Transformers #17 – Review

Transformers #17 marks the end of subtlety, the end of a campaign of sedition, terrorism and misdirection. The gloves are off and now it’s time for the war for the soul of Cybertron to begin in earnest as Megatron reveals his trump card in the shape of one very large, very angry Titan by the name of Vigilem. Don’t know what a Titan is? Do you remember there was once a Transformer called Metroplex who transformed into an ACTUAL CITY? Yeah. One of those. In the words of a certain terrible movie, “Shit just got real”.

The only thing standing between Vigilem and Cybertron’s moon is another smaller Titan called Lodestar with her own Cityspeaker, the really really unfortunately named LightBright. (Anyone else remember Lite Brite? is that still a thing? A board that you could stick pegs into and it lit the pegs up in different colours? Was really big in the 80s? Just me because I’m ancient? Ah well!)

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This is an interesting issue because it shows that the Cityspeakers are more than just mouthpieces for the Titans, they serve as companions, partners, their crew, both maintaining them and even assisting them in battle. Also, it’s interesting to see that Vigilem looks sort of like Grimlock on steroids when he takes his humanoid shape to begin his attack on the surface of the moon.

While all this is going on, Cyclonus is still hanging around the remains of the memorial site, mourning its loss while the ghosts of his dead companions bicker and argue amongst themselves.

The issue ends with the Autobots fleeing for their lives, Cyclonus plotting revenge against Sixshot for destroying the memorial and the connection to the Titans in chaos. Time, it would seem, for Megatron to make his move.

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I don’t often do this, but I have to single out two of the variant covers for particular praise here. There’s an interesting yellow-drenched one by Brendan Cahill and Josh Burcham showing Megatron front and center, musing over the Decepticon logo that now emblazons his chest. My personal favourite, though, is by Macelo Matere and it shows a blazing red-eyed Megatron smirking at the viewer as he removes a more placid face to reveal his true nature beneath. It’s that diabolical plotter we’ve all come to know and love! Seriously, if there was a print of this cover I’d buy it.

So that’s it for this month. Mayhem, carnage, Titans, treachery, tigers and bears, oh my. Wait, scratch that, maybe not those last two, there’s not been any sign of Tigatron or Icebird in this continuity. There’s always issue #18 coming up and maybe then, finally, we’ll get to see a glimpse of Frenzy. Assuming the writers haven’t just forgotten about that whole little arc.

Transformers #17 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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