A Charming Ensemble Cast Returns in TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #1 (Review)

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stl026666Transformers: Lost Light #1

Writer: James Roberts
Art: Jack Lawrence
Colors: Joana Lafuente
Colors: John-Paul Bove
Letters: Tom B. Long
Editor: Carlos Guzman

Ensemble casts, serial narratives and shared universes are the foundation upon which modern superhero comics are built on top of. Oftentimes these narratives can produce diminishing returns of quality when decades upon decades of storytelling is applied by different hands. However, in Transformers: Lost Light #1, I still feel that author James Roberts has been building up an entire universe with a huge cast by taking the Transformers cast of characters and applying a hard sci-fi edge to the property, placing them directly on a spaceship and inside of a context that we haven’t seen these heroes in before.

Transformers: Lost Light #1 is a continuation of a vast, complicated narrative that isn’t really a debut issue for the franchise or the property despite the name. These relationships with different characters have already been established before years prior. However, those existing readers or even some new and lapsed ones will likely enjoy the character work in this first issue. From just a first, less in-depth read of the debut issue I can already see Roberts getting ready to spin additional narratives and mysteries that will carry on for several issues to come.

With this story being the continuation of the devastating events of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, there are lots of nice, touching gravestone sequences here with multiple heroes lamenting past losses. Certain factions of the crew feel more devastated by the losses they suffered than others and this comic still so nicely touches on the political implications of the great Autobot and Decepticon War years after the conclusion of the battle. The major status quo shift of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #50 is also a plot point here and one of the most compelling threads for the series going forward.

One of the most interesting aspects about this issue in particular is the unconventional framing sequence used to introduce readers to this brand new volume of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye/Lost Light. These two characters open up new possibilities for the title even though the current cast is licking their wounds, lamenting from the pain of loss or just in a completely different headspace altogether.

Transformers: Lost Light #1 also brings in new artist to the comic: Jack Lawrence. Lawrence’s pencils are a major departure from previous illustrators including Nick Roche who kicked off the original series and the most recent regular penciller Alex Milne. The cartoonish, pop art stylized visuals create a whole new way to interpret the series from a reader’s perspective. This is a comic with lots of robots interacting with each other, making Lawrence’s exaggerated facial expressions and dynamically posed heroes a welcomed asset This is an ensemble series loaded with characters, yet each robot is rendered in a wholly distinctive manner.

Transformers: Lost Light #1 is a refreshing soft reboot for the More than Meets the Eye saga, the issue feels like a brand new season of a television show where time has passed and new storytelling opportunities are present in these characters. The IDW Transformers line as a whole continues to be a great example of a shared universe that is crafted with great care despite having such an enormous scope anchored by several ongoing series. The Lost Light crew are back and you aren’t going to want to miss their return.