IDW Publishing

(W) Brian Ruckley (A) Umi Miyao & Bethany McGuire-Smith (C) Josh Burcham

Transformers finally shifts into high gear.

In the last few issues, Brian Ruckley’s careful world-building and political intrigue have culminated in an explosive start to inter-faction violence and conflict. This is where the peace ends, when the war of the Autobots and the Decepticons gets underway.

And this issue does an excellent job of portraying the horror of those first steps into the Great War. Stepping away from the main players, it introduces long-time favourite Arcee alongside two new characters: her partner, Greenlight, and her mentee, Gauge. The issue opens with a conversation between Greenlight and Arcee about getting off-planet and away from the growing turmoil of Cybertron.

Then the last issue catches up to the timeline, as disaster strikes when cable connecting Cybertron to its moon, and feeding energon supplies, crashes down on the planet. It’s a cataclysm on a planetary scale and Ruckley has made the smart choice here keeping the ensuing chaos focused on the groundview from this one family. I’ve complained before about the pacing in the series (I think it will read much better when it’s collected in trade paperback) but this is a fulfilling, self-contained ride — some action, some humour, and some character-building, especially in the case of Arcee, for whenever we return to these characters.

But I imagine the following issues will get back to the “main” plot, so to speak, as the ramifications of this major event catch up to Sentinel Prime, Orion Pax, and Megatron.

This series has certainly proved its worth in my eyes. While it hasn’t hit the high highs of some other points in the IDW canon, I feel like it’s finally found the right footing to reach them. If you’re not reading, try picking up the first trade paperback and taking these wheels for a spin.

Review: Transformers #18 puts the pedal to the metal
4.0Overall Score

About The Author

Stephen Cook is a Canadian journalist moonlighting as an American comics critic.