Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Issue 3 of 6
“Siege Mentality”

Written by John Barber
Art: Dheeraj Verma
Letters: Chris Mowry
Colours – Priscilla Tramontano
Cover Art – Dheeraj Verna, colours by Sanjay

We pick up where the last issue left off with the Lightning Strike Coalition team (Grimlock, Slug/Slag, Sludge and Snarl) outside of the complex where Swoop’s last transmission had come from. There’s a bit of banter back and forth between them before they storm the complex. This banter counterpoints the narration from Grimlock which continues throughout the issue.

The four of them exercise brute force, but not mindless, which is one of the points this Grimlock makes. It is a sledge-hammer assault, but with calculated goals in mind, which differs from Optimus’ more hesitant approach, at least in Grimlock’s eyes. This also shows us we aren’t getting the dumb Sunbow Dinobots, but infinitely more interesting characters, with more potential.

They discover Swoop trapped in a hi-tech restraining harness of sorts and his form is different. Grimlock tries to find out what has been done to him, he realises something is wrong here and that they need more help. With that in mind he realises that they need to inform Prime, that there is something bigger going on. Before they can make their escape Shockwave and his assorted hordes of Insecticons appear. Shockwave lets Grimlock know that he has monitored their situation and knows they are alone. He dispatches his Insecticons who overwhelm Grimlock. His narration at this point reveals that he has reached an epiphany as to why Optimus Prime has adopted his approach to strategy and that he may have a point.

Well the story doesn’t really advance a huge amount in this installment, but we get the gang back together ahead of what we know is to come. Again, John Barber does a fantastic job with Grimlock. Painting him as violent, but not unintelligent and with just the right shade of belligerence. It really is one of the best takes on the character that we’ve had in a long time. Shockwave, as well is portrayed well, there are enough hints that perhaps he is not as logical as he would like other Transformers to believe. It’s subtle but well crafted.

The other LSC members don’t really get much development in this, but in these 8 page chunks that can be difficult, and we are left to rely on our familiarity with these characters from other continuities to fill in the blanks. Hopefully they will get a few moments to shine in the remaining three parts.

Again, I am throughly enjoying the artwork, one point I have neglected to mention is that Dheeraj Verma likes the Nick Roche approach to faction symbols by drawing them, as opposed to pasting them in afterwards in Photoshop. A small detail but one that I like. His work feels like it would fit in with Marvel, a G2 meets Will Simpson approach. Not a bad thing in my opinion.

I know the tale is in keeping with Hasbro’s new aligned continuity, but it still fits nicely into place within Marvel with no real problems, something I would wager was not accidental by John Barber.

Another solid issue. So far IDW’s digital Transformers comics have been something I have enjoyed and I do hope they keep them coming.