IDW Transformers Lost Light #3 Review

It’s not just the Lost Light crew that’s been transported to the Functionalist Universe! The entire Necroworld has been as well! Brainstorm’s ecstatic of course, but not nearly as ecstatic as Whirl. He gets to see his nemesis after all.
World building has always been a strength of James Roberts. Now he has an entire second universe to do it in! We learn that the geobomb that detonated between the end of More than Meets the Eye and Lost Light¬†wasn’t a dud. Instead it (possibly) shifted the entire planet into the Functionalist universe.


Thoughts and Synopsis

We learn that the Cyberutopia promised at the end of issue #2 wasn’t the genuine thing. Instead it’s a nickname applied to the city of Adaptica, the Functionalist universe’s equivalent of Kalis. The Lost Light crew also learns a bit more about how this universe, well, functions. Apparently, cities dedicated to a member of the Guiding Hand can be used as sanctuaries for Cybertronians fleeing the oppression of the Functionalist Council, if the Councillor overseeing the city wishes it. Nine-of-Twelve has defected from the Council and is using his city as one such sanctuary.
The Anti-Vocation League uses the city as their base, and they explain this timeline’s history. The Functionalists discovered the truth behind Nova Prime’s program to harvest sparks from the Matrix and place them in constructed bodies. The Senate ignored them and sealed off Vector Sigma, and the Functionalists responded by executing the entire Senate for blasphemy.
The tale of the Functionalist rise to power in this universe is especially chilling, and Roberts makes no attempt to disguise the social commentary. The natives of this timeline explain that, upon seizing power, the Functionalists went after intellectuals and professional experts. “Anyone who privileges facts over fear” AVL member Clicker explains. It cannot be understated just how relevant that sentiment is today.
The Lost Light crew needs to contend with a totalitarian society ruled by fear as the clock ticks. The Functionalist Council is preparing to reveal Rung’s alternate mode so they can fully justify their ideology. Meanwhile something’s approaching Cybertron’s orbit, and no one knows what it is.
And hey, Killmaster (with the wand) is discovered on the Necroworld. Just in time for Whirl to wake him up!

Final Thoughts

I don’t mean to shortchange the Killmaster and Whirl plot point, because the dialogue is top notch. The problem is that it’s just a retreat of the Overlord story once you get beyond the unique and entertaining “nemesis” relationship Killmaster and Whirl have for each other. It’s a powerful Decepticon that’s been “awoken,” and no one’s sure how to stop him. Mystery abounds with Anode and what the Functionalist universe could reveal about her. I would rather the story on the Necroworld focus on that, and not on a retreaded plot point.
The issue is at its best dealing with the Lost Light crew on Functionalist Cybertron. As I said. James Roberts excels at world building, and his talents in that department are on full display. The social commentary is particularly relevant given the current political climate and the duel mysteries- Rung’s alternate mode and the object approaching Cybertron -are expertly paced.
All in all? It was a very enjoyable issue that furthered every mystery presented in just the right way. Even the repetition with a powerful Decepticon on a rampage works thanks to Whirl being, well, whirl. This is another easy recommendation!
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