REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #28

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Decepticons are taking over important facilities in Iacon, including the jail. With Spec-Ops spread so thin, it’s an easy takeover. But what will happen to the prisoners inside? Swindle doesn’t want to find out. Thankfully, he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Meanwhile, Starscream is scheming, and Cyclonus takes advantage of the Decepticon revolution to see to a particular grudge of his. Transformers #28 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.

While we do see more evidence of the Decepticons taking over Cybertron little by little and the influence their stranglehold over the media is having on the citizens, Transformers #28 feels like it takes a step back from the big events and focuses on characters we haven’t seen in a while. Since Cyclonus’ first appearance, his presence always felt more like a tangent than a character with any influence on the larger plot. However, it seems like Cyclonus will finally have a stake in the affairs of this new Cybertron. Similarly, Swindle seems to be pulling some strings behind the scenes and it will undoubtfully produce some interesting shenanigans while he strings Bumblebee along. And finally, we’ve known Starscream is up to something for some time. Even though Megatron feels like he has Starscream under his thumb, Ruckley is dropping us hints about what game Starscream is really playing.

With Swindle comes some fun dialogue. Always the smooth-talker and greedy ‘bot, the dialogue fits his character perfectly and lightens the mood. His interactions are truly the highlight of this issue. The first and final page in this issue brings even more comedy to the dire straights Cybertron is in. While I won’t spoil the fun, I will say that Ruckley gives a nod to a great arc of Transformers Galaxies.

Malkova has been a competent artist on past issues in this series, and they continue to create wonderful panels and support Ruckley’s plot effortlessly. The characters are extremely emotive under Malkova’s hand, and with the events herein, there’s plenty of emotion to emulate. While the single scene of hand-to-hand combat feels a tad stiff, it’s a small bump in an otherwise excellent performance.

The colors further support the dialogue and tone of each panel. Deep shadows on Cyclonus’ grieving face and the deep blues of the jail cells are highlighted by the glowing energy bars. Cruz also brings in a wide array of colors to depict the many characters that show up in this issue. It’s a delightful palette of colors and makes every character unique.

Wood’s lettering keeps the dialogue easy to read and follow. The speech bubbles never overshadow the characters. The SFX take on a life of their own, with the letters perfectly representing the sounds, for example sporting jagged edges with the scrape of metal.

Transformers #28 is a highlight of characterization. Swindle and Cyclonus feel like they will finally make their way into the larger plotline. Ruckley does wonders in representing these characters with the dialogue while the rest of the creative team continues to do an excellent job.

Transformers #28 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Transformers #28
4.5

TL;DR

Transformers #28 is a highlight of characterization. Swindle and Cyclonus feel like they will finally make their way into the larger plotline. Ruckley does wonders in representing these characters with the dialogue while the rest of the creative team continues to do an excellent job.