Transformers Spotlight: Kup
IDW Publishing (April, 2007)
WRITER/ARTIST: Nick Roche
COLORIST: Andrew Elder
COVER COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor
A ship crash survivor looks for help from another arriving on the scene. The good news is that it’s an Autobot. The bad news is that he’s gone insane, and kills the survivor. It’s Kup, driven mad for who knows how many cycles by the planet’s radiation, and believing the singing crystals are his only salvation. He also doesn’t realize that his traveling partner, Outback, is long since offline permanently or that the “monsters” coming for him at night are actually Autobots in radiation suits trying to recover him. Prowl isn’t happy with Springer to waste resources trying to rescue an Autobot killing his own out of hysteria but he goes through with it anyway, finally able to recruit Trailbreaker and his force field to rescue Kup. But now that he’s in stasis lock, possibly for good, was that really a rescue?
Springer himself asks if this was worth it, and I have to ask the question about this story. My answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually a properly creepy story, well written, and Roche’s art style works well with the tale. It’s just not a story I want to see Kup involved in. Kup is supposed to be the aged storyteller, remembering battles and missions of megacycles gone by. Seeing him in this state is just painful to watch. And Roche kills off Outback, so if you liked that character, too bad! He’s dead!
The sad part is this story will be referenced in a later tale, but frankly you could write it off as “this really bad thing happened to him.” I really can’t recommend this story to Kup fans, but from a critical perspective it is a good story, so if you don’t mind seeing Kup on a killing spree because his mind has degraded to tofu, this might be of interest to you. Oddly, the first IDW Transformer story I’m taking out of my collection isn’t a Simon Furman tale. I just don’t want to see Kup like this from a fan perspective even if my critic side can’t call it a bad story.