Friday, November 24, 2017


Written by Tim Seeley | Pencils by Joe Ng, James Raiz, & Alex Milne
Inks by Rob Ross, M3th, & Alan Tam | Letters by Brian Crowley
Colors by Kevin Yan, Rob Ruffalo, & Tom Liu | Edits by Mike Sullivan

The Plot: On Cybertron, Optimus Prime broods until Hot Rod informs him that the team on Earth has run into trouble from Cobra. Meanwhile, the Joes and Autobots finish off Cobra's forces but realize Bumblebee is missing, having gone below ground in pursuit of Cobra Commander. Grimlock, Arcee, Perceptor, Hawk, Roadblock, Snake-Eyes, and Scarlett head down and stop Cobra Commander from killing Bumblebee.

Serpent O.R. appears and takes out the Joes' mechs, then brings the roof down on everyone in the room. He heads upstairs and activates the portal the Autobots used to reach Earth, departing for Cybertron. Once there, he finds the Seacons and Predacons scuffling, but quickly wins them to his cause.

Continuity Notes: Perceptor is horrified to find that humans have been working with the deactivated Megatron and Soundwave, but Hawk protests that he had no idea about it.

Serpent O.R. refers to himself as "Serpentor", so I'll go ahead and start calling him that going forward. (For the record, Cobra Commander called him Serpentor last issue, but I wasn't sure then if it was intentional or a typo.)

G1 References: Optimus Prime notes that he used to be an archivist before being pulled into the war, which was his backstory in Dreamwave's WAR WITHIN comics.

BEAST WARS References: Grimlock is said to be powered by his "spark", a concept introduced in BEAST WARS before being adopted by the larger Transformers universe. Also, I failed to note it last week, but Grimlock also has his classic primitive speech patterns here.

G.I. References: Serpentor tosses out a "This I command!", his catchphrase from the original cartoon series. On the same page, Roadblock rhymes a couple sentences, also a Sunbow character tic.

My Thoughts: This is basically a wall-to-wall action issue, but it accomplishes its goal of setting up Serpentor as a credible threat -- he takes over the computers in Snake-Eyes' mech to turn it on its fellows, he reveals to Scarlett that he's trained in pretty much every martial art known to mankind, and he quickly wins over the Seacons and Predacons by laying some Megatron knowledge and charisma on them.

Add to all that art and colors which are still top-notch, and this is a great installment in the saga. Some online research reveals that Joe Ng specifically was the penciler for both issues, and I need to compliment him on his humans. A lot of the Dreamwave-era Transformer artists could draw the heck out of the giant robots, but couldn't render a human being to save their lives (I'm looking specifically at Don Figueroa when I say this). Ng, however, gives us Joes who are just as fun to look at as the Autobots and Decepticons, which is nice to see.

That said, I must register a couple of complaints: One, I believe he puts too much detail into some of his Transformers. Optimus Prime in particular is overdrawn in the worst Pat Lee-style way. For the billionth time I must say: Transformers artists, just refer to the Sunbow model sheets. Even if you don't copy them exactly, at least use them as your starting point and don't stray too far in terms of detailing, and you'll do great.

And Two, Optimus Prime's eyes. Are. YELLOW. Again.

I really wish I could explain why this bothers me so, so, so very much, but I can't. It's just an irrational reaction that I can't control. Prime with yellow eyes just looks wrong in every possible way!

But in the end these are both pretty minor offenses from what is otherwise a great story so far.

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