REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #22

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transformers #22

Transformers #22 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brian Ruckley, with art by Anna Malkova, colors by Joana Lafuente, and letters by Jake M. Wood. Picking up exactly where the last issue left off, Transformers #22 sees the conclusion of the fight between Cybertron Security Operations (SecOps) and some of the Rise’s most-wanted.

In this new issue of Transformers, one of the few murderers that Sec Ops have been pursuing since the beginning of the series has finally been apprehended, although not without a struggle. Despite the fact that Cybertron’s security forces have the killer under lock and key, a new challenge arises. With Cybertron’s citizens foaming at the mouth to get revenge, and the Autobots unable to control the masses, SecOps will likely have a difficult time ferrying their prisoner to jail.

The timeline of this series never fails to be interesting. The series introduced readers to a time in Cybertron’s history where murder and general violence is a distant memory. No Cybertronian has been killed in an exceptionally long time. Shaking things up, the first issue opens with a murder and causes the already strained politics between the various factions on Cybertron to rapidly degrade. Citizens begin to doubt that the ruling faction, the Autobots, will be able to handle the new turn of events. This climate of upheaval is further apparent in the latter half of the issue and ends with a surprising turn of events. Although the past few issues have elucidated the change in citizen support between the Autobots and the Decepticons, it becomes very apparent in this issue there has been a tipping point, in more ways than one.

Given that a large portion of this issue was dedicated to fight scenes, it went by rather quickly and certainly resulted in a less intriguing than some prior. But Malkova shows off their penchant for combat choreography, making the first half of the issue still entertaining despite being less thought-provoking. The fights flow effortlessly from panel to panel. Add in a little bit of snarky dialogue and a few hilarious situations, and you’ve got a great first half to the issue.

Transformers #22

But that’s not where Malkova’s excellent art ends. Beyond the combat, Malkova has a way with emotion. Characters are impassioned and moving; even those characters with masks express themselves immensely through their eyes alone. Add in the dialogue, sound effects, and the lettering, and there is no doubt about what each and every character is thinking and feeling in Cybertron’s new world order.

Wood’s lettering is par for the course in this series. The lettering is easy to follow, easy to read, and intensifies the emotions in each panel with the use of bold key words and phrases. I also appreciated the use of different text boxes to create a visual distinction between inner monologue, communication over comms, and audible speech. This choice not only enabled easier reading but also added a bit of personality. For example, Soundwave’s blue speech bubbles have a border that emulates his usually mechanical, robot-like voice.

The coloring brings out the tone of every panel. From the dark colors and deep shadows surrounding Bumblebee as he broods to the bright colors associated with holograms, explosions, and the glow from Cybteronians’ eyes, Lafuente does a wonderful job, and the colors only bolster the art and dialogue.

Transformers #22 finds a satisfying conclusion to the last issue’s fight between Cybertron’s security forces and the Decepticons. But given that half the issue is combat, it feels short and certainly not as thought-provoking as past issues. However, the creative team has done a wonderful job and the ending will come as a surprise for some readers.

Transformers #22 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Transformers #22
4

TL;DR

Transformers #22 finds a satisfying conclusion to the last issue’s fight between Cybertron’s security forces and the Decepticons. But given that half the issue is combat, it feels short and certainly not as thought-provoking as past issues. However, the creative team has done a wonderful job and the ending will come as a surprise for some readers.