We return to the adventures of the Lost Light! When last we left our heroes, 5 of the crew were dead and they were lost in space! How could things get any worse? How about melting eyes, organ harvesting, post-traumatic stress disorder, hostage situations, noises from the basement and the Spanish Inquisition! Intrigued? Then please attend carefully, dear readers, as we take a look at More Than Meets The Eye Vol.2!
Vol. 2 collects the stories ’Life after the Big Bang’, ’Interiors’ and ’Scavengers’. This volume opens up on Delphi, a medical facility on the edges of DJD territory and with First Aid, a demoted doctor with a huge problem; Delphi has succumb to plague. The Lost Light shows up, after Ratchet receives a special encoded message from the facility. Ratchet goes down to the planet with Pipes and Drift to find out what’s going on, only to become embroiled in the horrifying truth of the facility and its chief medical officer, Pharma. The patients are dying at an alarming rate thanks to the Red Rust virus, a condition that causes every vital fluid in a Cybertronians body seep out. As it turns out, Pharma is the root cause of the patients deaths and did so to provide a steady stream of transformation cogs to the leader of the DJD in order to keep Delphi safe from attack.
Throughout all this, we’ve had wonderful character moments from Ratchet; whose been on the hunt for his successor since the last volume, Pipes; who is on his first alien planet and becomes an instant bad luck magnet, and Drift is frightened to even be there because of his status as an ex-Decepticon. Throughout the first story, we’re told more and more about the DJD, the Decepticon Justice Division. They’re essentially the Spanish Inquisition for the Decepticons but far more sadistic; hunting down deserters, traitors and anyone who so much as questions the Decepticon cause in delightfully creative ways, so Drift is rightfully worried. But more on them later. ‘Life after the Big Bang’ brings together a lot of elements first referenced in Bullets and Wreckers, giving them a spotlight in this story and brings a lot of new characters aboard the Lost Light including the doctors, patients and ex-warden of Garrus-9, Fortress Maximus.
‘Interiors’ focuses on Fort Max as he suffers through his experiences during Last Stand of The Wreckers at the hands of Overlord and is an interesting study of PTSD, something you don’t associate with giant robots. Rung, ships psychologist and karmic whipping boy, tries to help Fort Max deal with all his problems but to no avail as he goes on a shooting spree and locks himself in Rung’s office with Rung and the worst possible person he could, Whirl. Tensions run high as the rest of the crew try to resolve the situation, all the while Rung is trying to talk Max down. Tempers flare, the situation goes from bad to worse and Rung is seemingly killed. As the crew mourns, Red Alert follows up on something he spoke to Rung about in an earlier issue. There is a voice coming from beneath the cell that held the Sparkeater in the last issue, but there is nothing there. The schematics show that the cell is the lowest point on the ship with nothing but space outside it. But Red Alert, possessing both enhanced audio receptors and a paranoid personality, keeps digging (literally) until he breaks through. And through the crack, where by all rights there should only be empty space, he finds a hidden chamber, in which, immobilized, his weapons systems removed, begging to be killed…
Thankfully, Rung’s life is saved, though he remains on spark support without a head for a few issues. Red Alert is alone with no-one to trust with the information he discovered, he leaves it with Rung, hoping it would be safe. Until he is observed by a diagnostic drone and a mysterious figure appears later to steal the data.
Meanwhile, we meet the DJD who are dispatching Black Shadow, a Phase-Sixer, who is on the same level as Overlord in terms of raw killing potential. He’s pretty much here to show how powerful the DJD are and how effective they are at their jobs. All of them are some manner of torture device or a means to hunt ‘Cons apart from their mysterious leader Tarn, who likes music (maybe something to do with Skids?), quoting the works of Megatron and literally talking his quarry to death. That’s his special talent, he can modulate his voice in such a way as to make a bot’s spark explode! That’s badass and full of creepy potential, which we see some of here. They soon go to their next target and we meet up with the Scavengers! The Scavengers are a right rag-tag bunch of misfits, lost and without purpose since the Decepticons lost the war. The discover the DJD’s next target, Fulcrum, and soon a Worldsweeper ship with some truly strange goings-on aboard.
Once the DJD arrive, the Scavengers do what good Wombles do; they make good use of the things that they find, including the armaments of the Worldsweeper and the one other ‘bot they find onboard: Grimlock. Grimlock went missing during the event of Wreckers, after being driven mad by Overlord and this is the first time we’ve seen him since and to say he’s broken would be an understatement. The Scavengers are outgunned and outclassed by the DJD but it’s only the fortune of Overlord’s discovery on the Lost Light that earns the Scavengers a reprieve as the DJD set off in search of his signal. The Scavengers, badly beaten and now lacking a member of their crew opt to take Grimlock with them in the hopes of earning favour with whoever won the war back on Cybertron. The Scavengers is an entertaining and fun introduction to a whole host of new characters that we’ll be seeing more of in the future, whether it’s the lovable Scavengers or more of the new menace; the Decepticon Justice Division.
18 months later, a mysterious figure known as the Necrobot comes to the body of the fallen Scavenger Flywheels and notes his death, alongside those of Ultra Magnus, Drift and Chromedome. Meaning that sometime between now and 18 months in the future, some (if not all) the crew of the Lost Light will die and that’s how this volume ends, with the promise of much more adventure and death!
When I reviewed the first volume of MTMTE, I made reference to the bonus material and unfortunately, this volume is sorely lacking in bonus materials, only including covers and two “Meet the Crew” pages, one for the main crew, one for the Scavengers. This volume will jumps into the journey the crew is undertaking and builds on what Roberts’ has done before and it’s my favourite thus far. Some have criticised the book because it’s not making all that much out of it’s original premise but this is a high concept book, it’s like Farscape. The overall goal is the same as what it was at the start but its the journey and the characters and the crazy world they inhabit which is the major draw of this series and it is always the title I look forward to reading month to month. James Roberts builds characters and worlds that feel real and wonderful but always terrifying and it’s all complimented by the amazing art of Alex Milne, Nick Roche and Josh Burcham.
More Than Meets The Eye Vol. 1 & 2 are available through all good book retailers.
If you have any comments, questions or thoughts, be sure to leave them below and I’ll be sure to get to them before the Necrobot does!
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