Transformers #8 – Review

Transformers #8 has arrived and the first thing we learn is that you do not piss off Cyclonus. Before getting into the story, though, special mention needs to be made regarding one of the covers for this issue. Specifically, the RI (retailer incentive) cover which features a stylised travel poster inviting you to “Visit the Scenic Cybertronian Mountains” – but that’s not the interesting part. There’s a spaceship of some kind flying across the picture, one that might look very, very familiar to fans of a certain TV show featuring Gil Gerard.

Yup. That is, indeed, an Earth Defense Directorate Thunderfighter, aka the single most recognisable ship from the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Lovely little reference there for the sci-fi nerds among us.

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The story opens with Cyclonus kicking shiny metal ass. After a brief fight scene we cut to Megatron who is attempting to speak to, and possibly enlist the aid of, Termagax, but it turns out she has little interest in getting involved in affairs in the wider world as long as Sentinel Prime still holds power and still enforces the restrictions that Megatron now rails against. Meanwhile, the investigation into the murders is ongoing, with Bumblebee now looking to sign up to join the Ascenticons and Prowl still working to try and track down potential suspects or an explanation as to what is going on. The character of Froid is a little on the nose here, and kind of irritating, honestly, but he does have a wall dumped on him by the end of this issue so it’s not all bad. There’s another good quote here on the nature of the Transformers.

“We are wilful, protean, creative, curious, troublesome beings. Restraint and constraint were never going to work forever.”

The issue ends with the big guns being brought out, quite literally, and the next issue promises to be an interesting one as the slow boil of this storyline continues.

From a slow start, things are really beginning to pick up and take shape now and it is reassuring to see some characters are definitely unchanged in this new continuity. Despite his claims of altruism, Megatron is still a schemer. Despite being a senator, Starscream is still a “repellent little being” in the words of Termagax, and poor Bumblebee continues to try and do the right thing in the face of everything even when the universe takes a big, metallic dump on his head. Also, some new questions to ponder over. Who is Paragon and why are they important to Cyclonus? What happened to Quake and what is Megatron’s real endgame here?

Next issue seems to suggest the return of Sentinel Prime, Starscream and what looks to be Astrotrain so it will be good to see how they appear in this new version. Also apparently there is now a War for Cybertron card game. Fair enough.

Transformers #8 is available now from IDW Publishing.

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