Transformers #2 Review
You know here in the South—of the United States—that is, when you’re driving through the country, you pay close attention to tree lines on back country roads and interstates in the evening. That reason is that it’s not uncommon for highway patrol or animal control to remove a deer carcass from your bumper or windshield.
Hitting deer in most states with heavily wooded areas is pretty common, but we finally have a moment where if deer could read comics, they’d get a little taste of a vehicle running in front of a deer. Let’s just say that even when cars walk in front of deer, they still lose. Of course, no real deer were harmed in the making of this issue of Transformers #2, just Optimus Prime’s matrices.
The darling deer was a sacrifice that Spike, a human, witnessed Optimus Prime kill on accident while admiring our world through the eyes of a robot alien as beautiful, but fragile. These are the depths of such a balanced reality. Daniel Warren Johnson brings sentiment, art, and beautiful perspective words together to give us a moment in Transformers we’ve never really seen before. Optimus and Spike discuss, for several pages, Cybertron and how the war destroyed his home and sent him and the loyalists into the far reaches of space to find a new beginning. For new readers, this is an excellent issue to become a fan.
It’s also a good example of foreshadowing that lays the groundwork for the terrible things that are about to unfold, given that the Decepticons have pursued Optimus and his metal brethren to Earth. The Decepticons are wasting no time in their pursuit of Energon as Star Scream, Sound Wave, and Skywarp attack a nearby plant. The only thing stopping Autobots from jumping into action is also Energon, so while Opitmus and Spike head off to stop the Decepticons and look for Spike’s dad, his sister Carly rushes home to find Mr. Witwicky in her father’s place.
Carly learns the ugly truth about her father’s death, which happened most likely at the hands of Starscream if Witwicky is in fact the pilot who survived the air combat encounter. We’re left assuming much and with much to be answered, but I’m sure Daniel is going to swing that uppercut in issue three.
I think this series is a lot more human than the normal focus of Optimus Prime and the Autobots fighting Megatron and the Decepticons. The tone feels more empathetic, and the writing isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and patient, which is rare considering the Michael Bay movies all but turned the franchise into robotic Neanderthals who just like to blow shit up. I’m not saying they weren’t bad movies, but they were more about flashy CGI and explosions with the occasional punchline than they were about telling great stories.
We’ll save that topic for another time, I think. I’m overjoyed that Skybound has brought in the old-school editor mail-in list to engage with their fan base. I always thought that was such a special sentiment for the fans. Various fans got to see their messages and praises published with forwards by Johnathan Manning. The spirit of making comics is definitely with this team of creators.
Oh, and the goodies don’t just stop there because previews of a new Duke series are hiding in the back, hinting toward the ambiance of a GI Joe vs. Transformers conflict event that could very well solidify more excitement for the live-action GI Joe vs. Transformers event set up by the most recent release of the Transformers: Rise of the Beast film.
With Larry Hama coming back to finish the series he started over 40 years ago, can you smell what Image and Skybound are cooking? It’s a great time to be in comics, reading comics, and reviewing comics. History is made every day, and you can be a part of it; you just have to have the courage to “rollout.”
Don’t forget to support your local comic store or visit your favorite artists and creators at cons. As always, stay geeky, share the network, and don’t forget to catch me on the latest episode of Comics’N’Poptarts.
Michael J. Florio
Michael is a versatile creative professional, excelling as a comic writer, editor, and screenwriter. He holds notable credits at Advent Comics, Grok Comics, Champion Comics, Alter Ego Arts, and Super Serious Comics, Mazzi Productions not including his own projects like Wild Oni and Iron Jaguar. Aside from being an internationally published editor, Michael has been the editor-in-chief at Inked Studios, where he’s assisted on over 40 crowdfunding campaigns, contributing to projects like Exiled (Wesley Snipes), Redempt1on (Austin St. John), and Bleeding Pulp (Justin Gray).
Holding degrees from the University of Full Sail, Michael resides in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he hosts the Comics’N’Poptarts podcast and actively engages with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers Guild Chapter, sharing comic expertise. Beyond his creative pursuits, he enjoys family time, storytelling, film analysis, comic reading, and honing voice acting for future prospects.