Review: Transformers: Unicron #2

Bumblebee investigates a dark corner of Cybertron’s past, searching for answers: what is Unicron, and why does it want to destroy Cybertron? Meanwhile, Windblade scrambles to figure out a plan as Chromia makes her return-with a Decepticon fleet in pursuit!

Things look desperate and in desperate times there’s an opening for despots to make a play for rule. Transformers: Unicron #2 picks up from the previous issue as Starscream makes the case that he should be leading the Transformers against Unicron and the Maximals. Optimus Prime’s willingness to plan and be pragmatic is exploited as a weakness and in that way, it feels like the issue mirrors our reality. Writer John Barber continues to do what IDW Publishing‘s Transformers comics do best. Roberts includes political undertones in what is giant robots battling each other.

The past series have discuss politics with no issue at all weaving them seamlessly into the narrative. Here, while leadership is discussed, the concept of taking advantage of fear to gain power is present but not overt. It’s clear though that Starscream’s boisterous claims echo the fears post 9/11 and current ones such as Isis and undocumented immigration. The fear of the unknown and the other exploited to manipulate the masses with empty promises, shows of force with little depth, all in the name of personal gain. Starscream will fail and Optimus will rise, so goes the logic, but the series in the past has shown to never get settled on the expected.

The art by Alex Milne is fantastic as always. The characters and design of everything is fantastic and the overwhelming force of the Maximals suffocating in a way. There’s that moment of dread and fear just as you realize the actual reality that’s evoked amazingly in the art and comic, slowly teased out for maximum impact.

The issue is a solid second one. The first evoked our childhood and this second one evokes our adulthood and the reality we now live in. As usual, when it comes to Transformers comics, there’s more than meets the eyes.

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review