Transformers #22 opens with Sixshot doing what he does best – Mayhem. The fight, however, is swiftly interrupted by a now-transformed and rather grumpy Leviathan who brings it to a swift and unceremonious end. With Quake now in custody, Sentinel Prime does a rather silly thing… let’s bring the killer of one of the newly forged Autobots right through the middle of the city with only a minimal guard to stop the crowds from getting to him and ripping his head off because we need to send a signal that we’ve got everything under control! Totally a brilliant plan. Yep. And it goes about as smoothly as you might expect.
In the midst of all the violence Quake makes a break for it, only to run straight into the Voin Asserter and its squad who most definitely have a bone to pick with him. They give a fairly good account of themselves but flesh is always at a disadvantage against metal and just as Quake looks like he might be about to get away… well. Let’s just say that Bumblebee has his own score to settle.
This is a satisfying issue story-wise, with some really good fight scenes. Heck, about half the comic is given over to bot on bot action (not like that, you filthy animals) while still doing plenty to move the plot forward. It’s been interesting to see the development of this new version of Bumblebee, a bot who has really played just about every role there is throughout his long history. Starting off as the cute sidekick he went through assorted personality shifts (anyone else remember Goldbug?) and “No, I really should be taken seriously” story arcs back in the day. IDW turned him into not only a great warrior but eventually the leader of the Autobots stranded on Earth, and in this new storyline we see a much more tortured and guilty take on the character, haunted by his failure to protect Rubble.
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It’s also rather interesting that Orion Pax/Optimus Prime is barely in the story so far! This is really Bumblebee’s story more than anyone else’s and the eventually-to-be leader of the Autobots is still little more than an adjunct to Sentinel Prime at this point in history, his advice and attempts at de-escalation utterly ignored by a leader who still thinks that he’s in charge. Ah well, could be worse. He’s no Zeta Prime, at least, who decided to use “Vamparc Ribbon” weapons against the population of Cybertron, weapons powered by whatever they find nearby. Like Transformers and their sparks (see the IDW series Autocracy from 2012 for the full story).
It’s taken a while, but we finally have a bit of closure for one of the story arcs, with the murder of Rubble back in issue #5 now resolved. Well, mostly. Bumblebee will still need to live with that for a long, long time to come.
Transformers #22 is out now from IDW Publishing.