Writer: John Barber
Artist: Fico Ossio
Colorist: Sebestian Cheng
Letterer: Tom B. Long
A review by Christoph Staffl
“Folks that look like us don’t traditionally do so well in horror movies.” – Heavy Duty
In the latest IDW ongoing comic book series, Revolutionaries #1, you can find some of their greatest heroes and those who wish to become them by getting together and saving people. Or at least they try to. From the different universes IDW owns and deriving from the Revolution-Crossover of 2016, this series continues the story. Although Rom is on my reading list, I have to say this is my first time reading the comic versions of these characters and I am eager to see how they are working together.
So let us begin our journey in Revolutionaries #1. At first we need to know who the characters are that are involved in this wild adventure. The good thing is John Barber presents us with three introduction pages, so we might have an easy access to the series. He covers nothing less than about 15 billion years worth of history. So we get to know some of the highlights of the transformers, as well as our own past and when the Action Man program was founded.
Though I have not heard the names before, it is good to know the basics. On the third page we get to learn more about the main characters of this series. But, who are they? From the pages of Transformers we have Garrison Blackrock (who believes to be a human) and Kup. He is older than the universe itself and the companion of the newest incarnation of Action Man, Ian Noble. Mayday is a tough G.I. Joe soldier. She has her first command in this adventure and is already faced with some tough decisions. Last but not least we have Rom, a Robot.
The story takes place in a city called Schleteva. Unfortunately I cannot tell you if this place was important in the Revolution-Crossover, but judging by the events that occur throughout this issue, I guess it was somewhat essential. After what seems to be a recreational phase, the city again takes the center stage, as it is attacked by the Dire Wraiths, a brutal species. But they are not alone. They have assistance by another player, which causes the whole region to be sealed off. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Mayday and her team of G.I. Joes are supposedly the only ones close enough to the area to get inside the shield. Now they have to save the people of Schleteva. What they don’t know is that they are not the only ones locked in. Can they trust the other “prisoners”? And who is really behind all of this?
Revolutionaries #1 does a good job in establishing its characters. It is fun to watch them interact with each other and although the whole issue is one giant ongoing action scene, we get to know each and every one of them a little better. It obviously helps a lot to have one paragraph for each protagonist at the beginning of the story. This creates a high recognition value and as a reader you can focus on the story and the great artwork.
The art of Fico Ossio is detailed, especially when it comes to the transformers and the Dire Wraith, who simply look gorgeously intimidating. The action is easy to follow and you never get lost within the wide range of characters and different set pieces. The only thing which I missed are the one-sided establishing shots of the characters. One entire page to see them in their full majestic embodiment of power. But this could just be me, for I am big fan of those.
It really depends on your feelings towards the characters. I, myself have a long history with the Transformers and G.I. Joes. As a child I had them as toys and watched the TV shows (at least sometimes). The last time I saw them it was in the movies, though. It was time to get to know them a bit better and judging by the short descriptions on the IDW homepage, they all sounded intriguing. So I would say Buy it! Beyond the action, the story focuses on the relationship between the characters and their history together. It’s definitely a good jumping-on-point.