Two hundred years ago in a galaxy quite some distance from here…
The Solstar Knights have destroyed the homeworld of their dreaded enemies The Dire Wraiths, yet there is still no peace as the Wraiths have spread out and are in hiding among the cosmos. The Cybertronian War is also still in full swing, leaving death and destruction ravaged planets in its wake. Amid this chaos we meet Stardrive, the first Transformer to become a Space Knight. Rescued at a young age and mentored by Rom, she struggles to fit in to the Solstar Order, knowing nothing of her heritage as a Transformer except the fears and prejudices of her fellow Space Knights. A chance at peace and co-operation with the Galactic Council is then shattered by the appearance of a team up between Starscream’s Decepticons and The Dire Wraiths.
Writers Christos Gage (ROM-Earthfall) and James Barber (OPTIMUS PRIME) pack a lot into issue #1 of this crossover and it all works together. We get histories and back stories of all the major alien and robot races involved and the nature of their motivations told in a fashion that flows as the conflict builds. They give the audience an emotional hook with the two characters of Rom and Stardrive who are two very different aliens but united by the kindness in their hearts and devotion to doing good.
Rom and Stardrive are a winning combo and so are artist Alex Milne (TRANSFORMERS:MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE) and colorist Josh Perez (MEGATRON:ORIGIN). There are NO human characters in this story, yet every character has a unique look, personality and other characteristics readers of all ages can identify with. The power of the art team lies in crafting character driven scenes loaded with emotion and action scenes that seem to explode right out of the panels.
Some aspects of the IDW/Hasbroverse, like G.I. JOE, seem forced and trite in combination with the Transformers but Rom The Space Knight and his world are a far better fit for the “Robots In Disguise”.
ROM VS TRANSFORMERS: SHINING ARMOUR #1- IDW PUBLISHING
STORY- CHRISTOS GAGE AND JOHN BARBER
ART- ALEX MILNE
COLORS- JOSH PEREZ
Review by J.P. Harvey