Review – Transformers Robots in Disguise #34

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Transformers Robots in disguise 34 cover
Writers: John Barber
Art: Livio Ramondelli
Letters: Tom B Long
Publisher: IDW

Optimus Prime and Alpha Trion pay a visit to Earth’s Moon for some startling revelations about ancient Cybertron and some of the history of the Primes. The book takes a break from the all out action it has featured in previous issues and focuses on a much more narrative driven story this time around.

After our visit to Cybertron last issue that featured Starscream and Windblade dealing with the aftermath of the war, this issue instead takes us right back thousands of years before that to a very different Cybertron. Barber takes us back to the roots of who and what Trion and Galvatron actually are and the bloodline that Prime originally came from. I wont go into too much detail because some of the revelations are fairly startling and the effects that the discovered knowledge will have on the present can not be understated.

I was a little disappointed to see Sarah Stone not on pencils this issue however in her place we have the excellent Livio Ramondelli who is also penciling another book in the series, Transformers Primacy. This issue plays to Ramondelli’s strengths as there are few artists who can draw Transformers posing dramatically so well. Most of this story takes place on the Moon or at night so we have Ramondelli’s trademark gloomy and dark colouring giving the events a sinister and darker tone which works well with the writing.

This issue is very, very heavy on narrative and tells a long but interesting tale of ancient Cybertron and the tribes that made up the Transformers civilisation. The book contains little in the way of action instead choosing to regail us with some tales of darker, more primitive planet. It would be easy to call this and the issue before this filler in terms of content, but I genuinely believe this is building to something big. Even with that said I can see some readers leaf through the book, see the walls of text and put it back down, it would be a mistake but I could understand the confusion.

Barber continues to write a solid book which is not afraid to take us to places the other books have not We are constantly seeing other points of view, other times and other places and other sides of characters that perhaps we thought we already knew. Ramondelli’s art is as wonderful as ever with a darker, more surreal look than we are used to in the series. The reliance on walls of text may be a little off putting for some but ultimately there is an end goal to all of this and the last page hints at something big on the horizon. This is definitely a book for the fans and is so far through an arc im not sure I could recommend to first time readers. Those already reading any of the other books will find a lot to love here which makes it a good read in my opinion.