IDW Publishing has a great track record with movie tie-in prequels. If you liked J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ movie you need to check out ‘Star Trek: Countdown’, it adds a whole new level to the story. IDW even got in on the prequel action with Stephen Sommer’s 2009 ‘GI Joe’ film, with a four part series looking at Duke, Baroness, Destro and Snake Eyes and their lives leading up to the movie. So a Transformers’ prequel comic is nothing new for IDW (there were already two of them for ‘Transformers’ 1 & 2), Rising Storm is a prequel to ‘Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon’.

Like them or hate them the ‘Transformer’ movies have been, for the most part, entertaining. The IDW prequel comics have always added to the movies they tie into, and it appears Rising Storm is keeping with that tradition. In Rising Storm, we learn the Autobots have more worries than just the Decepticons. For instance there is an entire crop of Autobot “refugees” who were rescued from the clutches of humans armed with Cybertronian technology. Oh, and these same humans were repeatedly violating the captured Autobots minds, leaving them in less than perfect operating order.

Autobot refugee Armorhide apparently keeps mixing up Optimus Prime with Sentinel Prime, I have to say I would love to here Peter Cullen’s voice as an annoyed/compassionate Optimus when he has to correct the wayward Autobot. Aside from the refugees, the Autobots and United States Army are dealing with illegal arms sales by “Lord” Starscream. Also, unbeknownst to the heroes, Shockwave and Astrotrain are working in the background preparing for the return of Megatron.

So the story for the first of four issues, was a nice jumping off point, I want to see more. The art seems to fit really well to the story, because it captures the dirt, grime and darkness infecting the Transformers and humans both good and bad. If you are not a fan of the look of director Michael Bay’s Transformers, then you will probably have the same problems with the art in the book, but if you can hold back any preconceived notions you’ll be fine. Oh, and the cover of this book features the Decepticon Shockwave and it’s pretty awesome!

One last thing, I like reading IDW books not just for the stories, but because the books themselves are quality. Quality paper, quality binding and quality creators; they really make it easy to spend a little extra when buying their books.

Rating 8/10 (three more issues and then the movie this summer)