Revolution: Transformers (one-shot) – John Barber

4 out of 5

Man, when Barber just has fun, he writes such great comics.  The potential floats in and out of his Transformers work, but all the mythology stuff – which he has a deft hand at wrangling as well – takes up a lot of room, and this whole Revolution business has required way too much super-serious Optimus pontificating.  So it’s nice that he found a way to halt and re-interject some yuks, which come courtesy of Thundercracker and Marissa Faireborn, handling aliens (Dire Wraiths?) at the white house while the main Revolution M.A.S.K. / Joe / Micronauts / ‘Formers / your mother square-off takes place in the main series.  That’s right, yippers: it’s one of those half-required supplemental tales to a crossover series, which, in this case, is almost completely unrequired, but makes up for that by being a blast.

Faireborn defends her E.D.C. actions to the President before things immediately go kablooey as all the Secret Service morph into aliens.  Over in Revolution, the Dire Wraiths are drawn quite differently from Andrew Griffith’s tentacled creeps here, but I’m supposing they’re one and the same.  Otherwise, my already tenuous grasp of WTF isn’t even graspy at all.  Anyhow, Thundercracker is around town, narrating a hilarious screenplay he’s writing to himself (choice character name: Josh Boyfriend), when Marissa summons him for alien-blasting help, although she proves quite capable on her own.  Snappy banter, who’s-the-alien twists, and many explosions follow, amusing through and through, punctuated by a fantastic final-boss fatality.  Andrew Griffith, an old hand at this ‘Formers stuff, knows how to differentiate his characters and give them emotion (even the unspeaking D.O.C. drone), but his alien-action panels are odd, shifting focus to the edge or off panel in several instances.  He knows how to balance scale, having dealt with giant robots, so it’s odd that he seems at odds to fit the aliens in frame.  Nonetheless, the book flies by in a flurry of run-and-gun and jokes.

Again: none of this matters.  But it’s good to be thoroughly entertained while not-mattering.