I do miss her relationship with Harley, which was, true, more explicit in the comics than the TV show. (This was on sale on Comixology recently, under their all-age sale, and I don't regret the buck I spent on each issue. Gotta admit: I'm more excited about a possible Inhumans sale for the IMAX movie and later the TV show premiere at the end of September.)
Anyway, I love what they did with Poison Ivy and how everyone worked together to send her back to Arkham.
Still not crazy about the art, and still not finding this the very best crossover, or even media tie-in, that IDW has produced. (The Ghostbusters/TMNT and Edward Scissorhands ones were WAY better.)
IDW seems particularly adept at crossovers that might not seem to make much sense, that seem impossible to do in a way that isn't pure crack-fic, and yet... they pull it all together. (There is an adult Batman/TMNT crossover, but that's not on sale: this was, and I had a coupon that would only work if I added three dollars. It was five off fifteen I believe, and I figured I'd give this a try because the first three issues were on sale and worked in combination with the coupon.)
So far, this seems to make sense. The Krangs create portals into an alternate universe - Batman's universe, and they release Batman's villains into the Turtle's world. When Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, makes his way back to his own world, Batman catches Two-Face, only to hear his rambling about another world. (With Two-Face's duplicity and obsession with twos, I'm sure Batman thought it might be Dent's personal psychosis coming into play.)
And there are others: Joker and Harley, Poison Ivy, Clayface, The Mad Hatter. Maybe another? I'm too tired to go back and check. The turtles fight Clayface and push him back through a portal, so I suspect Batman will bring Clayface back to Arkham.
For the others, though? I suspect those will take place in the turtles' New York. So far this is fun, but the art is a little hit and miss for me. (I'm halfway through the second issue where a male character kinda looks like he has small boobs in the spandex, for example.)
It's not a killer for me, because it's mostly decent at the very least. And I ended up buying the last three issues before the sale ends tomorrow, because after one issue I'm invested enough to want to know. I'll probably want the original, adult mini-series, too, but not enough that I want it unless it's on sale. (I sampled the first couple issues. Good art technically, but the style is one that always makes me an unhappy reader. I may just see if this comes up on Hoopla or get it from the library, to be honest.)
Barber nails it with this. When Rom stumbles upon a Cybertronian ship fleeing an attack, he's only slightly convinced by the Galactic Council's explanation that the Cybertonian's are awful, warlike mechanicals. Still, they're about to flee when he senses a lifeforms and decides that them getting away is less important than saving what turns out to be a Cybertornian infant.
Stardrive is raises amongst the Solstar Order, who believes that Cybertronians are prone to war and destructiveness. She's taught that she's evil by birth - unlike the other children she's raised with - and that she must control herself very carefully to be better. Even Rom, her savior on the day she was born, doesn't seem to argue this systematic racism. He shows her more respect, believes in her more, and shows sympathy when, as a child, she witnesses violence. He never really voices that he believes she's evil or warlike, but he does allow others to voice this. (The only other choices he had were drastic, and namely to take her out of that society, a society that they assure her is better than hers and that will make her better. Seeing as she knows very little about her own people, though, she can only make her choice based on what a prejudiced society says about what she will be if left to her own devices.)
The connection she has with Rom, the way she tries so hard to be a Space Knight and worthy of the name, is touching but the little ways she's chipped away at by the other Space Knights is cringe-worthy. And quite frankly an important discussion to have in this political clime. It's worse for Stardrive: she is a minority of one for the longest time, and has no power to fight off those who disparage her.
I have some hope, because she learns more about Cybertonians by the end, although only a little. And the characters that come in? Well, some of them might absolutely ruin her, but I'm hoping the Autobots get her and not the Decepticons. I doubt she'd go with the latter, though, because they've been spiteful to her already, so more hope.
This is far more complex than I gave it credit for originally. I don't know much about Rom, and I haven't been completely thrilled with the Transformers crossovers/events coming from IDW lately. This, however, was far better than I expected when I picked up this first issue. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I think recent issues - the last Transformers annual, the Dinobot trilogy and this - showing a growth in Barber's writing. (Some authors take this as an insult, and they shouldn't. Barber wasn't a slouch or a bad writer before, but practice, experience, confidence, and other variables all go into people getting better at their jobs - and this is true of writers as well.) And not only that, I think there was a tipping point at the annual and ever since, Barber's blown me away, particularly with things tangential to Optimus Prime. (I think he's doing an amazing job with OP, but I'm most interested in Thundercracker in that series. Just my luck that Optimus Prime is an integral character, whom everyone loves, and he's not a character who speaks to me! So I've come to think of that series as just personal issues and nothing more.)
However, I found this work to be some of the most thoughtful, thought-provoking, complex writing to date. Like, damn, I think there's four issues of this and I'm already crying inside at the loss of this series. I'm even looking forward to OP more. (Although i stand by my previous statement about Thundercracker: I want that series instead of OP. I would read a Barber-written Thundercracker series. I would read that daily. Thundercracker is hilarious and the best, especially when Barber's writing him.)
Here's to issue two!