IDW ROM vs Transformers: Shining Armor #2 Review

Bumblebee recounts how he and Ultra Magnus got into this mess.


Thoughts and Synopsis

The Solstar base we saw at the end of Shining Armour #1 was in orbit around the wild and untamed world of Xetaxxis. The Dire Wraith, Decepticon, Solstar, and Autobot firefight has wrecked havoc on the station and now it plummets to the planet surface. We also learn about Starscream’s dealings with the Wraiths and why he’s so willing to take them on as partners in defiance of the Decepticon movement’s anti-organic ideology. The Dire Wraiths aren’t without their own motives, though. They finally get to see what happens when their kind attempts to possess a Cybertronian body.
Most of the issue is framed around Bumblebee’s narration. He tells the story of how an Autobot scout team made up of Ultra Magnus, Sky Blast, and himself tracked an attack on a Galactic Council ship to the joint Wraith/Decepticon ambush of the Solstar order. Of course the Solstar Knights see no need to differentiate between factions of Cybertronians.
Both Bumblebee and Starscream end up vying for the attention of Stardrive, who seems lost and confused now that she’s thrust into her people’s civil war with no context. And no time to get any. All she wants is to be a good Knight of the Solstar Order. Despite that? She’s going to have to choose sides. In more ways than one.

Final Thoughts

This is a weird issue. In many ways the bulk of this book could have served as the first issue of the entire crossover. Thankfully Barber chose to focus issue #1 on Stardrive and the systematic racism she suffers, even among the “enlightened” Solstar Order.
Yes, that meant that the second issue would mostly be filled with backstory and retelling key plot points from the last issue from a new perspective. That isn’t a bad thing though. The overall plot of Shining Armour wasn’t advanced much here, but the strong character work from issue one was needed over getting these characters to the wilds of planet Xetaxxis an issue earlier.
This issue is made up of alternating scenes of action and dialogue to set up action. The social commentary from issue one is still here, but it’s no longer the focus. That’s ok though. We know about the bigotry Stardrive faces in Solstar society. There’s no need to revisit it. This issue was supposed to showcase the action side of a Hasbroverse crossover, and it delivered.
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