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Transformers #6 (2023) review


Well, I hope not! With Robert Kirkman’s Void Rivals having launched Skybound’s new Energon Universe, noted writer/artist rolled-into-one Daniel Warren Johnson takes the reins on the linchpin of this new initiative, a brand-new Transformers comic series!

In this sixth instalment, the Autobots are again on the back foot as Starscream has unleashed Devastator upon them! With Optimus Prime seconds from death, will someone make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the Autobots live to fight another day? SPOILER- Yep.

Someone dies?

Yes, this is a “SOMEONE DIES!” issue. Not that DWJ’s been shy about killing characters before, but this one was kinda built up to and served more of a story purpose, as opposed to the “shock” deaths of previous issues. I feel like the moment itself isn’t quite as impactful as what will follow from it, but I didn’t see it coming, at least and it makes the final page hit harder.

DWJ’s not been shy on action and violence either, and the Autobots’ struggle against Devastator is certainly filled with both. If there’s one thing his art does exceptionally well, it’s sell the kinetic punch of every blast, kick, and uh… punch, as well as the injuries our cast incur because of them.

So thus endeth the first arc then.

More or less, this makes for a nice six-issue trade arc. I think all told, there’s a lot to enjoy here, but as I’ve been saying as a life-long fan of the franchise… there’s not a lot here that I haven’t seen before in some form. Daniel Warren Johnson’s inimitable style really carries this story on its back, and if it doesn’t work for you, then that might be a deathblow for your interest in this title. His writing is… fine, if a bit “safe”, I guess, which is ironic since he seems to favour Robert Kirkman-style “shock” moments. I guess that’s probably why he got this gig in the first place.

I’ll just sum up my thoughts on these first six issues with the same thing I’ve been saying; if you’re a new or casual fan of Transformers, this’ll probably hit different for you than someone who has been in the trenches for decades now.

So cube?

The cube is still hovering slightly above the midpoint for me, with what I’ve read so far not being bad at all, but not exactly blowing me away either. I do enjoy DWJ’s art, and most of his takes on characters are pretty spot-on, if not that fresh. I guess we’ll see what new art will bring in the next arc as DWJ relinquishes that part of the job and focuses solely on writing.

Buy Transformers # 6 this week and maybe one day you’ll become a 1-Up mushroom for someone too.

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