Transformers: Regeneration #96 Review

regen1-805Transformers: Regeneration #96 does that the title does best, giving an old school vibe while offering modern detail and action. That said, what makes this issue unique?

The official description of IDW:

ZERO INITIATIVE! As RODIMUS PRIME urgently struggles to comprehend the what, why, and wherefore of SPIKE WITWICKY, GALVATRON, JHIAXUS, and a DARK MATRIX creature, and specifically how they contribute to the final dissolution of time, space and everything in between! Unless NIGHTBEAT and BUMBLEBEE can shake loose some answers, the futureā€”is cancelled.

The various elements of this issue come together pretty damn well to be honest. It’s got plot, it’s got character and it’s got plenty of kick-ass (to cybertronians even have asses?). I’ve complained at the Dark Cybertron for having a plot that hails back to older plotlines and characters, yet Transformers_regeneration_96Regeneration #96 is an example of where it is just right. The series focuses on that old-school feeling, and big baddies such as Jhiaxus just make so much more sense.

A lot of this is down to some solid well crafted writing. Simon Furman sticks to elements that made the old Transformers titles what they were, using the best of old characters, cast and plotlines. The story is seeped in retro-awesome but adds enough modern sensibilities to ensure coherency and, above all else, a sense of scale. There’s no point going big if the point doesn’t get across, yet this issue balances its wide plot with a sense of connectivity and meaning.

Visually, however, is probably the best part of this issue. Guido Guidi’s pencils add a modern, mature portrayal of the old designs the series is known for, while John-Paul Bove’s colors just add something else – I don’t know if this issue is just a prime example of talent or if the wide setting makes it easier to show this off, but Regeneration #96 is simply beautiful, with deep shading and vibrant highlights all over.

In short, this series still caters to the older reader but, 96 issues in, it’s still very rewarding to simply pick up and flick through.