It’s not long until IDW wraps up the Transformers Universe in preparation of the now confirmed reboot in 2019. James Roberts has made it known that he has no plans for further Transformers work, meaning that Transformers: Lost Light will be his farewell to Transformers comics. I will be sad to see him go as his work on Last Stand of the Wreckers and More than Meets the Eye got me reading the IDW Transformers comics. On that note, let’s see what issue 22 has in store for us.
I prefer not to write spoilers in my interviews so I apologise that this will be a little vague. In the previous issue we had plenty of big reveals: Pharma is the grand architect and Megatron returned from the Functionalist Universe. In a very James Roberts move, it is revealed that there is more than meets the eye to these cliff hangers. I for one was very happy to see Megatron back for the end of Lost Light. After the great journey he underwent in MTMTE it would have felt like a missed opportunity not to have him back. Not only did we get a return of the always great interactions with Rodimus and Ultra Magnus but Megatron’s interactions with Drift and the Scavengers were heart warming.
While there is some action here, this issue focuses on telling the story and answering questions. The revelations made by Pharma are pure Roberts: it furthers Transformers lore, it’s foreshadowed, it makes sense and it pays off a question that we’ve been asking for years. The cliffhanger on the last page honestly had me repeating the word “what” out loud. Despite this issue answering a lot of questions, furthering the story and tying multiple stories together, it never felt like exposition or plot dumping. One of the main reasons for that is the humor.
One of my favorite aspects of MTMTE and Lost Light has been the humor. This issue was absolutely hilarious as I was constantly laughing out loud. This balances out the breakneck pace of the reveals and storytelling, really keeping things fresh. What I love about the humor in Lost Light is how it is driven by the characters and their personalities. Rodimus is wonderful here in a way that is both humorous and fitting. Even when the jokes are bad it actually fits the characters. I love that Roberts seems to be finding space in every issue now just to give the combination of Swerve and Misfire a chance to say something. That comes back to another point: It’s very hard to balance a large ensemble with dwindling pages left to write. Some people will end up with short shrift but so far the balance is very good.
Brendan Cahill handles the art here and does a very good job. His work on Primus is breathtaking, adding a mix of majesty and danger while capturing the elements of Cybertron. In a story heavy issue good facial expressions and body language are key. Cahill absolutely nails it; the expressions are clear, really expressive and easy to interpret. The only missteps, if I want to be picky, involve Ratchet’s reactions towards the end and a continuity error involving Whirl being in 2 places at once. Of course, those could easily be down to script errors rather than Cahill. One last word of praise for Cahill: The last page is perfect at capturing the character in question’s personality.
Joana Lafuente deserves a lot of credit in the last few months of Lost Light. With a constantly rotating roster of artists she has really tied things together with the colour pallet, maintaining the clear feel and identity of the book. Some of the effects and background colouring go a long way to set the mood so it’s another job well done from Lafuente.