Transformers: Robots in Disguise # 17, Dark Cybertron Prelude: “Shockwaves”
Oh, dear. I’m torn when it comes to this month’s issue of Robots in Disguise. On one hand, this is an interesting prelude to a new story arc. On the other hand, it’s drawn by my Transformers artistic nemesis: Livio Ramondelli.
This issue almost reads like a Spotlight, as it’s squarely focused on the origin of Shockwave, the Decepticon’s ever logical and pragmatic strategist/scientist. I found the story to be fascinating. Just as it was revealed in More Than Meets the Eye that Ultra Magnus was once a happy-go-lucky ‘bot we learn that Shockwave was once an impassioned member of the senate before the war began. Moreover, he was a completely different configuration than the iconic one-eyed, purple arm cannon-wielding Decepticon that we’re familiar with. I don’t want to give it away, but the way that Shockwave becomes the transformer he is today is the product of a shocking event that really colors Cybertronian society in a bad light.
This interesting tale is almost completely ruined for me thanks to Ramondelli’s artwork. I’m sure he has his fans, but I find his work on the Transformers to be confusing and lacking in power. “Senator” Shockwave looks far less distinctive than the Decepticon version, and I routinely confused him with other characters in the book, like Dai Atlus and Proteus. I suppose this is the best work he’s done for IDW’s Transformers, and it does look far better than the Chaos storyline. Still, I am not a fan in the slightest and his art really impacted my enjoyment of this issue.
Also on shelves is the trade paperback of the Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots limited series. I didn’t get a chance to read it in its entirety, but I reviewed the final issue in an earlier Roll Out. The art is solid, and if you enjoyed the recent Transformers video games from High Moon this continues the storyline of that series. It also leads in to the upcoming series, Beast Hunters.