Anyone who has perused more than about 3 pages on my site had probably noticed the toy pictures. Especially the Transformer toys. And anyone who’s followed this blog for a while is probably saying “Oh no… Not MORE Transformers!” But hear me out.
Transformer comics have always been… well… not great. I’ve read them off and on my whole life, but I’ve never really loved them. There’s been occasional bright patches where an actual good story was written and published, but they’re few and far between in the TF comic universe. Mostly they’re just cool artwork with a lot of bots blasting each other for page after page.
It’s pretty safe to say that Transformers comics have really never been “good” in anyone’s opinion.
And then IDW’s Transformers: More than Meets the Eye (MTMTE) came along.
MTMTE is a new Transformers series that can be read all by itself. No need to read the thousands of other TF books to understand anything. Premise: The big war is over. (The boring, endless Autobot/Decepticon one.) A group of bots leaves Cybertron on a ship called the Lost Light to go on a quest.
Issue 1 starts with the quest. The ship launches and that’s pretty much the last you hear about it. Stuff happens and the bots start having adventures and living their lives.
The majority of the cast is made up of very obscure Transformers. Tthat means there isn’t much in the way of TF back story you, the reader, are expected to know. And that also means that the writers have incredible freedom to develop these characters.
Everything is easy to understand. No TF comic has EVER been easy to understand, so this is pretty huge. Did I mention there’s even a cheat sheet at the end of each issue listing the names of most of the bots?
The comic isn’t without flaws. MTMTE has a problem with Huge Drama. Capital italics apply. There’s always some sort of crisis requiring lots of shooting, shouting, and shoving. It would be more fun if the drama was toned down a bit and they let the characters just exist a bit more. But… that’s okay. It’s allowed to have flaws.
Really, MTMTE is an amazing comic. And the thing that makes it so amazing are the bots. They are incredibly deep and well written. There’s a lot of them, but that’s okay. Each one gets their turn in the spotlight to shine and be developed.
The bots become PEOPLE. It doesn’t matter that some are big and turn into cars and helicopters and stuff. They are every bit as real as any fictional character I’ve ever read. THAT is something I’ve never been able to say about Transformers.
They are MORE real than I’ve ever imagined.
Lastly, the toy situation.
More Than Meets the Eye seems to exists solely for the purpose of telling stories without a toy agenda. This, to me, is incredible. Unlike every other Transformers series, story, or comic I’ve ever come across, MTMTE doesn’t seem to have any decree from Hasbro to sell toys.
… and maybe because of that, the toys I have of my favorite MTMTE bots have risen to top-shelf status.
MTMTE took a bunch of obscure characters and made stars out of them. Stars that MAKE me want to buy toys of them and artwork to frame and hang on my walls. Hell, they inspired me to put a comic review on my car blog.
Can you tell I like this comic?
IDW did a run of “Hundred Penny Press” copies of MTMTE #1 which only cost $1 each. I bought a short stack of them at my favorite comic shop. They seem like the perfect thing to slip into a few orders instead of Domo toys or Hot Wheels.
So, if you read this and think you might wanna give a Transformer comic a try, let me know. I’ll see what I can do about getting something in the mail to ya.
Now, back to my comics.