Transformers Drift: Empire of Stone #2 Preview and Review!

Extended preview and review of Drift: Empire of Stone #2
This one might not be for everyone…

Empire of Stone Continues!
Written by Shane McCarthy
Breakdowns by Guido Guidi
Finishes by Stephen Baskervile
Colors by John-Paul Bove
Letters by Tom B. Long
Edited by John Barber

Drift and Ratchet go toe-to-toe with Gigatron! Kinda. Mostly they just argue about whether the war’s really over. Meanwhile, Hellbat accuses Grit of being a traitor to the Decepticons. After a botched escape attempt, the three find themselves sharing a cell. Drift explains the secret of the Empire of Stone and this time the escape is successful. Kinda. Mostly they just discover the real secret of the Empire of Stone.
If I don’t sound very impressed with this, it’s because I’m not. The plot is just not very interesting to me. Drift talks about being conflicted more than I actually see it in him, and Ratchet feels generic. He could be numerous other Autobots with no change to the story or even his dialog. Speaking of, the dialog feels stilted and no one acts like themselves, including characters we’ve never met before. There seems to be a reason for that, but if it’s going the direction I think it is then it seems wasted on the new characters. Characters we know not acting like themselves creates instant intrigue; characters we don’t know not acting like themselves just seems unnecessarily confusing and often looks like poor writing until it’s made apparent. It also effectively neuters these new characters as being credible threats.
The art isn’t helping matters. I’m not sure why we’re essentially getting the “Regeneration One style” here. I don’t have a particular problem with it, but it doesn’t really work here. It puts this forced retro look on everything that’s incongruous with the other comics.
Maybe this mini will ramp up in the second half and turn out to be really good, but even as a dogged optimist I’m not really counting on it.
Favorite Line: “You Know Megatron as well as I do. Tell me, Deadlock–is this war over?” –Gigatron
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