Welcome to Transformers: Robots In Disguise #24, otherwise known as Dark Cybertron #5. By this point you either love the cross-over or hate it, which will heavily influence your opinion here, so is there any depth to this latest issue or are we looking at more of the same?
The official description from IDW:
UNDER FIRE! AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS unite to battle a common foe… but will it be enough to stop the DARK CYBERTRON prophecy from coming true? SHOCKWAVE’s plan reaches fruition—while in the Dead Universe, secrets are revealed!
Well, straight away we have a fragmented plot that adds more, explains less and ultimately confuses and bores. Over all this issue has plenty of action, and a few likable moments, but the overall arc is still an endless waltz of confusion and it’s impossible to get away from that. One minute its a fight on Cybertron, then its undead characters, than its a long dreary conversation in the dead universe that, frankly, doesn’t meet the sense of urgency installed in previous issues. Honestly, it’s a bit of a mess.
Part of this is down to the writing. James Roberts and John Barber come into their own when talking about the modern cast, but this is seldom the case. Dark Cybertron throws old names, plot elements and references left, right and center, giving this issue nothing but confusion. For every likable moment there’s some pointless dialogue that hints to previous issues from titles I’m not even aware of. Very unfriendly towards new readers.
Visually, this issue has two art styles, since the Lost Light crew do not feature in at the moment. I prefer these two styles, although I don’t see the argument for it – the dead universe scenes are distinct enough in themselves. Fortunately, the switch between aesthetics is less obvious or dis-jarring here compared to other issues which, at least, is one compliment for Robots In Disguise #24.
All in all, this is a bland issue that doesn’t add much, but neither can it make this terrible crossover worse. When can we get back to the regular stuff and get this over and done with?