Many years before the Transformers came to Earth, they waged civil war on Cybertron. The Ascenticons have recruited several bots, including Bumblebee to spy on other robots.
In this second chapter of “The Change in Your Nature”, author Brian Ruckley takes us deeper into the spy game that some of the Transformers are playing. It’s a packed issue with lots of action, deep story, and maybe a little too much going on. There was more than one time where I had to go back and read a previous page because I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. We go from one group of Transformers to another in one panel without any kind of transition for the audience. His choice of characters is also a bit curious because he chooses a lot of ‘bots that look the same, so again, when the scenes change, the reader will be a little confused as to what’s going on. Now that I’m done complaining, let me tell you that in spite of all those things, this issue is still a great second chapter in the overall storyline. It’s exactly what a second part should be. The mystery deepens, there’s a fair amount of character reveals that are surprises to the readers (and the characters), and it left the reader with a fantastic cliffhanger ending. Rucker definitely knows his Transformers and is building the characters up to a point that they’ll be the characters that we all know and love, and he’s taking his time and telling a smart, well-executed story. He’s also really good as scripting comics because so far every issue has ended on a natural cliffhanger, which takes talent that not every writer has. This story would actually make a great basis for a wave of Transformers toys. Characters are aligned with different teams, and everything is different from the norm.
Artists Anna Malkova and Bethany McGuire-Smith both turn in stellar art in this issue. They hit the designs of the characters perfectly. As I mentioned before, unfortunately, many of the characters chosen look similar. However, they do a really great job with the iconic Transformers, making them imposing and even though they’re transformed modes are different than we’re used to they’re instantly recognizable. Have I mentioned they look awesome? This issue is, for the most part, an issue full of the Transformers creeping around spying. There’s also a lot of standing around and talking. Malkova and McGuire-Smith do an amazing job of making this issue look like it’s action-packed and very kinetic. They’re also great storytellers and you’ll never be bored looking at the book. They both make “talking head” panels into something interesting, but what I like most about both of them, is that they both have a style that mirrors the G1 cartoon. When reading this book, I feel like I’m reading a prequel to the classic Sunbow Transformers series. In addition, they’re both great at giving robots facial expressions and body language. I really hope one or both of them continue on this series, or at the very least, this storyline as their art really gives the story the extra punch that it needs.
I have a feeling that this issue sets certain characters into place for some things that are going to happen later down the road. While it's not action-packed, it's a very interesting read.
Transformers #14: Spies Like Us
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 6/106/10
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