The Transformers, at their simplest level, are robots that transform into things like cars, planes, and cassette players. Two major groups - the noble Autobots and the evil Decepticons - wage a galaxy wide war for supremacy, with other groups like the Quintessons, humans, and the planet-eater Unicron often jumping into the fray, as well.
Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers slots into the IDW line of Transformers comics, completing what is known as the Wreckers Saga. The saga predominately follows the Wreckers, a team of Autobots usually sent on suicide missions, and one of their most important leaders: Springer.
Requiem of the Wreckers finds Springer and his human ally, Verity, attempting to unravel the mysteries of Springer's past while also taking down Tarantulas, Springer's creator. The story goes off the hinges pretty fast with the addition of time travel, human-robot hybrids, and an odd couple villainous duo who make the story absolutely buck wild.
Honestly, I could get behind the chaos of the storyline, except that the villains' motivations (which are expected to drive the vast majority of the climax) are completely inexplicable. Tarantulas and Overlord, the primary villains, don't seem to have any actual goals besides causing mayhem. Tarantulas, in particular, fluctuates between being a sociopath and being a misguided anti-hero.
The art, on the other hand, is awesome. The Generation 1 style of Transformers serves the comics very well; their bulky, geometric designs look great and allow for lots of dynamic poses and silhouettes. Unfortunately, I wish the story followed a more visually interesting character than Springer. While he has a quippy personality, Springer has always suffered from being a bit generic looking. He just doesn't have the same appeal as iconic Transformers like Optimus Prime, Starscream, or Shockwave.
One element I did particularly like, art wise, was that during flashbacks, the art style reverted to a 1980s style akin to the original Transformers comics. It was a nice touch to let you know when the timeline shifted, and I wish more stories used that sort of visual transition.
If you're looking to get into Transformers, I wouldn't say Requiem of the Wreckers (and the Wreckers Saga as a whole) is the right place to start. The story will probably be too much for anyone new to the comics, even if it is a lot of fun with its madhouse sequence of events.
The original 1980s television show functions as a good onboarding point for a lot of the characters and stories that you'll encounter in the comics, but if you'd prefer to start with the comics, I recommend the Transformers: Spotlight series. Each is a single issue vignette about a different character in the Transformers universe and serves as a concise way to get into the meat of the universe without needing to know a ton of backstory.
Requiem of the Wreckers is a flawed story, but it ultimately serves its job well as a farewell to the Wreckers storyline. Transformers has always succeeded at making compelling characters, and Springer is no exception to that rule. Even Verily stands out as a good human character, which is rare in stories like this. Regardless, Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers continues to prove that you just can't beat the classic Transformers.
Creative Team: Nick Roche (Writer/Artist), Geoff Senior (Artist), Brendan Cahill (Artist), Josh Burcham (Colorist), Josh Perez (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letters), Tom B. Long (Letters), David Mariotte (Editor)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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