Even Getaway’s most loyal supporters are realizing he’s not a born leader who’s willing to make the hard choices, he’s a sub-intelligent sadist with delusions of grandeur. See below for a (mostly) spoiler-free review of Lost Light #12.
(I avoid the biggest plot points, but I do talk around the edges of them, so if you’d rather go read the issue first and then come back here I definitely won’t mind.)
First off, I didn’t think there was any subtle political commentary in this issue, other than the fact that those who are most desperate to be in charge are often least suitable for the job.
By this point Getaway’s allies are either sociopaths like Froid (who needles him about how it’s less likely Getaway is a “Prime without a Matrix” instead of just “crazy”) or psychopaths like Sunder (who will erase from the crew’s minds the memory of betrayal and slaughter, but the price is living cannon fodder for him to feed on. So yes, the body count is getting high. Seriously high. Ridiculously high, as in “oh god I can’t believe James Roberts just KILLED THAT PERSON.”)
Sections this issue felt a lot like a slasher film, where just when you think things are really bad they suddenly get much much worse, and Jack Lawrence did an amazing job of depicting that kind of panicky awfulness.
(Tangent: the carnage is so intense that now I’m wondering: are we going to have some kind of reset button next issue? They already accidentally traveled back in time a little by taking a shortcut through the Warren, is it possible things will get sorted out that way? Because normally I find that kind of thing a bit of a cheat but good googaly moogaly you guys the body count of bots that you know is REALLY HIGH.)
(And a related tangent: because of the accidental time travel we got a glimpse of some people who aren’t around anymore, and it was so sweet and funny it just stabbed me in the heart a little. But I digress.)
The situation is out of control, and the more things go wrong the more unhinged Getaway gets, so he makes impulsive decisions that are completely stupid, so things fall apart faster, which makes him more enraged, lather, rinse, repeat.
You’ve seen this kind of breakdown before: he’s the formerly icy Agent Smith in Matrix Revolutions yelling “Why, why do you persist?” He’s the Operative in Serenity roaring “Target the Reavers target everyone SOMEBODY FIRE!” He’s Norman Stansfield in The Professional shrieking “EVERY! ONE!” By next issue he’s gonna pull a total Scarface, covered in Engex powder, blasting away at what’s left of the Lost Light crew and screaming “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND.”
The most satisfying part about any story with a truly despicable villain is seeing them get what they deserve. The only problem is that this is a James Roberts story, and sometimes he won’t do the predictable thing just because life isn’t always predictable. So watching Getaway go off the deep end is fascinating, but nerve-wracking, because I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next few issues.
But man oh man I hope he has a chance to regret every rotten, underhanded, psychotic thing he’s ever done, right before Rodimus squashes him like a bug.