CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers #24: Chaos Part 1: Lamentations
Reviewed by Blackjack
That’s somewhat presumptuous, Galvatron. We’re here in the spirit of peaceful compromise.
Let me tell you first, the art is simply gorgeous. The paint work gives a really surreal, solemn mood to the story. While I’m all for straight, clear-cut modern art, sometimes these painting looks simply spectacular. Newcomer artist Livio Ramondelli has clearly shown us what he can do. The Transformers all look impressive, made even moreso by the excellent lighting effect he gives on them. Rodimus being bathed with blue light, explosions bathing others in red… the Sweeps in particular look really menacing, like a horde of demons with their wings pronounced and their face constantly in shadow aside from close-ups. Also, the art expresses emotions really well. Using Don’s revised movie-slash-G1 faces, Livio expresses Ironhide’s weariness, Sunstreaker’s sadness et al with excellence. There are some points where the art looks wonky, of course, but it’s a great piece of art.
How’s the story, though? Well, we finally, finally acknowledge that there are many more Autobots, many of them in space. And while ‘we cannot contact them’ might not be the most elegant of excuses, the fact that Costa did one was, well, fair enough. The translation between the past two James Roberts issues and this one is a little wonky with Megatron and Optimus Prime not feeling quite that right, but thankfully Costa is starting to realize his weaknesses (maybe Roberts helped him? Good man) and not carry out the conversation at any length. Costa’s favourite Ironhide comes to play again as a great foil for Optimus, a talking partner. Cliffjumper is also great fun. I like how Costa uses the trite suspicious characterization but does not pull it into crazy-paranoid strands like the Fun Publication comic. Galvatron is a great villain. After the mess that was Heart of Darkness, Galvatron is back into his Infestation baseline, where he’s just this lunatic, albeit a wee bit more somber now, whose choices are ‘either serve me or I shoot you’. The winner of this issue is undoubtedly Sunstreaker, though. Former traitor, and despite his efforts he’s either ignored or spat at by other Autobots. Heck, Cliffjumper was even more polite to ex-Decepticon Drift than to him! It’s a subtle comparison that makes Sunstreaker’s fate even more pitiable. Just look at that panel where he just sits, head down, while his pet Bob tries to comfort him. Nice usage of Bob, I say.
The assault on Kimia breaks my heart, because of all the second-third-tier Autobots killed there… but that’s a fanboi’s perspective. Optimus and Rodimus are… serviceable, I guess. Not impressive, but still okay. If the rest of Chaos is anything like this, well, it’ll be worth for all of you diehard Furman fans to return to IDW. Despite the mess that was the first, oh, twelve, fifteen issues of the ongoing, it’s starting to work its way up. Though how many times have I showed hope only to be proven wrong later?
Kimia first appeared in All Hail Megatron #15 as an Autobot research and development facility, and have been mentioned in several other stories such as Last Stand of the Wreckers, Bullets and issue #22 of the ongoing.
Grotusque was last seen in Maximum Dinobots as one of the Monsterbots. Presumably during the five-plus year gap between the Furmanverse and the ongoing he’s rejoined the Autobots. He’s not at all awesome here, though… Cloudburst, on the other hand, was last seen at the climax of Revelations, and he’s still wearing the Pretender shell from last issue. See goofs. Afterburner was last seen in Revelations with his Technobot buddies creating Pretender shells, the Clones at Garrus-9 and many of the soldiers (Downshift, Pointblank and Crosshairs) made a living cameoing in Furman-written stories that took place on the now-missing Autobot orbital station.
Presumably, everyone on board Kimia are all killed by the Sweeps. Dialogue implies that, anyway, but the art is vague enough to offer some leeway.
Downshift name-drops Varas Centralus, the planet the Wreckers were liberating in Stormbringer.
Grotusque mentions the Swarm.
At one point Cloudburst and Grotusque run past Room 113, a room mentioned in the text story ‘Bullets’. It’s the room where Xaaron does his stuff.
According to Jetfire, ever since the ‘big Decepticon push’, presumably the events that led to All Hail Megatron, communications have been haywire. Let’s be nice and say this was the reason Optimus Prime decided to go all hippie and settle down on Earth and go emo.
Ironhide and Sunstreaker (well, mostly Ironhide) recall the events of ‘Transformers: Ironhide’. They also make a little meta-reference, with Cliffjumper suggesting that Alpha Trion was ‘Bludgeon in disguise’.
How the Sweeps transform Kimia, by pulling and pushing cylindrical stuff, might be a homage to how the Autobots transform Autobot City in the 1986 movie.
Previously Pretenders have been established to be uncontrollable forces of nature, and the Autobot Pretenders were at least able to defeat Cyclonus at the peak of his power. However, Cloudburst falls relatively easily to the Sweeps.
‘Varas Centralus’ is mispelt ‘Veras Centralus’.
Why would Megatron think Starscream or Shockwave would be attacking Cybertron? Last seen the two of them were still stranded on Earth, or at least returned via the Space Bridge to not-Charr to lick their wounds.
Despite getting ready to nuke Cybertron in Stormbringer, and Megatron using Cybertron as a dumping ground in All Hail Megatron, both Megatron and Optimus Prime now spout nonsense about how important Cybertron is. Worse, instead of saying how important Cybertron is now that it's habitable or something along those lines, there's a whole 'you always knew, just like me' vibe in the conversation.
Trailbreaker’s eye is a single yellow line while previously he had red optic band like the toy.