Transformers Robots in Disguise #9 - Generation 1 - IDW Comic Book

Last issue saw Ironhide and the Dinobots setting out to the wilds of Cybertron in search of the Aerialbots, and left off on Ironhide being suddenly set upon by his raging companions. In issue 9 we follow along that thread and start to get a notion of what's happening in the wilderness and to anyone who ventures too far from the city. Meanwhile in civilization, the political drama is the least of Bumblebee's problems... Written by John Barber, with art by Andrew Griffith and colors by Joana Lafuente

Whose giant, airplane-shaped shadow could that possibly be?!

What many probably wanted to see resolution to was the cliffhanger from issue 8. This plot thread is developed gradually through the issue, but largely in an expository fashion as Ironhide receives a pre-recorded message left as warning by Silverbolt. We learn that the Aerialbots went through something very similar to what Ironhide and company are experiencing, and that as time passes it builds to some end other than fighting each other until everyone is destroyed. As I said, this is a gradual reveal, over an extended sequence of Ironhide trying to defend himself from the rampaging Dinobots. When the climax of this issue is reached, it's a little more clear why this portion of the story had to be paced a certain way, but the process feels a little stretched out for how little actually happens in this part of the story. The payoff for it is probably what a lot of readers had already speculated might happen, and should leave an interesting set up for later issues where hopefully the wilderness storyline will get a little more attention than it did this month.

In the city, Bumblebee considers the ramifications of possessing Turmoil's time traveling ship, but soon has more immediate problems to handle when Sky Lynx literally drops by and reveals he's lost his passengers. The free election subplot continues, as we see Bumblebee is now starting to consider how any decision he makes and their consequences might affect the perception of his potential voters. Bumblebee's slide from leader to politician gains ground in this issue, which is certainly beginning to be realized in how he recruits Blurr for the rescue party to go after Ironhide and the Dinos, a fact Bumblebee himself even acknowledges. Shockwave is carrying out some plan of his own, having learned about Prowl and Arcee's involvement in a lot of the major Decepticon deaths. What the details are is yet unrevealed, but is sure to come back to the forefront sooner rather than later. But Bumblebee has plenty to keep him busy right now when, just as he's ready to commit to the idea of changing history or even taking a look at the future, Turmoil's ship simply vanishes from the space port right in front of him and Wheeljack.

The main focus of the issue, on the happenings in Iacon, is handled very nicely, and having recently taken a crash course in the series, I'm really enjoying the structure of the setting and how the book is exploring it each issue. It's really fun to watch Bumblebee try to balance all the weight of the society struggling to rebuild itself, especially while having to contend with Starscream and Metalhawk. The introduction of a time machine gives another point of view for Bumblebee to take, and I can really appreciate the long thought put in to if it's even right to try to use such a thing to intentionally change history. Especially so when, after seeming to struggle with the decision, Wheeljack explains the device doesn't even work that way. As Wheeljack says, there's no magic solution, and I really, really like that.

After the cliffhanger ending last time, I had hoped there would be more focus on Ironhide's team in the wilderness, but it didn't feel very important at all to this issue ultimately. The reveal at the end is as I said probably not surprising to many readers, and for my own part I hope it does not continue down that road where the implication is leading right now. Even though we learn *what* is happening to those who venture out too far for too long, we still have yet to find how or why. Hopefully those revelations will not be too far off in the future. The writing on this series has not disappointed me yet, so I'm confident however these mysteries unravel, it's going to be good!

DateSeptember 6th 2012  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  
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