Drift: Empire of Stone #3 Preview and Reveiw!
Written by: Shane McCarthy
Breakdowns by: Guido Guidi
Finishes by: Stephen Baskerville
Colors by: John-Paul Bove
Letters by: Tom B. Long
Editor: John Barber
Drift and Ratchet discover Hellbat’s big plans for the Empire of Stone, there’s a really big fight, and an unholy alliance is struck.
This book is really picking up. That’s not really much of a praise though, as I should have been pulled in sooner than the third of four issues. It’s definitely not a praise for the plot and writing, as a full summary would read like a checklist of cliches and conventions. Additionally there are some elements and seeming plot points from previous issues that I guess aren’t, and I’m not sure if that’s me reading into things or McCarthy not following up (and if so, is that bay accident or design?). The reasoning behind Drift’s personality shifts is also inelegantly handled and sure to bother fans who grew to love Drift via MTMTE.
I don’t have a particular bias against McCarthy, but he is fairly hit-or-miss. All Hail Megatron famously showed him trying to tackle a story that was frankly beyond him, yet Mars Attacks the Transformers was fantastic. As a result I’m honestly unsure what to think of this particular story. It feels generic, but is that McCarthy winking at the reader while he does a stock action-adventure tale or does he think everything about this is original?
The art continues to be baffling as well. The “ReGeneration One style” that’s being employed was developed to look gritty and retro, so it doesn’t make any particular sense here. Similarly, the generic Decepticons throughout the issue seem pulled right out of the Marvel Comics era. Perhaps it’s a sign that the trope-filled story is purposeful and a knowing throwback to the past?
I just don’t know what to make of this. It’s entirely possible that the creative team is trying for something clever, but if so I’m not convinced they’re pulling it off. I guess we’ll see what the conclusion brings.
Favorite Line: “These hands… I have killed countless beings with these hands. All those lives I’ve taken, I remember every single one of them. Centuries of killing as though it were yesterday.” –Hellbat