Transformers: Robots In Disguise #32 has a difficult job ahead of itself. This is the first real right in the new story arc and setting, so it really needs to sell it well. While it doesn’t do this perfectly, it’s reasonably entertaining nonetheless.
The official description from IDW:
AUTOBOTS VERSUS EARTH! OPTIMUS PRIME and the AUTOBOTS discover the humans’ secret—and they aren’t pleased with what they learn! Will the DECEPTICON’s alliance tear down the peace—and will the world learn the CYBERTRONIANs are back?
This issue follows from the previous ones but delivers more on the action and resolution. There’s a real sense of progress here, even if the pacing does lurch forward at parts. However, there are some aspects that are harder to take than others and the recent changes – including character line-up, location and plot details – still have to fight for their right to stay. This issue teases enough revelations but doesn’t deliver much itself. Also, we still have Thundercracker, who is basically a running gag line at this point.
In terms of actual writing, I don’t doubt John Barber’s ability to write these characters. He gets the cast and understands the main concepts, but the added, third human-element seems to disrupt the balance. Similarly, some bad guys need to appear more sinister – Galvatron’s tricks are very childish in nature and writing them in this way doesn’t do the character or storyline any real justice.
However, Robots In Disguise #32 is, at the very least, pretty to look at. Andrew Griffith does a great job with the detailed pencils, while John Perez’s colors add enough color, even if this issue does appear very cold and blue. Despite this, Griffith and Perez do a great job of breaking up shapes and ensuring the action flows smoothly and is easy enough to follow.
All in all, this isn’t a bad issue but I was expecting a little bit more. Perhaps the introduction was less satisfying than last month’s issue suggested, but it feels as if the real core of this arc is being saved for later on and it shows in certain areas. Yet that doesn’t prevent the final product from being somewhat enjoyable.