Writer: James Roberts
Pencils: Alex Milne
Colours: Joana Lafuente
Letters: Tom B Long and Chris Mowry
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye is usually made up of the adventures of the crew of the lost light as they try to search for the fabled Knights of Cybertron. Both this issue and the one prior to this have been instead about a crew of ex Decepticons that call themselves The Scavengers. Along with Dinobot Grimlock, they set off looking to make a big score and finally retire to a life of luxery.
Last issue the crew had been offered a fortune to hand over Grimlock to Demus who runs a scrap and seedy black market planet but his offer is interrupted by the Legendary Autobot Fortress Maximus who has now made it his goal to track down anyone selling or stealing autobot technology. Demus is easily dispatched as Maximus starts hunting down the Scavengers in an attempt to bring them to custody.
If James Roberts has one flaw it’s that he can’t seem to write an unlikeable character, we have only just met the Scavengers and yet each of them is as likeable as any of the Cybertronians aboard the Lost Light. The Scavengers are made up of some of the most deeply flawed and damaged individuals the Great Cybertronian war has produced and yet every one of them, even when they are trying to be underhanded or selfish can’t help but betray their real selves. Roberts as I have said previously, is a character writer, he creates believable people within these metal shells and not one of them is a one note, two dimensional representation of the old school Decepticon, we can see just how much hell these guys have witnessed.
Alex Milne is on pencils again this issue and his bombastic art style is on full show. There are plenty of action scenes this time around generally involving Maximus and he Scavengers but it is the close ups on the characters faces that complete this tale. We have a lot of heavy, serious things to consider too with parallels drawn to racism, enslavement and the Transformers version of human rights and these are made all the more powerful by the expressions and emotions expressed throughout.
Joana Lafuente proves once again why she is one of the best colourists in the business giving the book its colour and life. Her muted tones throughout the issue help give weight to the words Roberts has to share and the Transformers as they spend the majority of the book running from Maximus. Considering that many of the Scavengers and even Maximus himself all share a very similar paint/colour scheme she still manages to make every one of them unique so that it is easy to tell one from the other even in the darker scenes.
My one fear for this book is that it is filler to buy time for the main story and that we won’t see these guys again for a long time once we return to the Lost Light. I think it would be a terrible shame to have these characters find a redemption of sorts within this short arc only for them to be forgotten about again and I really hope this is not the case. The creative team did such a fantastic job of making this set of characters relatable and likeable and I would hate to see that go to waste.
This is a pretty good book, I have no idea if it is just a side story or if it plays into another arc later in some way but as a standalone story the Scavengers tale has been enjoyable. To really get on the same level as our usual cast of characters we would need to spend a lot more time with them and truly, I would love to see the development of Grimlock after his accident but there is no way to know if we will ever return. As such we don’t know if this book will have any significant impact on the main story line or the Transformers universe as a whole and I feel that if you missed out on these two issues there is no real pull narrative-wise to rush out and catch up. It was a good tale and it was wonderfully told but unless you are a fan of the creative team then there may not be much to hold you here. I would still recommend this to the bulk of the Transformers fanbase but perhaps more to those invested in the comic series rather than a new reader or fan of the mainline book.