Spoiler-Free Review: Optimus Prime #17

Out tomorrow is Optimus Prime #17, continuing the climactic story “The Falling”. Read on to check out our spoiler-free review of the issue that everyone will be talking about!

Optimus Prime #17

“The Falling, Chapter 3: The Ground”

Written by John Barber, Art by Kei Zama, Colors by Josh Burcham, Letters by Tom B. Long

If “The Falling” is a rollercoaster ride – and it surely is – then the first three issues are the part where the cart is being cranked up to the top. The first two issues of this climactic storyline have slowly increased the tension on Cybertron, with the gargantuan Nemesis appearing in the sky above Iacon to reveal Onyx Prime, who has descended to pass judgement on the state of his homeworld.
When last we left our heroes, a devastating explosion had torn through the Spire, killing Alpha Trion. The story-telling sage was not the only casualty, and the bulk of Optimus Prime #17 is about the city reacting to the attack. As the tension rises, plot threads that have been bubbling under the surface of John Barber’s stories come to the fore, with one in particular leading to an emotional confrontation that long-time readers will have known was coming for a while.
Indeed, Optimus Prime #17 is a very character-driven issue, with much of the key action being driven by the cast’s feelings and beliefs. It’s nice to see this kind of storytelling in a big finale story, where it can be easy for character to take a back seat to plot. As with each chapter of “The Falling”, one character serves as narrator – this time, it’s Aileron, the Camien newcomer who’s quickly become a fan-favourite in the cast. Her unique perspective as an outsider makes her an interesting character to get inside the head of, with focus given to her interpersonal relationships, including with tarnished idol Optimus Prime, and close friend Arcee.

The writing is served fantastically as ever by the stellar art team of Kei Zama and Josh Burcham, who imbue every moment of emotion and action with the distinct, impactful, retro style that has become this comic’s visual trademark. Zama’s visual storytelling is on top form, with creative panel layout and composition put to fantastic use, and Burcham’s bold, saturated colours dial up the intensity as events on Cybertron reach fever pitch.
But all that being said, the thing that everyone will be talking about from this issue is going to be the plot. Because that rollercoaster? The final page of Optimus Prime #17 is the big drop. It’s no exaggeration to say that you should avoid spoilers for this issue at any cost. Mute keywords on your feed, stay out of comics forums, stick your head in the sand, because the ending of this issue is something that you Do. Not. Want. To. Know in advance. At time of publication, preview pages for Optimus Prime #18, also out tomorrow, have unfortunately surfaced online, so keep your distance, because even the quickest peek at a single page will blow #17’s ending.
To it put it shortly, this is an issue for the ages – don’t miss it, and don’t get spoiled. You’ll thank yourself for it, believe us.

Excited for this issue? You should be! Head over to the Allspark Forums to share your anticipation with other fans!