Luke Owen reviews the latest issue of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye…
AUTOBOTS VERSUS DECEPTICONS! The crew of the Lost Light confronts a band of rogue DECEPTICONS—with terrible consequences. “As an AUTOBOT slips closer to death, a single decision sets in motion a chain of events that might just spell the end for RODIMUS and his band of travelers.”
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Transformers. Since I was a kid, these characters have acted like secondary parents to me in my upbringing. Even as a man who is nearing his 30s, the sight of Optimus Prime turning black in The Transformers: The Movie still tugs at my heart strings. There has been very little (the live action movies notwithstanding) that has deterred my love for this franchise. Having said all of that, I hated Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #12.
Nothing in this issue works for me. In fact, not a lot has worked for me during the last few months or so of IDW’s on-going Transformers series. But this issue in particular highlights two of the major problems I’ve had thus far.
Firstly, there is far too much dialogue. As a man who loves reading and adores great character banter in comics, this should be something I like about the series. But the problem is that there is so much of it and 90% of it is useless techno-babble. One of the most endearing things about the Transformers is how they refer to their automotive parts just as humans would their anatomy, but when you read it over and over and over again it starts to lose its appeal. You end up feeling like your standing in a mechanics workshop knowing nothing about cars while the grease monkey tells you the ins and outs of how engines work. It makes you feel like an outsider to the team and because there is so much text to read, it can be difficult to follow. Furthermore, the issue uses a time jumping motif which causes even more confusion because not only are you not following the general conversations, you’re not following the main plot either.
On top of that, Alex Milne’s artwork leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of people love Transformers because each character has their own unique design which makes them instantly recognisable, but Milne has somehow found a way to make every single Autobot and Decepticon look exactly the same with mangled lines, dull colouring and confusing visuals. Granted, this isn’t helped when 70% of the panel is taken up by the huge speech bubbles that come from James Roberts’ massive script, but it just means that the comic looks like a jumbled mess of incoherent garbage.
Reading comic books should not give you a headache and that’s what Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #12 does. I know that Roberts and Milne can do a lot better than this and I hope that they will achieve that success again. Issue #12 however is not a step in the right direction.
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.