The Transformers:

Robots In Disguise #20

Written By: John Barber
Art By: Andrew Griffith

Focusing on Starscream, The Transformers: Robots In Disguise #20 offers an extensive look at a layered leader. While the political intrigue and character dynamics carry the issue, for the most part, it’s all executed in a playful manner.

The opening pages of the issue capture the essence of Starscream, as he apologizes to a friend he killed. He’s twisted, and justifies his cruel actions for the sake of leadership. A lot of that message comes through in Griffith’s pencils of Starscream’s smug and creepy robotic smile.

This issue creates a sense of camaraderie between Starscream and the other Cybertronians, whether they like him or not. Blurr laughing at Starscream and Starcream telling Ratrap he needs a bath, are both fun touches for characters that could easily be taken too seriously in light of the political slant. And the inclusion of INN (Iacon News Network) is something that I’d welcome in future issues.

Starscream’s “tour” of Iacon starts to feel aimless, however, as he just runs in to characters like Ratrap and Dirge, with no real direction, until he hunts down Scoop to investigate the power outage. While the conflict with Scoop is meant to show Starscream’s fascist handling of citizens, we don’t really get to know Scoop and feel sympathy for his arrest.

At times the direction of the issue is unclear, but The Transformers: Robots In Disguise #20 is a full-reveal as to who Starscream is as a leader and a friend.

Score: 7.6/10