Review – Transformers Primacy #4

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Transformers Primacy
Writers: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art: Livio Ramondelli
Letters: Chris Mowry
Editor: John Barber

This is the final chapter of the Primacy arc which is itself a prequel to the Great Cybertronian war! Transformer fights Transformer for the future of their home world and we are party to a number of revelations that shine a new light on the events that lead up to the TV show and everything that followed.

Megatron suddenly realises that his victory rings hollow and attempts to correct a fatal error in his plans just as Prime and his Autobots strike back with a counter initiative. There is a lot of action in this issue and every phrase uttered has been chosen very carefully by the writing team as a way of foreshadowing the events to come. In a way we even get to see a version of Megatron that will emerge years later at the end of the war but he is facing a struggle over his very soul and we can feel his utter helplessness at the realisation of a future he can no longer turn away from.  Prime as always proves himself every bit the warrior we know he can be but it is clear from the battle that he can be a little arrogant at times but not to the extent that he every becomes unlikeable.

The series really does feel like one written for the kids who grew up watching the original show and are now adults, the personalities of each of the Transformers shines through yet there is something darker and more adult about the tone. A great deal of love for the subject matter and reverence for the original source material is shown from the outset of issue one to the final page of the tale.

Livio Ramondelli really has delivered the soul of this book with his incredible art and this final issue is his best yet. His pencilling in this issue is both beautiful and sometimes brutal as it should be when we are dealing with a battle of this magnitude. If I complained in the first issue that his art could be a little stiff, it is the very opposite here, the action is fluid and the unfortunate deaths and injuries inflicted on the Transformers themselves really do look painful. There is a specific scene that involves the Predacons which is particularly nasty, I wont spoil the details but suffice to say you will not want your kids looking at it. As usual his colours perfectly augment his art and the gloom that descends upon the battlefield gives way only to the brightly coloured beam weapons and gleaming eyes of the battling Transformers.

I would really struggle to come up with anything negative for this issue other than it is the end of a very enjoyable story. It really goes without saying but new readers should not start here, the other three issues should still be available so go get them.

The story draws to a close but we all knew when we started reading this that it would not be the end, many battles follow this one and many still are a direct result of the events set in motion in these very issues. I have to say that I enjoyed every second of the story as it unfolded especially knowing how things eventually turn out. Normally I would complain that mini series of four issues is not enough but I feel that the pacing was exactly right and all of the featured Transformers got the exact amount of page time that they needed.

I would highly recommend this issue, and indeed the series to anyone who has a love for the Transformers series. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of the comic books, the various animated shows or even the movies, this is the origin of everything and will easily fit in as the first chapter of anything currently out there. If you are a fan new, current or lapsed definitely consider picking this up, it is one of the finest mini series IDW has published to date.