After a fantastic last issue, Transformers: Robots In Disguise #17 gives readers a quick break, whilst exploring some interesting and probably important back story. In many ways, this is a one-shot similar to the Spotlight series, but it offers a decent change of pace.
The official description from IDW:
SHOCKWAVES! The fate of Cybertron is sealed—but what is the DECEPTICON scientist called SHOCKWAVE planning? After the stunning revelations in MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, learn the origin of the one-eyed, gun-handed master of machinations… and the countdown begins for the biggest TRANSFORMERS event in comic book history.
This issue focuses on Shockwave. Whilst I’m all for shocking revelations, I’m not sure this one perfectly fits. Also, the recent ‘Shadowplay’ issues gave away the best bits. Its interesting, if not entirely unpredictable, but it makes readers ask questions. Notably.. why does no one remember this or bring it up? Secondly.. when a Cybertronnian has his arms and head replaced (empurata is the name given) why is everyone aware of whats happened, but not asking who did it or why? There are many gaps and flaws which wouldn’t be important normally, but you’re tampering with long standing canon.
A lot of these flaws obviously lie with the writing. Maybe I’m nit picking in what is otherwise a decent script from John Barber’s script, but they are important points. Whilst Barber offers an interesting perspective from Shockwave, this whole script makes other characters seem like heartless monsters. Nobody cares that the nice has a new head and lost his hands.. Orion Pax, I’m looking at you.
The art, however, is a different story. Livid Ramondelli hands in some beautiful visuals, reminiscent of the Transformers Graphic Novels ( ala Autocracy) than the light and bright comic graphics. Its gritty, yet detailed with deep shading and colors. It may not be the best to read but its amazing to look at.
Still, its a welcome break from the heavy plot-lines of recent issues. Whilst its actual impact on the current universe is questionable, its not something that would be pointed out so bluntly without future consequences. Yet, maybe its a case of (pun intended) more than meets the eye.