By: James Roberts (Writer), Agustin Padilla, Jose Aviles (Artists), Josh Burcham (Colorist)
The Story: People reacts in different ways to the fact that Overlord had been on the Lost Light as blames get pushed on someone. Meanwhile, Chromedome has to live with the fact that his most important person has just died.
The Review: I have no words.
Okay, that’s not entirely true, I have a good lot of things to say about this issue, but I feel like nothing I will say shall do justice to what I have just read. To say that this is an emotional issue would be underselling it. To say that the character work here is majestic would be just superfluous as it is something that I do believe should be experienced before anything else is said or written about it. With all the huge stuff that just happened in the last issues, with characters dying, being beaten to near death, with all the chaos just laid down on the cast and the book, we now see the fallout of all that.
What we see right here is something absolutely great as James Roberts shows us his close to perfect handle on these characters, showing us either their evolution or their reaction to the catastrophe. What he does here with with Ultra Magnus, one of the victims of Overlord is fantastic; showing us in four pages just how he got from a happy-go-lucky kind of robot full of jokes to the law-abiding and strict robot we could see in the series. It makes sense and manages to give us a proper tribute to the character that had been central to the plot and the series in general. We also do get some neat scenes with Tailgate, Rung, Rodimus and Brainstorm among many others, yet none of them come even close to the scenes featuring Chromedome.
This character, which had been central in the last two issues, gets some amazingly touching scenes, showing something that I never thought I’d see, not even in a million years, in a Transformers comic: love. You read that right, there is something akin to love (or at least very, very intense friendship that come extremely close to love) in this comic, but what’s most surprising about it is how well done it is. With Rewind, his Conjunx Endura (which means, from what the author said, literally the most important person in one’s life, two robots that are just close to each another on a whole other level) being dead, Chromedome has to deal with his grief. However, considering that he is indeed a robot and thus has a large memory that can be altered, Chromedome must choose whether or not he just erase the memory of Rewind from his head to stop his suffering or if he choose to live with it. The debate that he has with Brainstorm and all the things he sees and feel toward that decision is something that was astonishingly powerful, with genuine and well-written emotions that makes the final decision that much more effective. Love exists in the Transformers universe and it is beautiful.
What’s also pretty beautiful is Agustin Padilla art here, who manages to mimic Alex Milne art style quite well, making it look like as if it was him that drew the whole issue. Of course, there are some differences in how the lines are done and with the general proportions, but he does have the same talent in bringing emotions with robots without any faces or proper mouths through the posing and the pacing of the whole thing. The two pages full of smaller panels with Rewind’s last message to Chromedome might be a little bit sub-par when compared to the rest of the issue, but the way the panels are shown and the pacing is so well-done that it does not destroy at all the emotion and care behind it, with the art still showing us the impact of the scene in full despite that.
In his effort to channel a bit of the Alex Milne charm, Padilla is greatly helped by this series regular colorist, Josh Burcham, who brings the good here as well. His colors are rich here and very vocal as the lighting here is superb. The scenes with Chromedome on the ship, looking at the vastness of space is particularly effective with its use of colors thanks to the reactor and lighting effect.
The Conclusion: This is a powerful and emotional issue that brings the series on another level as it transition to another big arc. While playing with the fallout effectively with its amazing cast, the book also shines in the art section thanks to the great pacing and emotional output of its characters and the good characterization. If you want a great comic, gives this series a try, even if you aren’t a Transformers fan. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.
Hugo Robberts Larivière