While the first issue was good – but failed to really go anywhere – Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #2 kicks the mini-series into a direction it needs to go in. It might be an issue late, but this really helps uplift the series into something with potential.
The official description from IDW:
ONCE A DECEPTICON! DRIFT’s past comes back to haunt him, as RATCHET tries to drag him back to the Lost Light. But alone on a far-off world, DRIFT’s honor demands he stand his ground!
The last issue left on a cliffhanger that didn’t make much sense, so this issue quickly explains events – including what the title is about – and rolls into some action. It’s what the last issue really needed, although it does some work here. Again, we have something that’s fairly well written and looks good. I still think the team could of been more creative or risk taking, but I’m happy to go along with it for now.
In terms of writing, Shane McCarthy focuses highly on the relationship between Ratchet and Drift. The scale here is very small, so McCarthy uses this to his favour by writing something rather personal. That said, I’ve mentioned the poor pacing already and I worry if the last two issues will feel rushed. Still, although it’s dialogue heavy, the writing does tie into the wider Transformers and feels right at home with its counterparts.
Visually, Guido Guidi offers some fantastic pencils. His sharp, angular style works well with the likes of Drift and the pencils hold up well during action. That said, some of the designs here are over the top (see: Gigaton) or simply blocky and unthought out, mostly because that robot isn’t important. However, with some decent colors from John-Paul Bove, this issue more or less holds its own weight.
Still, as part 2 of a 4-part series, I’m still not sure where this is going, but I’m enjoying the ride so far. It has a little humour, a decent enough plot and some good visuals. What more could you want, really?