They may be more than meets the eye, but the new series from IDW takes a look at the Transformers before they were split into a civil war between Autobots and Decepticons.

Transformers 1
Written by Brian Ruckley
Art by Angel Hernandez and Cachet Whitman

The Transformers license has been a pretty big part of the IDW publishing universe for a long time now, dating back to 2005. They built a 13-year epic story about the Robots in Disguise, spanning several different books. Now that that story has ended, the publisher has decided to go in a different direction with a new number 1 for a main Transformers series.

In this new series, writer Brian Ruckley is taking the story back to the beginning. The ‘bots aren’t on Earth. The war between the Autobots and Decepticons hasn’t even started yet. It’s so far back that Optimus Prime is still known as Orion Pax! Instead, Cybertron is on the verge of a split happening with its people, as Orion Pax tries to discuss peaceful protest with his old friend and fellow senator, Megatron.

We’ve seen snippets of their pre-war relationships in the previous IDW continuity, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty important part of this series. Pax is working to maintain the status quo and, appropriately, keep the peace, as it were, while Megatron is hoping for a revolution, to bring about change amongst the Cybertronians. The issue doesn’t really go into Megatron’s demands, but he’s getting ready for a rally that Pax is hoping won’t devolve into chaos. So, it’ll probably devolve into chaos.

I guess we’re setting the Pax-Megatron relationship up to be similar to the Professor X-Magneto relationship over at Marvel. We know how it ends, though, so there’s not really any hope that these two old friends will reconcile.

The Pax-Megatron relationship isn’t really the main focus of this first issue, though, just the most interesting aspect.

As a way of introducing readers to the world the series is trying to build, the main focus is on Bumblebee and his new mentee, a freshly-created ‘bot named Rubble. Bumblebee is bring Rubble to see Brainstorm, so Rubble can learn about Energon Engineering.

Mostly, this gives a reason for a new character to go, “wow, look at all the wonders of this world,” so the readers know they’re supposed to go, “wow, look at all the wonders of this world.” Not being a big fan of Bumblebee, or caring about Rubble’s new experiences, that part of the book really kind of fell flat, though it picked up once they encountered Windblade, who’s also going to see Brainstorm to check on some security issues.

This does lead to the issue’s cliffhanger, though, and the final panel had more intrigue than anything else in the issue. I’ll give it another shot in two weeks, when the second issue gets released, and see if the story picks up.