As the sun begins to set on Transformers: Lost Light, issue 24 wraps up the main story. So the question is, how does our favorite crew of transforming robot oddballs get out of this mess, and what shape are they left in?
I’ll start out with the elephant in the room. Due to Lost Light finishing earlier than James Roberts had initially expected, this issue feels a bit rushed and very busy as there is less space to cover all the remaining story elements that Roberts wanted. As a result of that the resolution does come across as a little convenient at times, even if one of the convenient actions is a reference to one of the earliest issues of Roberts’ MTMTE run. There was also one character whose fate was left a little unclear to me, where we may have benefited from an appearance later on to make their fate clearer.
Now that my main criticisms are out of the way, let’s get to what’s good about this book. First, it covers a lot of emotional beats and story elements. Some long running relationships finally get the payoff that we were hoping for. In some ways this issue may be a shipper’s dream. In fact, whether it’s the main focus of the panels or just an expression in the background, there is a lot of good character and relationship development here. Second, Roberts does a great job with making a lot of this issue relatable, from the small gestures to Rodimus’ big speech. The latter does a great job of not only driving the action and summarizing what made MTMTE and Lost Light so great but it also resonated with me as a person. Of course, this all takes place against the backdrop of a dramatic last stand. Despite the lack of space you do get a great sense of the stakes and the scale of this.
The typical Roberts sense of humour is there, including a very self-knowing line from Grimlock. One of the big criticisms of MTMTE and Lost Light that I’ve seen is on Roberts’ theme of redemption — so I find one of Roberts’ decisions towards the end really interesting, and gratifying in that he acknowledges that sometimes redemption can only go so far.
With the exception of one panel where characters felt a little like statues, Brendan Cahill nails the expressions here. Considering the amount of character development he conveys everything that takes place really well. The action scenes are clear and get in the sense of drama and threat despite not having a lot of space to do it. The cropping of some scenes and the tight, close up angle gives a sense of scale without forcing Cahill to draw more characters. I love how he draws the characters with the Matrices, showing their struggles and emotions and those pages are probably my favourite in this issue.
Joanna Lafuente does a great job with the rather frequent effects while continuing to tie together the work of so many different artists with her colouring. Also, I haven’t mentioned Geoff Senior’s variant covers from the last few issues. It’s a very fitting choice for this issue and it’s great to see a respected artist from the past of Transformers comics take on one of the newer characters.