Transformers #16. I’m breathless at this point. Just when you think they can’t continue to pile on the tension, they add some new element to the mix that just makes it all the more volatile. In this issue Starscream finally shows his hand but, of course, even while being helpful, he can’t help but be an utter dick about it. It’s one of the many reasons we love him, after all. The one constant in almost all the TF continuities is that you can always rely on Starscream to be Starscream.
While this is going on, the Voin arrive on Cybertron with something called an “Asserter”. We don’t know what it is, but Nautica knows it means bad things whenever one shows up. What exactly is it? What can it do? We’ll need to wait and see.
Megatron, meanwhile, probes the loyalties of members of his guard while The Rise adopt a policy of “No mercy, no witnesses”. There’s plenty of violence and gore in this one as Transformers are split from head to crotch, shot in the face and otherwise mutilated with extreme prejudice. The issue ends on an ominous note as it would appear that Megatron is done with being subtle and is about to call in some very, very big guns.
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Okay, before we go any further, yep, I was wrong! Issue #16 and still no sign of Frenzy. I was sure they’d have trotted him out by now but it looks like they have something rather more substantial in mind! It’s also good to see the return of the Voin and the reminder that, once upon a time, Cybertron was an open member of the larger galactic community, a race who interacted with their neighbours and even had some of them living on their planet.
This issue also marks a turning point in the relationship between Megatron and Orion Pax, where Megatron realises that their differences are perhaps reaching a breaking point, where their respective ideologies have drifted too far apart and it’s nice to see a hint of emotion there. This Megatron is committed to his cause, but at the same time he’s aware of what it’s going to cost not only him but every Cybertronian as well. In some ways this is a more “innocent” version of the Decepticon leader we met in the G1 series, who had thousands of years of war behind him and was consumed with the lust for victory by any means.
Who knows what #17 will bring, but I’m going to guess that focus will move to the Voin and potentially to Bumblebee as whoever killed the Voin also killed Rubble. I could be wrong (let’s be honest, I probably am), so take it with as many pinches of salt as you like and make sure you come back next month for the next issue.
Transformers #16 is out now from IDW Publishing.