|Cover by Livio Ramondelli|
Writers: Chris Metzen and Flint Dille
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
Summary: Long ago, on the planet Cybertron... as dissident Decepticons rise up to battle the Autobot leadership, ORION PAX leads a counter-terror strike team. But when a routine mission goes awry, Orion starts on an incredible journey to the heart of Cybertron's Autocracy.
Comments: This is not a typical comic but rather more like a mini-comic so we don't really get a lot of story in this first installment. Basically, Orion Pax leads some familiar Autobots (Bumblebee, Ironhide, etc.) into the "Rust Narrows" (slums) of Torus-City Nyon to find a Decepticon dealing illegal weapons. They find the Decepticon (Swindle, of course) and stop his operation. After Swindle taunts him, Orion beats him. The Autobots take their prisoner and go (someone else attempts to kill them with a bomb and they don't feel safe there). Laserbeak watches nearby, recording their actions. The End. Of course, this is supposed to be a bi-weekly online comic so we'll ultimately end up with 16 pages a month (as opposed to 22 in a normal comic). What story was there seemed good... we had a basic set-up, execution and conclusion. Once more is added to it I'm sure it will all make more sense in full context. My only real story nitpicks were using Bumblebee as a sniper to attack the dissidents. This isn't necessarily out of character for him since he's always traditionally been a scout but I feel like it seems a bit dirty for a character who was always portrayed as such a warm and friendly persona (but I can accept it begrudgingly. Maybe the humans made him softer and war is hell after all, etc. Fine. Whatever). I also didn't care for Orion Pax going all nuts and beating the tar out of Swindle but I assume it's part of the overall story arc so I can give it a pass for now--as long as someone explains it later.
The art by Livio Ramondelli is, for once, relatively straight forward to follow. In his previous efforts, during Chaos, I had times where I couldn't figure out a panel here or there, recognize a character or found visual discontinuities (too many Sweeps, no generic henchmen previously established in the story). This effort is in the same style but it's cleaner somehow. The fact it doesn't rely on the neo-G1 designs helps a lot too (I also just realized that we don't see all that much of most of the Autobots robot forms in detail in this. Just Orion Pax, Bumblebee and Swindle mostly. They all look about right).
Not a bad start. It will be interesting to see if they can take this anywhere good...
Available online only (from www.comixology.com for 0.99 USd)