Transformers: Robots In Disguise #20 Review

Transformers: Robots In Disguise #20 is another issue of foreshadowing and build up, but it’s one that fans will want to read. The issue is full of character and atmosphere, as well as a very personal focus on Starscream. And who doesn’t love a little bit of Starscream?

The official description from IDW:

NEW CYBERTRON! It’s a brand new day—and STARSCREAM is in charge! But running a planet isn’t as easy as it looks… if BUMBLEBEE couldn’t do it, why does the former DECEPTICON think he can?

As already mentioned, this issue pretty much focuses on Starscream, although other’s do, of course, make an appearance. I praised the last issue that focused on the character and Robots In Disguise #20 is no different. The plot follows Starscream’s first day ruling Cybertron, giving it another unique angle to look at. It’s not often that Starscream, as a character, succeeds.

This is something best shown through the writing.  John Barber shows this mostly through three monologues, each one showing various aspects of the character. The opening one in particular highlights all the best parts, demonstrating the conflicting elements and internal troubles that make such anti-heroes fan favorites. Likewise, working with the current setting gives it the a new appeal. It’s not the same old story, and that’s good.

The art, likewise, is the usual standard. Andrew Griffith offers plenty of definition and detail. This is a very personal story, rather than explosive and action-filled, so panels give way to attention on personal details rather than large scenes. The layouts work well with the story being told, whilst the colors of Priscilla Tramontano make it vibrant and deep.

In summary, this is a surprisingly impressive issue. Whilst, by itself, it’s not the most important, it is story telling told well. As a small breather before the next big arc, this is one of the best ways to sustain reader interest and keep things going in the mean time.


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