Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!
Transformers fans are well aware of the two teams at the heart of the robot conflict – Autobots and Decepticons. This series apparently takes place before the war that formed the basis of the original cartoon. In fact, the Decepticons do not exist yet. The characters (Megatron, Soundwave) are here but instead of Decepticons (which does have an evil ring to it), Megatron leads a group called the ‘Ascenticons.’ This issue kicks off a new arc called “The Change in Your Nature” and that change apparently refers to the Ascenticons and their new logo (which happens to be the Decepticon logo).
There are a lot of politics in this issue, with references to “Risers” and “Reversionists” along with the Ascenticons. Aside from the palace intrigue which requires knowledge of prior issues to understand, there are three major plot lines. One plot follows guardsmen Elita 1 and Bumblebee doing an investigation into recent happenings. This Bumblebee is thankfully closer to the original Bumblebee as opposed to the live action version. Meanwhile Ratchet and Chromia are working through a list of names to try to figure out who injured a bot Ratchet is working on. These two plot lines reference prior issues, so new readers might be confused. Finally, in the thread that requires the least knowledge, Springer and Sideswipe take on a group of Risers up to no good. Springer and Sideswipe’s story is the most self contained while containing the most humor and action.
While this issue kicks off a new story arc, prior knowledge of what happened previously would definitely enhance a reader’s enjoyment of the comic. The ‘the story so far’ page at the start is nice, but it simply cuts some panels from prior issues and places them on a page. This page could be improved by adding some text with a little more description about what is going on. I’ve seen other comics effectively do this in as little as three lines. Absent that, it is clear some plot is taking shape behind the scenes, and the Ascenticon logo gives you a good hint as to what will eventually take place. I’m particularly interested in seeing where Bumblebee’s arc goes given his unexpected placement in Megatron’s guard.
Transformers # 13 is now available.
Check back tomorrow for the review of the next issue in this story arc, Transformers #14.
Have you read the issue? What are your thoughts? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!