REVIEW: ‘Transformers,’ Issue #32

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Transformers #32

After Jumpstream loses control of her teleporting power, she’s sent to another place and another time. Transformers #32 picks up after Jumpstream has a run-in with Exarchon. Transformers #32 is published by IDW Publishing and written by Brian Ruckley, with art by Anna Malkova and Angel Hernandez, colors by David Garcia Cruz, and letters by Jake M. Wood.

Exarchon should be dead. Cybertronians defeated the Threefold Spark long ago, but Jumpstream is contending with a Cybertron controlled by this menace in the form of Megatron, Soundwave, and Shockwave. With very little Energon left in her tanks, Jumpstream can only go along with the status quo, being man-handled by Cybertronians and Thraal mercenaries alike and running into the very last dredges of Autobot resistance. Will Jumpstream make it back to her time?

While Jumpstream’s experience is interesting and shocking—especially since it warns that the Decepticon and Autobot civil war may amount to nothing in the face of Exarchon—it nevertheless feels like a tangent to the main storyline. This is largely because Transformers #32 doesn’t reveal much about the results of Jumpstream’s uncontrolled teleporting. Can she warn the Autobots about the future? Even if she can, does she even have enough information to avoid the future? Will she be able to fully control her expanded powers and be a powerful resource? It’s hard to tell by the end of Transformers #32, but I’m sure Ruckley has plans for the repercussions of Jumpstream’s interaction with the future state of Cybertron. For now, Transformers #32 ends with more questions than answers and the cliffhanger provides even more confusion. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see what comes next.

Malkova and Hernandez share artist duties in this issue. And while their art styles are vastly different—the cut from one to the other is startling—both artists have done a wonderful job independently. The characters are emotive, and there’s a lot for the characters to be upset over between the state of the future and worry over Jumpstream’s well-being. The art in the first half particularly stands out with its heavy shadows and lines. In combination with Cruz’s heavy use of reds, these panels effortlessly reflect the dread and doom hanging over Slipstream’s head. There are a few instances where the proportions feel off, but overall, the art worked excellently with Ruckley’s writing.

While not a particularly dialogue-heavy issue, Wood nevertheless handles the lettering well. The speech bubbles are easy to follow and never overshadow the focal point of each panel. The asymmetric panels, particularly during action scenes, and the well-paced FX further tie panels together and makes for some impactful fight scenes.

Overall, Transformers #32 is a bit confusing. It’s hard to tell exactly how the events in this issue will impact the rest of the series. Nevertheless, the creative team has done a splendid job and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for both the Decepticons and Autobots. And some fans are going to be mighty excited for the cliffhanger in the last few pages.

Transformers #32 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Transformers #32
4

TL;DR

Transformers #32 is a bit confusing. It’s hard to tell exactly how the events in this issue will impact the rest of the series. Nevertheless, the creative team has done a splendid job and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for both the Decepticons and Autobots. And some fans are going to be mighty excited for the cliffhanger in the last few pages.