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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 15 December 2014
This is the first in a trio of interlocking origin stories by IDW which also includes 'Monstrosity' and the latest edition 'Primacy.' It takes place soon after the event within the Chaos arc (Optimus Prime / Orion Pax confronting the senate) and details Orion Pax's transformation into Optimus Prime and the real beginning of the Autobot v Decepticon war proper, and the more or less dissolution of the Senate.
The story is split into 12 chapters and is a real page turner. You can expect to read this in its entirety, at a steady pace in just over an hour, longer still if you allow yourself the time to take in all the subtle animation. There are many twists and unexpected turns, including familiar characters in unfamiliar roles and situations. The story is also very thought-provoking, and continues with IDW's mantra of allowing the reader who to decide for him/herself who he feels sorry for or is rooting for. There are also a few nods towards the original G1 cartoon series and The Movie in particiular which many long time TF fans will no doubt spot (Chapter 12's showdown).
The only thing resembling a problem in this comic is that the art is so dark, it's sometimes hard to make out what's going on, and who exactly is who at times. For example, the Transformers in the Energon stores or the seeker who shielded Megatron. Don't get me wrong, I love the art, it's great, and the occasions where it does pose a problem it is forgivable but noticeable.
That aside, this may well be the best yet from IDW and another progressive step forward for Transformers Comics!
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on 29 June 2017
This was brilliant, gritty artwork and full of character.
Another reinvented Transformers history/ canon but a great read
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on 2 March 2017
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on 5 November 2013
Wikipedia defines an Autocracy as, `A system of government in which a supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularised mechanisms of popular control.'
So what is a kids comic about giant metal robot toys doing with such a serious title you might be asking yourself? Well, let me explain.
Transformers has always been about the struggle against autocracy really. If you remember (as I do) the old cartoon series from the 1990's it was always about Optimus Prime and the Autobots (good guys) against the Decepticons (bad guys) who were led by their evil and dictatorial leader Megatron. So what would happen in a world where somebody like Megatron was in charge?
Of course we already know what it would be like on planet Earth if this were to happen. Pick up any history book and you'll see. But surprisingly enough at the beginning of this book we find out that Megatron is actually fighting AGAINST a tyrannical leader, and that Optimus Prime is working FOR this very tyrannical leader. A world on it's head for sure, this wasn't what I was expecting at all when I picked up this book.
Optimus Prime isn't yet known by this name as we begin the book. He's going by the name of Orion Pax, and he's working for a corrupt political elite that is headed by the autocratic Zeta Prime. The Decepticons have been labelled as `terrorists' by the state because they oppose their plans, which include killing the population of Cybertron and draining their energy to fuel powerful weapons of mass destruction. If all of this sounds familiar it's because the writers (Chris Meltzen and Flint Dille) are obviously basing this world on the situation that we have on our own planet. The similarities and parallels are obvious, and I could go into great detail about them here. However, I'll leave that for now, and suggest it might be a very good idea for you to read this book for that very reason alone, but back to the toy robot aspect of the book.
As the plot progresses (in short, easy to digest chapters) we find Orion Pax slowly questioning who is working for, and what he is doing to the civilian population of Cybertron. Is Megatron a terrorist or a freedom fighter? And what would happen if the old order were replaced by a new one with Megatron at its head?
This book really is the beginning of the Transformers universe I experienced as a child watching those excellent Saturday morning cartoons. We see Orion Pax becoming Optimus Prime. We see Megatron evolve from freedom fighter to would-be dictator. We see old favourites like Bumblebee, Starscream, HotRod and the Dynobots, and we see the destruction of Cybertron that eventually led the warring giant robots to travel to planet earth.
It's all done in a snappy, easy to digest way. The story is easy to follow, but the art is sometimes needlessly too dark, so you can't quite make out who is fighting who, or what exactly is happening in the big set piece battle scenes, a bit like the explosion laden movies really. But as somebody who hadn't stepped into the world of Transformers for well over a decade I found this a comfortable place to rediscover my old childhood friends.
The obvious parallels to what is happening in present day western democracies was nice for my adult mind, and seeing my old cartoon friends again was a nice nostalgic blast back to a past that was a lot of fun and well worth me picking this book up for.
If you want to find out what the Transformers are up to these days and haven't checked them out for a while then this is the perfect book to pick up. It might just have you scurrying around the attic looking for your old toys, and as a book about giant robot toys it poses surprisingly intellectual, thought provoking questions about what is going on in the world today.
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on 8 August 2012
Finally IDW's experimental 'digital only' mini series makes it into paper - and it's a read not to be missed by Transformers fans.
The series worked very well in its digital format, being released fortnightly in short condensed bursts, but as we all know, comics are best enjoyed on paper!
This series succeeds in many ways, the most obvious being Livio Ramondelli's striking and epic vision of these robots. His art brings an atmosphere and dynamic to the story, which would be difficult to convey with words. There are occasions where the bots look chiselled out if steel, and the colouring effects are out of this world.
The story (by Flint Dille and Chris Metzen) is equally fantastic, and charts the rise of Orion Pax (Optimus Prime) against all odds (a particularly insane Zeta Prime, and a ruthless Megatron. I'll not spoil the story, but it's one I'm surprised hasn't been told before. Look out for many references to Transformers the Movie too.
The writing is sharp, and not overly heavy, with some superb cameos (Sky Lynx in a show stealing scene, for example).
If you're a fan of Transformers, you owe it to yourself to get this. It would also be a great starting point for new readers. The series has made the jump from my phone to my bookshelf effortlessly.
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on 29 December 2012
Starts off quite promisingly with an k interesting dynamic between optimus and Megatron. However, once the battle gets going, it becomes a tired cliche of a transformers story with characters reverting to 30-year-old type at the drop of a hat and every other line poached from some earlier comic or film. A wasted opportunity that should have been handed to Roberts
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on 7 November 2013
So this is just all too brief. The characterisations, the introductions and story flow far too quickly. It feels like reading a trailer for a comic I want to read, rather than the one I wanted.

On the plus side, the art is great, though I may disagree with the story direction, it does provide an interesting idea. It is not the Optimus prime origin story I was hoping for (unlike, say Megatron's Origin story) but it is okay.
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on 6 April 2014
Both the art and story is fantastic! It's intresting because it's slightly above your average Transformer story. I originally bought it simply to get an insight on the early days of Optimus Prime and Megatron, but what I got was much more than I expected. It has layers upon layers and is suprisingly dark and political. Only complain is that it arrived almost a week late, but absolutely worth the wait!
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on 9 January 2015
The story starts off with Orion and his squad doing a raid on a decepticon warehouse (deceptions where terrorist before the war)
but leads to a chain reaction of events to the start of the war. A very dark story and a must read for all people New to the transformers comic books.
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on 1 June 2013
Nice tale of pre war cybertron. The writing moves along at a quick pace with no let up. Flint Dilles involvement evokes a feeling of the old cartoons. The artwork does a great job of portraying a fully metallic world with some nice digital effects.
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