Transformers #36 Review!
Onyx Interface, Part Two: Vs.
Written by John Barber
Art by Andrew Griffith & Brendon Cahill
Colors by Josh Perez and Joana LaFuente
Letters by Tom B. Long
Edited by Carlos Guzman
The “Days of Deception” story continues! Being the middle chapter of an arc, ultimately I don’t feel there’s a lot I can do to summarize the story without giving things away. That’s okay though, because there’s a lot of characterization I can gush over!
First and foremost, I appreciate how Arcee wears her feelings on her sleeve. In a book full of shadowy motives and secret allies, it’s really wonderful to have a character who is as brutally honest as she is just plain brutal.
Prowl continues to follow his own agenda, and I’m not sure if this issue makes it clearer or murkier. Barber is doing a great job with the mystery here. I feel like every theory I could come up with is actually possible.
Thundercracker is as much fun as Arcee. I would not complain if there was a “buddy issue” of them teaming up. In fact, I think it would be one of my favorite issues ever.
Soundwave just hasn’t felt right to me since Dark Cybertron. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not—was he so shocked by Megatron’s surrender and defection that he’s off his game? The more I think about it, I hope that’s the case, because Soundwave lacking in confidence is a fairly unique direction for him.
The other characters sadly don’t get to do much. Sky Lynx continues to be a whipping boy, the other Autobots don’t have much to do, the Constructicons mostly follow Prowl’s lead. Even Galvatron cedes the limelight this issue.
And then there’s the humans. I have to admit, I like the concepts behind them (Blackrock as a sinister Steve Jobs is inspired!), but they really seem to blend together for me. Marissa, Blackrock, and Spike all seem to be variations on “I don’t trust those robots, I have secret plans, and I’m angry all the time!” I hope they all do more to differentiate themselves as the story progresses, as there’s not much point to being back on Earth if all the humans are the same character.
The art team also does a great job in this issue. Most of the action is a giant chase scene and it’s easy for the frantic nature of those to get confusing, but it all works perfectly. There’s a lot of expressiveness in every character, even in the talking head scenes. I want to take a moment in particular to praise the colors of Perez and LaFuente. Even though we’re long past the days of “the Yomtov technique” and other forms of block coloring, I still sometimes have trouble telling some characters apart due to awkward palette choices. Not so here—I daresay I’d be able to tell Soundwave from Thundercracker if I only had colors to go by!
Favorite Line: “Things used to go smoother when I just shot everybody.”–Arcee