Transformers: Exodus is precisely the origin story that the franchise needed. It’s entertaining, filled with the sort of epic battles Transformers lend themselves to, and keeps the reader breathless with anticipation even though we already know how it ends. Megatronus was a gladiator, until he got his name and started thinking about the way Cybertron’s caste system diminished the “bots’” potential. Orion Pax was a data-worker—-a librarian, really—-under the master archivist. The Archivist is more than he seems, and provides a great deal of context for the history of Cybertron, and a few key deus-ex-machina twists. Orion Pax, now known as Optimus Prime, is an honest character, who never asks for the greatness that is forced upon him; Megatron, on the other hand, is an egomaniacal tyrant. But in the framework of a political revolution and the civil war that overthrows a system that had practically calcified, there are terrible fights, friendships made and broken, and the beginnings of a genuine epic; above all, it’s fun to read.