REVIEW: ‘Transformers: Escape,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transformers Escape #1 - But Why Tho?Transformers: Escape #1 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brian Ruckley, art by Beth McGuire-Smith, colors by Priscilla Tramontano and letters by Jake M. Wood. Cybertron has been shaken to it’s core. With the recent Decepticon attack leaving the region of Iacon, and all the non-Cybertronian races there,  vulnerable to attack, the Autobots scramble to try to save as many innocents as they can.

The Transformers have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Dating all the way back to the gen one animated series, the robots in disguise have always been a part of my fictional world. And yet, despite my long awareness of them, the Transformers have generally been a fairly shallow concept. You have the good robots and the bad ones. They fight each other, the good ones always win. Eventually. And there are a number of notable personalities ranging from noble to villainous, and from witty to obnoxious. But I’ve never really seen a story where they delve into the nature of the Transformers, and how several key aspects of their existence sets them apart from most beings.

The highlight for me of Transformers: Escape #1 does just that. After a few of the Autobots help some aliens escape a hostile attack, one of the alien comments on the nature of the Transformers. The unique perceptions that their unusually long lives, and the fact that they factually know they possess souls (sparks) provide them. It was an amazingly deep moment, and something I truly wasn’t expecting when I picked up this book. Writer Ruckley gave me a real moment of pause as I pondered their conjectures on the Cybertronian experience.

Beyond this moment of reflection, Transformers: Escape #1 delivers a well-paced, and interesting story. Though it is important to note that this issue gives no information on how or why the Decepticons have attacked. There is no recap present, nor a “for the full details see issue X” box present. So if you are someone who needs to know everything about a story, you will want to do some background hunting before diving in here.

Along with being unclear about it’s beginnings, the book is also a bit scattered. Following several different plot lines, you do a fair bit of bouncing around within these pages. Even with all this movement however, the book does a good job of cueing the reader into what is going on in the moment.

The art does a good job of delivering the story’s visuals. With most pages broken into just a handful of panels, each image is allowed to be big and clear. This helps a lot with how busy some of the Transformers’ designs can be. This clarity is further aided by strong color choices. All the characters are able to stand out clearly from the accompanying backgrounds.

Lastly, lettering here does a by the numbers job of conveying the plot in a clear, easy to follow manner.

Transformers: Escape #1 setups an interesting story, while taking some time to get a bit philosophical with its title characters. If you have either read the previous stories this series spins off of, or don’t mind not having all the details, this book is an enjoyable beginning for a new tale.

Transformers: Escape #1 is available December 30th wherever comics are sold.

Transformers: Escape #1
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TL;DR

Transformers: Escape #1 setups an interesting story, while taking some time to get a bit philosophical with its title characters. If you have either read the previous stories this series spins off of, or don’t mind not having all the details, this book is an enjoyable beginning for a new tale.