IDW Publishing "Autocracy" #12 Comic Book Review
Cover Price: $.99 (Digital Exclusive)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publishing Date: June 20, 2012
Story by: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art by: Livio Ramondelli
Letters by: Shawn Lee
Editor: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
In Iacon the war for Cybertron has begun! As Autobots converge on the Citidel, the Decepticons fight back. At first they were going to go for a direct assault, but soon they are recalled so Megatron can reveal his ultimate weapon: a gigantic Vamparc cannon! He unleashes it but the Autobots have a back up plan: Metroplex! As the gigantic Transformer looms overhead he transforms to robot mode and takes out the cannon!
As the battle rages on, Optimus Prime and Megatron confront each other in a knock down, drag out fight. When Hot Rod sees Megatron go for a hidden weapon, he tries to stop him. He's temporarily taken hostage, but gets away in time for Optimus to turn the tables on him! The damaged Decepticon retreats and soon the Autobots have retaken Iacon!
After the battle is over, the Autobots take stock and find a huge cache of weapons inside Iacon. Optimus orders them all destroyed, leaving the task to Prowl. As the story ends, Optimus and Hot Rod survey Trion Square. Optimus thanks Hot Rod for all his help, and opening his eyes to the truth behind the Autobot Senate. The two speculate on the future even as the greatest war Cybertron has ever seen looms in the future...
One of the primary issues I've had with IDW's take on the character of Optimus Prime over the years has been his somewhat, unheroic portrayal a lot of the time. Whether he's surrendering to humans and handing leadership over to others or just getting his behind handed to him by Megatron, I've been waiting a long time for the heroic Optimus Prime I knew in my youth to appear again, and "Autocracy" has brought him back. Through the process of seeing him change from Orion Pax to Optimus Prime over twelve issues (instead of just a twenty something odd minute episode) and then seeing him assert himself as leader of the Autobots just made me feel like a kid again. Prime was a hero again and an inspirational figure, as he should be. Seeing figures like the Dynobots attack and being inspired by Prime had me mentally throwing a fist up and thinking "Hells yeah!". It's been quite some time since I've felt that for the character in this universe.
I also have to admit to feeling a certain amount of joy seeing Megatron's plan fall apart, as it so often did in the original Transformers series. Seeing his smugness get turned around while still retaining his defiant nature was pitch perfect. I do not doubt that Flint Dille's writing had a lot to do with this. This is a classic formula right out of the original "Transformers" series and it is just as relevant today as it was over twenty years ago.
The sequence fans will no doubt be raving about happens towards the end of the battle. The one on one confrontation between Optimus Prime and Megatron is in many ways a comic book recreation of the battle seen between the two characters in the 1986 "Transformers: The Movie" theatrical film. Ramondelli does a fantastic job duplicating angles from the film such as Optimus Prime pointing his rifle at Megatron and Hot Rod being held hostage. Of course, this time the battle turns out much differently and for the better!
There's a ton of stories to be told in this time frame. There are literally millions of years worth of battles, victories, betrayals and legends to be seen and I really hope there is a follow up series to "Autocracy". The seeds have been planted, including the weapons cache that I'm 90% sure Prowl did not get rid of!
"Autocracy" has been a fantastic read from beginning to end. The pacing was really well done and I really feel like this was "War Dawn" retold through a more mature lense and done right to boot. Excellent writing and great artwork equal a wonderful mini-series and issue 12 is a proper and fun conclusion!