Writer: Nick Roche
Art: Nick Roche
Colours: Josh Burcham
Letters: Tom B Long
Sins of the Wreckers is by artist/writer Nick Roche’s own admission, a book that shouldn’t exist given the state he left the crew in when he last had the helm. As is so often the case however Nick felt a need to return to the Transformers he once spent a lot of time with and further the story of the Autobots known as The Wreckers.
This book has been listed as a five series mini and I know a lot of the thinking is that if you miss this you won’t miss anything important to the main story but that feels wrong for a couple of reasons. This story takes up the thread left directly after Prime and Prowl have their almost fatal duel and features Arcee and Kup trying to track him down. I’m sure something from this series will find its way back into the main series but without the background of just how it all came about I feel readers would be left with a lack of appreciation as to the events that lead to Prowl’s fate. The second, is, well it’s a damn good read.
Nick Roche is one of the few creative minds I’ve come across who have the endurance to both write and illustrate their own creation, in a lot of ways it’s an ideal situation. Rather than the writer trying to convey how a scene should look to an artist who may be thousands of miles away, Roche already knows what his scene looks like and is free to have the ultimate creative freedom and create a vision free of any misunderstanding. The result is a book that feels completely solid in terms of story and art and one that never has to sacrifice one for the other.
The relationships in this book are front and centre and are clearly the thing we are meant to focus on directly whether that be the remaining Wreckers dreaming of past glories and slowly self-destructing together, a girls broken heart at feeling betrayed by those close to her or Arcee and Kup finding each other impossible to deal with and at constant locker heads despite being on the same path. We usually don’t see a focus like this on the emotional state of the Transformers outside of the More Than Meets the Eye series and it is refreshing to see this approach.
The colouring resembles something not a million miles away from the last Drift mini-series with a lot of washed out muted colours being used but I can’t help feel that this is more a homage to the original Transformers comic books from the 80s. Given the digital age we live in now it is so rare to see a more traditional approach and I have to say it was a breath of fresh air to not have solid sharp digital colour but instead a book that looks like it was coloured by hand. I hope to see this continue throughout the series as it is the single most unique book visually in the series, Burcham should be proud of what he has accomplished here.
There are a couple of minor bad points the series, the first is really the character of Arcee or rather, how out of character she appears to be in the first few panels. Arcee is no wimp and has proven her toughness on several occasions but she has never been completely hostile until this book. It could well be that the hunt for someone she once trusted has driven her to be more aggressive in his capture but she threatens Verity and attacks Kup in a way I am just not used to seeing her acting.
The other thing is probably more of a non-issue for veteran readers but even as long as I have been reading these books I have never had the opportunity to read the original series Roche created so some of the subtler stuff was lost on me. I think it’s a testament to the team that I was still able to read and enjoy the book without that prior knowledge but this really does feel like It was created for those who were lucky enough to be reading from that previous series.
For the most part the book is new reader friendly but some of the relationships already established prior to this mini will not mean much. The art and story are strong but we do get a few text walls occasionally but thankfully they are few and tend to actually be interesting even if its daunting to see as you turn the page. This book is as mentioned above, a relationship book and if you enjoy reading about the Transformers as flawed yet emotional beings then this is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on. An excellent start to a new series that gives the reader just enough to wet their appetite before leaving us eagerly anticipating next month’s instalment.