Before the Cybertonian Wars that we all know and love…
A young Autoboot named Rubble is enjoying his first time out of the city along with Bumblebee who is a little more of a veteran. They are headed to meet Brainstorm at a transmission station but since it’s Rubble’s first time, they’re doing a little sightseeing as well. On the trek they are joined by Windblade who joins them as she needs to investigate a possible equipment malfunction….or maybe it’s sabotage. Windblade isn’t taking chances.
Back at the city, a march to the city of Tarn by the Ascenticons is taking place as Orion Pax (or Optimus Prime as he will become known in the future) is set to meet with a fellow senator and old friend, Megatron, one of the primary Ascenticon advocates. They discuss possibly Megatron postponing his rally in Tarn due to the problems they had with the last Ascenticon rally. Megatron leaves without the two finding common ground, despite their long friendship.
Rubble and his two guardians continue their trek across the plains of Cybertron as Rubble ponders his place in everything. Bumblebee, of course, suggests patience, considering that Rubble is a new transformer and their lives are quite long. But when they reach the transmission station, the door is open and it seems too quiet. Windblade goes to investigate while Bumblebee and Rubble stay outside. However as Rubble wonders he makes a gruesome discovery.
Brainstorm is dead.
This was a tough one to review…not so much because it’s a reboot. I don’t have a problem with reboots. IDW told the story they wanted to tell with the Generation One Transformers (for those of you out of touch, that means based on the original 1984 cartoons) ending with the Unicron miniseries which, let’s face it, is the perfect way to end a Transformers saga.
So it’s no surprise that IDW turns to the history of the Transformers to tell a new story. Of course with so many references to the past within their normal publications, it’s best to tell a reboot, to give us a new start to Transformers.
I don’t have a problem, in theory, with any of that. Reboots happen. And it’s been fairly common in the history of the Transformers. It’s a little odd for the reboot to happen while still under the same company as the previous story, but still…
I don’t have a problem with the story they’re choosing to present to us. In fact, the story of Bumblebee and his protégé is actually quite nice. I’m enjoying the dialogue and some of what it represents. I like Rubble trying to find his place in the hierarchy. A being whose lifetime is normally measured in millennia can still be impatient when young. It’s clever to put Bumblebee in the role of the experienced mentor, but it works for him. So does Windblade’s appearance.
The problem, though, starts with the art. While I enjoyed the story of Bumblebee and Rubble, I really don’t care for the art by Angel Hernandez. It’s very blocky, lacks details, and is very lackluster. But that’s offset by the few pages given to us by Cachet Whitman who instead gives us great detail in the Transformers.
But this gets into my biggest problem with this book. It’s funny how only 4 pages out of a 20 page book can leave you with a sour taste for the entire issue.
First of all, if you approach this from a new reader’s point of view, the friendship between Megatron and Orion Pax seems completely fabricated. It doesn’t feel, from their dialogue, that they could ever be friends. There’s no warmth in their dialogue, so sign that they actual care for one another.
But then we get into Orion Pax himself. Now, yes, it’s a reboot. Characters may not be identical to their start. But the entire premise behind Optimus Prime is he was once a meek robot who rose up through the ranks and led the Autobots in their struggle against the Decepticons. It’s meant to represent finding your own inner strength, being a nobody and becoming the best leader possible. And yet the Orion here is a Senator and looks no different than Optimus Prime. He’s not meek, he’s not a nobody, he already seems like the same Optimus we know from the cartoon, the same Optimus who led the Autobots against Unicron. There’s virtually no point in calling him Orion.
Still, it’s not a complete loss for this reboot (not even close if I’m being perfectly honest), and it’s not enough to make me not want to read the next issue. There’s enough intrigue, both in the political unrest and the mystery of a murder, to make me want to check out the next issue. I just have to get past this false-Orion Pax. And I think I can. Maybe I’ll just squint hard and he’ll look like the Orion I would have expected.
This reboot misses the mark in some parts but keeps the reader interested enough to check out more. It’s part political drama, part mystery, all rock ‘em sock ‘em robots. Worth checking out if you’re a transformer fan and as with most IDW’s Transformer books, it’s more intelligent than a book about an 80’s cartoon containing transforming cars and planes has any business being.
Transformers #1: ‘Til All Are One
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 6/106/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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