Month after month, the book that makes me the happiest is Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. It's simply the best-written Transformers comic series that's ever been published – to the point where you do not have to qualify it as "good for a Transformers book." It's just good. It's dense, it's complex and you've got to pay attention, but it's also fun, engaging and unflinching.
This here is Dinobot Month for IDW's TF books, and while the rest of the dino-gang showed up in TF: Robots In Disguise earlier this month, in this week's TF:MTMTE #8, we learn the fate of their illustrious leader Grimlock. Now you may have seen a lot of the Big G lately – particularly in all the advertising on this site – and that's because he's made a powerful debut in the land of video games with this week's Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game. In the TF:MTMTE Annual, we're going to get the mighty Metroplex, who also makes a tremendous splash in that game as well, but I digress. Grimlock has long been one of the fan favorite characters in the whole of the fandom, as he won hearts in the original TV series by being a slow-witted, irritable rebel who referred to himself in the third person as "Me Grimlock," and he made a splash in earlier comics by being a completely cunning hardass. Or "hard aft," if you want to use the kind of slang robots would use.
In this issue, he is revived from a mysterious stasis by a group of lowly ex-Decepticon scavengers who have been targeted by the absolutely vicious Decepticon Justice Division, who have made it their lives' mission to punish betrayers to the cause. The rag-tag group of rapscallians – Misfire, Krok, Spinister, Crankcase, Flywheels and the newly recovered Fulcrum – find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and they decide to actually try to fight the unstoppable DJD – which is madness and insanity. Thankfully, they throw Grimlock out there as bait, hoping the baddest aft on the planet can even the odds. Trouble is, they didn't really know why Grim's been in stasis, and he's not quite in his standard fighting form. In fact… he's much more in the "Me Grimlock" frame of what's left of his mind.
As I always say, Alex Milne was born to draw Transformers, and James Roberts was born to write them. Last issue gave us a lot more comedy as we met this new gang of misfits, but this one gives us a much more ominous tone for several reasons. One is the deteriorated state of Grimlock making us sad. Then there's the jump over to the Lost Light crew, where brain-reader Chromedome sees the memories Skids has buried under anterior amnesia that cause him so much dread that he refuses to let Skids remember them. There's the DJD's swiftly merciless murder of Flywheels, who was clinging to the false promise of organized religion to save his spark, pleading desperately to the very end, and then there's the posthumous culmination of his quest to cross paths with a being known as the Necrobot, whose life's work is chronicling the deaths of every last Cybertronian. We see him for the first time, coming across the remains of Flywheels some 18 months in the future, and the surprising revelation of the names on his list have us worrying for some of our favorites.
Seriously, take the time and make the effort to get into Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. It's priority is making the lore the most accessible it's been, without being afraid of actually using it. Plus, it's just really goddamned entertaining.