Comics

Transformers: Valentine’s Day Special – Review

When you’re a potentially millenia old giant robot that’s been at war for longer than humans have been scurrying around the face of our planet, love is probably a bit of a strange concept. IDW Publishing’s Transformers Valentine’s Day Special, for instance, suggests that love is punching giant monsters in the face.

The first story in this one-shot issue focuses on Xenolinguistics researcher Glyph, who has just been granted her dream opportunity to go off-planet for a research trip. Accompanying her as bodyguard is Tap-Out, a former arena fighter who is finding life tough to deal with now that the arenas have been shut down.

On arriving on the planet it turns out that establishing contact with the natives is remarkably simple, but getting them to communicate is much harder as it seems the only thing they are interested in is fighting, specifically in getting Tap-Out to beat up a succession of giant monsters that include a T-Rex, one of the Graboids from Tremors and something that looks suspiciously like Gamera.

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This comic also introduces the concept of Transformers actually working out, in order to prevent “servo atrophy” and “piston burn” which, frankly, just seems like an excuse for the artists to draw a ‘bot beating up a punching bag.

While the first story deals with two completely new characters, the second storyline deals with one of the lesser known Gen 1 bots – Cosmos, the little green flying saucer. In this setting he orbits around Cybertron’s inner moon, serving as scout, early warning system and lifeguard. Apparently getting shot into space is a common problem for some bots.

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One day he encounters someone else up there, someone called Blast Off who runs cargo, and the two of them strike up a conversation and a friendship, communicating over the radio as each goes about their solitary lives. It’s a nice little slice of life storyline as the two of them trade stories to keep each other company out there in the big black and there’s not really much more to be said about it. It sets up the running gag that Gears keeps ending up floating in space, which is touched on in Transformers #17, but nothing massively earth-shattering really happens.

But then this is a comic about relationships and while it might not be about love in the traditional sense, it’s nice to step back and take a moment to remind ourselves that the Transformers are still people, with more on their minds than just constantly being at war all the time.

Also, it’s got Cosmos, and I love Cosmos. The little dude needs more screentime.

Transformers: Valentine’s Day Special is out now from IDW Publishing.

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