Transformers #1 Review
I'm not the biggest fan of the Transformers franchise. I'm an older guy but I was slightly younger than the target demographic when Transformers ruled the world in the '80s. The most notable thing I remember loving about the cartoon was the giant Megatron transforming into a handgun, it was the height of absurdity.
I recently finished Tom Scioli's Go-Bots Mini-Series, which was legit one of the best books I've read in years, and I guess I wanted more of that flavor so I figured I would give this series a try.
This Transformers series seems to be set slightly at the outset of whatever conflict split Cybertron into Civil War. The story is really interesting. Megatron and Orion Pax (Optimus Prime) are friends. Bumblebee seems a lot different from what I remember in the animated series and definitely different from the Movies. He's tasked with guiding a newly forged Cybertronian, Rubble through the city. Along the way, they meet up with Windblade who joins them on their journey. The comic ends on a cliffhanger our heroes discover that one of the chief leaders of Cybertron has presumably been murdered.
This issue was an entirely new experience for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a casual fan of the IP. The strength of the issue is the script, pacing, and worldbuilding. Going in I didn't really know any of the characters outside of Prime and Megatron. As popular as Bumblebee is he's a blank canvas to me.
This isn't an action heavy series but it firmly establishes the wonder of the setting. Credit needs to be given in regards to the art direction for this issue. Angel Hernandez, Cachet Whitman, and Joana Lafuente really establish this world and the art evokes the feeling of the cartoons but on a much grander scale. This issue is breathtakingly beautiful in spots. There is a synergy between Ruckley's script, and the art direction, and the combination has blended into something magical.
There is a lot of insight provided into Cybertronian culture, and I think the direction to follow a newly forged Transformer is inspired as it gives the reader a POV character that has just as much knowledge of the events as they do.
All in all, this is another great launch for IDW and falls in line with Go-Bots, Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive and the TMNT: Macro series that ended last fall. IDW has been knocking these series out of the park and it's nice to see that they have managed to breath new life into these well-established franchises, kudos to all involved.