Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 1 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/8/7
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The war for Cybertron is over — now the hard part begins! Bumblebee and his fellow Autobots struggle to maintain control of a world without Optimus Prime! Bumblebee's provisional government is struggling and Prowl defends it against the Decepticons, but how far will he go — and who will chose to stand by his side?
John Barber is a former Marvel and IDW Publishing editor now focused on writing comics. Credits include: Optimus Prime, Doctor Strange/Punisher, Ultimate Spider-Man Infinite Comics, Revolutionaries, Back to the Future, and Action Man comics!
新展開の１話から５話までが収録されていますが、オンゴーイング最終話の後に挟まる「the Death of optimus prime」は
The series is more as a political thriller of sorts, coupled with a cop/spy series. The war between the Autobots and Decepticons is finished, Optimus Prime has stepped down, Megatron... well, that's not made clear. It's not important to the story, only that he isn't around any longer (and details for which I could just read back issues for, I suppose). Cybertron has been brought back to life after having been a dead planet for ages, and Bumblebee is in charge. His role is that of maintaining an extremely delicate balance: the Autobots and Decepticons are living together on the planet; and while peace exists it is only in the sense that they aren't shooting at one another. There is still no love lost between these two groups. A third faction also comes into play: the thousands of other Transformers who played no part in the war and are now returning to Cybertron, feeling comfortable that they won't be blasted to pieces in a never ending way between two groups that these individuals did not side with one way or the other. Referred to as Nails (Non-Aligned Indigenous Lifeforms), they are happy to be back on Cybertron, but less than thrilled by the ruling class: the groups that were the cause of the death of Cybertron in the first place and who tend t be heavy handed while at times treating these individuals as second class citiziens.
The politics are handled well. Bumblebee is not the most respected of leaders. Where many writers would have had a somewhat cheesy moment where the other principal characters try to make him feel better, showing that they do respect him and that his feelings are unfounded, this just doesn't happen here. Neither Autobot nor Decepticon holds the little guy in much regard. This, and watching him struggle with trying to keep everybody relatively happy somehow manages to be unexpected and refreshing.
Prowl's handling of law enforcement is similarly smart, much of which I cannot comment on without revealing anything. Suffice it to say he's not one to simply "talk it out" with people while still having to keep everyone happy so as to deter any thoughts of revolt from Decepticons or Nails. His plans are clever, the manner in which they are carried out lead to some brilliant moments between himself and his main agent, and the morality is far more gray than one would expect from a Transformers book.
I realize that the way that I'm almost gushing makes the book sound like some sort of borderline masterpiece. It's not. It's still a book about transforming robots, but it is VERY good nonetheless. It is a surprising book: surprising at just how much depth there is, and how many branches there are to the story, and surprising that it still manages to be mostly coherent and smart while maintaining a general feel of fun. The creative team seems to know exactly what they want the series to be, and are sticking to that and doing it well.
As for more specific criticisms: the book could have used a front page that summarized some of what had occurred in the previous IDW Publishing Transformer comics so that some of the details would have been a littler more clear (oddly this was included in the first issue when it was released, but not in this collected volume of the first five issues), but it also wasn't absolutely necessary to grasp what was going on. Too, the final chapter is the weakest. This is not to say that it was bad; simply not at the same quality of writing as the other chapters. Still good, just not great, to put it simply.
I'd probably give this 4 stars if not for the existence of the MTMTE series, which is so incredible that it makes all other Transformers comics pale in comparison. Mr. Barber has some interesting plot ideas and is doing a decent job at developing characters.
The other one, "More Than Meets the Eye Volume 1" leads into this one. Didn't realize that so I was kind of in the dark reading this one. Well, not to discourage anyone from reading this one, it's still great!
In my opinion, artwork is fantastic!!!! I'm very happy with this work.