, these creatures, they're of no concern to us. Megatron clearly has faith in you. Let's hope it's not misplaced."
Dai Atlas: "This is madness. You will die. All of you."
Wing: "You said it yourself: we are the guardians of Cybertron's future. If that cannot be sacrificed, then we must."
Drift: "You've fought in so many wars, so many battles. You can't stand to face it again? You risk the lives of everyone in this city because you're scared? What has all that fighting done to you, Dai Atlas? Made you a coward?"
Dai Atlas: "Maybe.. but I'll take that over the alternative. Look what it did to you."
Wing: "You ready to go, Drift? You must have gone into battle like this countless times."
Drift: All of them making a stand, sacrificing themselves to save the lives of innocents. Have I gone into battle like this before? no. Not like this. Never like this.