REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #11

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Transformers #11 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brian Ruckley, with art by Angel Hernandez and Anna Malkova, colors by Joana Lafuente and Josh Burcham, and letters by Tom B. Long.

In Transformers #11, Sentinel Prime returns to Cybertron to discover that not all is well in paradise: there have been two murders, Barricade has abandoned his security post and joined the Ascenticons, and the Rise has been busy inciting chaos. All in all, things have gotten out of hand under Orion Pax’s leadership.

What’s more is that Sentinel Prime wants Barricade back to explain his actions, but the Ascenticons won’t hand him over. It’s a precarious position and, at this moment, Sentinel Prime and Orion Pax’s leadership are juxtaposed. Sentinel Prime is of the mind to force entry on the Ascenticon building while Orion Pax thinks he can get the situation under control if he just speaks with Megatron. Storming the building could turn the situation volatile, especially after the recent destruction of the war memorial. The only positive result of the loss of the memorial was that Chromia now has a list of names of the possible murderers they’ve been looking for since Transformers #1.

With Barricade going rouge, and Prowl and the rest of security trying to gain entry to the Ascenticon building, Megatron is definitely feeling the pressure. This and the last issue make it very clear that Megatron’s plans are going awry. And, in typical Megatron fashion, he throws a tantrum in Soundwave’s office because of it. It certainly makes him look like the violent warlord he’s known for. But it’s best not to forget how intelligent and manipulative Megatron can be, and Transformers #11 does well in showing that. At this point, Megatron knows that his plans for the Ascenticons are on the brink of either ruin or success. He can’t allow Barricade to be handed over to Autobot security so, with the help of Soundwave and Shockwave, he finds a way to weave a tale of Autobot neglect and oppression.

However, there is some consolation in that Megatron does seem to regret the deaths that have resulted from his plotting, and does seem to be upset that his colleagues and underlings don’t seem to have much remorse about these deaths. From the last issue, Shockwave was overall unrepentant even when confronted by Megatron, and, in this issue, Soundwave pegs these deaths on snap judgments in response to a deteriorating situation.  Megatron’s regret for the deaths certainly breaks up the negative view of the Decepticon faction that some people may paint with a broad brush. Similarly, the opposing leadership between a brusque and almost uncaring Sentinel Prime and a peace-loving Orion Pax not only give depth to the Autobot faction but also adds to the depth of the characters themselves.

That’s one of the things I enjoyed about this issue, and the previous ones: the complexity of personalities presented. These issues have a large cast, and many of these characters are well-known. Therefore, keeping the characters true to what the audience knows of them but also true to the storyline can’t be easy. But each character is written well which has lent to the overall complexity and distinctness of their personalities.

As I mentioned, this issue has a lot of characters. Sentinel Prime’s return has him toting a few well-known characters, such as Starscream, back with him. You may find that some of the characters in the Ascenticon building seem rather familiar. You should also pay attention to the list Chromia hands Orion Pax because there are quite a few names on the list that most Transformers fans will find very familiar. Another interesting thing to note is the building itself that the Ascenticons reside in. I won’t reveal what it is but avid Transformers fans might find some significance in it.

The art by Angel Hernandez and Anna Malkova is wonderful. These two artists have had a hand in creating most of the issues in this series so if you enjoyed the last few issues, you’ll enjoy this one. The plot is ramping up, tensions are running high, and everyone is walking on thin ice. The art and coloring really express this tense atmosphere and the high emotions rampant in some of the panels. The fight scenes are drawn well and lend to fluid transitions from one panel to the next. My only complaint is that Angel Hernandez and Anna Malkova have very distinctive art styles, so transitions between the two can be quite harsh.

The lettering by Tom B. Long is also done quite well. The panels aren’t overcrowded and I enjoy the use of different text bubbles to express different accents or means of speaking. For example, a yellow, electronic looking text box is used to express the rather robotic way Soundwave speaks. This aids in creating more depth to characters as well.

The end of Transformers #11 is really well laid-out and really strikes me as quite powerful.  We get a more definitive definition of the Ascenticon cause, and Megatron’s plans are pushing ahead quickly. It finally feels like we’re getting to familiar ground in the creation of the Decepticons. The ending will definitely make anyone excited for the next issue.

Transformers #11 is available wherever comic books are sold.

Transformers #11
5

TL;DR

The end of Transformers #11 is really well laid-out and really strikes me as quite powerful.  We get a more definitive definition of the Ascenticon cause, and Megatron’s plans are pushing ahead quickly. It finally feels like we’re getting to familiar ground in the creation of the Decepticons.