I recently purchased the Transformers: Megatron Origin TPB on Amazon as part of a larger order. I avoid the Transformers books in the comic shops because its an all or nothing deal. If I picked up any of the books, I’d have to pick up all of the books. That means every issue and every variant cover. When I am a fan of something, I tend to be obsessive. In this case, I normally wait for the trade paperbacks because not only does it include all the issues, but it also includes all the covers and variant covers, in addition to some concept art or commentary by the artists and/or writers. Its usually the better deal if you are willing to wait.
The story started out in a mining facility where Megatron was just another grunt. A senator visited saying they were shutting the mine down and that all the workers would be reassigned. Your typical upper class vs. lower class societal struggle plot. The announcement triggered a riot by the miners, who were then all attacked by security officers to quell the uprising. They were all arrested, but the prisoners broke free and fled underground, eventually forming or joining an illegal arena fight club of sorts. Megatron, naturally dominated the circuit and things escalated from there.
The story started out pretty shaky. During the senator’s speech, Megatron threw his axe at him and nearly cut his arm off. A large security officer jumped Megatron, but he was quickly able to take the advantage and in a rage bashed the security officer’s face in. When he realized what he had done, he was horrified. Later on, when Megatron is fighting in the arena, he is fighting a knock-off Cy-Kill and when he is commanded to finish him, he has a flashback to him murdering the security officer. That seemed to be the one and only time he flinched. After that, he didn’t seem to have any problem slaughtering an untold number of Autobots or aristocrats or anyone else that stood in his way. That character development just seemed a bit rushed to me.
I was a little disappointed with the characterization for Sentinel Prime as well. None of the previous Prime’s seem to be measuring up to Optimus so far in the IDW-verse of Transformers lore. Nova Prime was revealed to be power-hungry in the Devastation arc and was now turned into Nemesis Prime. Thats an interesting story for another time though. Sentinel Prime just didn’t seem like the born leader that Optimus was always portrayed as. He didn’t even seem interested in just about any of the issues that should concern a Prime. The one characterization that I did like was Ratbat. It was an interesting explanation how he went from important, though, devious political figure to one of Soundwave’s flunky cassettes.
The art seemed a little mediocre compared to other current titles in IDW’s Transformers line. There was an occasional splash of brilliance, but for the most part I felt like I was reading a book drawn by Pat Lee. (If you don’t know who he is, don’t worry about it.) There was also the problem in any part with any sort of action involved, it was impossible to tell what was actually going on without the context the word balloons provided.
All in all, it wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t a must read book.
If you are interested in easter eggs, this guy did a pretty good job of pointing them out. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t include Megatron actually taking off his helmet for the first time. That was one of the coolest things I thought this series revealed and after an hour of googling, I can’t find the panel anywhere. When he took it off, plates on his head folded out like flower blooming, but in a star shape.