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First Strike Optimus Prime #1

by Olivier Roth on October 18, 2017

First Strike Optimus Prime #1

Written by: John Barber
Art by: Guido Guidi & John Wycough
Colors by: Thomas Deer
Published by: IDW Publishing

 

As I’m reading a lot of the First Strike one shots, one thing has come to mind: I’m still not sure what this Hasbro event is about. That changes with this issue as we are given, what I can only assume, is the catalyst of the ongoing mega crossover.

 

This one-shot concentrates less on Optimus Prime as a character, and more on the advent of the Cybertronians and humans newfound alliance and the first arrival of Earth delegates to Cybertron ever. The players are set early on in the issue as we are introduced to two human/cybertronian hybrids, Centurion and Blackrock, Action Man, a British special agent, Kup, an old cybertronian warrior (and probably the standout character of this issue), G.I. Joe Mayday and  Marissa Faireborn from the human delegates, a few more Autobots like Arcee and Pyra Magna, and finally Optimus Prime. Quite a lot of characters are crammed into this issue, and this is without counting the antagonists of the issue. If it seems like there are too many characters in this issue, I don’t blame you.

 

As for the story, Barber does a good job of bookending this issue with a joint camera facing style interview segment with both Optimus Prime and Faireborn giving each their take on the event that took place on Cybertron during the first delegation. This helps frame both of their sides and why they’ve entered into this alliance and contributes to the world building that seems to be the end goal of this event.

 

As for the events of the issue, Barber crafts a seemingly typical “Bad guys attack good guys” scenario, complete with some form of backstabbing thrown into the mix. The strength of this issue though is from Barber’s use of the interpersonal relationships between the bevy of characters used in this issue. Even though the list of characters was long, he manages to make all of their personalities distinct, their motivations mean something and he gives good reason why some will fight together for a better future. And like I mentioned in my rundown of the characters, Kup was the breakout star for me. His almost surreal instant connection to Action Man made for some fun scenes and great one-liners.

 

Guidi and Wycough’s art was hit or miss for me throughout the issue. First the good: they did an excellent job when it came to the transformers themselves. I’ve continually been impressed with artists over the years that can get even some detail into these machines and this is the case in this issue. Each transformer is distinct enough from each other that I was able to remember their names throughout. The not so good, however, involves the human characters. For the most part, Faireforne, Action man and Mayday looked okay, but at times it seemed like the artists ran out of time drawing their faces. They sometimes felt “off”.

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside