IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #2 Review

John Barber brings us the second issue of IDW’s Optimus Prime ongoing, picking up where we last left off; with a Quintesson ship burrowing into the Earth!
Optimus Prime #2

Thoughts and Synopsis

Well, it’s never actually called a Quintesson ship. The aliens made famous by the Generation One are never once mentioned. Still, fans will recognize the distinctive shape of the craft.
Of course the Quintessons aren’t the occupants. Instead we get Wreck-gar and company. Junkions emerge, and Optimus Prime’s plans for Earth are…let’s just say sidetracked. The emergence of the Junkions from the¬†Quintesson ship actually serves as an apt primer for this story. Misdirection abounds. Both this issue and the issue proceeding it have the subtitle “New Cybertron.” Of course many a reader drew their own conclusions, pairing that title with the fact that Optimus intends to bring Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds. Not so fast on that front.
The issue continues to play with the theme of misdirection. In some ways it’s obvious, as the perception filters of IDW’s Transformers (or is that Revolution?) universe are once again thrust into the spotlight. In other ways the theme of misdirection and obstruction aren’t as obvious. Let’s just say the Quintesson connection, and a line dropped by Jetfire regarding Cybertron’s distant past, continue to play into IDW’s masterful handling of the mystery behind the Cybertronian religion.
GI Joe appears once more, as part of the pan-Hasbro IDW Revolution-verse. Its inclusion may continue to give some pause, but Barber uses the shared universe concept to excellent effect. Classic “Real American Heroes” characters make appearances, but their roles are supportive. Instead the human side of the story is focused on Spike Witwicky and Zilong Qian, two humans with Transformers roots inserted into the GI Joe military faction. Their story, like that of Optimus and the Junkions, is about misdirection and questionable assumptions as Qian both tries to deal with the alien arrivals and his place on the GI Joe team.

Final Thoughts

All in all? Barber delivers a solid outing that plants the seeds for some fantastic potential stories down the road. As for the art? What more can be said for Kei Zama’s work other than beautiful? It’s only fitting that a comic series named after the most iconic character of the Transformers brand should feature an art style that captures the spirit of the Marvel 80s run while updating the aesthetics for modern sensibilities.
Optimus Prime #2 was a blast to read, keeping me guessing in the best ways.