13 August 2019

Review: Transformers: The Wreckers Saga by Nick Roche, et al.

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2018 (contents: 2010-18)
Acquired May 2019

Read July 2019
Transformers: The Wreckers Saga

Story: Nick Roche & James Roberts
Art: Nick Roche, Guido Guidi, John Wycough, Andrew Griffith, Geoff Senior, and Brendan Cahill
Colors: Josh Burcham, Joana Lafuente, and Josh Perez
Letters: Neil Uyetake, Chris Mowry, Tom B. Long, and Shawn Lee

Having enjoyed IDW's first two Wreckers comics, somehow I still missed the existence of a third, Requiem of the Wreckers until it was too late: the one-shot wasn't at my local comics shop, and wasn't even available at my usual aftermarket web site. It was collected in this trade paperback, but this trade paperback also collected the first two Wreckers miniseries, which I already owned, and I wasn't about to pay $20 for a collection of eleven issues that I already owned ten of. But then the collection appeared in my LCS's $5 discount pile on Free Comic Book Day, so of course I went for it.

The first time I read this comic, I kept forgetting who Impactor was. I'm so bad at robots.
from The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers #2 (script by Nick Roche & James Roberts, art by Nick Roche & John Wycough)

I'm actually really glad I did. I liked Last Stand of the Wreckers and Sins of the Wreckers the first time around, and I'm not going to re-review them here, but I liked them even more a second time around, with a firmer grounding in Transformers lore, and knowledge of where the stories were ultimately going. Small details became significant with foreknowledge in mind, and reading Last Stand and Sins (and Requiem) back to back made how it's all one big story much more apparent. (Poor Guzzle.)

As you do.
from Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers #1 (script & art by Nick Roche)

Requiem is a fitting end for the whole saga, bringing together the villains of the first two stories, and tying off a lot of emotional and character threads, especially for Impactor and Springer, whose relationship is one of the backbones of the series. Kup is dead, so he can't feature like he did in the first two, but Roche turns that into a virtue.

Nooo, Ironfist/Fistiron!
from Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers #5 (script & art by Nick Roche)

I also appreciated the presence of Verity Carlo throughout. Verity was there when IDW's continuity began, so I'm glad Nick Roche kept her character going once Simon Furman left, and gave her an ending as IDW's entire universe drew to an end.

Hopefully if you lived through what Verity did, you'd gain some wisdom, too. I hope.
from Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers Annual 2018 (script by Nick Roche, art by Brendan Cahill)

Roche is oft-praised by Transformers fans, I think, but probably still not praised enough. Of course he knows his continuity and stuff, and we like him for it, but even better, he understands character and theme. This is a saga about the damage war does, and how we need friendship to overcome it, and what the appropriate bounds of friendship allow for and what they do not. How do you forge an identity that meets the expectations your friends place upon you when the entire universe seems to be conspiring against you? This informs every character arc, every story beat. He also has a way with big crazy ideas, and his art is incredible stuff. James Roberts (co-writer on some of Last Stand) justly gets a lot of praise, but Roche is surely the talent of the IDW era. I hope IDW keep him involved in their new era, or that he goes on to do his own incredible stuff. Or you know, both.

Well, that's one kind of personal growth, I guess.
from Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers Annual 2018 (script & art by Nick Roche)

Wreck and rule!

Next Week: Meanwhile, on Elonia... the universe is about to be devoured by Unicron!

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