Transformers: Robots in Disguise #16, “Heavy is the Head”
Whoops! My apologies, fellow ‘Bot fans, but somehow I didn’t catch Robots in Disguise #16 in my box. Considering what a momentous issue it is, I thought I’d go ahead and cover it, even though it’s a couple of weeks old at this point.
This is the final story in the current arc of Robots in Disguise (which has really been going on since issue 1, to be honest), and it did not disappoint. I don’t know if I can recall a Transformers comic story where things felt so dire and hopeless, but that was the feeling that pervaded this book. I’d attribute that to the narration from Bumblebee who starts off by calling it a story of the end of a world.
He’s not wrong.
I complained about the end of the second Regeneration One arc because it didn’t have any interesting or lasting impact on the state of affairs for that universe. This issue of Robots in Disguise changes things in a big, big way, and the conclusion is something I never saw coming. Allegiances are changed. Loyalties are betrayed. On top of that, Megatron plays a card that has serious implications for the future of the Decepticon army. Well, provided that there is still a Decepticon army for him to command. Like I said, this is a big one, and I’m getting the sense that Robots in Disguise is going to collide into More Than Meets the Eye in the not too distant future, and I can’t wait to see what Rodimus has to say for Bumblebee’s leadership.
Transformers Spotlight: Hoist, “The Waiting Game”
Wow, another month and another great Spotlight issue that focuses on another underappreciated member of the Lost Light crew! This time, we have Hoist, a character that so fades into the background I didn’t even notice he was on the ship for the first dozen issues or so. He doesn’t have any interesting personality quirks, and in the words of Swerve all I really know about him is “he’s green, and he has a tow cable.”
This story plays out like a really great episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. You have a small crew of unlikely allies - Hoist, Sunstreaker, Swerve, and Perceptor, marooned on an unknown planet. The ship is running out of fuel rapidly, but the Autobots are forced to use their cloaking device to hide from Tarn, the head of the Decepticon Justice Department.
This is all about rising tensions, as the motley crew try to deal with the problem at hand while getting to know each other in the process. Even though the title of the book is “Hoist” this is really more a story about Swerve and Sunstreaker. Once again, James Roberts uses humor to wonderful effect, even as the book ends on a really somber note. It’s actually a bit of a head scratcher, to be honest, and I would have liked a little more resolution. Still, this is a great Spotlight that’s not to be missed.
A last quick note: Regeneration One Volume 2 comes out this week. While I still enjoy the novelty of Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman picking up where they left off 20 years ago, I can’t say that the “Natural Selection” storyline is very good. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next, but unless you’re a completionist you may want to sit this one out.