John Barber is a writer and editor with a fair amount of experience on Transformers. He also worked as a writer and editor at Marvel. His credits include Marvel Ultimates, X-Force X-Men: Nation X, Wolverine, and Old Man Logan. He worked on Strange Tales and Kick-Ass.
Andrew Griffith has a lot of experience with Transformers, having worked on the comic prequel to the “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” movie. He has worked on Transformers with John Barber before, so this is the continuation of a good working relationship. He also worked on the “Last Stand of the Wreckers” miniseries. In addition to Transformers, he has worked on Star Wars, GI Joe and Vampirella.
This is a one-shot that is part of IDW’s current “Revolution” crossover event, uniting GI Joe, ROM: Spaceknight, Transformers, M.A.S.K., Micronauts and Action Man.
Thundercracker is an interesting choice for a main character in this story. Unlike Dinbot (Remember “Code of Hero”) who was a warrior bound by a rigid code of honor, Thundercracker is an eccentric transformer. He is a former elite seeker, a couch potato/tv junkie and an aspiring (but not very good) screenwriter who dotes on his dog, Buster. His dreams of writing are unrealistic; he narrates his conversations in dialogue unworthy of the worst fanfic (Susan Journeyer and Josh Boyfriend.) He is accompanied by his two robotic sidekicks/pets, BOB and D.O.C. BOB looks like a small Transformer, and D.O.C. bares a slight resemblance to a flying egg or “VINCENT from the Black Hole” (a Disney Sci-Fi trivia reference dropped by one of the characters in the story.)
Despite all of this, when the former head of the Earth Defense Command finds herself in a white House infiltrated by the Dire Wraiths – she calls out for the only person she trusts – Thundercracker. When Tundercracker, accompanied by Buster, BOB and D.O.C. arrive, they are immediately thrust into the action.
Barber has a great sense for eccentric characters, and Thundercracker is a right up his alley. Although he is an eccentric character, the former Decepticon has a serious side, and a level of self-awareness that prevents him from being a caricature. The internal dialogue is at its best when readers are given a glimpse into Thundercracker’s mindset – he is tired of fighting and by pretending –even to himself – that he has something better to do, he can live a more ‘normal’ life.
Barber uses the action in the story to provide a character study of a being who years for peace and uses frivolousness as a mask to hide both a warrior’s pain and his deepest yearnings – peace and an ordinary life.
Griffith’s artwork is strong; it has to be to capture so many different details – from the slime of the protean Dire Wraiths to the high-tech bodies of the Transformers, Griffith is on his game. He uses a lot of unconventional panel arrangements including a great full-page splash to move the plot ahead at a frenetic pace and to slow it down when needed.
This one-shot is a great chance for readers to watch an experienced team of storytellers give insight into a fascinating character.
Written by: John Barber
Illustrated by: Andrew Griffith