The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye series has been one of the best runs of comics the franchise has ever seen. With the unique and interesting stories by James Roberts and the outstanding artwork of Alex Milne the comic has earned Comics Alliance’s Best of 2015: Continued Excellent in Serial Comics Award. What’s so appealing about it? Basically it’s a series where the best and brightest Autobots and Decepticons are nowhere to be seen. Instead, characters like Swerve, a pop culture referencing bartender, Whirl, a psychopath who loves to stir things up, and Ultra Magnus, the one straight laced character in the mix are on a quest to find the ancient warriors known as the Knights of Cybertron which they think will help bring peace to their planet which is still settling after the end of the Decepticon and Autobot war.
So, how did the creative team decide to spend the big 50? By leaving the readers on a cliffhanger which will make them scream in frustration of how awesome it is. The story, “How Bright their Frail Deeds”, begins with a preface showing every Autobot and Decepticon from around the universe getting deathbed confessions and funeral requests from several members of the Lost Light crew. As Optimus Prime is quick to try to find a way to save them, it’s revealed these messages were sent three weeks ago and those who sent the message are probably dead. A very cryptic way to start a comic.
Jumping back to the Lost Light crew, after saving a group of aliens from some generic robots, they return to the ship and Megatron is teaching a class. This may come as a surprise to many, but Megatron has become a good guy and was made captain of the ship in an effort to give him a sense of purpose with his new alliance and make sure he stays in line. Just as it seems Megatron is starting to finally become all the way good, he decks someone. He insists it was an accident and gets a check over by new character Velicity, who has been working as the ship’s doctor. Just as she is starting to examine him, multiple crew members report hearing voices. After tracking the source of what was causing everyone to hear something, a team heads out to investigate. This is when things from bad to worse.
Turns out the voices were all a plan by a prisoner named Getaway, who has staged a mutiny and with the help of others has left the group stranded on a planet. This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact the crew isn’t alone. The Decepticon Justice Division, a group of extremist Decepticons who have made it their life’s work to track down and destroy any deserters or traitors to the Decepticon cause are on the planet and want Megatron erased for changing sides and will destroy anyone who tries to stand in their way. This is where the main story comes to a close with a cliffhanger fans will be freaking out about for a month.
As it is an anniversary issue, the creative team decided to add a bit more with a backup story called “No guns, no swords, no briefcases.” In it, different crew members use a machine to appear as ghosts and flashback on important events in the comic’s history and look at different members of the crew they lost in the 50 issue run. It’s a nice short story which really shows some of the more powerful events which have occurred in the course of the series run.
The issue is fantastic and continues the level of excellence the creative team has been known for. The only complaint which can be addressed is, if you are a fan of Transformers and haven’t taken the time to check this comic out, this is as far from a starting point as you can get. This is the only real negativity which can be levied against this book and if you are a fan of Transformers, you owe it to yourself to find some back issues and read up so you can appreciate where this series is going.