Anghus Houvouras reviews Revolution #2…
ROM-A MURDERER?! That’s what OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS think-and right or wrong, there’s only one outcome: all-out war! Meanwhile, G.I. JOE turns to the one person who can save the world from ultimate destruction-MILES MAYHEM!
For my money, I can’t remember an event comic that is much unbridled fun as IDW’s Revolution. Though I struggled a little bit with some of the tie-in issues last week, the core series is pure bliss. An absolute blast of a crossover featuring characters from the action figure inspired world of the Hasbroverse.
The first issue [read our review here] was a rapid fire kick off that introduced us to a number of players in an oncoming war including G.I. Joe, The Transformers, Rom (and his sworn enemies The Dire Wraiths), and Action Man. Something is amiss as a mysterious element has made enemies of allies and quickly exposed Earth’s military weakness when it comes to dealing with the alien Cybertronians. G.I. Joe’s Field Commander Scarlet meets with ‘Miles Mayhem’ who at one point was the main nemesis of M.A.S.K., but is now charged with commanding this experimental weapons unit.
It turns out the M.A.S.K. team is implementing Cybertronian technology to enhance their vehicles as the world government prepares to fight Transformers with some transforming tech of their own. We learn that the M.A.S.K. crew has been getting technology and intel from a captured Transformer who is being tortured and picked apart piece by piece. It’s a particularly brutal scene for a comic book that has built two strong issues on a lot of mindless fun. It was nice to find a dark undercurrent in the book which is managing to take some dynamic and surprising turns.
Speaking of dynamic, there’s an absolutely mental fight sequence between Rom and a team of Transformers led by Optimus Prime. Fico Ossio’s art is so well suited for this franchise. The action sequences are bombastic and feel epic. These characters, so many of them birthed from an animated series, feel so reverently captured. A major fight sequence between the M.A.S.K. team and a pair of Autobots feel like it was lifted from the imagination of 10-year-old me and brought to life. It’s so easy to like what IDW is doing with Revolution.
But it’s just not the Member Berries nostalgic aspect that makes Revolution worth reading. There’s some genuinely good character building going on. This issue prominently features the moral dilemma of torturing Transformers as necessary evil with the M.A.S.K. crew struggling with the concept that these machines may actually be alive. It’s not exactly Chaucer, but it’s nice that writer Cullen Bunn is giving us more than the typical cross over beat ’em up.
My only nitpick: Where the hell are the Inhumanoids?
Revolution #2 is another entertaining read and the best event comic of 2016.