Transformers #12 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brian Ruckley, art by Sara Pitre-Durocher, colors by Joana Lafuente, and letters by Tom B. Long.
In Transformers #12, Sentinel Prime and his crew are on a diplomatic mission to negotiate with alien races. However, upon hearing about the murders of two Cybertronians in their absence, Sentinel Prime orders an immediate return to Cybertron. Despite leaving alien space, there is still turmoil to be had. Not every organic alien race is thrilled about Cybertronians expanding their reach and meddling in alien affairs. So with an alien plot that threatening the crew, Nautica steps up to the plate.
If you were hoping for some progress from the dramatic ending of the last issue, you’ll have to wait. In fact, this issue actually takes place before the events depicted in Transformers #10. This issue takes a step back from the Cybertronian political sphere and highlights xenorelations. In an interesting likeness, the relations between Cybertronians themselves seems to be just as stressed as those between Cybertronians and other organic aliens.
Transformers #12 primarily revolves around Nautica and her bodyguard Road Rage. Although we do get to see a little more of Sentinel Prime and Starscream, the main focus is on Nautica and her vast knowledge of other alien cultures along with her quick problem-solving. It’s definitely a smaller cast of characters than what we’re used to, with most of the interactions occurring between Nautica and Road Rage, which may make things feel a bit stale. However, Nautica makes up for it. Nautica has always been a great character—smart, sassy, truthful—so I was excited to see her spotlighted in this issue. The dialogue really suits her. And, although other characters may have short appearances, such as Starscream, they are also well represented by the dialogue.
It’s interesting that Brian Ruckley is bringing in even more politics beyond just focusing on the state of Cyberton. This issue seems to be a bit out of place but given that we’ve been kept in the dark about what Sentinel Prime and his gaggle of Cybertronians have been doing on their long journey, it’s satisfying to learn what was so important about their space mission. On the other hand, Xenorelations has certainly been important in past IDW series so perhaps I shouldn’t be as surprised to see its influence in this series.
With so many aliens to contend with, I did find the “Abbreviated Extracts From Introductory Principles for New Recruits to Xenorelations” at the beginning of Transformers #12 quite helpful. It describes the current state of relations between Cybertronians and a handful of alien species. Although not all the alien races listed may be familiar, there’s at least two that you should know because they’ve been mentioned previously in this series.
It’ll be interesting to see how this issue influences the larger series. Alien relations are certainly important but given that this series seems to be made to highlight the stirrings of the revolution that will ultimately lead to the creation of the Autobot and Decepticon civil war.
Pitre-Durocher is back for this issue. Previously, her art was featured in Transformers #4 and was one of three artists that worked on Transformers #5. The art is wonderful despite not being the usual artists. The transformers depicted are quite expressive. Transformers by nature can be boxy and stiff, and I find that some artists have trouble depicting emotions because of this. This is definitely not the case here.
On top of this, the coloring by Lafuente is beautiful. There are a few panels showing foreign planets along with novel flora and fauna. These panels are visually striking and really capture the beauty that Nautica herself finds in these alien environments. The lettering by Tom B. Long, as always, is easy to follow and doesn’t clutter the pages. The use of different types of speech bubbles also aides in ease of reading and separating spoken language with inner monologue. Overall, Transformers #12 is a great issue that continues to showcase the series.
Transformers #12 is available now in comic book stores everywhere.
It’ll be interesting to see how this issue influences the larger series. Alien relations are certainly important but given that this series seems to be made to highlight the stirrings of the revolution that will ultimately lead to the creation of the Autobot and Decepticon civil war… Overall, Transformers #12 is a great issue that continues to showcase the series.