Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1 (IDW)

TransformersDC 1

Rating: 3.5/5 – I was lost on the way, but I want to know more.

I haven’t read either of the new Transformers series, More than Meets the Eye or Robots in Disguise.  I’m a big fan of the old Marvel comics series, the cartoon, and of course the toys.  I have read the first few trades from IDW when they originally secured the license, but have not been back since.  Not because they were bad, it was just a matter of too much to read at that time, and Transformers was one I cut back on.  I always intended to get back to that series, but over time IDW released a lot of different series that made it all a bit confusing on where to start.  Was it the regular series, All Hail Megatron, Regeneration, etc…  So when I saw a new storyline titled Dark Cybertron that would cross over between the two main titles, I figured I’d jump in and give it a chance.

I will say that much of it was pretty straight forward, but some of the characters and plot points had me lost.  The story opens up six million years in the past with Galvatron and others investigating a “dead universe”.  As they’re sucked into the vortex that presumably leads into this universe, a transformer named Jhiaxus sends a message to Shockwave to continue the work he’s started.  Fast forward to the present day and Shockwave is doing just that.  From there, unfortunately the story started to lose me.  Starscream appears, but I’m not sure where he is in context to the story.  Then Optimus Prime appears…and although writer John Barber gives a bit more backstory, I was still lost.  All that being said, I do want to read more.  I do want to see how and why all these characters are where they’re at.  Why does Starscream look dramatically different, why is Optimus Prime no longer called Optimus Prime?  I don’t know, but I’m curious to find out.  Barber has set up some pretty cool ideas with this first issue, but it’s going to take some work for me to enjoy it.

In regards to the art, I was surprised to see Phil Jimenez on the layouts.  He’s not an artist I would associate with this kind of book.  I’m a fan of his work and his detailed lines, and here he’s able to pull that back a little and let finishing artist Andrew Griffith add the final details.  There’s some really great pages here including some fantastic splash pages including one of a Titan that absolutely dwarfs the other transformers.  The perspective and angle of the page is top notch and really gives the reader a great sense of scale.  I’m a fan of the art and the designs of certain characters.  There’s a lot to like in these pages when it comes to the art.  At times the colors seem to be a bit too bright, but for the most part it works.

I do want to read this series, but I do feel like I have some catching up to do to enjoy this story.  I’m curious to see what happens with the Transformers line after this event, and hopefully IDW can make me a consistent reader.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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