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Transformers #10 (2023) review

Prepare for battle!

That’s right! 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! Well, he maintains the reins on the writing of this series at least, as does Mike Spicer on colors. Jorge Corona takes over regular penciling duties with a style that barely misses a step from DWJ’s previous efforts.

In this tenth issue, we learn what Beachcomber has been doing on Earth this whole time and Shockwave’s horrifying plans for the planet’s resources come to light.

I remember Beachcomber!

You sure do, he made a cameo appearance in the first arc and we find out here that he’s been on Earth for a long time! It’s a good and familiar take on the hippie dune buggy and fans of his will be happy to see he’s getting this spotlight. Beachcomber’s interactions with Spike and Astrotrain are quite engaging and I hope he’s going to have a key role in this book moving forward. Or… DWJ will just kill him off next issue out of the blue. Who knows!

What else we got?

Shockwave unveils his new plan to strip Earth’s resources for energy and it kinda seems like something out of Mr. Burns’s playbook. This is a somewhat new take on Shockwave, as he seems a bit more of a hammy supervillain than we’re used to. The other Decepticons seem a bit wary of him, especially Thundercracker, and Shockwave doesn’t seem to win any points with Soundwave in this issue either.

On the Autobot side of things, Optimus and Elita One regroup with the others, bringing with them the near-dying Ultra Magnus. Optimus seems to think Ratchet is dead for sure, which is a little disappointing. Like I said, DWJ is sure burning through the cast, which is a double-edged sword. Sure, it showcases that there are real consequences to this story, but it also robs us of the presence of many beloved characters. That’s why I’m unsure whether I should get attached to any of these versions of the characters, as they’re all potentially meat for the grinder at this point.

In the end, there was… THE CUBE.

I enjoyed this issue more than the last, with its tighter focus on character development. Jorge Corona’s art is really starting to grow on me and he draws the hell out of both the Beachcomber and Shockwave-centered segments in particular. Still, there is that unease that continues forth, that any investment I gain in these characters will be tossed to the wind when DWJ decides to abruptly kill them for shock value. I guess we’ll have to see where we’re at by the end of this story arc, but this was a solid step forward at least.
Buy Transformers # 10 this week, because Recordicons has always definitely been the best name for Soundwave’s cassettes.

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