Optimus Prime #6
The fight reaches its end, and there are a lot of questions hanging in the air. Barber leads us off with Optimus, doing what he seems to do best at this moment, is giving these heroic speeches which intend to inspire. However, throughout the issue, we see his words do not have the intended effect. There is mounting tension within the ranks, as paralleled with the recurring flashbacks, showing those very blurred lines between justice and doing what is right.
The idea of annexing Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds seems insane. It’s Earth, yet it has been home to Transformers for years and somehow is at the center of current conflicts. This notion of a “Prime” being one who instills fear and respect simultaneously is an interesting facet to his identity. Optimus is viewed as more than a leader, but an icon, a symbol.
Like any symbol, there can, and will be debate over its perception from others. To the extent of being a religious icon.
Other characters such as Jazz and Arcee get their time, and we see Jazz become a bit more at ease befriending a human and attempting to embrace his more relaxed and musical side as his name suggests. It’s a different take on the character, his attempts to integrate will no doubt have consequences in the future.
Speaking of consequences, there are for some characters, while others question the notion of justice and the absence of consequences for culprits.
Those lines can be blurry, but with G.I. Joe’s involvement, and coming fresh off a Dire Wraith infiltration, one has to wonder how these events will lead into First Strike.
Optimus Prime #7
The fight is over, but the aftermath makes it feel like it is not. Not by a long shot. Combining micromasters are no good when a half is dead, and one micromaster is a bit peeved at the lack of justice discussed in the last issue.
We get a bit of a reprieve from battle, as Optimus Prime negotiates with the President of the United States, Marissa Fairborne negotiates some sort of relationship with her father, you know, the G.I. Joe codenamed Flint. Cybertronians and Junkions start working together, and not everyone is happy about it.
Thundercracker and Buster the dog continue to appear, and it’s nice to see a less serious tone for a moment. What we have here is a quiet, slow build for the next piece of the story. Prime attempts to reconcile after this whole mishap, which many agree should have be handled far differently than what actually happened.
It parallels reality. Not everyone agrees with a leader’s actions, whether right or wrong. Some always feel there are alternatives to war, and better tactics of negotiation, and this is exactly what we have here. Prime and the President discuss tactics for better resolutions. This is Earth, not Cybertron, and despite the Cybertronians being able to repair anything they demolish, Earth is not a battleground.
The vibrant and beautiful colors by Priscilla Tramontano grace this issue, and while some may feel it breaks from the tone Kei Zama previous set, this break is a positive step, as it can be used to show there can be a bright light in the darkest hour.
Optimus Prime #8
Jazz thought he was being interviewed because he is just a cool guy with a guitar and thought his story would be thought-provoking.
Optimus thinks he can change this mind of Pyra Magna. You know, because she hates him and resents everything he does which tarnishes her perception of what it means to bear the Matrix of Leadership.
Flashbacks this time for Jetfire and his acceptance of changing sides, although seems to fall on deaf ears as he interacts with his former Decepticon allies.
It’s an interesting issue. Lots of dialogue, which is perfectly fine. We previously had non-stop battle after battle, and now a few issues to straighten things out and give us all some breathing room. The one thing that bugs me is the constant questioning of the term “Prime” and how Optimus Prime fits into the big picture. He constantly seeks to validate his decisions, yet constantly finds himself at odds with the other main characters. Clearly if this current plan is not working, perhaps a change in perception is in order.
It is possible Barber read my mind, because at the conclusion of the issue, Optimus and Pyra Magna do take a trip together, one which we will read about in the Optimus Prime Annual.
I haven’t forgotten about poor Jazz. The events which unfold are easily predictable, because we see it happen in everyday reality. News isn’t about happy-go-lucky tell-all-tales, it’s about digging up the dirt and drama, turning the screws where possible.
Sometimes, the truth hurts.