CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers More than Meets the Eye #3: Liars A to D Part 3: The Chaos of Warm Things
Reviewed by Red Dave Prime
In the montage scene, I’m pretty sure that it’s meant to depict Megatron taking a sniper shot at Zeta Prime – Autocracy has since shown us this wasn’t quite what happened (a pity – it’s an awesome visual). Other moments shown include Sentinel overseeing the opening of Nominus Primes chest cavity in search of the Matrix, Grimlock choosing between both sides, Sherma hanging from the bridge which would receive his name, and Starscream about to shot the corrupt Senator Proteus in the head. All these events, with the exception of Grimlock, play out or have played out in various James Roberts stories.
Brainstorm is very protective of his briefcase. In the story “Bullets”, Brainstorm (possibly jokingly) describes it as containing the Malevolent Counterintuitive Pathogen. Anyone who opens this case will find the one thing they least expect to, and then it will kill them. The briefcase will appear at various points and at the time of this review its exact contents are still unknown.
The reason the Sparkeater ignores him however, is because of his weak spark, as revealed in RID #27 (Dark Cybertron #11)
We learn in issue 31 that the Sparkeater was placed onboard the Lost Light by a group of Worshippers of Mortilus.
“After everything we’ve been through – escaping Hell’s Point, braving the Crucible, surviving Babu Yar, welding Prowl’s hands together for a joke.” – Here’s hoping we get to see Shock and Ore again even if it is a story set in the past.
“Nickel, Iron, Cobalt, Chrome,
He’ll eat your soul, turn your spark to stone,
Nickle, Iron, Cobalt, Chrome,
Run, little robot, run away home”
- The Sparkeater rhyme. Creepy.
“I once arrested a Decepticon who thought he was a Sparkeater. He called himself the Dark Assassin, Devourer of Souls and Propagator of Infinite Sin. His real name was Blip.” – Ultra Magnus speaks about one of his great nemeses.
“A brain module sitting outside a body without a head wound. Now I’m no doctor, but that strikes me as intensely wrong.– No Trailbreaker, you are no doctor. You, son, are a forcefield specialist
“What are you looking at?” – Cyclonus, making friends as usual.
“My nickname at the academy was “Shut the Hell Up”. – Swerve in a nutshell.
“Remember who you are talking to. While you’re on this ship you answer to me. Not the other way round. Are we clear about that?” – Rodimus puts Ultra Magnus in his place.
After 2 issues of mostly set-up, More Than Meets The Eye gets the ball rolling proper with a nice, mostly self-contained, action story. The obvious Alien
movie reference is apparent, from the way the Sparkeater explodes the spark out of its victims chest to the chase through the elevator shaft. This is a neat little tale with a few nice set pieces and generally a good pace.
Artwise, I felt this was the first time that Alex Milne shows that not only can he ape Nick Roche's style from the first issue, but arguably do panels that Roche (much as I like his stuff) would have struggled with. The mosaic showing various incidents leading up to the war is really excellent storytelling in a comic, being visually interesting and also giving out lots of information and back story if you know what to look for. I also really liked the panel with Skids and Rung in the elevator, Chromedome's look into the last few moments of Ore, and Animus getting his spark taken. There’s also a consistency to Milne's work that I don’t think Roche could have provided in a monthly run. And it's nice to see that when Milne has to design new characters or creatures he can keep it within the established style of MTMTE. The Sparkeater fits really well. It’s something I did wonder about given his previous work on the Drift mini-series.
Going back to the idea of there being lots of background information in the art, it turns out it’s a sentiment that runs throughout this issue from a writing point of view as well. On a first read, it’s a fun if slightly throwaway issue. But looking back there is already a lot of MTMTE universe lore being presented here. The conversation between Shock and what remains of Ore gives insight into various key points that will come up again and again in conversations during MTMTE's first season – Hell's Point, The Crucible, etc. What's nice is we never get a full explanation or story based on these events. Just enough snippets to get across that they were key battles during the war. It’s a nice way to create a universal back story that can be dipped into for character moments without feeling forced.
The plot itself is fine and while there’s a few niggles (the reason behind all the crew hiding in their hab suites feels very forced and I still find the introduction of Skids with the other crew members as being more than a little odd), it all runs along at a great clip, meaning you don’t have time to question things too much. Which, in a comic about giant, transforming robots, is how things should be. There’s some nice character moments too. We establish Chromedome and his brain-invading skills, Ratchet and Drifts opposing views on spirituality (or lack thereof), Whirl's overall recklessness and slight disdain for the rest of his crew mates, Rung being the brightest spark on the ship and Tailgate's desire to belong.
Oh, and Skids finds a bar. Nice.
Best of all, Rodimus has a moment to shine that also shows his flaws. As time goes on with these reviews, I might become a little critical of how Roberts handles Rodimus, but I think in this case its bang on –- brave, cavalier and a little reckless of himself and, most notably, others.
Not an essential issue, but one that has much to enjoy.