Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 1 (Transformers (Idw)) - James Roberts

I'm going to start the review of this comic series with a blunt fact; I love Transformers.


I've loved these giant alien mechs from Cybertron ever since I was first introduced to them as a little brat surfing through cartoons on the the TV. They've helped me through tough times, whether it was the original G1 cartoon, or the less than stellar Michael Bay movies.


I simply adore them, it's so ridiculous how attached I am to the glitches, but that simply is the way it is for me.


That being said, it's because of this that I'll actually come down a little harder on this series than most might. I know the potential it can have, and therefore I expect the best out of it.


So, with that explanation out of the way, lets start the actual review of the first comic the MTMTE series.


This tale starts off with Rodimus Prime, Optimus's young successor, making a speech to the mechs of Cybertron to take off with him on a journey to find mystical mechs of old known as "The Knights of Cybertron".


You know, another reviewer of this book calls those that join on the Lost Light his acolytes, but to be honest, no one is really joining the Lost Light to find them. On a planet that has just come out of a millennium old war, with the Autobots as the winners, everyone is practically at a lost of what to do.


Both sides were forced to become warriors and soldiers to survive during the war, but now almost no one knows how to return to civilian life. PTSD, Depression, wow these poor guys have some serious issues. Not to mention, there is still extremely high tension among the victorious Autobots and grudging Decepticons. While the physical warfare is done for now, the political one is just getting started.


And so, this entire first comic is dedicated to introducing the reader's to the main cast. The art is stunning, and the intro's are unique with each character, and some old favorites like Ratchet appear with entirely new ones, such as Tailgate. So, yay! New characters to love, and some old one's that get some new angles!


While it started a tad slow with the plot because of the introductions, things become rather violent when the ship finally takes off; only to quantum jump halfway across the galaxy before the engines are ready. Moments before, a conversation between Bumblebee and Prowl heavily implies that the accident, wasn't so accidental. What does this mean for the rather motley crew?


It means a hull breach that sucks many poor crew members (who have the serious misfortune to not be any main characters which almost guarantees them death) and spits them out into a nearby planet's orbit and sends them flying out into space with no protection what so ever.


Oh boy. I get the feeling non-main cast characters are going to get the short end of the stick a lot in this series. Therefore, I'm going to call them red shirts from now on. The poor sods.


Rodimus and Ultra Magnus touch down on the planet to find the red shirts, only to realize that a meteor shower in the distance is in fact the red shirts burning in the atmosphere. I think Rodimus's muttered, "Not a good start" is a bit of an understatement. Just a bit.


The comic then ends on a rather ominous transmission supposedly from the future, that despite being broken up in a few places is, quite frankly, borderline horror movie worthy. It hints at something terrible on the ship, with the words 'don't look in the basement', along with a desperate plea to stop Rodimus and the Lost Light from leaving, stating 'we were not prepared'.


Yeah. Wow.


Definitely a twist from the usual, Autobot vs. Decepticon, good vs evil that the shows constantly do. Not that isn't nice, but this story line is way too interesting and refreshing in comparison.


Overall, I am really pleased with the potential the very first book is showing, and the change in plot and pace. The art, done by Nick Roche and colored by Josh Burcham, is smooth and bright in a not overwhelming, but still eye catching way. I especially love how expressive the mechs are as well, no where as stiff and limited as past comics of the giant aliens have been in the past. The characters are truly diverse, and honestly don't come off as stereotypical personalities. They are as refreshing as the story itself.


There is one definite thing keeping me from giving it a 5 star review however. I get the feeling that anyone who hasn't read at least a few comics before this particular series, are going to have almost no clue as to what is going on, and will miss a lot of the references to past events the mechs will mention. For people new to the franchise, that can make this real confusing really fast. To be honest, even though I'm a die hard fan myself, I got a little confused at certain points.


But wait, there is good news! There are plenty of fans willing to help others out in their confusion, including myself. So, no excuses, pick up a copy and feel free to get involved with this series.


~L. Alma