OPTIMUS PRIME #10
Written by John Barber
Art by Livio Ramondelli, Kei Zama, Josh Burcham, Tom B. Long
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Oh, stories. I love it when people dig deep into the history of Cybertron.
Barber & Ramondelli dig deep into the past with Optimus Prime #10, telling the origin tale of the Autobot symbol. This flashback/tale/myth is very well told, weaving in interesting tidbits of characters that are well known today as well as legends long forgotten. Ramondelli’s artwork has a great “old world” quality to it, with the Transformers not being flashy and shiny, but rather raw and forged in a violent, dark world. He delivers panels that are worthy of the tale being woven, and builds a mood of darkness that suits this story and title well. There is a foreboding sense of doom in the entire flashback sequence that transfers to the present day parts of this story well, and I applaud Barber and Ramondelli’s deftly crafted flashback pages.
Kei Zama and Barber continue their work with the present day pages and I can really see this creative team becoming more in sync by the page. Barber obviously is well versed in the world of Transformers at this point and you can see some chemistry with Zama’s style. There’s some great emotion in Zama’s artwork and I felt myself really pulled in by the present day drama. The political nature of these Transformers comics feels appropriate for the time we live in without exploiting or being a parody of real world drama. This is the right level of escapism (we’re still talking about Transformers) mixed with a great amount of grand scope storytelling that the vast roster of Transformers can provide.
Overall, I really enjoyed this issue. Barber has a great voice for these characters and Ramondelli really nailed the story-within-a-story that is told in Optimus Prime #10. Zama and Burcham contrasted Ramondelli’s style nicely, easily demarcating past and present without losing the tension that runs through the issue constantly. Devout Transformers fans have a lot to digest with the canon proposed here and even casual fans can find a lot to enjoy in this issue.
The Verdict: 8.5/10