REVIEW: ‘The Transformers ’84: Secrets & Lies,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Transformers '84 Secrets and Lies #1

The Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1written by Simon Furman, illustrated by Guido Guidi, colored by John-Paul Bove, and lettered by Jake M. Wood, is published by IDW Comics. The series focuses on the Autobot spy Punch, who has infiltrated the Decepticons’ ranks as Counterpunch. Punch recounts his observations of the Decepticons to an unseen party, which sees the methodical Shockwave butting heads with Decepticon leader Megatron.

The Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1 spins out of a Transformers ’84 one-shot, and makes heavy references to the G1 continuity. While hardcore Transformers fans may enjoy these references, new readers will be lost. When writing the first issue of a series, no matter what the subject matter the creators have to make sure they hook the audience. That includes people who are new to the property, as they’re usually the target audience for a first issue. Another IDW comic, Transformers VS Terminator #1, had a similar problem.

To his credit, Furman manages to utilize the conventions of the spy genre to paint a compelling story. Punch explains the hardships of the counter-intelligence life on the first page. He says that he’s had to do terrible things to maintain his cover, and he makes no excuses; it’s a very sobering take on a well-worn genre. He also injects a new wrinkle into the Decepticons’ dynamic with the friction between Shockwave and Megatron. Shockwave is one of Megatron’s most loyal servants in canon, so the idea of their plans clashing adds more intrigue to the proceedings.

Transformers 84 Secrets & Lies #1 Panel

Guidi is the perfect fit for this title. His designs are ripped right from the G1 playbook, making both Autobots and Decepticons visually distinct characters. The best example of this is the Dinobots; the fan-favorite characters never looked so good. He also utilizes a visual effect to showcase Transformers shifting from robot to alternate forms and vice versa, showing a transparent version of the steps made while transforming. This serves as a great bit of shorthand and is very visually effective.

Rounding out the creative team is Bove on colors. As Transformers ’84 is meant to be in the same continuity as the original Marvel Comics run, Bove uses a relatively muted palette with multiple dots inside the page. This is a homage to the 80’s era of comics; longtime fans will no doubt be taken back to the days of sifting through long boxes at their local comic shop. However, the muted colors also lend to the somber tone of the series, especially with the death and chaos that takes place within the pages.

The Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1 is a wonderfully illustrated comic, but isn’t exactly friendly to new readers. I would only recommend this comic to hardcore Transformers fans. I also suggest that new readers pick up the preceding Transformers ’84 one shot to further understand the story behind this series. Perhaps in future issues, we will hopefully see more familiar characters.

The Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Transformers 84 Secrets and Lies #1
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TL;DR

The Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1 is a wonderfully illustrated comic, but isn’t exactly friendly to new readers. I would only recommend this comic to hardcore Transformers fans. I also suggest that new readers pick up the preceding Transformers ’84 one shot to further understand the story behind this series. Perhaps in future issues, we will hopefully see more familiar characters.