REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #21

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transformers #21

Transformers #21 continues the new arc “Rise of the Decepticons!” in IDW Publishing’s reboot of the Transformers series. Written by Brian Ruckley, with art by Billie Montfort and Blacky Shepherd, colors by Joana Lafuente and John-Paul Bove, and letters by Jake M. Wood, this issue sees a clash between some of the Rise’s most-wanted and a geologic survey team that is undeniably outmatched.

Security Operations (SecOps) are out to capture key members of the Rise, a group of terrorists that have been presumed to be the cause of the various catastrophes that have led to Cybertron’s current inflamed political sphere. After the last issue, SecOps are getting closer to finding the members responsible, so the Risers are forced to find a new hide-out and quick. However, when a groundquake, an uncommon phenomenon on Cybertron, rips a massive fissure in the ground, their transportation gets derailed and they’re left stranded. Unfortunately, this puts a team of geologists sent to study the groundquake, and aid a fellow Cybertron trapped in the fissure, in direct confrontation with the Rise members. Thankfully, Springer’s SecOps team shows up just in time for the action.

Transformers #21 doesn’t give us much plot advancement, but what it does give readers is some fun action and a great cast of characters. This series has done well so far in building a large cast of characters that avid Transformers fans will be very familiar with. Given this,  many of their new designs harken to older designs allowing them to be easily identifiable. This is important when you’re using old characters in a new way and you’re dealing with readers that will undoubtfully be familiar with these characters.

On top of this, the dialogue is well-done and further diversifies the cast. Each of these characters is physically individualistic; you can tell who they are by their colors and designs. But the dialogue takes this a step further and really accentuates their personalities and even speaking mannerisms. These characters act how readers expect them to, which is a great feat when you’re dealing with such a large cast of well-known and adored characters.

Transformers #21

A large portion of Transformers #21 is dedicated to action scenes which is why we don’t see much plot advancement in this particular issue. However, as expected of a Transformers series, we get some good snark going between our conflicting factions. Although not over the top, readers get some humorous moments that lighten the doom and gloom currently looming over Cybertron.

The one downfall of this issue, and it mostly comes down to personal tastes, is the art style. We have two artists tag-teaming this issue who have very different art styles. Bouncing back and forth between the styles impedes the flow from one page to the next. I also personally find one art style more appealing than the other, but, once again, that’s a preference and other readers may have a different opinion. Either way, it certainly impacted my reading experience.

The coloring is typical of past issues in this series but is impacted negatively in the last half of the issue by the flat backgrounds. Understandably, the latter portion of the issue focuses on a fight between the Risers and SecOps in a flat, rocky area so there’s not much to look at. But here the coloring loses some depth which is most likely a symptom of the aforementioned flat backgrounds.

Although this isn’t a plot-heavy issue, Transformers #21 gives us a large cast of characters to entertain readers and some fun fight scenes with snarky dialogue. However, the two different art styles clashed more often than not and put a damper on the fun.

Transformers #21 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Transformers #21
3

TL;DR

Although this isn’t a plot-heavy issue, Transformers #21 gives us a large cast of characters to entertain readers and some fun fight scenes with snarky dialogue. However, the two different art styles clashed more often than not and put a damper on the fun.