Digital Comics…Reviewed! (Transformers #7 & #8)

Transformers #7 & #8
Mike Costa (story)

E.J. Su and J. Brown (#7), Javier Saltares and J. Brown (#8) (artwork)

Available On: IDW Comics, Comics+, Transformers Comics
Price: 1.99 (each)

So yeah, I’ll be reading Transformers for as long as Mike Costa’s on it…

Mentioned this before, but I’d already heard great things about his work, and loved the GI Joe: Cobra mini he did with Gage, so ordering the first collection of his Transformers monthly wasn’t tough to do, especially since DCBS had it for a 50% discount. Now, I’m more than happy to report that on the strength of that first trade I’ll be following the entire series digitally from now on, at whatever schedule IDW releases it. You know what it reminds me of? Joe Casey’s Wildcats run, which you might remember is one of my favorite creative runs of all time, so that’s certainly not bad company to be in according to me.

Both runs begin with a similar premise—what happens to the soldiers when the war is over? When no one can even remember what they were ever even fighting for? And the most important question of all, one that Optimus Prime actually verbalizes in one of the first couple issues…after a millennia of war between the Autobots and Decepticons, a conflict that has spread clear across the galaxy and nearly destroyed another planet, can his people truly and profoundly…transform? It’s a moment and a phrase that I suspect Costa had planned for Prime since the very beginning of the series, and that need for progression is the foundation of the run thus far, and what I think is a fantastic angle to come at the Transformers from.

These two self-contained issues provide a couple great character studies for both Megatron and Spike, who are two incredibly distinct personalities, but in a way they both want the same thing Optimus Prime wants—transformation. Megatron wants to use the turmoil and confusion to once again wrest ultimate power away from his rivals, stamping any thoughts of reconciliation and new alliances dead before they take permanent root. Spike wants to be free of his troubled past, and hopes that he is strong enough to bring about another meaningful partnership between humanity and the Autobots, after everything that’s happened. Both stories provide texture and context to this brave new world that Costa is aiming to create, and I’m anxious to see where he ultimately takes the well-worn franchise. This is certainly a more intellectual, progressive take on the characters that began their lives as a kids’ TV show and a line of incredible toys.

And because of my trusty iPad and digital comics, I can now afford to follow it on a regular basis…

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