Review: Transformers: Optimus Prime #9

A Junkion machine finally gives long-injured Sideswipe a new lease on life! But when his brother goes missing, Sideswipe and Arcee return to Cybertron-and nothing will be the same between them ever again.

Comics can be entertaining and at the same time they can also provide an emotional cathartic release touching us deeply and in a way that get us to reflect on life in general. Transformers: Optimus Prime #9 is one of those comics where the life of Sidewipe is explored and we say good-bye to a long time friend.

Injured, the series for a few issues has been exploring the possibility of saving Sideswipe through Junkion technology and here we get our answer that is a truly deep comic that explores end of life care and letting go. Yes, Transformers explores a real world issue that will likely impact us all one day and does so in a respectful way that had me choking up. While not a super front and center character Sideswipe is one that I’ve felt like I’ve known for 30 years.

Writer John Barber mines a familiar trope but does it in a way that you’re well into the comic before you figure out what’s going on which then delivers the emotional gut punch. While hoping for the best we’re presented with the worst and get to see the emotional impact of difficult decisions as well as touching good-byes.

The art by Kei Zama is fantastic and IDW has done an amazing job of keeping a consistent look for their various comics that while each has a unique spin generally it all is coherent and looks similar. Here the story flows in a way that the art feels like it adds to the emotional journey.

Once again, Transformers has explored a real world topic in a way that you rarely see in comics and provides a touching comic honoring a character that has been around for decades. Like so many issues before, Transformers: Optimus Prime #9 once again shows why these characters are more than meets the eye.

Story: John Barber Art: Kei Zama
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review