Transformers #23 Review – There really is more than meets the eye
So Transformers are just those robots that turn into cars and motorcycles and jets or if you’re old like me they turned into cassette players, you know, audio cassettes, silver boom boxes, high speed dubbing…never mind, its robots that change into things, right? Well in issue #23 of the ongoing Transformers title it’s a whole lot more than that. The story is a series of flashbacks of Optimus Prime when he was a cop on Cybertron (who knew alien robots needed cops or that the term “cops” was so intergalactically used). In the process of doing his police duties he comes into contact with a pacifist robot activist you might have heard of, last name Tron, first name Mega. This is obviously before Megatron’s transforming into a gun stage. However, the younger Prime’s run-in with Megatron opens his eyes to the corruptness of his society and government and leads him to standing up the senate and giving his first political speech.
These scenes are interspersed with Prime today as he is tasked with deciding the fate of Megatron, who transformed from peaceful pacifist to super bad terrorist robot in the years between the flashbacks. Megatron is set to be executed or given life in prison and Prime is the man/err…robot to lay down the judgement.
The book got pretty heavy at times with Cybertron politics and apparently having corrupt politicians isn’t just a human tendency, the robots suffer from it as well. The political element felt a bit drawn out and Prime’s actions in the present day felt overly dramatic for a robot but it did a really good job of setting the stage for The Road To Chaos, The Battle for Cybertron, which the series has been leading up to. With the political stage set the next issues in the series should really shine as (and I am jumping into the world of my own conjecture here) the political factions start to split and fight and we get to see the war that ultimately destroys Cybertron.
The artwork is generally good and Prime has some great scenes as a cop but the over the top politics and some of the lines make it a bit too campy for my tastes, although I do think Transformers as a franchise is meant to be a little campy. But lines like “you have the right to deactivate your voice circuits” is a bit much even for me.