TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 BY JAMES ROBERTS, ALEX MILNE, AND JOANA LAFUENTE
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Astonishing conclusions and disheartening realizations surface in TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13. James Roberts allows us to see the depth of his character's growth and their relationships with the help of Alex Milne, who delivers the gravity of pivotal moments through his expressive art style.
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The Rod Squad is back! TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 shifts over from the mutineers to the original Lost Light gang trying to reach Cyberutopia. With a sorry excuse for a pipsqueak space vessel, the crew gets up close and personal with each other. Plus, artist Alex Milne makes his return in this issue as he and writer James Roberts pair up for another installment.

After the last two issues centered on the effects of Getaway’s overconfidence, this issue focuses keenly on Rodimus’s crew tolerating the remainder of their journey and each other. While there is a scarce amount of collateral action in this issue, it centers on the depth of some characters. I was glad for the shift, though, as I found the issue’s display of emotional intimacy between characters both heartbreaking and fulfilling.

Roberts offered some clues as to the plot on Twitter back on January 15. One of his tweets featured a snippet of dialogue: “You’re jealous.” That was enough to get me stoked for this issue. And seeing the dialogue in context and welcoming Milne back to the creative team was worth the wait.

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I scoped the variant covers to TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 in the lead-up to its release and let’s just say there’s more to this issue than meets the eye. One cover, by Nick Roche, features Swerve and Anode and alludes to the issue’s upcoming hijinks. The other cover is by J.N. Wiedle, creator of the webcomic HELVETICA. The cover looks so bright, cheerful, and Rodimus’ large, dazzling smile gives an upbeat impression you’d expect in this issue. Both of these covers, for the most part, appear harmless (give or take the bombs in Roche’s cover). They set the tone for a lighthearted issue, or, at least, as lighthearted as the series can get. On the inside, though, this issue becomes anything but when the tension for the crew reaches its breaking point.

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Transformers: Lost Light #13
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing.

I adore Milne’s renditions of the cast throughout his return issue. He has always been my favorite artist in the series, and while I was excited to see him again two issues ago, he was only around for a couple of pages. Fleeting as that moment was, a full issue by him feels precious. Conveying the emotions of mouth-less robots or bots with a single optic (like Whirl) is not the easiest job. Throughout this issue, though, Milne perfectly expresses the sentiments of the dialogue. Milne’s handling of the artwork in the scenes Roberts previewed on Twitter confirmed that he was the best choice.

Transformers: Lost Light #13
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing.

Complementing Milne’s style are the subdued hues prevalent throughout TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13. This issue’s artwork had a very pleasing effect on Red Alert, who has been more confident and less on-edge since he joined Fortress Maximus. I recall in TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, the Lafuente-Milne partnership usually had more popping colors. Red Alert had more of a striking red paint job, but I’m really digging this version of Red Alert’s armor. After all, it’s been a while since we last saw Fortress Maximus and his team, so a slight change to how they normally appear is to be expected. I’m down with bright colors, too, but this toned-down version fits the issue’s direction well.

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A Respite in Bad Times

Roche’s cover, which depicts Lug and Swerve, follows through with the content in TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13. Everyone is on edge and the arrangements are not the best, but the pranksters are making the most of it. They play practical jokes with each other through the issue and try to one-up the other’s attempts. Their carefree if not ambitious streak toward one another reminds me of the peaceful times the crew had. The series has a good history of these small but wholesome moments, and in this issue, they levy the situation the crew faces.

Transformers: Lost Light #13
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing.

In my opinion, this is one of best issues in the TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT series hands-down. It places an emphasis on characterization. Readers get to see the outcome of the relationships certain characters have fostered throughout prior issues. It also presents a powerful illustration of their narrative arcs after many of these characters’ relationships and mannerisms was carefully cultivated. To witness the product of it drawn out when the going has gotten tough in unusual circumstances (like being relatively safe but cramped in a tiny ship) illuminates so much about them. Roberts’ outstanding efforts shine throughout TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13.

Final Thoughts on TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13

Ever since I laid eyes on the cover for TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 in the prior issue, I have been restless. I’ve been counting down the days waiting to get my hands on this comic. I mean, sure, I have some important dates written, but when it comes to any TRANSFORMERS-related content, it supersedes all other events by a landslide. If it involves James Roberts, I hold my breath. His work often results in an even split between being thrilled and downright devastated, sometimes all at once. His writing is often the physical manifestation of emotional whiplash. My hero. Aside from that, the anticipation generated by the cover in the preview of the previous issue follows through in TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13.

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The primary appeal of this issue is the feeling of nostalgia, which hits like a freight train. There is the delightful but destructive aspect of this issue that resembles TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. While Rodimus and his crew face significant peril, a lighter, humorous side accompanies the main plot. TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 is heart-rending and tragic, but it has its silly moments which mildly alleviates the implications the plot leaves behind. All of these elements are visually captured by Milne; I’ll cross my fingers to see him again in another issue. TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13 is a wondrous addition to the series with its poignant scenes and masterful narrative scopes of the characters.

Get ready for TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT #13, which releases today, January 24, 2018!

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