The Transformers Spotlight series continues this week with a look at Trailcutter. Whilst the plot itself is a little predictable, this is one of the more charming, funny and characterful entries into the series of one-shots to date.
The official description from IDW:
STEALTH ATTACK! Trailcutter has a problem: the Lost Light has been taken over by the Decepticons—and no one else seems to have noticed! Can the Autobots’ defense strategist singlehandedly see off an army of infiltrators? And even if he does, will it convince his crew mates that he’s got more to offer than kind words and forcefields?
The plot itself is fairly simple, but the charm is in the details. Like other Spotlight entries, this is a very personalized story. Obviously, Trailcutter is the focal point for this issue, and the character has plenty of charm and depth that isn’t otherwise shown in the normal series. Taking time out to focus on this character pays off rather well, as he actually comes across as rather interesting – even if he complains too much at first.
James Roberts pens a decent story. Whilst the first half opens with plenty of interest, the plot itself gets predictable near the end. Yet the real charm is almost absolutely in the dialogue. Roberts knows his way around the characters and isn’t afraid to use a little dead pan humor. Whilst this issue is about Trailcutter, Whirl comes across as rather likeable too. The three panels depicting his impression of other characters is a prime example of the dead-pan humor that’s instantly recognizable here.
As for the art, Matt Frank’s work offers something that fits in with other Transformer titles. Its set on the lost light and uses well-known characters, meaning there isn’t much room for deviation, but Frank does a good effort and filling every panel with detail if not color; the current Transformers titles often use flat colors and shading, and this Spotlight is no exception.