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.