Transformers #38 Preview and Review!

Written by: John Barber
Art by: Andrew Griffith
Colors by: Josh Perez
Letters by: Tom B. Long

The Onyx Interface, Conclusion: The Obliterati

Devastator devastates Blackrock’s secret Cybetronian showroom to get to the Enigma of Combination. Galvatron and Arcee, having joined forces to stop him, try to figure out how that’s going to happen. Meanwhile Blackrock has called in an army of Thrust and Ramjet drones and Thundercracker tries to stop them before they send Galvatron and humanity into all-out war.
This issue neatly wraps up the Onyx Interface arc. Maybe a little too neatly, as there are some rather obvious “don’t mind me, just setting up Combiner Wars” moments that I felt detracted from this story. Them’s the breaks of having a BIG EVENT starting in the next issue though, and I don’t feel anything was actually shortchanged by it. To the contrary, just for starters Barber makes significant progress in the Prowl/Constructicons plot and continues to outline an tenuous alliance between Blackrock, Marissa, and Spike. The development he’s giving to the Decepticons is really just fantastic; Thundercracker, Soundwave, and even the seemingly one-dimensional Galvatron have easily been the highlights of the entire arc.
This issue is full of chaotic fighting on several different fronts, but Griffith’s art makes it all extremely easy to follow and this issue really lets him show off a bit. In the same issue–sometimes on the same page–we get a monstrous Devastator ripping apart an entire building, Thundercracker engaging in an aerial battle (he actually uses his thunderclap power, and it looks really cool!), Spike and Marissa playing John Woo action hero, and Soundwave serenely looking at elephants. That it all manages to be cohesive is really pretty incredible to me.
Favorite Exchange:
“Lies are weapons to use against the enemy–not ourselves.”
“Let’s not be hasty.”
“You wish to live a lie?
“Yeah, kinda.”
–Soundwave finds out that Thundercracker knows where he stands.
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