By: James Roberts (Writer) Guido Giudi (Artist), Josh Burcham, Joana Lafuente (Colorists)
The Story: Some members of the Lost Light take a shore leave on Hedonia, wishing to relax in a bar.
The Review: Sometimes, a series need to take a little break once in a while, stopping the constant plot twists and huge action to deliver a small tale, something a bit mundane that focus more on the various characters and their relations. It can be humorous or analytic, yet those chapters are usually here to give a break to the readers or the usual artist of the series.
This issue is one of those and it unfortunately does not deliver the same complexity and creativity that the previous issues did, breaking the streak that had been set on this quality series by giving us a so-and-so issue. Here, James Roberts tries to give us a funny tale of some of the crew member going to a bar on a planet called Hedonia, where Swerve and some of the other cast members tries to make Ultra Magnus, the resident rule-freak, relax a little bit. Some scenes here are actually quite funny, but most of them seems a little bit forced and hinder on the whole thing, mainly for one reason: Swerve. As the loud-mouthed and funny character, Swerve is better in small doses, giving him a line here and there to add some humor to some otherwise dark or tense movements. Giving him a whole issue is a bit much, as his charms wanders off after a while, making him a little bit annoying as a result.
Not everything is bad here, mind you, as there are still some good character revelation and developments to be found here, even if they are few. The scene between Cyclonus and Tailgate is particularly effective, considering all the buildup between the two characters since the beginning of the series. It is a touching and revelatory scene that works very well in moving both characters forward. There is also some deepening of Ultra Magnus and Swerve character that are also nice, even if it is in no way as worked out as the Cyclonus and Tailgate bit.
What could have been worked out a little bit more here would be the art, which is definitely a step down from Alex Milne and Nick Roche. Not to say that Guido Giudi does a bad job here, but his stuff does not reach the same level, particularly his facial expressions. In previous issues, both Milne and Roche could make the character talk without having them say any word at all by placing the character in small poses that said it all, making robots without mouths very expressive with their artwork alone. Here, Giudi replace that minimalist approach with exaggerated expressions, similar to anime, which is a bit annoying. His art is also a little bit less detailed than both previous artist, which works a little bit to his advantage, as it makes the pages much clearer for the readers. His transformers are also quite aptly drawn, with most of the crucial designs done very well.
The Conclusion: This is not on the same level as previous issues, yet it is a fun little issue with one or two interesting tidbits despite the fact that the central character here is a little bit annoying.
Hugo Robberts Larivière