Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review: Transformers Prime [3.5/5]

I love Transformers, and so far I really love the newest animated series, Transformers Prime. So when I found a copy of the prequel graphic novel lying around at the library, I did a little dance and clapped my hands at the search computer. (The librarian at the nearby desk looked at me like I was nuts.)

Even though the entire shebang is only a single, 96 page volume, the artwork varies greatly in every one of the four chapters. The style ranges from a clean-lined colorful style to a digital watercolor style to. Some of the facial expressions can be a bit strange or even creepy.

Still, story is king, and the story told in the prequel is a fun ride. The comic avoids the temptation to get too complex as it brings readers into the new continuity with all the new characters and keeps the focus on a partnership Arcee and Cliffjumper make in an effort to reach a certain planet with a bunch of organic inhabitants Optimus Prime has called them to. It works well and there are some great character moments, especially for Cliffjumper.

The omnibus includes a couple pages of concept art at the end but - oddly enough - does not include the original covers from the individual comics, as are usually included in comic compilations. Speaking of how a comic omnibus is usually put together, this one is on the small side, closer to the size of a manga volume. I'm not sure if cutting the price in half really is a good trade for the comic pages being shrunk so drastically, but then again wasn't I just griping about the art? Maybe IDW has saved us all a favor by cutting out 50% of the creepy, too close to human looking facial expressions in some of the panels along with 50% of the price. It's too bad all the pretty art got cut down with it.

Verdict: While the art quality varies and changes to the point that I feel a bit jerked around, the story in the Transformers Prime prequel comic is fun, and fans of the animated series should enjoy it, especially if they've been wanting to learn a little more about Cliffjumper and/or Arcee's past. 3.5/5