TRANSFORMERS `84: SECRETS AND LIES #1 (REVIEW)

Jul 14, 2020

Transformers `84: Secrets & Lies #1
IDW Comics

Story: Simon Furman
Art: Guido Guidi
Colors: Jown-Paul Rove
Letters: Jake M. Wood

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Any Generation 1 Transformers fan knows the story of the war betweent the Autobots and Decepticons, how they battled in space as they left Cybertron, and crash landed on Earth. Transformers `84 takes that setting and tells a story from a new perspective revealing new depth and intrigue into the Transformer mythos.

Long time Transformers writer, Simon Furman, delivers readers back to the initial era of the property while imbuing it with dialog and character dynamics that feel current and relevant. Furman has written Transformers comics since the 1980’s when he took over for the original writer Bob Budiansky, and his knowledge of lore and voice of the characters shines through on each page. Furman also provides a commentary at the end of the issue that serves as footnotes and references tying in the events of the original US and UK series. This attention to detail is a gift to fans and an asset to the overall narrative of the issue. The commentary provides historical context to a time period that readers may remember, even if the details have faded from memory. The result is both an exciting comic and a historical lore book.

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Given this historical setting, artists Guido Guidi and Jown-Paul Rove nail the time period and capture the comic vibe of 1984. Guidi’s angular builds accurately reflect the style of the early Marvel comics series. Facial details are kept at a minimum and the body positions match the blocky origins of the comics. Guidi’s panel layout frequently uses multiple smaller panels to the page, mirroring the style of the time. Rove’s colors are the highlight of the book’s ability to match the time period. The result is at first jarring compared to modern comic expectations. Coloring that might appear simple, intentionally captures the visuals of the era and the complexity shines through. Rove’s colors bring energy and emotion to the action, while maintaining the historical accuracy.

Praise as a period piece, still results in a book that begins to reveal a more complex dynamic to the struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons. The plot was first started in Transformers `84 #0 in the fall of 2019, but this story stands on its’ own and new readers are brought quickly into the plot around Shockwave devising an alternative plan to end the war and defeat the Autobots.

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The joy of Transformers `84 is both the historical attention to detail and the new story it weaves. The creative team of Furman, Guidi, and Rove capture the original excitement around the franchise and provide a new adventure for fans of every generation.

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