REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #23

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transformers #23

Transformers #23, published by IDW Publishing and written by Brian Ruckley, is a true turning point in the power struggle between the Autobots and newly formed Decepticons. With art by Anna Malkova, colors by Joana Lafuente, and letters by Jake M. Wood, this issue’s creative team does a stellar job depicting this issue’s chaotic events and the plethora of characters involved.

Sentinel Prime calls for the Senate to convene but intentionally fails to notify the Ascenticon Senators. Cybertron has been thrown into chaos and Sentinel blames it all on the Ascenticons and their co-conspirators, the Rise. Whether or not these accusations hold merit, Megatron, Ratbat, and Strika intend to defend the Ascenticons. Despite not being invited to the proceedings, the ever idealistic Orion Pax lets Megatron into the Senate. But Orion and Sec-ops remain on their toes. Megatron’s presence can only herald more chaos.

If you’ve felt the last few handfuls of issues have been slow, you’ll be pleased to know that Transformers #23 goes from zero to a hundred in just a couple of pages. It’s not only a significant change of pace but also a turning point in the unequal power dynamics between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Although there have been plenty of chaotic and destructive events highlighted in past issues, this single event feels more prominent.

Once again, we see Orion Pax and Megatron juxtaposed. These two have often been written as two opposing forces. But Ruckley inserts more nuance into their characters. Megatron and Orion Pax are two sides of the same coin; they want similar things but are willing to go about it in different ways. Although this isn’t a novel depiction of these two, it’s still refreshing.

Transformers #23

As always, Megatron is a great orator. Ruckley does some awesome dialogue work on this issue. Megatron, despite doing horrible things, really does believe in his cause; the Autobots have failed Cybertron and it’s time for a change. Megatron’s dialogue is articulate and moving and the center point of the issue.

Megatron’s dialogue isn’t the only thing that’s emotive. Malkova does some fine work here drawing Megatron’s expressions during his speech. He’s angry and fed up with the status quo; even if you don’t feel for the Decepticon cause, you won’t be able to overlook Megatron’s ire. The rest of the characters are similarly emotive, from Orion Pax’s worried eyes to Prowl’s ever-present disapproving scowl.

Lafuente’s colors only enhance the emotive chaos of this issue. Idealistic Orion is painted in shadows, emphasizing his feeling of hopelessness and concern. From the blooms of oranges and yellows for explosions to the static of televised panels to the glow from eyes and lights alike, the coloring is both appealing and highly effective.

Wood ties everything up with his lettering. The speech bubbles are easy to follow and the use of boldened words makes the dialogue more effective. Although there are a few panels with quite a few speech bubbles, they never cover characters or distract from the scenes.

Transformers #23 is an exciting issue. It’s extremely emotional and a true turning point for the Decepticons. The creative team did a wonderful job handling the range of characters and events in this issue.

Transformers #23 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Transformers #23
5

TL;DR

Transformers #23 is an exciting issue. It’s extremely emotional and a true turning point for the Decepticons. The creative team did a wonderful job handling the range of characters and events in this issue.