Transformers Vs The Visionaries #1
I’m exclusively a trade-waiter these days, but I thought, as a massive Visionaries fan, I’d show some support for this, their first new comic in 30 years, and buy the single issue (digitally, on Comixology, which is the first time I’ve used that and it’s more of a ball-ache than I imagined).
The new designs for the Visionaries themselves has been a bit divisive on the fanbase (yes, there is one) and while I wasn’t keen on the similar changes made to MASK, I actually quite like these. Leoric as, essentially the Lion King logo, is just as valid a take as his original (circus lion tamer). I could live without the face paint stuff and I wonder how good they’ll look when drawn by other artists, but here, under Fico Ossio’s pen, they look good.
The story’s not too bad either, although it springs out of a cross-over (First Strike) I’ve not read and wasn’t expecting. Not much happens, admittedly, but I think that’s partly the trade-waiter in me not being used to reading just a single issue any more. We only really get a look at Virulina, Leoric and Cindarr (and some of the TFs) and they feel fairly authentic to their originals, except Cindarr who is here presented as a pipe-smoking intellectual instead of a kind hearted moron, but I suspect that’s leading to him turning out to be the supposedly dead Darkstorm in disguise. There’s a panel showing him sitting in a throne under a massive statue of Darkstorm (in his original design and with his snail totem even!) which seems like foreshadowing. So I can live with that for the moment.
The problem comes with the Transformers element. Ossio’s not great at drawing them, as was seen in Revolution, and their presence means the Visionaries become just another bunch of human(oids), really. At no point in this issue does any Visionary turn into their totem form, which, I don’t know, given its the main selling point of the property, seems like the kind of thing to include in their first proper appearance. If I was part of the young Transformers comics audience (and there is one) who had no knowledge of the Visionaries going into this, I’m not sure I’d get why they’ve got small animal symbols on their armour, because literally no mention is made of it or demonstrated. That seems like a pretty heavy oversight.
Anyway, this is much better than it could have been and I’m happy enough to stick with it monthly.