IDW Publishing "Autocracy" #11 Comic Book Review
Cover Price: $.99 (Digital Exclusive)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publishing Date: June 6, 2012
Story by: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art by: Livio Ramondelli
Letters by: Robbie Robbins
Editor: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
At the ruins of Nyon, Metroplex has risen! While he plans to attend to the few survivors of the devastation in the city, he promises Optimus Prime to come when called. From there, Optimus Prime moves on to rescue Blaster from the Stunticons Breakdown and Dead End. Blaster isn't ready to sign up with the Autobots, but Prime tells him he just wants him to continue doing what he has always done: broadcast the truth!
Later, they bring Blaster to the Iaconian Newsfeed Headquarter so he can broadcast his signal widely. Once hooked up, Optimus broadcasts a call to anyone who wishes to overthrow Megatron to join him at Iacon. All over Cybertron future Autobots hear his call including Huffer, Windcharger, Grimlock, Ratchet, Wheeljack and more!
Soon, at Iacon Megatron is infuriated hearing this broadcast. He doesn't believe anyone will follow Prime, but soon he is proven wrong as an army of Autobots marches on Iacon! He dispatches the Seekers to destory them, but the Aerialbots move onto the scene and take them on. The crowd panics, but Optimus Prime raises the Autobot banner and calls upon the Autobots to fight. Despite their bravado, Megatron stands ready to destory them all!
The story of the Autobot/Decepticon war has been told (and retold) in many formats across many universes over time. Each time (such as with Dreamwave's "The War Within") it always feels like you've gone through a time machine of sorts and are seeing history in the making. In this modern day interpretation, we get to see a more "mature" version of the story told in the G1 episode "War Dawn", which showed the path of Orion Pax becoming Optimus Prime and the beginning of the war. However, everything feels more epic in scale, from the appearance of Metroplex in the beginning to the manner which Optimus Prime utilizes Blaster to spread his message. It shows Optimus taking charge from the start, and in a grand, sweeping way instead of say, recruiting one group at a time across the planet.
I have to say that even with all the army building, cameos and so on that occurs in this issue, it is the brief interaction between Metroplex and Optimus Prime that fascinates me the most. Metroplex "knows" Optimus Prime, but Prime doesn't know him in the same way. Many of Metroplex's comments are interesting and point to him being more than just a big Transformer, but potentially some type of character who has spanned the multiverse. We also know far in the future he is hiding and has to protect something critical along with Alpha Trion. This makes him a really interesting character and I would love to see a mini-series devoted to the character and the mysteries that surround the character. It is true that in almost every version of the multiverse, some version of Optimus Prime has risen up to fight evil, it is just interesting to see someone in the IDW Universe comment on it.
There is some stunning artwork in this issue. The cover is one of the most action packed ones in the series so far and Ramondelli's take on Metroplex is breathtaking. I also have to comment on how thankful I am that Ramondelli has chosen familiar forms for many of the characters including Blaster and the Stunticons. You've probably read here and there how I'm not the biggest fan of random updates on character body shells from series to series. It makes sense from a story POV as the IDW Transformers seem to change form just as easily as the Movie Transformers. However, from an aesthetic perspective I think consistency is good (unless there's a story written around the body changes). Here, the forms we see are familiar and done well to boot. I also find the choice of using the action figure forms on the Stunticons instead of their now familiar G1 animation models an interesting (but welcome) choice.
"Autocracy" #11 is the big leap we've been waiting for. Not only to see Optimus Prime born, but to see him lead. His ability to inspire the others around him is part of what made him a great leader and seeing it in action here is inspiring. Awesome issue and I can't wait for the conclusion!