Writer: John Barber
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(cover by Livio Ramondelli)
Price: $5.99 (cover)
Summary: OPTIMUS PRIME RETURNS TO CYBERTON! And someone is killing
Decepticons. PRIME teams with WINDBLADE to uncover the identity of
the vigilante… but the answers will uncover darker secrets than
Comments: This story was a whodunnit set on Cybertron basically. When Optimus finds out Decepticons are mysteriously ending up dead in the ghettos of his homeworld he sets out to track down the killer and bring them to justice. The Decepticons dregs don't trust him nor does Starscream. Fortunately, he has the help of Windblade, the speaker for Metroplex.
The art is typical Ramondelli. Stylish but sometimes difficult to make out exactly what we're supposed to be looking at. He has gotten better as time has gone by but I would prefer a more conventional artist for interiors.
The actual story is okay. The resolution isn't the biggest shocker. In fact, it's fairly by-the-books in that respect. The story does touch on some of the darker aspects of the War... how everyone is ultimately a victim when they're expected to kill one another over ideology. We get a few character moments but most of them seem forgettable in the grand scheme (nobody really changes in any significant way in the story).
As I've said previously, I am tired of the peaceful Cybertron setting. For several years we've gotten a "things-are-at-peace-but-for-how-long?" scenario. To be honest, I'm sick of it. Stuff needs to eventually hit the fan and change. Continually teasing the uneasy peace becomes tired after a while. Starscream needs to do something nefarious--or the Decepticons need to rise up--or an outside force needs to destabilize things already. The status quo is, quite frankly, boring. Even Dark Cybertron seems to have done little to make much of a lasting difference (yes, a couple of characters died. But, for how long?)
Verdict: Average. Worth checking out if you like the current IDW continuity but not really a must-buy.