Writer: Mike Costa and James Roberts (story); Mike Costa (script)
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(covers by Livio Ramondelli)
Summary: CHAOS: PART 1! The long-awaited event that will have TRANSFORMERS fans talking for years and lasting repercussions on the lives of our heroes and villains gets off to a mega-start! The Autobots land on Cybertron to discover Galvatron's plan is already in effect-but what is it? What could he possibly want on a dead planet?!
Comments: Basically, this issue is one long fight scene. The Decepticons conquer some kind of Autobot base in the opening, where Cloudburst and Downshift apparently die (why are all these obscure characters highlighted in these stories so they can die three seconds later? I know, death is melodramatic in storytelling--but not if we don't even get to know the characters and get to care about them at all. I'd rather it be generic characters unless the death has some real meaning behind it).
The rest of the issue, the Autobots arrive on Cybertron and confront Galvatron. He starts to explain himself when Hot Rod interrupts then we go straight into the fighting. This is another one of those examples of storytelling where the whole conflict can be resolved in ten seconds if only someone communicates what their intent is but conveniently doesn't so the plot can be moved in the direction the writer wants it to go (i.e. lazy writing). Drift believes there might be some greater threat--why doesn't anyone else on the Autobot side though?
The art is by Livio Ramondelli. The man is a master of that painted art style and his covers are superb. Having said that, some of the interior art is a bit murky due to the style and combining that with Don Figueroa's pointless IDW re-designs, it makes some of characters hard to identify. There's a white robot with a blue dot on his chest (I think it's Jetfire. Nobody refers to him by name in the story though). I really wish they'd dump these new TF designs and go back to the classic style--nobody liked EJ Su's re-designs (apparently) so they go and get Figueroa to make them look even more complicated and now all the other artists are trying to emulate his designs.
Also, Ramondelli's art makes it seem like all of Galvatron's minions are Sweeps but that contradicts the Heart of Darkness mini-series where most of his army clearly were not Sweeps (yes, it's a visual continuity thing but shouldn't that matter in a visual medium like a comic?)
I'd prefer they keep Ramondelli for cover art duties and leave the interior art to Alex Milne or Nick Roche (but they'll likely milk it for all it's worth instead). On the plus side, all three of Ramondelli's covers (one is a Retailer Incentive) for this issue are beautiful.