CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers #28: Chaos Part THree: Kings
Reviewed by Blackjack
If you squint they kind of spell out 'you're screwed'.
Obviously, the geek in my adores the exchange between Brainstorm and Chromedome in the beginning of the issue, which reveals that all of my favourite second- and third-tier characters have been saved from dying offscreen. Both Brainstorm and Chromedome are great characters as well, and their short scene does lend a little more life to the story. Being uneasy around the 'psycopath in pink armour', and telling Swerve not to joke around... nice. Sunstreaker, well, he's progressed remarkably well, and actually returning from the dead (while not handled quite that
well in TF: Ironhide) is a rather nice improvement on his character. Talking to a crippled Devastator... well, thankfully it's a Trojan Horse ploy, and presumably this was supposed to be his big redemption moment, which I think came off pretty well. Wheelie and Cliffjumper prove to be a pretty fun duo as well. The fights here are pretty quick, and while there are a whole lot of characters, the fact that there is only one plot thread to tie up instead of three dozen like in Revelations does storytelling a bit better. The art in this issue is still phenomenal, but it's starting to drop. The two-page splash of Megatron simply blowing a sea of Sweeps up is epic, but several times the art fails to convey properly what is going on, especially during the Devastator scene (I had no idea he was supposed to scrape his leg along the ground until I saw the very convenient 'scraaaaaaape' sound effect)... which, I think, is not really that good for story-telling.
Also, the only reason I could even attempt
to take Deceptigod (or D-Void, but Deceptigod isn't a terrible pun) seriously is because of the phenomenal art, although even then it's a stretch. A formless enemy formed of robots... yeah, it's like the Swarm, but without the instant-death thing. Re-introducing the Decepticon army back for all of half an issue before they combine with the massive Sweep army into this... giant... thing... there are more Matrix/Heart of Darkness mystery, which frankly I'm starting to get sick of. Optimus Prime is distracted (and most likely going in without regard for surviving), Galvatron thinks he's the saviour of the universe, so nothing's changed much for them. Drift gets himself a relatively nice role by stabbing himself in the chest, although why he is unaffected while the others aren't is a plot hole. I think it's more of a 'fans don't like Drift, so let's take him out of the picture' thing. Only the next issue will tell if Drift survives. Ironhide, acting as Optimus' second, also gets some choice lines... There are many plot holes, like why the Autobots left the Decepticon army on Earth, or how they got to Cybertron... it provides a lot of pretty scenes but it's hardly necessary other than to show us that the Decepticon army isn't idling playing cards in a spa resort somewhere.
But overall, this issue is pretty fast-paced compared to Costa's previous work... although one must wonder, what's the point of giving Megatron a second upgrade if all he's going to do about it is to blow up Sweeps in a two-page spread? It's starting to waver, and sadly it looks as if it's going to fall down the same abysmal lane that most IDW arcs do. It's pretty obvious that either Optimus or Galvatron will whip out their plot devices and destroy D-Void, so really, it's very uninteresting to introduce the Deceptigod, which serve no purpose other than to give pretty art visuals. I do just hope that the conclusion would be more satisfying than what I expected...
We last saw Brainstorm, Chromedome and the rest of the Kimia crew on issue 24. Since almost everybody seems to have survived, it seems that the only casualties of Kimia are Downshift, Grotusque, Cloudburst, Afterburner and Lightspeed. Fastlane might've bought it as well, considering that one of the Sweeps was eating chunks of his chest. The rest survive the onslaught.
Chromedome warns the others not to mention Jhiaxus to Arcee, citing her history with Jhiaxus. Swerve, it appears, seems to be a prankster among them.
We last saw Arcee in 'Heart of Darkness', surviving being shot at by Cyclonus and Scourge and vowing that she'll warn the Autobots. Although, thankfully, her dialogue here makes it vague where she comes from so you still don't have to read that dire miniseries.
According to Jetfire, the Decepticons built a space-bridge beacon into Megatron's body, so they could space bridge their way to anywhere Megatron is.
Sunstreaker refers to his betrayal of the Autobots in 'All Hail Megatron'.
It seems that the Decepticons and Sweeps are controlled by D-Void, although in the ongoing I don't think anyone have called it by its dire name. Solicitations have cites the giant formed by the Decepticons and Sweeps as the very creatively-named 'Deceptigod', which I'm taking as to refer to the puppet that D-Void uses here to attack the good guys.
Some of the Decepticons here have been MIA for quite some time. Ravage was taken down by Spike in the very humiliating All Hail Megatron 16, and had made a cameo among the freed Decepticons during the Skywatch raid.
So, uh, Cliffjumper thought the Decepticons were stuck on Earth. And they are okay with that? I mean, sure, they took Megatron with them and they left Prowl on Earth, but they didn't bother to hunt the Decepticons down?
Despite Ratchet and Perceptor inspecting Megatron in the 'Chaos Theory' story, how could they not detect a beacon?
Why does D-Void affect only Galvatron's troops, the Decepticons and ex-Decepticon Drift? I mean, sure, maybe it's on some funky wavelength that affects only Decepticons, but the Sweeps were never Decepticons despite what dialogue always claims. Galvatron revived the Sweeps from assorted corpses and former Dead Universe inhabitants, so why only the 'bad guys' are affected and the Autobots are not does not make sense at all.
What I think
is Frenzy (or Rumble, the blue one, whatever) has his face pretty messed up.
Drift is being controlled by D-Void (Deceptigod, whatever) so why does Galvatron shout at him like he'll obey his
commands? Sure, Galvatron has a superiority complex and everything, but...