Two words… robot samarai. If that’s not enough to drum up interest for Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #1, I don’t know what will. That said, does it live up to the hype?
The official description from IDW:
DRIFT RETURNS! Last year, TRANSFORMERS readers were shocked when DRIFT left the AUTOBOTS in disgrace… and now he’s alone, on a mission to clean up the darkest depths of the galaxy—until RATCHET shows up to try to bring him home!
At its core, this still has the focus many will want, but this issue often teases so many ways in which it can be better. Still, it’s not bad in its own right. Its well paced, looks decent and offers a quick romp that makes a refreshing change from the longer arcs in the sister titles.
The biggest dissapointment here is the need to cling on to the cliche of Autobots vs Decepticons. Shane McCarthy opens up with the story I’d want to see – Drift, the lone hero, visiting the weird and wonderful alien worlds along the galactic rim, fighting for justice – before snatching it away. What we get, instead, is a story about how bad decepticons are… it’s just been done before. That said, McCarthy does offer a nice dynamic between Drift and Ratchet, which will hopefully be built on as the title continues.
Visually, the art style isn’t the same as More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise, but Guido Guidi’s pencils do a decent job. They’re crisp, yet angular when they need to be. My only grip with his pencils is the lazy design on all non-important characters. Half the ‘cons look the same! Visually, the grittier colors help and some of the early panels are down right beautiful, so it gets some areas right here.
All in all, this was a good read, but it doesn’t sit that well for long. If it delves into something more worthwhile, then this could be an excellent return to a popular character. Otherwise, it could just drift off…