Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #3 Review

This book is more entertaining than the bulk of all the other comic books out there. We're not kidding.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #3

My god, this book is funny. 

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is the best Transformers comic book series ever, and it's only three issues old. Why can that be said? Because no TF book has been this densely packed with action, comedy, intrigue and originality ever. It's really the comedy that brings it all together and makes it shine in a way it's never shone before, and we have James Roberts to thank for that. It's not just "good for a Transformers book" – it's a great damn book, period.

In the first issue, Rodimus gathered a group of like-minded mechs to venture forth on a quest to find the fabled Knights of Cybertron now that the big war they've been fighting for millions of years is over, but they wound up crash-landing who knows where. In the second issue, they started damage control while an amnesiac theoretician badass named Skids popped in from out of nowhere, and they discovered a monster on board their ship. Now, in TF: MTMTE #3, that savage Sparkeater threatens the entire ship and all its crew. Through it all, great characters bounce off each other in highly entertaining ways while dealing with this mecha-beast who eats your soul, but not before it forces you to vomit up your own brain.

Turns out, being a sparkeater is kind of a cross between a vampire and a zombie, but they never use either of those terms. However, when the subject comes up, the mockery of pompous vampire goths is still hilarious when Ultra Magnus sardonically says "I once arrested a Decepticon who thought he was a sparkeater. He called himself The Dark Assassin, Devourer of Souls and Propagator of Infinite Sin. His real name was Blip."

It's little asides like that, throwaway quips and tightly packed banter that meanders intelligently and humorously without ever losing sight of its direction, that make Roberts a lot closer to Aaron Sorkin's style than Paul Cornell has managed so far in one issue of his West-Wing-by-way-of-X-Files book Saucer Country. The lovable goof Swerve has a line where he says "no, I'm all mouth. My nickname at the academy was 'shut the hell up.'" That is a fantastic bit of comedy that's made my whole week, and it's just packed into one of his panels as a par for the course in the flow of Roberts' dialog rather than drawing focus as the great one-liner hook it is. That's how fast and furious his snappy patter is, and it's why this book is such a delight to read for any fan of comic books, not just TF nerds.

"How bad? On a scale of one to Megatron…"

The fact that it seems like Alex Milne was born to draw Transformers only enhances how great this book is, and his interplay with Roberts' script is fantastic. It was probably planned this way, but there's a moment where Chromedome, who has the skill to read memories, tries to pry them from the corpse of the sparkeater's first victim and says "after they die, the details tend to get a little sketchy." Milne responds by actually including those memories as just uncolored crosshatched sketches rather than fully-colored pages. Brilliant synergy there.

Read this book. I don't care if you've never read Transformers comics before – this book should get you started on them. It's more entertaining than the bulk of the books I read each month, and while I do have some long-standing TF bias, I think you'll like it, too.

9.5