“Transformers: More than Meets the Eye” issue 18 hit the shelves this week, bringing the second chapter of the “Remain in Light” story arc to the increasingly rabid readership. In last month’s issue, the crew of the Lost Light pursued Ultra Magnus through a mysterious wormhole, which would be weird enough if Magnus didn’t have a gaping hole in his chest and a fading spark.
The new issue picks up right after the cliffhanger ending of the last one, with the Lost Light coming under attack by the big lumpy yellow guys who menaced Skids way back in issue one. While the landing party which made ground on the lost moon of Cybertron, Luna 1, try to evade an incredibly spiky Lockdown, the members of the crew still aboard the ship fending off hordes of Canary Yellow invaders, starting with what will probably go down as one of the top Swerve moments of the entire series.
Unlike the previous issue, which focused more on exposition and the whole Luna 1 mystery, this one starts off with a few pages of action. There hasn’t been much in the way of pew pew bang bang whoosh zap onomatopoeia fun since the whole Overlord thing a few issues back, and it feels good to see these giant transforming robots with guns stapled to them dish out some punishment again. As usual the action is well-conveyed and creative, with someone even transforming this time! You’d be surprised how little you see transformers in comics actually transform.
When things do cool down we get back to the usual business of exposition and world building, mostly in regards to the oft-mentioned character Tyrest, who makes his first big appearance here, apparently after being shot a million times judging by the scads of perfectly round dents covering most of his body. We also get appearances by Victory Saber, who was previously known mostly as the main character of the Japanese series Transformers: Victory, and Minimus Ambus, who has a mustache which is almost immediately pointed out as being kinda a weird thing to see on a Cybertronian.
One issue (heh..) that could possibly be laid at the issue’s feet is the art, which can get a bit cluttered at times, especially in the early pages when the monochromatic guardian robot thingies are clogging up the background, mostly in the form of only semi-comprehensible mounds of arms, heads and tank treads.
Plus, if you’re averse to cliffhangers, this issue literally has about three of them. Not joking, the issue closes with three major “Holy crap!” moments that will probably leave you trying desperately to find a way to freeze yourself for a month so you don’t have to wait. But it is the goal of serial storytelling to leave the reader salivating for the next issue after all, so in that sense mission friggin’ acomplished.
This also does help the issue to avoid feeling particularly “in-betweeny”, with enough important stuff happening to keep it from feeling like the road between the beginning and the ending. Granted, it does seem to be setting itself up for some pretty important reveals next issue, but one or two important enough revelations or moments ensure it doesn’t feel like the story is at all spinning its wheels. Get it? Spinning its wheels? Because…they turn into cars.
Comedy is tricky.