REVIEW: ‘Transformers Galaxies,’ Issue #10

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Transformers Galaxies #10

Transformers Galaxies moves on to its next big arc with “Storm Horizon,” Part One focusing on Ultra Magnus and his crew of scientists who are out on a deep-space exploratory mission. Transformers Galaxies #10 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brandon Easton, with art by Andrew Griffith, colors by Josh Burcham, and letters by Jake M. Wood.

Ultra Magnus, one of the four Great Generals during Cybertron’s last war—the War of the Threefold Spark—receives an encrypted message from Cybertron. Alpha Trion is missing and Magnus is ordered to find out what happened and where his mentor has gone. However, upon arriving at the last known location of Alpha Trion, Magnus’ ship is attacked without warning. What’s odd about this assault is the fact that someone knew they were coming. Thankfully, with a well-placed shot, the antagonizing ship crash lands on the nearby planet. Magnus and his crew follow, hoping to interrogate the enemy crew and see what they know about Magnus’ missing mentor.

I personally have never been a huge fan of Ultra Magnus. The only time I really enjoyed the character was in the Lost Light series where Magnus’ rigid rules were often used as comic relief. Even though I wasn’t necessarily thrilled to hear about this arc focusing primarily on Magnus, the creators have added a gaggle of other well-known characters that’ll definitely keep me around.

Ultra Magnus is old. He’s stuck in his old ways, idealistic, and cynical. This is true in just about any media I’ve encountered with the character and Easton stays true to the character in this series as well. Magnus has specific mannerisms and ways of speaking that really embolden his character; he’s eloquent and restrained. But most importantly he’s a soldier and loyal to a fault. Though I will say I’ve rarely seen him in his element, so his haughtiness in battle feels a little out of character, but the Magnus whose jokes land badly is very familiar. No matter how much I don’t care for the character, Easton has written Magnus very well.

Although Magnus is the center point of this series, there are other characters readers will get excited for. Chromedome’s snark is a good juxtaposition to Magnus. We also see some flashbacks of an amiable Megatron which cements the idea that the big bad Decepticon is more than the ultimate evil he’s often painted to be. The main antagonist for this issue, but perhaps not the entire arc, is a character I haven’t seen since the Lost Light series. I won’t say who it is, but I will say I’m excited to see their inclusion in Transformers Galaxies #10.

Transformers Galaxies #10

My one true qualm with the issue was that some of the dialogue didn’t land like I felt it should. Some of the dialogue is a tad long-winded and a little over-explanatory, even for Magnus.

Even with the few stumbles I experienced with the dialogue, I can’t find any fault with the art. Griffith has done a wonderful job. The designs of the characters make them easily identifiable to any long-time fan. The characters are emotive not only in facial expressions but also in body language, which is important for those characters that wear masks.

Burcham’s colors bring out the tone in each panel and really solidify a sense of time and place, from the dark colors and dark shadows of space to the bright highlights and blues of digital screens. Magnus’ war flashbacks are bathed in dark reds, the pictures a bit hazy and gritty. These choices really bring ambiance to each page and made this issue a great read.

As always, Wood does an excellent job. The lettering is clean, doesn’t clutter the panels, and the speech bubbles are easy to follow. It would have been interesting to see the speech bubbles also altered in the flashbacks. The crispness of the speech bubbles’ borders contrasts sharply with the haziness of the art, giving a feeling of discontinuity that I don’t believe was intentional. Either way, this small detail was just that, very small, and didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the issue.

Overall, although I personally don’t find Ultra Magnus a very interesting character, Easton keeps the ‘bot true to character. And despite there being a couple of hiccups in the dialogue, the creative team did a wonderful job breathing life into these characters.

Transformers Galaxies #10 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Transformers Galaxies #10
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, although I personally don’t find Ultra Magnus a very interesting character, Easton keeps the ‘bot true to character. Despite there being a couple of hiccups in the dialogue, the creative team did a wonderful job breathing life into these characters.