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The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Volume…
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Access a version of the below that includes illustrations on my blog.

While the Lost Light gallivants through space having wacky space adventures, Bumblebee and the other Autobots have to figure out how to rule after the war is over back on Cybertron. The real strength of both these Transformers series is their strong character focus, but each writer takes a different approach to get there. While James Roberts's More than Meets the Eye is all about the dialogue, John Barber in Robots in Disguise uses narration; each issue is narrated in the first person by a different character, giving us a particular perspective on the events unfolding from Bumblebee, Starscream, Wheeljack, Prowl, and Ironhide in turn.

We get murder investigations, terrorist threats, ancient Cybertronian systems coming back to life, assassinations, and political machinations. Probably Starscream was my favorite character here, as he makes the ultimate power play: deciding to genuinely, actually, nicely help the Autobots... so that he can come out on top as always. Also he has a sense of humor, which always helps.

The real heart of this series is the question of when the war actually ends. Bumblebee is an idealist, and now that the fighting's over, wants to do things without compromising, as ethically as possible-- hence his forming a government that includes representatives for both the Decepticons and the non-aligned Cybertronians. Prowl, on the other hand, doesn't believe that the war can ever end, and is determined to be as cunning and manipulative as ever. Most of the other Autobots are somewhere in the middle, as Wheeljack's narration indicates: "Savin' lives is what we do-- what we're supposed to do, anyway. [...] Every moral we compromised in the war, every life we took-- we told ourselves it was for the greater good. Well, now that's gotta pay off. We're done with this war. It's time to save lives."

I also really liked the ongoing saga of Dirge, a Decepticon who was abandoned by both sides when he escorted Autobot prisoners across the space bridge during All Hail Megatron and got stuck on Cybertron, where his partner was killed by the Insecticon swarm. He survived alone on Cybertron until the end of the war, and now wants nothing to do with either side, but every attempt he makes to build a new life is doomed to failure. Those he reaches out to die, but going it alone doesn't work either when he's perpetually a victim of others' machinations.

This book is not quite as good as the first volume of More than Meets the Eye, mostly because I had a harder time keeping track of all the characters, especially in action scenes, where I had to spend too much time attempt to decode significant events. (Thank God for the Transformers wiki.) I look forward to seeing where this goes, because Barber has the foundation here for a whole new kind of Transformers storytelling.

The Transformers by IDW: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | Feb 24, 2017 |
So, Humble Bundle's newest offer the other day was pretty much the entire current run of IDW's Transformers run of comics ($155 worth of comics according the website - I got it for $15, so not a bad deal). I've been curious about the current run that IDW has been publishing, so this seemed like a ridiculously good deal to me. I read the first volume of each series and actually thought they were pretty good.

The whole idea between both volumes is that the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons has finally ended with the Autobots in charge of Cybertron (a Cybertron that has changed as a result of something that happened just prior to the beginning of these two stories, and something that I'm not at all familiar with). Since the war, more and more Transformers who had fled Cybertron in the wake of the war are now returning, and see no need to have either faction on the planet anymore, as both Autobots and Decepticons are equally seen as responsible for the destruction of the planet. However, the Autobots don't see it this way and want to set up a new government to try to keep another from happening. Optimus Prime sees himself as the most visible sign of the war, so relinquishes his title as Prime, returns to calling himself Orion Pax, and exiles himself from Cybertron, leaving Bumblebee in charge. Meanwhile, Rodimus sees no point in giving up their heritage and starting over so decides to travel from Cybertron in search of the Knights of Cybertron. This is where the series splits into two.

More Than Meets The Eye follows Rodimus and his crew in search of the Knight of Cybertron, while Robots in Disguise deals with Bumblebee trying to reestablish something of a government on Cybertron and dealing with the disillusionment felt by just about everyone over this, especially the newly returned, unaligned Transformers. I've read about the More Than Meets the Eye title from several sources around the internets, and it turns out that they weren't wrong about the title. It combines a pretty decent story with some great character development and just enough wit to make something that's actually fun to read. Robots in Disguise is intriguing as well, given the way the series is dealing with the repercussions and aftereffects of the war. Overall, both series are surprisingly good (I think it would be easy for most people to write off Transformers as a whole, but these are legitimately good comics), but I did find that I enjoyed More Than Meets The Eye more. I'm really glad I bought into this most recent Humble Bundle and will be gladly reading the rest of the volumes. ( )
  tapestry100 | Mar 11, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Barberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Griffith, AndrewIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Coller, CaseyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Follows the aftermath of the war for Cybertron and the death of Optimus Prime.

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