For a series with a small scale and large implications for it’s own universe, Transformers: Days of Deception has had a certain amount of difficulty when it come to scale and timing. On one hand, it wants to try story driven action yet, on the other hand, it keeps racing ahead as if its getting to some big, important plot point all comic book life as we know it revoles around.
The official description from IDW:
THE ONYX PROTOCOL! As PROWL confronts SPIKE over the human’s betrayal, the mystery of G.B. Blackrock and the Onyx Interface deepens. Meanwhile, Tokyo becomes a battleground as Arcee faces the Constructicons… and Galvatron!
The main issue I have with Days of Deception #37 – other than the continual use of that stupid name – is that it all feels forced. This whole idea of the ‘secret to combining’ was forced into the title mere issues ago and the quest to find it is more or less complete. Sure, there’s room to go forward but the issues were set-up to deliver some sort of cat and mouse and then drops everything into the readers lap because, I dunno, robots need to fight or something?
On that fighting front, John Barber is often letting the action get in the way of the dialogue. There are a few moments here, such as the interations between Prowl and Witwicky, which could of been more developed, but only occur between the larger confrontations. Similarly, Barber writes a lot of scenes with humans talking out loud but, other than exposition, I’m not sure what they’re for. The human military characters have seldom been used for the last few issues and very much feel like they’re following along for pacing purposes.
Visually, there’s little to complain about. I always enjoy the look of this series and the combination of Andrew Griffith’s pencils and the colors from Josh Perez and Thomas Deer really helps sell the issue. There fine detail in the pencils works well with the vibrant color choices, making many of the complex fight scenes much, much easier on the eye.
All in all, there have been better issues for the series, but this represents one of the many challenges Days of Deception has with it’s current plot and setting, such as a lack of clear direction.