It’s here: in case you missed the announcement this summer, this week is the final, very last issue of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. And if you totally missed that announcement and are currently having a heart attack, you’ll be happy to hear that the book is being rebranded as Transformers: Lost Light starting in December – same crew, and James Roberts is still writing it.
Seriously though, do you need the defibrillator? Cause I’d be all over that. While you make up your mind, click the jump for preview pages and a (really really really spoiler-filled) review of Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #57.
I started to do a write-up of the story that led to this issue, but you know what? Never mind. There are details to this plot that cropped up dozens of issues ago. Last issue’s write up over at tfwiki.net is an excellent summary of everything that’s led up to this final issue (Kathryn swears by the tfwiki writeups, they’re insanely detailed and often hilarious) but here’s a few important points:
Red Alert seemingly switched sides last issue, taking out Prowl and standing next to Sentinel Prime. But Red’s also been seeing this strange pattern of dots over and over: turns out they’re in the shape of the injection points left from a mnemosurgeon, which means someone’s memories have been altered, and (according to tfwiki) we saw those dots on Red’s neck in issue 10. So yes, this plot has been developing for a while.
The scenes bounce back and forth between Fortress Maximus trying to subdue Red without killing him, Sentinel mwah-ha-haing his plan to use an army of Titans to clean up (or burn to the ground and start over) Cybertron, and some nicely surreal images from Red’s past, where we see scenes from the earliest issues of More Than Meets the Eye but with strange hiccups. My favorite is when Swerve was trying to get on the Lost Light way back at the beginning of the series, and he tells Red “I’m here for the quest! Love a good quest. I haven’t been on a quest since look at your datapad.” The datapad reads “THIS NEVER HAPPENED.”
Later in the story we realize this is deliberate. Red Alert, with the help of Rung, set up triggers in his mind, so that if he had been brainwashed by shadowy forces outside of his control and set up to be a sleeper agent to switch sides and wreak havoc at the worst possible moment (…this is Red Alert we’re talking about, of course this is a scenario he’d imagine…) his mind would start replaying memories with false details, things to startle him awake, continuity errors to mess with the story.
Yes, James Roberts got very meta with this issue.
Meanwhile Fortress Maximus has used Cerebos’ override implant to take control of a Titan in order to stop Sentinel Prime’s zombie Titan army from using the artificial space bridge to reach Cybertron (…I did say there was a lot going on in this issue didn’t I?…) which was only possible because of my favorite moment in the issue: the Titan that Cerebos, Prowl, and Fort Max were hiding in had a stuck transformation cog, the release mechanism (a long, flat, horizontal surface) wouldn’t flip over.
Yes, Prowl saved the day by literally flipping a table. And made my whole day.
So Fort Max in control of the Titan is blocking the army, and Red Alert gets the drop on Prowl, and Sentinel Prime gets to mwah ha ha a few more times and orders Red Alert to shoot Prime once and for all.
And in a last-second battle of wills, Red Alert beats the brainwashing and shoots Sentinel instead.
Or rather, Sentinel’s body. Sentinel himself (the head part of the Headmaster) can still mwah ha ha all he wants. At least until Outrigger’s Roboid friend Beak drops him into into a huge thruster canyon, where he (presumably) dies.
It wasn’t really a deus ex machina, but it was funny in an intentionally anti-climatic way.
In the end, the Titan army didn’t make it through the portal to Cybertron, but they got partway there, so there’s still an army of Titans somewhere out in space who’s mission is to wipe out anything moving on Cybertron. That’ll be dealt with later, obviously. Meanwhile Red Alert, Prowl, Fort Max, and Cerebos are washing up old T-cogs, so we end the issue with the three of them up to their elbows in suds, and talking about how they hate endings.
Oh yes. Extremely meta.
We had the Tramontano/Lafuente team for this issue, and it was very fun. It’s hard to top my love of Alex Milne’s work, but I loved the expressions in this issue, and the color work was very sharp as always.
It was an interesting choice they took with this issue: instead of focusing on the Lost Light crew, we saw a lot of ‘bots who are normally in the other Transformers books. I would’ve liked a final issue that featured Megatron and Hot Rod, but I’m not sure we could top issue 55 for sheer power. I would’ve liked to see Alex Milne end the run, but I enjoyed the art here too.
This issue had a lot of tense moments, but on the whole it was a quieter book than you’d expect for a final issue. However, since it’s more of a rebranding than a ending, I’m okay with that. And it was nice to wrap up some story lines (though you should read James Roberts’ final message to the readers at the end: he’s trolling us pretty hard.)