Your Deadshirt New Comics Shopping List: Twice the Transformers!

It’s Wednesday, and that means new comics. Let Deadshirt steer your wallet in the right direction with reviews (and preview pages) of titles out today from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Archie, MonkeyBrain, Oni, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Action Lab, and more!

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Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers #1

Written by Nick Roche

Art by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham (colors)

Lettered by Tom B. Long

IDW Publishing

$3.99

I don’t know that anyone expected a follow-up to Last Stand of the Wreckers, Nick Roche’s book about the eponymous hard-battling squad of Autobots and their many casualties. Roche himself certainly didn’t, as he notes in the backmatter of this issue.  But this series is enjoyable, organically crafted, and surprisingly easy to follow, even as a casual Transformers fan.

Roche is one of a number of current writers who not only get (and define) the characterizations of the various Autobots and Decepticons, they also know how to write them cleanly and identifiably. Even if you’ve never read previous stories, or never followed core G1 continuity stuff at all, Roche makes it clear that Prowl is an important, bossy asshole, that Impactor and Roadbuster and Guzzle all have history together, that Arcee is not to be messed with, etc. Roche imbues the characters with both physicality and facial tics that are relatable, so we tend to forget we’re looking at twenty-five foot tall death machines.

It’s also full of the kinds of philosophical and emotional beats that fans love about the series. There’s talk of spycraft and the ethics of war, and the interplay between Impactor and Roadbuster specifically crackles. As the bitter, regretful leader of a commando unit in peacetime, Impactor lives in a hell of his own making, with one friend unable to let go of their seemingly dead commander and another screaming obscenities from inside solitary confinement. It’s heavy stuff. The dialogue between Stakeout and Verity Carlo, the book’s sole human character, is also great, and there’s a tenderness to their reunion that underlines even their jabs at each other.

This is also a comic where a Transformer kung fu kicks a polar bear, in case anyone thought it sounded too boring or sappy or what have you.

Overall, it’s a fine return to these characters by Roche, and works well as both a new chapter for longtime fans and an introduction to what modern Transformers stories are like for the curious. IDW’s Transformers books are a universe than rivals any other publisher on the stand in terms of breadth and depth, Sins of the Wreckers picks up that torch and runs with it.

— Joe Stando

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

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Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #47

Written by James Roberts

Art by Alex Milne

Colored by Joana LaFuente

Lettered by Tom B. Long

Publisher IDW

$3.99

The cover, the “Story So Far” page, and the first few pages of this issue all promised an exploration of Transformers romance, a topic that’s been of much interest to the writers and fans for the past couple years. The concept of “Conjunx Endura” was established as an equivalent of marriage and—with its relative rarity and with the overwhelmingly male cast—an allegory for gay marriage specifically. What we were expecting was a payoff to a plot that has been building since “Dark Cybertron,” the simultaneous interest of two powerful ‘bots (Cyclonus and Getaway) in the young, innocent Tailgate.

We get that, but it’s a thankfully abrupt footnote to what’s really going on—Getaway is a huge creepazoid who’s manipulating Tailgate to a harmful and utterly cynical purpose. His ties to a just-barely-hinted conspiracy among the ship’s crew are laid bare to the reader, and their ingenious, inevitable plot only goes off the rails due to a marvelous thing that’s been building up since issue #1—the weird relationship between Cyclonus and “Autobot Most Likely to Defect” Whirl.

Once again Cyclonus, that surprisingly textured villain of the original animated series, proves perhaps the purest and most conventional hero of this series. It’s a necessity sometimes, in this new age of Transformers with murky motives and objectives, of good Decepticons and bad Autobots and characters who are all four of those things at once, to have a character who will always stand up for the weak. And as the issue ends on a not-entirely-unwelcome cliffhanger, we see a hint of role reversal as poor tiny foolish Tailgate sets foot on a new path. Perhaps his own Hero’s Journey has been hiding in plain sight all along.

Patrick Stinson

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

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Be sure to let us know what you picked up this week in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Facebook Page!

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