How do you like your meta references? If it’s hard and fast, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #43 is the title for you. If not, this might be a clever but ultimately average flash in the pan for the series.
First, the official description from IDW:
Three years into their quest, and the crew of the Lost Light were starting to think that the universe held no more nasty surprises. And then a planet started chasing them.
First off, I don’t hate this issue – it’s a refreshing one-shot that serves as a nice break (although the last arc wasn’t very long either). Still, the meta-references and overall pacing have some downsides. The world isn’t explored much, so any concepts or themes sometimes feel a little coered rather than feeling natural.
In terms of writing, I appreciate the idea James Roberts is doing. The cold opening is a good way to draw intrigue, even if he uses an old pop culture reference or two to do so. The plot itself is so-so and, quite frankly, linear, but Robert’s key charm comes from his use of character. Megatron and Cyclonus get some unqiue moments here – moments that definatley highlight other sides of their character that don’t often shine through. It’s those moments that ultimately save the issue from itself. Without them, there are too many references and camera-winks to thoroughly enjoy this issue like usual.
Visually, Alex Milne’s pencils gives More Than Meets The Eye #43 its usual aesthetic charm, although the new setting gives Milne greater opportunity to design, create and experiment. Sure, it might seem like its bordering on fan fiction, but this is the kind of creative freedom the title can get away with. Alongside Joana Lafuente, this issue looks as amazing as ever and highlights the attention to detail – especially in the larger panels and scenes – that makes the series worthwhile.
All in all, this is an average offering, but average doesn’t neccessarily mean bad. More Than Meets The Eye has set itself a high bar lately and being ‘just’ average should be more than enough.