Spoiler-Free Review: Lost Light #19

Yesterday saw the release of The Transformers: Lost Light #19, kicking off the series finale, titled “Crucible”! Read on for our spoiler-free review!

The Transformers: Lost Light #19

“Crucible (Part 1): A Dance Before Dying”

Written by James Roberts, Line-Art by E.J. Su, Colors by Joana Lafuente, Letters by Tom B. Long

Issue #19 of Lost Light kicks off the book’s seven-part finale, “Crucible”, and as such it’s a break-neck affair. More so than many recent instalments, this is a significantly plot-focused issue, manoeuvring our players into position for the first major events of this final storyline. Some readers will perhaps lament this fact, but the issue feels very much like a prelude, doing the necessary groundwork that will facilitate more character-driven storytelling in the near future.
Issue #19 picks up moments after issue #18 left off, with our heroes facing an army of sparkeaters made from their former crewmates. After an emotional beat between Brainstorm and the twisted Perceptor, this issue sets about driving the plot forward, and barely lets up for a second. New heroes quickly join our party of protagonists, introduced with a lengthy infodump of off-screen plot that even some lampshading from Swerve and Misfire can’t quite salvage, and the very large cast that results is then – wisely – split into smaller groups who proceed on their way to begin separate confrontations. If I have perhaps one main concern for the coming story, it’s that balancing the positively huge cast of characters will be a very delicate affair for writer James Roberts, but hopefully breaking them down into smaller groups will allow characterisation to come to the fore.
On guest art this issue is Furman-era veteran E.J. Su, making a triumphant return to Transformers interiors art. Here, Su employs a different style to his previous work, leaning in a more cartoony direction that gels nicely with the style of series Jack Lawrence, whilst still retaining a distinct look thanks to stylish hatched shading. Whilst facial expressions are somewhat weak in places, the more action-packed sequences are beautifully staged and drawn, with special mention to a number of gorgeous and impactful explosions – which regular colourist Joana Lafuente brings out the best in.
As one would expect from the series finale, the book’s core “Grand Architect” mytharc has a heavy influence on this issue, with characters old and new being tied into the sprawling conspiracy. But for the time being, the story is barrelling towards a confrontation far closer to home for Rodimus – the battle with Getaway that solicitations have promised for issue #20. Ultimately, issue #19 exists to provide setup for a larger story, and while it has its flaws, it does its job well enough. If nothing else, it’s nice to finally start seeing long-standing mysteries unfold, and we’re left with the promise of a showdown which should be perfectly suited to the book’s character-focused strengths!
And it’s not a showdown we will be waiting long for – thanks to extensive delays, several issues have “stacked up”, meaning issue #20 is currently due in just one week’s time! In the meantime, head over to the Allspark Forums to discuss issue #19 with other fans!