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Review: Transformers: Escape #1

Transformers: Escape #1

With Cybertron spiraling into war there’s far too much story to be told within the pages of the main Transformers comic book series. Transformers: Escape #1 kicks off the miniseries focused on certain aspects of the ensuing chaos and an attempt to escape.

Cybertron is descending into a state of war catching the civilians and unaligned in the crossfire. Organics are under attack from the Insecticons and the wounded are hunted by Decepticon gangs. If there’s hope, it looks to lie in the Ark program, the giant ships decommissioned from an earlier time.

Transformers: Escape #1 is an interesting comic featuring some well known characters in roles that feel rather odd since we know them from a later time. Characters we associate with the Autobots play pacifist tending to the wounded or only acting in defense. There’s talks of the numbers not being there to withstand Megatron and the solution is… to run.

Writer Brian Ruckley delivers a rather frustrating story whose lesson feels like it’s mostly to let bullies win and run for your life. It’s such an un-heroic story it’s hard to not lose respect for some of the future Autubots we love. Sure, we’ll see them evolve in their thought process but there’s little debate and the choice is so clear to head elsewhere, not stand and fight. It comes off as cowardly especially compared to those who are indeed taking a stand with Optimus Prime. Transformers: Escape #1 feels like it’s telling a sliver of the story and one where it’s really difficult to respect the decisions made. Maybe it gets better in future issues but there’s some characters here I just wanted to punch.

Beth McGuire-Smith provides the art with Priscilla Tramontano on color and Jake M. Wood on lettering. The characters look good but there still feels like there’s a crispness to the art that’s been missing since the new volume started. There’s nothing bad at all to it it’s just missing that little extra special. There is some solid detail though when it comes to the Insecticons and especially their teeth. It might seem like a small thing but it really drives home their characters and motivations of eating.

Transformers: Escape #1 isn’t bad in any way. If you’re reading the main series, you’ll want to get this. But, it feels like a missed opportunity. We get characters on the run from war, unwilling to stand and fight. They also don’t in any way come off as heroic by hatching a plan to get innocents to safety. They’re saving themselves as much. But, that’s emphasized by those that are doing exactly that and that may be the point of it all? The first issue doesn’t quite hook the reader but it’s possible it’s done what I dislike on purpose to deliver some growth as the series progresses.

Story: Brian Ruckley Art: Beth McGuire-Smith
Color: Priscilla Tramontano Letterer/Design: Jake M. Wood
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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