But things ARE looking bad.”
“Such is the way of combat, storyteller…if war looked good, why would we do anything else?”
It’s a story about medieval Primes and ancient battles, while in the present Starscream smirks and says snarky things about humans. See below for preview pages and a review of Optimus Prime #10.
(Minor spoilers below, weirdly enough for the latest Michael Bay movie, which I haven’t seen but have read about, so, you know, be warned.)
Kei Zama’s art is solid, especially his version of Starscream (in my mind every IDW artist is waiting for their chance to draw a smirking Starscream, and why wouldn’t they?) But I was glad the preview pages below include some of Livio Ramondelli’s work, because his art is always worth a look, though it has a slightly more rushed look to it than his work in series like Autocracy. He does such amazing stuff with textures and glowing lights, including claw-like hands that are iridescent with energon from ripping someone apart. We get a lot of that this issue: battle scared armor, glowing eyes, and gleeful carnage. It’s fun and exciting and provides a good balance with the history lesson we’re getting at the same time.
Alpha Trion wants to tell Optimus Prime, Starscream, and Pyra Magna (“The True Prime, the Chosen One, and the Way of Flame’s Magna” as he puts it) the story of the Autobot symbol, but it’s really more a story about the Thirteen Primes, and the Autobot symbol is sort of tacked on the end of it.
I’m not as familiar with the history of the Thirteen Primes as I ought to be, though I know they’ve been around for a while. (See the tfwiki for way more information than can fit in one post.) They did appear front and center in the Last Knight movie, so I’m guessing IDW may be trying to slowly merge their continuity and the movie continuity together? I’m okay with that, up to a point. (If we get a ret-con history where the Earth is actually Unicron I’m flipping all the tables and going home.)
As for the historic characters we met this issue, I liked some of the Primes (Solus Prime and Nexus Prime look especially cool with Ramondelli’s glowing-eyes touch) but when it comes to Onyx Prime, I’m always a little leery when I see images of these ultra-complex, baroque-armored Transformers. They look amazing, but the more complex their armor the harder it is for me to connect with them or stick a name to a faceplate. The Torchbearers never gave me any problems: they’re new, but there’s not so many moving pieces to their design, so I feel like I can get to know them better.
(What’s that you say? That I probably hate the complex designs because they look too much like Bayformers? I admit nothing.)
I’m wondering one thing though, and maybe you can chime in before I go digging through the tfwiki: did we already know what Arcee’s relationship to Galvatron was? I felt like that was dropped on us pretty abruptly, is this a thing we knew? Did I miss the issue where we found it out, or were we supposed to be that gobsmacked by it? Is anyone else having a tough time believing it?
Starscream’s not buying it anyway, and he’s also gloriously snarky at the end of the story:
…what kind of made-up name is Megatronus?
Me and Starscream, man, we’re on the same wavelength.