REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #26

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transformers #26

“War World!” continues, and both Megatron and Optimus Prime step into their new roles as leaders of their factions. Transformers #26 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brian Ruckley, with art by Anna Malkova, colors by David Garcia Cruz, and letters and design by Jake M. Wood.

With the official downfall of Cybertron’s government and Sentinel Prime’s death, we find that both newly created Optimus Prime and Megatron are becoming the sorts of leaders long-time fans will automatically recognize. Optimus Prime speaks with his new Autobots while also seeking council from one of the four Great Generals, Pyra Magna. And Megatron is confronted by his past mentor, Termagax. But it has been a very long time since the two have seen eye-to-eye.

The last issue saw the creation of Optimus Prime after Orion Pax accepted the Matrix. This issue follows through and reveals how Prime is accepting this new title. Ruckley has thus far done most, if not all, of the characters justice, specifically in keeping their personalities and mannerisms true to past media. And this is especially true with Optimus Prime. He’s humble and genteel and always puts other people’s lives before his. This is especially apparent in the speech he gives to the Autobots.

Prime’s speech not only serves to set up his character further but also as a tonal and physical juxtaposition to Megatron’s instructions to eradicate all resistance shown in the next panel. Contrasting these two prominent characters shows that they have not only changed and grown drastically since issue one but that they’re also very close to becoming the characters fan are quite familiar with.

A good portion of this series has been dedicated to the Decepticon side of this situation and painting aspects of it in both a positive and negative light. And we certainly see more of it here with Megatron and Termagax’s disagreement on the purpose of creating the Ascenticons. And we especially see a turn in tone within the Decepticon creed itself, from a hope for a better future to cutthroat conformity.

Not only do we see a change in tone, but this issue also marks a change in pacing as well. The past few issues have included some great action. But with a lull in violence, Transformers #26 is mostly driven by dialogue. Because of this, it’s inevitably a slow read.

With a plethora of dialogue comes a plethora of speech bubbles. But Wood keeps the letters easy to read, the speech bubbles easy to follow, and the SFX interesting. Although Malkova has been an artist on past issues, and I haven’t found anything to complain about with their art, the characters don’t appear very emotive. Likely, this is just a result of the relatively calm events of this issue compared to the last. However, Cruz’s colors definitely help overcome this hiccup by using heavy shadows to bring more emotion to the scenes.

We see our two leaders finally falling into their inevitable roles in Transformers #26. Ruckley continues to do a great job characterizing and juxtaposing Megatron and Optimus Prime. After the action of the last issue, the dialogue-heavy panels of this issue feel a bit slow, but I’m excited to see where the next issue leads.

Transformers #26 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Transformers #26
4

TL;DR

We see our two leaders finally falling into their inevitable roles in Transformers #26. Ruckley continues to do a great job characterizing and juxtaposing Megatron and Optimus Prime. After the action of the last issue, the dialogue-heavy panels of this issue feel a bit slow, but I’m excited to see where the next issue leads.