Friday, November 4, 2016

Review - Transformers: Revolution #1 (@IDWPublishing)


"You picked the wrong day to mess with me buddy. I'm going to throw you into the sun."

The Autobots are largely misunderstood by inhabitants of Earth. Many times they're trying to help the planet out, but people on Earth have a tendency to be scared of giant robots that can turn into everyday objects. If all of them were as delightful as Thundercracker is in Transformers: Revolution #1 from IDW Publishing then perhaps it might be a different story. The issue is written by John Barber, illustrated by Andrew Griffith, colored by Thomas Deer and lettered by Gilberto Lazland.

Thundercracker and Buster save the world! A Decepticon who wants to be a screenwriter. A dog who wants to, I don't know, eat stuff and chase squirrels or whatever dogs want to do. A White House under siege by Dire Wraiths. And the phone call that brings them all together. Just because Optimus Prime and Soundwave are leading the Revolution doesn't mean the rest of the Transformers aren't keeping busy!

Of all the Transfomers, Barber ensures that Thundercracker is probably the most unique. Barber writes the character as if he's a struggling screenwriter seeking to reconcile his innate desires to be a successful writer with the stark reality that there are other things he could be doing that are probably more pressing. It's very meta in its approach and reminds the reader that even Decepticons-turned-Autobots have more than just one, mega-robot dimension. The somewhat self-effacing attitude of Thundercracker allows Barber to pepper the book with humor despite the seemingly dire circumstances the President of the United States finds herself in. The issue is a one-shot, but that still gives Barber plenty of time to pace the issue in a way where the set-up is met with a very satisfying conclusion.

Griffith does his best to make the issue feel like a Transformers cartoon. Thundercracker is given plenty of emotion that matches his pensive mindset and that makes him more relatable to the human characters cast around him. The majority of the issue features heavy destruction and chaos all around, both of which Griffin handles very well and with seemingly little effort. The panels are largely a standard grid, but there are a few occasions where Griffin strays to an inset or overlay to stand out a bit more from the empty gutters. Deer does a great job with the colors as the organic characters are clearly distinguishable from Thundercracker and his rich blues and grays.

Transformers: Revolution #1 is a very lighthearted yet enjoyable issue. Thundercracker is one of the more entertaining Transformers there are and his ability to juggle saving the world with writing a screenplay is admirable. Barber clearly had a lot of fun in writing the issue, infusing it with a happy balance of drama and comedy. The artwork by Griffith is entertaining does a good job of showcasing plenty of combat and action-sequences. Transformers: Revolution #1 is a great one-shot tying into the broader IDW Revolution series that gives one of the less noticed Transformer his time to shine.

Transformers: Revolution #1 is in stores now.

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