IDW Transformers: Lost Light #8 Review

Lug, Anode, Nautica, and Velocity explore an alien marketplace looking for hints about the Knights of Cybertron.


Thoughts and Synopsis

Lost Light shifts focus as we move on from the Necroworld. This issue focuses on the female members of the cast, with Nautica, Velocity, Anode, and Lug visit Troja Major. The planet is described as port of galactic commerce where you can find nearly anything you could want to look for. The setting allows us to explore the interpersonal relationships between the two pairings. Anode and Lug head off to explore, leaving Nautica and Velocity to awkwardly play off each other.
We’re given a quick recap of Velocity and Nautica’s relationship.  Velocity aspired to be a doctor and Nautica an engineer. They supported each other in their shared desire to rise above Camien culture’s bias towards the liberal arts over scientific endeavours. These days though? The relationship is strained. Probably over the trauma Nautica experienced as a result of the death of Skids.
The two visit the former Decepticon known as Agnonizer. He runs an antiques shop on the planet and the the two (former?) friends wonder if he has a replacement map to the Knights of Cybertron. Agnoizer claims he doesn’t, but shares a theory. He claims the Knights were divided into five tribes, and shares what he believes are reconstructions of each tribe’s insignia. He also informs Nautica and Velocity where they can find a device capable of restoring any Cybertronian life. Even if the spark’s been extinguished…
Anode and Lug go off on their own, with Anode leading the way. Her background as a blacksmith comes into play as she claims she smells sentio metallico. The “living metal” Cybertronians are forged from. They stumble upon a seedy operation run by the Black Block thugs involving artificially forced “Cybertronian” life. They’re saved by Wipe-Out, who spirits them away.
Their conversation with Wipe-Out reveals two things. The first is that Anode and Lug are from Cybertron and that they changed genders, becoming “she’s,” finding the designating more fitting. The second is that someone is hunting former blacksmiths. Wipe-Out suspects Techy, a buyer of rare artifacts mentioned way back in Lost Light #1. A Decepticon World Sweepers belonging to Techy appears, only to reveal a gang of hostile Cybertronians. All of whom are wearing a Knights of Cybertron tribal badge…

Final Thoughts

This issue ties a few loose ends up from the series’ opening arch. We saw Anode on the Functionist Universe Cybertron, causing readers to wonder where she came from. Female Cybertronians weren’t found on Cybertron-proper to the re-discovery of the colonies. So how was Anode from a Cybertron that never re-connected with the colonies?
Simple. She, and Lug, are trans-gendered. They were “male” Cybertronians, but changed their shape and their gender identity as they travelled further from Cybertron. Anode explains that their travels brought them into first-hand contact with species that had defined genders, and this experience caused both her and Lug to realize that they were both, well, “hers” at heart.
Lug and Anode aren’t the first trans-gendered characters in the Transformers franchise. Hell, Arcee is trans in the IDW continuity. Anode and Lug are, however, the first characters conceived as trans from the start. It’s a welcomed development for the franchise.
Story-wise? The dual narratives tie together nicely. The revelation of the Knights’ insignia in the Nautica/Velocity plot plays nicely with the reveal of Techy’s crew in the Anode/Lug plot. The ending of the former’s story leaves an enticing hook on its own too, guaranteeing that many a reader will want to stick around. After all…what could Nautica want with a machine that can resurrect dead Cybertronians?
What did you think? Join us at the Allspark forums to share your thoughts!