24 April 2018

Review: The Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone by Shane McCarthy, Guido Guidi, Stephen Baskerville, et al.

Comic PDF eBook, n.pag.
Published 2015 (contents: 2014-15)
Acquired November 2016
Read September 2017
The Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone

Written by Shane McCarthy
Pencils by Guido Guidi
Additional Pencils by Marcelo Ferreira
Inks by Stephen Baskerville
Colors by John Paul Bove
Letters by Tom B. Long

I wasn't a very big fan of Drift when he was introduced in All Hail Megatron, finding him a bit of a stereotypical tortured-man-with-a-dark-past-and-also-he-has-swords. Except he was a robot. I really warmed to him in More than Meets the Eye, though, which used Drift's spiritual awakening in his self-titled miniseries (which I actually haven't read) to reinvent him as an optimist, creating a sort of Kirk-Spock-McCoy-esque trinity with Rodimus and Ultra Magnus. But in volume 4, Drift was exiled from the Lost Light (taking the fall for something Rodimus did), and in volume 8, Ratchet set off in search for him. Empire of Stone shows what the two get up to together, as Drift tries to discover where he fits in the universe.

I may have come to like Drift, but basically, it turns out, only when he's being written by James Roberts, because back in the hands of his creator Shane McCarthy, he's the same old dull tortured-man-with-a-dark-past-and-also-he-has-swords; McCarthy just puts in one joke to explain away the difference between his Drift and Roberts's hippy-dippy version:
Also he's a little dismissive about Roberts's take in the book's extras.
from The Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #1 (art by Guido Guidi & Stephen Baskerville)

Though it has some high points (I liked the somewhat dumb Decepticon that Drift and Ratchet befriend), this is a pretty standard loner action story: Drift comes to the site of an old mistake, Drift angsts a bit, Drift redeems himself, stuff blows up. The best part is Guido Guidi and Stephen Baskerville's very dependable artwork. They do a good job in making clear storytelling and sharp action sequences, even if McCarthy's writing means there's too many action sequences.

Gotta love that melodramatic narration.
from The Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #3 (art by Guido Guidi & Stephen Baskerville)

The best part of the book is that though by the end Drift is still too cool to be either a Decepticon or an Autobot, he is coming back to the Lost Light, so he'll soon be back in the much more capable writing hands of James Roberts.

In Two Weeks: Meanwhile, on Cybertron... Optimus Prime seeks a little bit of Punishment!

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