By: James Roberts (Writer) Alex Milne (Artist) Josh Burcham (Colorist)
The Story: Chromedome investigates the whole memory of Overlord as he tries to understand some things about the psychopathic ex-Decepticon.
The Review: This is a tough one to grade and to properly review. For a very simple reason, some people will probably enjoy this issue a lot more than others and it is due to a single thing: whether or not you have read Last Stand Of The Wreckers or not. It is a splendid miniseries that showed for the first time what kind of wonder James Roberts could do with the Transformers universe, but if you haven’t read it before picking up this issue, you’ll get a lot less from this issue.
The main reason for that is due to Overlord, the big bad of said miniseries being the very focus of this issue alongside Chromedome, a regular member from the cast of this book. Overlord, an actually very interesting villain in his own right, works much better in this context if you really know who he is. While they make quite a lot of efforts to provide the necessary background here for other people to follow just what kind of person he is, it is just much more efficient if you have read the mini in question; doubling the impact of everything he does and says.
That does not mean that what happens here is absolutely incomprehensible, far from it in fact. Back in form after the somewhat disappointing last issue, James Roberts is back on track as he continues to bombard us with great new concepts and a deepening of the Transformers lore. Battles between the mind and large database memory of two robots, a process to make Transformers more durable, a religious aspect to their life and their jobs a few millions years ago, those are a few of the new stuff Roberts brings to the table. In such a way, he adds so much to the whole franchise that it’s hard not to be interested in someone trying so hard to bring intelligence to a phenomenon so attached to the awful Michael Bay movies and toys.
In this he is joined by Alex Milne, a very talented artist that brings a lot of strength to the title. His robots, machines and general approach to drawing technology are very well done, with a lot of attention given to smaller details. It never ceases to amaze me how much emotions he could convey to us with a character like Chromedome, a robot who has no face at all. Using various postures and shadow word, he is able to tell us how a robot without any eyes, mouth or any facial feature to speak of could really feel all the scenes he was put in. This takes considerable skill. The only small downside from such a detail-crazy artist like Milne is that sometimes there are too much of them in a single panel, making them feel a little bit too crowded even when there are only two characters in them. Still, even with this small weakness, he does a great job. The art on this book is also greatly helped by Josh Burcham, who does really subtle work in tandem with Milne to bring out the details in his lines and traits.
The Conclusion: This book is still going on very strongly and this issue shows it. With a very good concept at its core, James Roberts bring a lot more of what made this series works as well to begin with as he is helped in his task by the talented Alex Milne and Josh Burcham. This issue, though, is much better if you have read Last Stand Of The Wreckers, but it is still enjoyable nonetheless if you didn’t.
Grade: B+ (if you did read LSOTW) B (if you did not)
Hugo Robberts Larivière