IDW Publishing "Autocracy" #10 Comic Book Review
Cover Price: $.99 (Digital Exclusive)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publishing Date: May 23, 2012
Story by: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art by: Livio Ramondelli
Letters by: Robbie Robbins
Editor: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
In the Decepticon occupied city of Iacon, Hot Rod has been brought to Megatron. Megatron tries to convince Hot Rod to join him. Megatron does a great job of sweet talking him, but Hot Rod isn't fully convinced. Unfortunately this may be too late for the Autobots being held prisoner as Megatron orders them scrapped!
In the outskirts of Iacon, Optimus Prime watches as the city smolders. However, the Matrix pulls him towards Nyon instead. It doesn't make sense, but he listens to the Matrix and heads off. When he arrives at Nyon, he finds nothing but death and ash, but he still senses life somewhere and begins to seek it out.
Inside the Iacon Citidel, Hot Rod goes to visit the Autobots. Dirge and Thundercracker are there taunting the imprisoned Autobots. Hot Rod talks to the Decepticons at first, but then blasts the cell! The released Autobots work together to take down the Decepticons and escape!
Back at Nyon, the Matrix has begun to awaken the life underneath the ruins. As the Matrix works, the Autobots join Optimus, relieved to find their commander alive. They sense something is different and Optimus tells them they have a new mission. The Autobot government had lost its way and their own mission had lost focus. He tells them their job is defend freedom and justice. He shows them the Matrix and everyone is amazed. Then, Optimus calls upon a new warrior to join the Autobots. The ground trembles and a gigantic form rises up from the ashes of Acroplex: Metroplex!
Optimus and Rodimus Prime have always been two characters written with a nice dichotomy between them. They were both Autobot leaders, but that's about where their similarities ended. Optimus was always strong and "heavy" looking, both in form, stature and gravitas. In sharp contrast, Rodimus was sleek, fast and that described his personality too. He was more fluid, able to think "outside the box" and sometimes that got him in trouble for sure, but he always found a way out of it. This difference between the two characters has been played out over the years in comic books and of course the G1 TV show, but here we start to see a lot of the beginning of that difference.
I really enjoyed watching Megatron try to recruit Hot Rod. While a mad genius (of course), there are times where Megatron thinks very much with "tunnel vision", and it's as if his personal philosophy can't imagine someone truly being more than just what their actions show. Personality traits like compassion are only seen as weaknesses in his eyes, and not strengths. Because of that narrow vision, his recruitment of Hot Rod is totally in character, as is Hot Rod even considering his offer, but Hot Rod's Autobot sensibilities are stronger than his "tempting" offer. Hot Rod saving the others later shows his heroism and daring, qualities which we will see in the future.
On the flip side, Optimus Prime is portrayed as a single inspiring figure. His use of the Matrix is a beautiful moment. It also answered a question I had earlier in the series, wondering how Zeta could carry the Matrix and be that evil. Of course, in the Marvel Comics series, the Matrix became "tainted", but in the IDW-verse it hasn't been shown to have that quality. Now it all makes sense, that Zeta was a Prime in name only. It is really inspiring to see that Optimus is the first "true" Prime the Autobots have had in a while, and it makes him ideal to lead.
Of course, the big surprise of the issue is the introduction of Metroplex! Last we saw Metroplex, he was off in space with Alpha Trion doing...well, something that was never followed up on. However, whatever it was it was important enough that Metroplex was hiding on another planet and freaked out when found. I'm very curious about his story. Clearly if he just hung out for the entire war the Autobots would have made much more headway than they did. Something big clearly caused him t have to leave, and I'd love to see what that story is.
This series is quickly drawing to a close, and we've reached a natural point: Optimus being leader, Hot Rod joining the Autobots and the Autobots rising up from the ashes are all key events in history we expect to see, but when they materialise they're better than I expected!