After a tense cliffhanger last issue, Transformers: Robots In Disguise #12 has a difficult task ahead of it. Whilst it certainly delivers an issue worth picking up and reading, its not without its troubles.
The official description from IDW:
“THE RETURN! He’s back… and CYBERTRON will never be the same. Everything BUMBLEBEE and his AUTOBOTS have built teeters at the edge of collapse—and STARSCREAM has to make the choice his whole life has been leading to. “
The plot alone should warrant reading this if you’re a fan of the series. On a peaceful Cybertron, what happens when the leader of the losing side (who also happens to be Megatron) simply walks into your city? Its a simple premise and, as Robots In Disguise #12 tries to demonstrate, can have very serious consequences.
In particular, various events lead to some form of rioting. This certainly adds to the tension, but one can’t help but wonder why, on a world full of electric lights and metal robots, would a mob take to flame torches? Seems like redundant technology for Cybertron.
One of the major problems with this issue is that it seems to use a lot of the old Autobots vs Decepticons themes from the franchise. Whilst this is tried and tested, it does work against the new setting of the current storyline. That said, I can’t think of any other way to have a plot involving Megatron – he is the ‘big bad’ of the franchise, after all.
Furthermore, following a deep insight into Starscream last issue, its almost disappointing to switch between various characters in this issue. Starscream’s sections are very well fleshed out, and he seems to be building as a highly unique character. The relationship between Starscream and Metalhawk is one of the more interesting in the series, where as Bumblebee is once again confused/annoyed, with a facial expression that doesn’t change much.
Also, once again, there’s passing reference to previously unfinished plot lines without any development. Ironhide and the Dinobots are still out in the wilderness somewhere, and some time (days, at least) seems to have passed. Much of the dialogue in this issue almost implies they’re dead, or at least assumed so. Maybe this is holding off for the more important plots, or simply hiding it under the carpet to jump back into during a more quiet and dull moment; either way, it looses much of the suspense those issues actually built.
Yet, despite these floors, its a hard issue to ignore simply because of what it does offer. Whether your a fan of the character development and storyline, or just a general fan of Megatron, there is enough here that I’m sure many of these faults can be overlooked.