Getting back into the swing of things aboard the Lost Light, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #12 starts a new arc, although this issue does seem to make things overtly complicated for itself. With different plot arcs running loose, and a narrative that jumps back and forth, this isn’t exactly straight forward reading.
The official description from IDW:
AUTOBOTS VERSUS DECEPTICONS! The crew of the Lost Light confronts a band of rogue DECEPTICONS—with terrible consequences. As an AUTOBOT slips closer to death, a single decision sets in motion a chain of events that might just spell the end for RODIMUS and his band of travelers.
More Than Meets The Eye #12 follows the crew of the Lost Light fight some Decepticons. Now, this might sound quite boring and ordinary; the general Transformers franchise can be summarized as ‘Autobots vs Decepticons’, but its really only used as a plot device to get things moving.
A lot of this plot focuses on the interactions between the various Autobots. Despite the depth and potential to work with, there seems to be an awful lot of brooding and sulking. Whilst there are elements of humor dispersed throughout, the various dynamics between specific characters gives a strong negative atmosphere to the title.
That said, some of the minor plot arcs do seem to be interesting. The writing does use this well, in a worthwhile attempt to explore some of the characters under more extreme or unusual conditions.
Still, this issue shoots itself in the foot when it comes to the narrative pacing. The issue jumps back and forth between the action and the aftermath of said fight. At first it seems interesting, but the constant jumping between characters and time frames ca get a little confusing near the end. Given everything that is going on, a more linear path would make for a better read.
Furthermore, this issue does little to build on the cliff hanger of last issue. Its referenced near the end, but little else is made of it so far.
Finally, there’s also a cliffhanger here, which almost justifies the use of the time mechanic. Given the clashing personalities aboard the Lost Light, the revelation at the end wraps up a lot of whats been explored throughout the issue, and suggests some darker times for the issues ahead. Its one of the better cliffhangers in the series, thanks to its subtle implications, so its hopefully something that’s revisited soon.