Tag Archives: john barber

Preview: Transformers: Optimus Prime #21

Transformers: Optimus Prime #21

John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)

“The Falling,” Part 6. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime make a last, desperate bid to return to the real world as Shockwave teams up with the Autobots! Can Optimus stop what’s coming, or has he played right into the hands of the ultimate destroyer?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Review: Transformers Unicron #1

The end is nigh! The Darkest Hour has come. Optimus Prime stages a desperate gamble as the world-eater, Unicron, approaches Windblade’s homeworld-but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is Cybertron (with a side of Earth)… and it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.

If you were a kid in the 80s, there’s a good chance that Transformers: The Movie left an impression on you. Beyond the death of Optimus Prime and the rise of Rodimus, Unicron was a villain that seemed unstoppable. A literal force of nature, the character felt like pure destruction and created dread in my young self. Transformers: Unicron #1 sets the stage for IDW Publishing‘s end game for their Transformers line of comics… with who knows what coming next.

Unicron is devouring planets focusing on the colonies of Transformers and clearly heading for Earth and Cybertron next. Transformers: Unicron #1 dumps us into the middle of the action as Optimus and his united Transformers attempt to take a stand against Unicron and figure out a way to stop it. Writer John Barber has focused on the chaos, creating a situation that feels desperate and hopeless in so many ways and by issues end, that’s only enhanced. This first issue picks up from the Free Comic Book Day teaser comic, which feels like required reading to enjoy this issue. It’s not so much a first issue in that way and is one of my few dings against it.

The other major issue with the comic is that the various story threads in the current two Transformers comics aren’t done. We’ve just been introduced to the Maximals in Transformers: Optimus Prime and now they’re on the side of Unicron? Shockwave is in prison? There’s some spoilers for that series’ current story arc and in that way, this first issue feels a bit rushed. That could also explain my feeling like I’m missing something. Perhaps that will all be explained in Optimus Prime or in Transformers: Lost Light (where are they in this comic for instance?) but we still have a bit to go. The fact this first issue is forced out now, and not delayed to better coincide with the other series’ arcs wrapping up, fuels my theories as to what’s next.

Artist Alex Milne does an impressive job fitting in so much on every page and what feels like every panel. There’s so much packed in and there are times it feels like there’s too much. Reading this on an iPad, there’s some issues picking up everything fit into the spreads. The art harkens back to early art from the toys that feels like it fits in dozens (or hundreds when you were a kid) of characters doing battle, each with their own story.

This is the beginning of an epic. One that feels like a desperate battle, one you don’t know who will survive and how it’ll end. For an epic story, IDW and its team have brought so much together to throw it in a pot delivering more than enough for fans to be excited about. As much as I have fond memories of the original animated film, this first issue feels like it’s attempting to recreate that magic (and we even have a sacrifice already!) and by issue’s end, it’s pretty damn close.

Story: James Roberts Art: Alex Milne
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Optimus Prime #20

Transformers: Optimus Prime #20

John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)

“The Falling,” Part 5. Optimus Prime has faced defeat before and come back… but he’s never seen anything like this. Beyond life, beyond death—only the wisdom of an old friend can save him. Meanwhile, Victorion battles Devastator… and only one will survive.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #1 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #1 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

The Darkest Hour has come. Optimus Prime stages a desperate gamble as the world-eater, Unicron, approaches Windblade’s homeworld—but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is Cybertron (with a side of Earth)… and it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Preview: Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Prequel #1

Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Prequel #1

John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a & c)

Some call him Goldfender, but the name’s Bee… Bumblebee. On loan to MI6 and teamed with a human partner, Bee’s trapped in the middle of a Cold War plot to disrupt British Secret Intelligence. But when things go wrong, it’s up to Bee to discover if there’s a traitor in their midst. In the spy world, allegiances can change just as easily as a Transformer.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Star Trek and Transformers Collide in a New Crossover

The starship Enterprise finds there’s more to the final frontier when Kirk and his crew come face-to-face with the strangest life forms of all: the shape-changing robots of Cybertron! Prepare to beam up and roll out this September with Star Trek vs. Transformers, a four-issue comic book crossover that is more than meets the eye and is inspired by the continuities of two iconic cartoon shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and The Transformers (1984).

Two of the most prolific Transformers and Star Trek comic book writers — John Barber and Mike Johnson — team with artist Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito to tell the story that fans have demanded for decades. At the edge of Klingon space, the Enterprise​ answers a distress call, discovering a dilithium mine under siege by jets and helicopters of vintage 20th Century design. When a red, flat-nosed truck rolls in to save the day, the no-holds barred Saturday morning mash-up truly begins!

Preview: Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train #6

Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train #6

Bob Gale & John Barber (w) • Megan Levens (a)

With Jules and Verne held hostage by German spies, Doc and Clara must pull out all the stops to rescue their sons! Guest-starring Einstein! (Not that one, the other one!)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Transformers: Optimus Prime, Vol. 3

Transformers: Optimus Prime, Vol. 3

John Barber (w) • Kei Zama, Priscilla Tramontano, Casey Coller (a)

What new future will the Transformers bots face? With Optimus Prime trapped on Cybertron, embroiled in the First Strike event, the Autobots on Earth set off on a mission to find their missing friend, Jazz. But anti-Cybertronian humans are after him as well, and they’re armed with Cybertronian weapons! Collects Optimus Prime issues #11–14 and the Optimus Prime: First Strike and Transformers: First Strike one-shots.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-270-7

Preview: Transformers: Optimus Prime #19

Transformers: Optimus Prime #19

John Barber (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (a)

“The Falling,” Part 4. Onyx Prime’s motivations are clear, and his scheme seems unstoppable. Heroes have fallen, and hope dwindles for the survivors. Cybertron’s last chance of salvation is in the hands of… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? 

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train #5

Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train #5

Bob Gale & John Barber (w) • Megan Levens (a & cover a) • Philip Murphy (cover b)

With Jules and Verne held hostage by German spies, Doc and Clara must pull out all the stops to rescue their sons! Guest-starring Einstein! (Not that one… the other one!)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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