Optimus Prime versus Megatron! Autobots versus Decepticons! At the dawn of the conflict, battle lines are drawn and sides are set… now legends will be made. The war that would define a planet begins in earnest – and its revelations will shake the Transformers’ world to the core!

cover57429-mediumTransformers: Primacy is an upcoming trade paperback collection of all four issues in the original mini-series. It’s due to be released on March 3, 2015. I received an early review copy through Netgalley.

In Primacy, we see the continuation of the story that began in the 12-issue miniseries Autocracy and continued in the next, Monstrosity (links are to the trades). I haven’t read those, so this review may be a little sparse on details that continue on from the other books.

Optimus is not just a Prime, he is the Prime, and he’s out to protect the remaining Cybertronians, as one would expect from the character. Cybertron has just experienced a mass exodus of some kind, and is still reeling from a major battle fought between the Autobots and an ancient, gigantic ‘bot named Trypticon. Megatron is up to his old tricks, playing with forces he doesn’t fully understand and can’t control – and raising an army to take back Cybertron, ensuring the strong survive, as it should be.

I found the writing to be very reminiscent of the cartoons I watched as a child, which makes sense as one of the writers for that series worked on these titles. This may be why I liked it so much. There was tons of action and, as expected, some introspection by Optimus and other characters that fleshed them out some more and showed us what kind of ‘bot they were. Even from Grimlock, who was always one of the most taciturn characters in the franchise.

I also enjoyed revisiting characters and ‘bots I hadn’t seen in decades – anyone remember the Predacons?!? Even the giant titan Metroplex makes an appearance! Not just the writing but also the art is top-notch in this book, with some great two-page spreads that really pump up the action and give you insight into the story that’s unfolding. Livio Ramondelli’s work is just right for a Transformers title. Together with Chris Metzen and Flint Dille (the writer for the 80s cartoon as well as G. I. Joe), IDW has a winning mini-series on their hands.

I highly recommend this book if you’re an old-school Transformers fan like me. You won’t be disappointed.

As an aside, it’s satisfying to me that my first comic book review on this site would be for a Transformers book. I’ve been a fan of Optimus, Ironhide, Starscream, and all the others since I first heard the words “Autobots, roll out!” as a young child. I tried to get into the comics back when I was a big collector, but there were just too many differences between what I had known and what they were trying to do with the franchise. That’s true of any “re-imagining,” I expect.

Thanks to Netgalley and IDW for an early look at this great title!