Transformers: Wreckers-Tread & Circuits #1 is written by David Mariotte, illustrated by Jack Lawrence, colored by Candice Han, and lettered by Jake M. Wood with Nathan Widick. It is published by IDW Publishing. The Wreckers—Hot Shot, Ricochet, Aileron, Thunderclash, Circuit, and Minerva—are a faction of the Autobots who are willing to pull off death-defying accomplishments to succeed in their missions. The Wreckers’ newest mission takes them to the planet Velocitron, where the Decepticon terrorist cell known as Mayhem plans to sabotage a galactic race known as the Speedia 500.
The Wreckers are a fan-favorite squad of Transformers, and the creative team manages to capture their essence perfectly in the opening pages. The Wreckers are shown leaping from their spaceship and pulling off a BASE jump, although, in lieu of parachutes, they use their ability to transform into vehicle form and let gravity do the rest. Lawrence’s art frames the jump in the form of a live stream, with Hot Shot addressing the audience, and by extension, the reader. He also makes the Wreckers feel distinct from each other, with each member having a different form of armor and vehicle mode: Aileron is a flying car, while Hot Shot is an all-terrain vehicle. In contrast, the members of Mayhem look absolutely terrifying; their leader Octopunch possesses four writhing tentacles attached to his chassis, making him look like the unholy love child of fellow Decepticon Shockwave and Cthullhu.
Color also plays a huge role in setting the tone of the series and Han excels at it. The scenes featuring the Wreckers are drenched in sunlight, making the brighter colors of their armor stand out. The interior of their ship is lit by the cool blue glow of computer screens, creating a calming presence. In comparison, Octopunch and the rest of Mayhem are shrouded in darkness, with Octopunch’s visor and tentacles appearing periodically to create a sense of menace. Even the lettering has its own distinct color art. The Wreckers shifting into their vehicle forms come with a gunmetal gray “chk-chk-chk.” Explosions and laser fire give off a bright “pszt”. And Mayhem’s logo is depicted in a fiery red font, hinting at their violent intentions.
Mariotte has written Transformers-related stories before, specifically the Transformers vs. The Terminator miniseries; here his script delves into the teamwork dynamics between the Wreckers. Though Thunderclash is the leader, the others balk at his plan to enter them into the Speedia 500-particularly Aileron, who was expecting to handle things differently. Circuit is suffering from self-esteem issues, made worse by the arrival of a figure from his past. And Mayhem makes their goal simple—they want to return Cybertron and all neighboring worlds to pure chaos, and they’re willing to cause as much destruction as possible to get there. First issues should set up the stakes of your series, and Marriotte proves he can handle both heroes and villains.
Transformers: Wreckers-Tread and Circuits #1 shines the spotlight on the fan-favorite Autobots force, especially in the dynamic between its members and their enemies. Between the launch of this series and Transformers: King Grimlock, IDW is constantly finding new ways to diversify the Transformers lineup.
Transformers: Wreckers-Tread & Circuits #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Transformers: Wreckers-Tread & Circuits #1
Transformers: Wreckers-Tread and Circuits #1 shines the spotlight on the fan-favorite Autobots force, especially in the dynamic between its members and their enemies.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.