Transformers #23 out this week from IDW Publishing brings the series to a familiar location. The start of the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons has arrived. The issue is made possible thanks to Brian Ruckely (writer), Anna Malkova (pencils/inks), Joana LaFuente (colors), and Jake M. Wood (lettering).
Cybertron has suffered. The world is in chaos. The situation on the ground truly is a crisis. Sentinel Prime, head senator and leader of the Autobots, will denounce the Ascenticons, the Rise, and anyone he thinks is an enemy of Cybertron’s security.
This issue arrives at the point everyone knew was coming. From the rumors, whispers, and obvious sub-plots (and the plot of the original cartoon in the 80s), what everyone saw coming has arrived. Megatron addresses the senate and delivers his true intentions. From there, things go downhill for the Autobots.
Though it took a while (and at times felt like it was taking too long) Brian Ruckley, has finally finished the introduction. Moving forward the book will focus on the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. It’s a welcome sight and one can only hope the story will keep moving forward to ensure momentum isn’t lost. The characters don’t need long pontifications anymore about the building civil unrest and the eventual downfall of the society.
This issue has some intense moments but strangely not during the battle scenes. Anna Malkova’s art features some very emotional facial expressions, especially by Megatron as he passionately delivers his speech to the senate. Still, compared to the jaw-dropping brutality seen in the previous issue, the combat is tame in comparison.
The color by Joana LaFuente enhances the emotional scenes as they occur throughout the issue. One of the best examples is shown when Megatron is shown entering the door to the Senate. The glow around him makes it feel like a spotlight is a character entering a stage and letting the audience know they have arrived with a purpose.
The lettering work by Jake M. Wood allows the speech to flow very smoothly, which is ideal for this type of event. When a character arrives and delivers a speech intent on laying out their plan to both audiences (the one in the comic and the one reading it), proper sequencing of speech is highly beneficial. Here, Wood’s work makes it feel like the audience is there on the Senate floor as Megatron reveals his dark secrets to the world.
Transformers #23 finally kicks things into high gear. After taking a while, the series has reached the start of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. From here, action SHOULD be the main focus of the series. The key point in the previous sentence is the word SHOULD.