Transformers: Robots In Disguise #42 is one of those issues that offers a lot at first glance yet, after a second read through, starts to appear a little shallow. Still, thats the problem with being an epilogue, no matter how much you offer, you’re either summing up whats already happened or teasing something else.
First, the official description from IDW:
THE AFTERMATH! The COMBINER WARS are over, and OPTIMUS PRIME faces the aftermath. Meanwhile on Earth, ARCEE confronts GALVATRON over the fate of two worlds.
This issue offers a few small sippets which, although satisfactory here and there, really don’t add up to a big whole. While its fun to watch Optimus Prime get all angry, neither this or a friendly chin-wag between Arcee and Galvatron offers muhc in the way of substance. Anything teased in the future is just that – teased – leaving this issue in an awkward middle ground.
What doesn’t help, of course, is that it feels as if the title has been written into a dead end. After ditching the original Cybertron setting of the series, John Barber’s earth saga seemed to come to a close with the Combiner Wars. Barber doesn’t really do much here to suggest where the title is going. The character interactions are all worth reading in their own little ways, but they don’t offer anthing to hope or expect in the upcoming issues, and its this dead end of sorts which seems the most obvious.
Visually, this is also yet another Transformer title that split the art style, keeping each segment to its specific approach. This means we have Livid Ramondelli doing the gritty visuals for Cybertron, while Earth is depicted via Andrew Griffith (pencils) and Josh Perez (colors). This split theme doesn’t do the book any favours – I would rather it picked one over the other. That said, I don’t really have a problem with either, but each fit a very specific style and tone.
Overall, there are a few ways to go from this, if you pay attention to the odd line of dialogue. Still, its lacking a clear vision right now, which will leap off the page for better than the art does, unfortunately.