IDW Revolutionaries #4 Review

The Obelisk’s origin is revealed and our heroes meet a new ally. 

Thoughts and Synopsis

Names are great. Especially names for groups of heroes. They never really work, do they? “The Avengers” never made much sense. So little sense, in fact, that the movie had a throwaway line to construct some pained justification for it. I mean “the Justice League” is corny, but at least it’s straightforward.
Revolutionaries was introduced to be the new unified IDW Hasbroverse continuity’s team book. The name was derived from the massive event that birthed this continuity; Revolution. That name didn’t make much sense. So what hope did “Revolutionaries” have? Well they justify it here. Count Van Rani of Kalistan is harbouring the villains, and he calls the heroes who oppose him “revolutionaries.” Never mind that they aren’t trying to overthrow him or anything. I don’t know. It’s a stretch, and they had to tie the nonsensical team name into the nonsensical event name. Sorry. I can be a pedant when it comes to words meaning things.
Speaking of Count Van Rani. I do love comic book universes. Where else can a head of state wear a mask and adopt a super villain code name? Well I guess it all depends on whether or not you consider too much bronzer a mask….
Anyway the book itself is alright. Action Man’s snark has been toned down, which is nice. Barber obviously has a blast writing him, but he needed to tone it down. The character is, thankfully, more restrained in this outing. It works well with the smaller, more cohesive roster.
We also meet two other Hasbroverse fan favourites. Snake Eyes and Predaking both make appearances. Snake Eyes’ inclusion feels natural. Predaking’s? Not so much, but he’s endemic of the book’s larger problem.

Final Thoughts

This title had an intriguing start, but this issue fell flat. My biggest complaint is that the entire outing felt like an exercise in continuity porn. Tomax’s history as Cobra Commander, Kup getting a retconned past with the Predacons, and the mystery of the Obelisk all feels a bit empty. I suppose such a book in such a universe primarily serves as a continuity wank, but it’s beginning to get a bit thin.
The Obelisk is a great example. We finally find out where it came from. The answer does tie into the larger ongoing IDW Hasbroverse plot, but it just seems like a bit of a letdown. Let those other books dedicated to that plot point deal with it. I would have preferred Revolutionaries take the opportunity to expand the shared universe a bit by assigning a different origin to the Obelisk. Instead it just ties into a major plot point from one of the Transformers titles.
Garrison Blackrock is next. He’s got full control over his Cybertronian body. Therefore he can go from human to armoured robot with just a thought. He’s also a billionaire who’s the CEO of a tech company and a bit of a smartass. Remind you of anyone? I’m just saying I’d pick Kirk Lazarus to voice the character.
The resigned cherry atop this sundae made of sighs would be the ending. The previous issue ended with a reveal of Hearts or Iron Bumblebee seemingly under the control of the villains. Barber doubles down with that reveal. I understand that plot point will be expanded on. Even so the only explanation that makes sense is one I can’t help but roll my eyes at.
It isn’t all a letdown. Action Man and Kup have great chemistry. Mayday continues to shine as a character. The writing itself remains strong. I’m sure my issues with the continuity porn will be resolved as the series goes on. I just wasn’t feeling it this month though.
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