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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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TRANSFORMERS: ESCAPE #1 review – Escape Plan (Ruckley, McGuire-Smith, Tramontano, Wood) IDW Publishing

Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

IDW’s line of Transformers comics continues to grow. There are a plethora of mash-up titles (Terminator, Back to the Future, My Little Pony) that are standalone universes. As I’ve noted in prior reviews, the main line has a pretty dense mythology that, while quite interesting, can serve as a barrier to entry. Galaxies is a character focused offshoot of the main title that is more accessible. And now we have TRANSFORMERS: ESCAPE, which seems to fall in between the two. Escape is firmly set in the same overarching story as the main line.  

While I found my familiarity with the story helpful, I think Escape is easier to jump into at this point than starting with the main story, while including more bots than the typical issue of Galaxies. A new reader who is a fan of Transformers will recognize the characters featured in this issue, including Ratchet, Wheeljack, Hoist, Hound, and Prime. Each one looks like the classic character I remember from the original toys and cartoon (though in their Cybertronian forms since this takes place before the Transformers show up on Earth, which provides a welcome jolt of nostalgia).

The story takes another look at the fallout from the fall of the ‘tether’ in the main storyline. If you haven’t read those issues, just know a huge cable was dropped on Cybertron and wrecked a ton of stuff. It might also be helpful to know that this story is being told in the context of the “Rise of the Decepticons.” The most interesting thing in this story is the arrival of the Decepticons (who were featured in the Galaxies story). These guys are pretty terrifying and make for great antagonists. I especially liked how well the dialogue matched their speech patterns from the original show.

The art in this issue is strong. The bots are clearly identifiable while having a fair amount of detail. Interestingly, while the action scenes are well done, there are minimal occasions where the Transformers … transform.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first issue of this series. More so than Galaxies, I think a little knowledge of the main story is helpful. But it is not required. As a result, this issue is as good a place as any to give a Transformers comic a try.

TRANSFORMERS: ESCAPE #1 is now available.

Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts on issue #2 of the series.

Have you read the title? What are your thoughts? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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