25 October 2016

Review: The Transformers Classics, Vol. 4 by Bob Budiansky, Jose Delbo, et al.

Comic PDF eBook, 296 pages
Published 2012 (contents: 1988-89)
Acquired August 2014
Read May 2016
The Transformers Classics, Vol. 4

Written by Bob Budiansky, Ralph Macchio
Pencils by Jose Delbo, Alan Kupperberg, Frank Springer
Inks by Dave Hunt & Don Hudson, Danny Bulanadi, Dave Elliott
Letters by Bill Oakley, Kurt Hathaway, Rick Parker
Colors by Nel Yomtov

At this point, you either love Bob Budiansky's approach to Transformers, or you don't. I don't. Characters with ill-defined gimmicks are just piled on again and again. I know this isn't all his fault, but I still have to read it, and I don't like doing so. The one bright spot for most of this book is Ratbat, Decepticon fuel auditor, the only evil leader awesome enough to gloat about his account books:
If I were a Decepticon, I would clearly be Ratbat. I gotta get me a Ratbat toy.
from The Transformers #41 (script by Bob Budiansky, art by Jose Delbo & Danny Bulanadi)

But the Headmasters clog up an already overcrowded book, and there's not too much to inspire here, until the very end. The four-part "The Underbase Saga" starts off kind of dumb when Jesse infiltrates a Decepticon base disguised as a beach to rescue Buster, who has become a total waste of a character by this point. (I think he spends this whole volume as a hostage.) How the Decepticons could get away with this strains belief, even in this comic.

What does she even get out of a relationship with Buster, anyway?
from The Transformers #47 (script by Bob Budiansky, art by Jose Delbo & Dave Hunt)

It all becomes worth it, though, for Starscream ascending to ultimate power. Previously, he's been a big nonentity in this series, but I always enjoy a good supervillain-on-the-way-to-godhood rant.

If enjoying this is wrong, I don't want to be right.
from The Transformers #50 (script by Bob Budiansky, art by Jose Delbo & Dave Hunt)

It's not Bob Budiansky's best story, but it is his best in a long while, and a fitting subject for the climax of fifty issues of The Transformers.

In Two Weeks: Though there are three more volumes of The Transformers Classics, that was the last in the IDW Humble Bundle, so I'm skipping ahead quite a bit-- to what happens after the war in Regeneration One!

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