As a child of the eighties, Transformers was my jam. So, when I got the chance to review Transformers: UNICRON my inner child yelled out in all its glory. I was excited to see what IDW was doing with the ‘Robots in Disguise.’
Transformers: Unicron is a trade volume of the series published by IDW Publishing. It is written by John Barer, with art from Alex Milne, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Andrew Griffith, and Kei Zama, with colors by Sebastian Chang, David Garcia Cruz, and Joana Lafuente, and letter by Tom B.
The series opens up with Transformers: UNICRON #0. Here, we see a peaceful, paradise planet called Elonia. It has been free from war for nearly two centuries. As the panels brief you on the beauties of this planet, the ground seemingly begins to rip away in a violent and unforgiving manner. We pan up to reveal that Unicron has arrived, a giant, gaping, glowing maw inhaling all of life below him. His targets are the colonies of the ancient primes, colonies of Cybertron, assisted by his army of Maximals (think Transforming mega-animals).
Can this planet-eater be stopped? Can the Autobots, and the Decepticons, along with the colonists put aside their differences to stop this threat? Unicron has his eyes set on Cybertron and after that the Earth.
Having not read some of the previous tie-in series, I approached the arc with caution, would I able to absorb the story as intended by the authors? Never fear, a very concisely written backstory is provided to get you up to speed!
From here on out, we are regaled with the constant obstacles that faces the larger than life Optimus Prime and his brethren. The tension is palpable very early on and continues throughout until the last issue. An almost hopeless fear engulfs each Transformer, to the point even Optimus states “I don’t like to admit this – But I’m afraid…afraid this how it all ends.” Peter Cullens’s voice (THE audio actor of Optimus) echoing around in my head. The following panel reveals Unicron talk for the first time.
Overall I really enjoyed the volume. There is a copious amount of absolutely stunning full-page spreads to marvel. Take for example this full-page spread from issue #1 noted below. The level of detail that has been achieved is fantastic. To fully dissect it for all the little details would take some time.
There were times I felt the story over ambitiously tries to fill as many panels as possible. During these times the panels become smaller, and given that the location of the story is mostly in space, the dark coloring against the imagery is hard to dissect. In addition to this, the fight scenes can become a little mangled, I found it hard at times to decipher between the machines, but this is not a new complaint of mine, as I levied this against the movies as well and it seems inherent in depicting behemoth robots.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed thumbing through the pages of this trade. The big takeaway for me was the reimagined story of Unicron himself, and the revelation of the Cybertron’s real history stripped away of all its glory and honor.
Transformers: Unicron has definitely left me with a fresh perspective of the Transformers and their origins, and I loved it.
Transformers: Unicron is available in stores now.
Transformers: Unicron is definitely left me with a fresh perspective of the Transformers and their origins, and I loved it.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.