I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
The first volume of the Transformers series - IDW 2009-2011 - kicks off this volume. It's not as bad as I remember, it's just more of a typical action story than the later sister series, MTMtE and RiD. And it suffers in comparison. I'm interested in how Prime is positioning himself - as an unfit leader - and how it affects everything from there on out.
It comes back in Death of Optimus Prime, or at least similar themes do, and this will be something I have to keep in mind for that issue.
It's also going to be interesting seeing someone I like much more - and who is more appropriate to lead given the circumstances - take charge. Overall, I wouldn't suggest this for anyone if they aren't deeply into the Transformers or unless they care about full impact for MTMtE and RiD; this isn't going to be many people, but this read will be worth it for them.
I remember liking this more on first read. A couple interesting ideas, but again, it didn't feel nearly as sophisticated as the stories that come after. I think this had less impact on the overall storylines coming later, so there's that, too.
I did quite enjoy the art in this one.
Last Stand of the Wreckers:
Roberts comes onto the scene in this reread. For those not in the know, James Roberts is like my favorite Transformers author. Possibly my favorite author on Earth. So y'know, this is exciting. I also have a deluxe hardcover of this that I will never, ever give up even owning this digitally. I may dig this up later on and reread it for the extras.
I can see Roberts here: a lot of what he will do later comes into play here, and yet... even reading it when I first learned of Roberts, I could see that this was early work. There's humor here, but it's not as finely honed as later on, especially with the timing. The pacing of horror and action and humor? Roberts just nails it in MTMtE. Last Stand is an adventure story - and a damn good one - without the balance found in MTMtE. Then again, MTMtE was a sprawling 57 issue series that could afford to explore everything under the sun, and written by a more experienced Roberts. It found the sweet spot and lingered there for the whole run - at least for me. (I've read from others that they were less happy with it at the end, and I'm curious so see if after reading about why they felt that way, if I'll feel the same.)
The Wreckers go after Garrus-9 - and the who or what that is fairly literally a secret buried underneath. And Roberts brings that same sense of horror in exploring what people - or bots - are really capable of. This would have gotten four or four an a half stars on it's own, because the art is spectacular - particularly the coloring. Just delicious!
I'm not quite sure I buy the Prowl in this one-shot: he's far too emotional. Really, he's the Spock of the Transformers, if Spock was more into logic and less into morality. Prowl does what he thinks the numbers tell him are right, and here he's... quite emotional. He decides the numbers aren't quite right. Prowl does horrific things in the name of the greater good, manipulates those who consider him friends, and is responsible for a lot of suffering. But he believes he's good. To be fair, he has good intentions - and if only intention was magical that way, he'd actually be good. I think of him more as neutral: the good guys consider him good, to their own detriment, but he's enabled by the fact that people never question him too hard or punish him because of the shit he pulls.
Prowl isn't a Deception. He doesn't want to rule, he doesn't want to take over with strength, he doesn't want to be acknowledged for what he's done. But.. is he truly an Autobot? This makes me think of that, because if he was, he'd be like this always. In MTMtE, though, he doesn't quite manage this compassion; he becomes more like a Decepticon in my opinion.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the art. It was quite stylized, and I didn't like this artist before, but they changed their style up a little and I do know.
Onto volume seven.