Review: TRANSFORMERS: PRIMACY #1

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TRANSFORMERS: PRIMACY #1
Written by Chris Metzen and Flint Dille
Art by Livio Ramondelli
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 13, 2014

The creative team behind Transformers: Autocracy and Monstrosity return to finish the Cybertronian War Trilogy with Transformers: Primacy #1. The story resumes following the events of Monstrosity with Cybertron left in the dark in regards to what has taken place in Harmonex. Optimus has left on Sabbatical to the harsh polar regions of Cybertron leaving his people in doubt of his leadership abilities and makes a radical discovery that may shape the direction of the War. Meanwhile, the Decepticons are left to lick their wounds from the defeat under the leadership of Scorponok. Megatron takes advantage of the situation and regains control of the rogue faction. The respective leaders make moves to build the War to a dramatic clash of titans.

A continuation of their direction from the previous entries to the trilogy, Chris Metzen and Flint Dille bring a story of political intrigue to the world of Cybertron in Primacy #1. The blind loyalty is not present. The Autobots are characterized as a controlling government providing lack of information to the masses.  They cast shadow of doubt on the leadership of Optimus and the rest of the Cybertronian government.

Metzen and Dille also provide personality and characterization to the cast that is multidimensional. The interaction between Hot Rod and Grimlock proves to be one of the more interesting angles in the comic as the duo openly dispute and show animosity towards one and another. Truth be told, most of the characters in the comic show some animosity to Hot Rod for joining the Autobots and his faith in the Autobot leadership. That character trait is fun to have.

The plot of the issue is dense and pacing moves swiftly. The issue is mostly set up and reintroduction of the past events to new readers jumping on at this point in the trilogy. As previously mentioned, the pacing is swift. The writers do not stay in one scene for too long and use frequent cuts to the multiple story threads to break the pace. Primacy #1 doesn’t have the action sequences that some fans may desire but what is present is strongly crafted political story.

Going off of the seeds being planted in the first issue, there is going to be a payoff on this story that will be well worth the wait for the readers. The story is not too dense for new readers, fortunately. There is some understanding of G1 Transformers required but it is not necessary to have read Autocracy and Monstrosity (previous entries in the trilogy). Autocracy and Monstrosity would be recommended before starting Primacy #1 if only to enhance the reading experience.

The art carried out by Livio Ramondelli is gorgeous to look at. He brings a digitally painted style to the book that is reminiscent of Stepan Sejic of Top Cow fame. The art style is not common to find on the racks (previously mentioned Sejic withstanding) and provides a fresh look to the readers. The painted look gives the world a slick polished look and sets a tone that feels grungy to the metal world of Cybertron.

The flaw in this style is that the characters at time get washed out among the similarly toned backdrops. This is caused by the bright colors of the G1 Transformers are toned down while they are put against the dimly lit world. Some pages are hard to decipher and can be a challenge to follow at times. Contrast would alleviate the problem to a degree.

The characters are given distinct look and helps set them apart from one and another which is great considering most of the Transformer toys are just repaints and remolds. Visually distinct look also helps set the characters apart from the backdrop, which is a something the films never seemed to accomplish. Raondelli’s compositions are solid when they are visible. The scale and scope of the characters against the titans are a sight to behold.

Overall, Transformers: Primacy #1 is a solid read. The art is nice to look at and the story is interesting enough to follow. There is a lack of action but the set up will be worth it in the end. There are some flaws to the art that may make it hard to follow at times, especially on a mobile device. That may be off putting to readers but even with this flaw it is a fun read.

I would recommend reading the previous installments first but it is not required. Primacy #1 is a solid entry point for new readers looking to read Transformers comics but don’t want to navigate the continuity of the main series Robots in Disguise and More than Meets the Eye.

The Verdict: 7.5/10

 

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