CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers More than Meets the Eye #2: Liars A to D Part 2, Hangers On
Reviewed by Red Dave Prime
This issue is the first to include the “meet the crew” at the end of the issue.
The robots Skids encounters are called Legislators. Keep an eye out for them in future issues. They may be important. All they are heard to say is “1984”.
Tailgate has a very, very slow transformation speed. At first, it’s attributed to being offline for 6 million years. This is not the only reason.
Skids is unaware that he is always holding a gun in his right hand.
Most of the Autobots who fell through the hull breach have been recovered, with Hyperion and Polaris being the only 2 main casualties.
Along with Hyperion & Polaris being dead, both duobots (Shock and Ore) are also deceased.
This is Ratchet's first time to repair Rung and he remarks how well kept the psychologist is.
I may be reading it wrong but Brainstorm is said to have found Hyperion and Polaris in among wreckage of the ship, but we know that their bodies were used by Skids in his fight against the legislators. Either this is a mess-up or Brainstorm kept the discovery of the defeated Legislators to himself.
“Never stand next to a Quantum Generator when it’s about to flout the law of physics.” – Brainstorm gives some good advice that may come in handy.
“I’m going to kill you. Not Today, Maybe not for a While. But I will kill you. And don’t think you will see it coming” – Cyclonus’s whispered threat to Whirl.
“The truth. We've lost contact with Cybertron, we can't find ourselves on the map, Ore is dead, Hyperion and Polaris are dead, but Cyclonus is happy, so that's okay” – Magnus weighs up the pros and cons.
"'The Crusadercons.' The more you say it, the cooler it sounds."
"Someone hears that, they're gonna think we're Decepticons."
"What, so it has to end in 'bot'?"
"Well... yeah. Omnibots, Monsterbots, Duobots... it's kind of an unwritten rule, isn't it."
"Forget the rules! The war's over—it's time to reclaim the suffix!"
- Swerve suggests a new group name.
This is very much a set-up issue. Lots of different seeds are being sown, which is great for future issues but as an issue itself it has a pretty jumbled feel. Lots of good scenes but they don’t link together as well as they maybe should. That’s to be expected as MTMTE features many characters we really haven’t seen that much of so many are new and need a bit of space to make an impression. But it doesn’t make for that good a comic.
There are a few problems with the narrative as well. The big cliff-hanger of the last issue is somewhat underwhelming at the start of this issue. Most of the fallen autobots survive and just took a few knocks and went offline. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have a few more casualties considering many of these ‘bots are minor characters. It also marks a start of a problem that will run through both the on goings – namely that death (and more importantly the drama caused by it) is thrown about to loosely and begins to lack impact over time.
Another problem I have with this issue is Skids. It’s not the way he is presented or his character as both are done really well. There’s a strong wolverine vibe to him without being a direct copy, but we do have an ass-kicking fighter who has a degree of amnesia. Sound familiar? Well, no biggie. The problem I have with Skids is that he arrives battling a strange looking robot and no-one seems to be too bothered. He’s on board and mixing in the background without so much as a second glance from the higher ups. Especially odd as Cyclonus has to justify his place aboard the crew this issue and last issue Ultra Magnus makes such a big issue over who gets let on board.
It’s still an entertaining read but it’s not one of the better issues. However it does have one amazing thing going for it.
This issue marks the start of Alex Milne’s run on the series. I had to admit, when this was announced my heart sank a little. Milne had improved from his earlier work with his recent run in the on-going but I still didn’t think he was the right artist to fill in for Nick Roche. Roche’s style, while not to everyone’s taste, was a major influence of the character and vibe in the first issue. Milne had always seemed a more serious artist. Even the covers for issue 2 seemed to highlight the gulf between the 2 artists – Milne with a bland, over-drawn Rodimus showing “rage” and Roche with a dynamic visual of Skids ejecting from the ship, smirk of a raconteur firmly in place.
But within the issue, Alex Milne doesn’t just do well. He nails it. Absolutely nails it. The style, the action, the little character touches are all in place and Milne will go on to be my favourite artist of IDWs batch. Sure, every now and again a face will start to slip back into his previous style but for the most part his character designs are great and the panels look wonderful. He also does some great comedy moments too – Tailgates slow transformation is a great little moment, but done subtly.
Not a bad issue then, but a tad disjointed. MTMTE is still very much in set-up mode which will hamper it a little. But only a little.
Rating: 3 out of 5