Monday, November 28, 2011

Comic Review...

Transformers #30

Writers: Mike Costa and James Roberts (story), Mike Costa (script)
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(Covers by Livio Ramondelli)

Summary:  Chaos, part 4, brings events to a devastating head: Megatron confronts his most formidable opponent yet! The Autobots scramble to keep out of the way of the Decepti-god's unstoppable rampage and Optimus Prime faces off against Galvatron, in a battle where the fate of the whole planet rests on the outcome! CHAOS concludes here and TRANSFORMERS will never be the same again!

Comments:  Between the two recent storylines, this has been the one I've found more interesting of the two (which is not to be construed as praise though). In this issue, we pick up the Arcee and Hardhead (I had thought he was dead!) thread where they rescue the survivors of Kimia plot and have them all set course to join the main story on Cybertron (which they later do). They also casually drop in the idea that Galvatron's being duped by D-Void via the Heart of Darkness. This very quickly becomes fact (there's no prior hints in any of the story that this is the case--which would've been nice. Even some subtle foreshadowing completely escaped Costa's grasp). On Cybertron, Megatron continues to battle the dark Decepti-beast thingy while the Autobots cower. In the core, Optimus Prime and Hot Rod confront Galvatron and his cronies but they are too late! Galvatron has just used the Heart of Darkness on Cybetron's core! Prime uses the Matrix and saves them all (Galvatron disintegrates but not before realizing something is wrong. He did the right thing! Arghh!) The story ends with Optimus Prime alone somewhere quite blue (the remains of the Dead Universe? Cybertron? It's unclear). As I said, there was no hint at all that Galvatron was being duped by D-Void/Heart of Darkness (although I had suspected as much some time ago). Showing hints of that before the very ending might have been nice--even a suggestion something might be amiss would've been intriguing to the reader. Instead it's just dumped at the end as a fact, which it apparently is. A more interesting take might've been to have had the Heart be part of D-Void (a terrible name, btw) but corrupted somehow by a sense of heroism (like how the Matrix had a taint of evil to it in the old Marvel series). A straight interpretation of the story was boring, frankly. They could've developed this story more--even used the space they wasted on the Prowl/Earth segments to flesh it out further and actually make people care. As it was, it felt somewhat superficial and ultimately irrelevant. (Since "The Death of Optimus Prime" is coming up, perhaps he was trapped in the Dead Universe--or something--as a result of the ending? But even that is pointless since he dies all the time and never stays that way for long).
   The art is more of Ramondelli's murkiness. It makes a dull story pretty in the technical sense but hard to decipher what's going on half the time. Art in a comic should easily convey the story and its natural progression. When a reader can't figure out what a panel is supposed to represent, it fails to do its job (to be fair, a large number of modern comic artists have this problem though).

Verdict: Average. I'm glad this story is over! I wonder what they'll do for the two remaining issues--a lot of pontificating by the characters over the fall-out? (Is the sky blue?)

Cover "A" by Livio Ramondelli

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