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Transformers #1

Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009
By: Matthew McLean

Mike Costa
Don Figueroa, J. Brown (c), Chris Mowry (l)
IDW Publishing
Looking for something to get the taste of the last two Transformers movies out of your mouth? You've come to the right place. IDW's new Transformers series manages to capture everything that was good about the original series while managing to improve on nearly every aspect of it.

First off, and the reason this reviewer picked the book up after a first glance, is the art. The art team has captured the design and uniqueness of the characters, while adding details that will be eye-popping to anyone who has only seen the blocky toys or flat animation of the television series. The lines are definitive and strong for the robots, while fluid and organic for the humans. The colors are bright and clean, adding to the characters distinctiveness and personality. The art is beautiful and just technical enough to be perfect for a book about giant robots.

The writing also delivers. Costa nails the characters' voices and, in some cases approves on them. Hot Rod is his typical brash self, but doesn't come off as annoying as he does in some previous incarnations. Optimus Prime is honorable, but riddled with guilt. Wheeljack is a scientist with a tendency to overly explain things, but to comrades who don't particularly care.

While it's certainly refreshing to see old characters in hands that know them, what is even better is what Costa does with the humans. Most times humans in Transformers series are, at best, incidental and, at worst, annoying. However, the writer has make the humans capable adversaries for the beings from Cybertron. It's a shame the human commander is never named. However, the Transformers team has given the humans their own giant robots to fight in. So all is forgiven.

That last part might be the largest indicator of how the plot has changed. No longer is this just a battle of good versus evil. Well, it is, but Costa has also added elements of old monster movies (humans fighting misunderstood aliens), mecha animation (human driven bipedal robots), and war movies (tough moral decisions in the face of conflict). It takes an old serial with a proven formula and improves upon it.

After Shane McCarthy's excellent run on All Hail Megatron it was easy to prepare for disappointment with this continuation, but the team behind Transformer has delivered in a big way. All hail Primus!

If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com



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