Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!
After the largely standalone Arcee focused Issue 18, this issue kicks off “Rise of the Decepticons,” which deals with the aftermath of the tether falling caused by a Titan attack in issue 17. This is clearly part of a Decepticon plot to take over, and those machinations take center stage in this issue.
This series is set before the Autobot-Decepticon war that led the Transformers to Earth, but the events have clearly been moving towards that war. Optimus Prime is Orion Pax, Megatron is a member of the Senate, and some jerk named Sentinel Prime is in charge. I continue to like this background into the start of the conflict, as the original cartoon only provided glimpses of life on Cybertron.
While Bumblebee is given the most attention, more than any issue I’ve reviewed so far, 19 is jam packed with awesome characters. This really gives the reader insight into the scope of the Transformers universe. While fans of Transformers will enjoy seeing all of them, someone with no experience might be confused about who all the minor characters are and how they fit into the bigger picture of what is going on. Most of the time, the characters helpfully (but not annoyingly) incorporate the name of who they are talking to to help you figure out who everyone is.
Seven issues in, I still feel like I am getting up to speed on everything that has happened at the start of the series. However, this issue does a good job of mixing in action and explanation through dialogue. While no fault of the writers, who seem to have done an admirable job of creating a rich mythology, the complexity does present a barrier of entry for new readers. With that said, I am really interested in seeing how this conflict develops. If you are on the fence about reading this issue, this should help – Ratbat is in it.
Transformers #19 is now available.
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