Andrew Griffith, Autobots, comics, Cosmos, Decepticons, IDW Publishing, John Barber, Josh Perez, Soundwave, Transformers, Transformers #43 review
Review by Paul Bowler
Cosmos takes centre stage as IDW’s Transformers #43 takes one misunderstood and undervalued Autobot, a recon mission to a Decepticon space station, and engineers a meeting between Soundwave and Cosmos… South of Heaven, written by John Barber, with art by Andrew Griffith, and colors by Josh Perez, takes this IDW series into new, and unexpected territory in Transformers #43 as Cosmos faces Soundwave alone…
Transformers #43 continues to build on the more interesting plot threads from The Combiner Wars and its aftermath. Sent by Arcee to investigate Soundwave’s new Space Station commune orbiting Jupiter, which also incidentally coincides with Onyx CEO Garrison Blackrock’s and Earth Defense Command Director Marissa Faireborn’s visit to the station. As the Decepticons and humans tour the facility, Cosmos’s stealth pant provides the necessary cover for the Autobot to get in close to the station, but Soundwave has exceptional hearing, and its not long before the Decepticon and Autobot are facing-off. But, as Cosmos soon discovers, there’s more than meets the eye going on here, because is seems Soundwave just wants to talk, and Cosmos certainly wasn’t expecting that!
John Barber really gets back to the core story elements and motives that drive the characters in this issue. Cosmos’ mission serves up a bizarre situation that has the Autobot expecting the worse to happen when Soundwave tracks him down, and their initial skirmish quickly gives way to a thought provoking and enlightening exchange between the Decepticon and Cosmos. I really like how Soundwave’s viewpoint uncannily resonates with Cosmos, and how some Autobots attitudes towards little drones like D.O.C are also unsettlingly mirrored by Soundwave’s opinion of his expedient human allies.
Andrew Griffith’s art is excellent, the Transformers are all incredibly detailed, and the humans are well defined too. The exterior scenes of the Space Station look stunning with Jupiter in the background, the interiors of the station are vast and gleaming, and the chase between Soundwave and Cosmos provides some great action sequences. The colors by Josh Perez complements Griffith’s art nicely, brining added definition and clarity to every page.
Although the scenes with Cosmos and Soundwave are undoubtedly the main highlight of the issue, there’s a lot going on in the background as well to keep the plot bubbling along. The fact Mr Blackrock’s Onyx computers and operating systems are based on code derived from old Cybertronian systems doesn’t exactly bode well, there’s also some really fun moments with Laserbeak and Buzsaw, and the issues conclusion turn out to be remarkably poignant.
Transformers #43 is another solid instalment, with its concise story by John Barber and impressive art by Andrew Griffith, this superb IDW Transformers title constantly goes from strength to strength, and remains a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable series.
Chris Evans said:
Have to say I haven’t been reading IDW’s main Transformers title but I really enjoyed the ‘Primacy’ trilogy (The Autocracy/Monstrosity/Primacy mini series) – thought they were spectacular and there was a depth and maturity to the material.
Nice review Paul, may have to look into reading some more IDW Transformers!
Paul Bowler said:
The trilogy of stories you mention were indeed very good, epic in scope, and really brought a new dimension to the material. I’d certainly recommend checking out the IDW Transformer titles, especially the main one, its really good. Great story and artwork. Cheers, glad you enjoyed the review as well!
I’m very behind on this particular Transformers series, but it sounds like the plot’s still going strong. Soundwave’s always been a very interesting villain so seeing him converse with any character can be pretty cool. He’s always planning so he’s got something up his sleeve.
Paul Bowler said:
Transformers #43 is good issue, with a very strong storyline. I’d say its also quite a good jumping on point if you wanted to get back into the series. Soundwave is one of my fave Decepticons, he’s always plotting something and seems one step ahead. There are some great scenes between Soundwave and Cosmos in this issue as well, I’d certainly recommend checking it out. Thought I’d review a Transformer comic for a change, haven’t done one on here before, so glad you enjoyed the review.
It’s cool to see that you’re into Transformers! Yeah, I definitely want to get back with it, but my library’s gotten out of date with the volumes. They kept up with it for a while, but haven’t ordered the newer ones yet. I’ll try to request it so they can hurry it up. I do love Soundwave, he’s awesome! What did you think of his TF Prime version? He couldn’t talk, but I thought that the design was incredible.
Paul Bowler said:
Yeah, I’ve always liked Transformers. There are certainly a lot of great stories and volumes for you to pick from. Soundwave is one of my faves as well. I agree, the Prime version was a great design!