Review: Transformers vs. The Visionaries #1

Cybertron has been invaded. The Transformers encounter unwelcome guests at the heart of Cybertron-and they may not have their hosts’ best interests at heart. Refugees from another world, the Visionaries’ startling magical abilities could make them powerful allies… or dangerous enemies.

Growing up, I as a big fan of Transformers. I loved the toys, the comics, the cartoon. Visionaries… not sure much. I maybe had one or two figures but beyond that it was a toy line and concept I pretty much ignored. The idea of the two properties coming together had me excited though.

Sadly, Transformers vs. The Visionaries #1 feels more like the Star Wars prequels than the exciting action I was expecting.

Spinning out of the recent event which saw some humans attack Cybertron and the reveal of the Visionaries, it feels like a massive gap has taken place as there’s now a city of the refugee Visionaries and a whole bunch of characters I don’t know where they all came from and it left me scratching my head. So, the first issue is an interesting one in that you’re dumped into things without explanation. But, writer Magdalene Visaggio still makes it all work in a way that by the end you’ll forget about all of that.

And it feels like the Star Wars prequels as there’s a lot of political maneuvering and discussion of minor detail. There’s a scene where the construction of homes is brought up. It’s odd at times but it sets up the political aspect of it all really well. This isn’t your fast paced comic full of action. Instead it’s a lot of set up and jockeying into position to get the ball rolling and by the end, boy has it.

There’s a death, a shocking death, that caught me off guard. It’s a long time Transformers character and one that’s been pretty key for a while. A memorial at the end will remind you just how key.

The art by Fico Ossio is solid blending together these two very different properties so that it works well and everything seems in place. There’s also the great aspect of the two different races being so different in size and the Transformers towering over the Visionaries. That perspective is interesting and makes some of the scenes. Ossio reminds us of the disparity every chance possible.

The first issue isn’t what I expected at all. It’s a slow start that focuses on political maneuvering and draws the line as to the conflict to come. It also sets up an interesting concept and some dire consequences to come. What starts as a slow comic ends with a hell of a punch to the gut and impressively sets up a comic series that threatens to shake things up not just for the Visionaries but the Transformers as well.

Story: Magdalene Visaggio Art: Fico Ossio
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review