Written by: Brian Ruckley
Art by: Angel Hernandez/Cachet Whitman
Colors by: Joana Lafuente/Josh Burcham
Letters by: Tom B. Long
Release Date: March 27th, 2019
Oh IDW, what am I going to do with you? We didn’t even last one issue before we experience our first death in the new Transformers universe – the Autobot Brainstorm. As we left off from the first issue, newly forged Rubble is traveling with Bumblebee and Windblade to visit Brainstorm. While the latter two are investigating a break-in, Rubble stumbles across Brainstorm’s corpse.
Issue two opens with a monologue from Rubble as he thinks about what he has seen in his short life, including this murder. We learn that something like this hasn’t happened in a long time…and for Cybertronians, that’s saying something. Readers are introduced to several new characters – at least new to the reboot – Chromia and Prowl. Prowl is still his same know-it-all, annoying self while we learn that Chrome has a new role that bodes well for more character development – head of Cybertronian security. Chromia seems a more personable option as security chief over Prowl. She still maintains a by-the-book approach to things, as we see present during her conference call with Orion Pax. She holds firm to her belief that Autobot security is stretched too thin to add more people to the protest rally. At the end of the day, she does what her commander orders, which is as by-the-book as you can get.
The focus on Rubble continues as he is introduced to Wheeljack and gets a hands-on experience working in engineering with him. Wheeljack feeds his curiosity by talking about one of the moons of Cybertron and how it was converted to an energon absorber. Readers are reminded just how different this world is from an organic one. Where else could a world’s inhabitants construct an energy harvester out of one of its moons? Before we end Rubble’s arc in this issue, we are treated to a touching moment of him sitting with Bumblebee as the energon harvesting moon opens.
Lastly, we are taken to Tarn for the Ascenticon rally. I noticed that the storytellers make a point to tell us the location of Tarn in relation to another district – Kaon. Those readers that are well-versed in Transformers lore will recognize Kaon as the seat of Decepticon power in the early days of the Civil War. I doubt this mention was purely coincidence. At the rally, Megatron gives an embolden speech about purpose and equality for all Cybertronians. At the same time, I can detect a hint of superiority as he uses this phrase, “We are unique, we Cybertronians. There is nothing, and no one, in all the known universe in which we see our own nature reflected.” Superiority was always at the forefront of Megatron’s Decepticon ideology. Before the issue ends, an unknown assailant takes a shot at Megatron and he flies into a rage. He discovers no one and makes a vow to get to the bottom of this attack.
I continue to enjoy the dual artists as it relates to the individual stories that are being told. The hues that Hernandez and Lafuente have decided on really suit a story that’s being told on a robotic, alien world such as Cybertron. The purple and blue from the Autobot characters blend great with the Cybertronian backdrop. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I feel like these colors also help set the mood with the fact that the Autobots are investigating the death of one of their own. When we come to Wheeljack’s addition to the story, Chromia had it right by saying “Wheeljack’s the sort to put some light back into the world.” There’s a lot of light in all of the panels in this section of the story – from the buildings to the sky, and culminating with Cybertron’s energon gathering moon. I’m already in awe of all the art by the time I get to the last few pages – Megatron’s arc. I love Whitman’s use of angles and detail when it comes to Megatron and Soundwave. You can really see the anger on Megatron’s face as he gives his passionate speech to his followers or as he deals with the attempt on his life. I’ll definitely be in the market for some of this original artwork!
This second issue doesn’t really answer any questions that arose from the first issue. If anything, it created more. Who killed Brainstorm? What is Megatron’s ultimate goal? Is the attempt on his life the spark that will bring forth the Decepticon movement? Who is behind it? While I am enjoying this glimpse into Cybertron’s past, I am left wanting a bit more. The pace almost crawls along. I don’t feel like anything is happening. Yes, I enjoy the new character of Rubble and the sense of wonder that he brings. However, I want things to progress just a bit faster. Additionally, I want more of Megatron’s story! I want to see the politics of Cybertron and learn how the Civil War starts. The book has potential though and the good far outweighs the bad. I would still recommend it to any Transformers fan and it’s going to stay in my pull list.