Yeah, so yesterday and Christmas Eve fell to bits, I should have seen that coming when I said I’d post the reviews on those days
So, here we go with numbers 3, 2, and 1, plus a bonus!
For #3 we have an intro to space, and Cybertron
#3: IDW Transformers Stormbringer Issue 1
Open on the maelstrom of hell on Cybertron before cutting to Jetfire and the Technobots who are investigating a power reading on the dead planet Cybertron, a trace of Super Energon. Deciding they need to investigate they head down, making sure they have as much protection against the elements as they can. As they follow the trace to it’s source they discover they’re back to where it all went wrong… Thunderhead Pass!
In a flashback we find Megatron and Optimus Prime working together to stop an unnamed adversary. In the present Optimus Prime can’t shake the feeling that it isn’t over yet. Shaken out of his memories Prime is handed a report from Prowl on Earth, he orders Searchlight to keep him informed before slipping back into his memories of the maelstrom.
Back on Cybertron Jetfire and the Technobots are setting up a scanner as Jetfire relates what happened many years earlier, Thunderwing approached the leading Cybertronian scientists regardless of their affiliation his figures point to an inescapable fact… Cybertron is dying. And they need to do something.
In the here and now Jetfire and the Technobots are ambushed by cloaked figures. They attempt to fight back but being unable to see their adversaries they lose and are taken down. Meanwhile their ship is blown out of the sky with missiles.
Prime is still lost in his memories of fighting against an apocalyptic creature, he knows that they only contained it, they didn’t destroy it, and that sooner or later everywhere will hear it’s name. On Cybertron Jetfire awakens to see a cult chanting the name of it’s deity… Thunderwing!
As the second arc in the new IDWverse, Stormbringer was our first real intro to the space bound Transformers, and it works so well, but then the story comes from Simon Furman, and that man had a plan all the way back then, couple that with Don Fig’s art and Josh Burcham’s colors, what else could one expect by perfection?
At #2 we have the end…
#2: Marvel Generation One Issue 80: Ed of the Road
We open, this the final issue of Marvel’s G1 run, with the death of Getaway at the hands of Dreadwing before we pull back and see that Bludgeon’s ‘Cons have killed a lot of the Autobots, but not all, he has sent out a part to find the remaining ‘Bots and exterminate them for good.
The team in question, Octopunch, Weirdwolf, Fangry and Quake, have gone passed the place where Grimlock hid with the remainder of his troops, as they emerge from hiding Prowl tells Grimlock off for the way he has led them to this point, jumping in as soon as he spotted a ‘Con and leading them right into a text book ambush. As they’re attempting to decide what to do next, Blaster is shot and presumably killed by Quake, it seems Fangry ha led the ‘Cons to double back and ambush the ‘Bots.
Back with Bludgeon and co, they were just wiping out the few remaining living ‘Bots when out of nowhere the human superhero team of The Neo Knights (well, the remaining sane ones), but they’re just the opening act, the main event is above them all… The New Optimus Prime!
Prime explains what happened, how after the last Optimus Prime died, Hi-Q and the Neo Knights sought out the Last Autobot, who, upon seeing the truth behind Hi-Q, that he was a small body, cybernetics wrapped in flesh, with a soul buried deep down, a wise, and noble leader. Taking from their memories The Last Autobot created a new body to house the two souls, making them, finally, one.
As The Last Autobot is telling them that the Civil War must end, Bludgeon interrupts, ordering his troops to kill Optimus Prime. As they do so The Last Autobot gets to work, resurrecting the fallen Autobots. Prime is fighting off the ‘Cons when Grimlock’s team returns and wades into the fight, turning the tide with the help of the resurrected ‘Bots.
As the ‘Cons call a retreat they vow that this isn’t the end. Prime then tells the ‘Bots that Cybertron has been reborn, and that it is time for them to return home, that the war is over.
For a finale, this is certainly a good one, it feels almost like the story is too short, that Simon was almost building up to something new and exciting (and maybe now we’ll find out with IDW’s announcement of Transformers Regeneration One). As always with Simon Furman’s writing, this is top notch, Andrew Wildman’s art is, maybe not as good as Don FIg’s, but it’s still way up there with the greats. If that had been the end, it would have been a fitting end, but as we all know, it never ends there…
And at #1 we have The Beginning of it all!
#1: Marvel Transformers Generation One Issue 1
We open this, the first ever Transformers comic with the requisite backstory that tells how the Decepticons came to be and their launching of the first strike in the Civil War that rages to this day. We learn that the war has knocked the planet out of it’s orbit and into deep space. Soon it’s realized that the planet will soon pass through a giant asteroid belt, to clear a path the Autobots build and launch a giant spacecraft, The Ark.
Unbeknown to them Ravage has been spying on them and sees the launch, reporting back to Megatron they decide to go after the ‘Bots. As the Autobots finish clearing a path for Cybertron the ‘Cons attack, taking them by surprise, and quickly gain the upper hand over the weakened ‘Bots, knowing that the only way to stop the secrets of The Ark falling into the Decepticon’s hands Prime sends the ship on a collision course for the nearest planet.
The Ark crashes into a volcanic mountain where it lies dormant for four million years until an eruption manages to reactivate the main computers. Knowing it needs to repair the Transformers it launches a probe to scan for life forms to use as templates. The world it encounters is full of vehicles, flying and rolling, and some unidentified organic creatures that seem to work with the lifeforms.
Using the templates from the probe The Ark sets to repairing the Transformers, both Autobot and Decepticon alike. With some of it’s memory banks damaged however The Ark knew nothing of the Great War, but still kept the basic nature of the Transformers the same, so the ‘Bots became vehicles while the ‘Cons become weapons and communications devices.
With the rebuilding complete, the obligatory roll call happens with the Decepticons sounding off before transforming and leaving The Ark, and the Autobots staying behind to observe this new world and it’s inhabitants, and the organic beings that The Ark had dismissed..
We now go to meet one of these beings, Buster Witwicky and his father Sparkplug, after they discuss Buster’s plans for the future, Buster takes a car and heads off to meet his friends. Meanwhile Prime has sent a recon team out into the world, as Prowl, Bumblebee, Hound, Brawn and Cliffjumper come across a drive-in cinema they don’t notice Laserbeak following them, and reporting back to Megatron.
At the drive-in, the Autobots enter, and Bumblebee decides to go say hi, by crashing into Buster’s car! As Buster finds that no-one’s driving the car the Decepticons attack, damaging Bumblebee in the process. The other Autobots leap into action and fight back, and while they fight the humans run in panic.
As Soundwave and Ravage join the fight Prowl comes to realize that the vehicles are not the inhabitants of the world, the humans are, and that they need to take the fight elsewhere to protect them. As they transform and roll out they draw the ‘Cons with them. Buster meanwhile has come across Bumblebee and manages to jump start him, damaged though he is Buster gets Bumblebee back to his father’s garage where he pleads with him to help fix Bumblebee.
Well, as a start to what would become a major legacy, this was a good story, if a little crude in places, it works, think of the first 4 issues of the series as the pilot story, which it is really. The art is crude too, although I guess it is on par with the art of the times, remember we are talking like 1984, and some of the character colors are off, but then we are talking the very first issue they were still feeling their way.
And lastly as a bonus we got a smoking hot Prima…
Bonus: Optimus Prima: Reformatted
Yes, it’s not official, but what can I say, it’s based upon Transformers and it’s just plain awesome.
We open on Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Carly looking out over the Grand Canyon, as they discuss their next destination, Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp ambush them, as Prime and ‘Bee fight back Carly gets away to safety, at least until she gets involved and throws a rock at Starscream.
In anger ‘Screamer orders the destruction of the ledge the ‘Bots are standing on. After falling Prime finds his gun destroyed, so borrowing from Carly, Prime throws boulders at the ‘Cons, damaging Thundercracker and Skywarp. As the ‘Cons retreat Prime calls it in but is interrupted by Bumblebeen who has found Carly, badly injured by the fall.
As the other Autobots scramble to the rescue Prime resorts to desperate measures and uses The Matrix to heal her. With it’s power The Matrix transforms Carly, granting to her power and the resolve to protect life, oh and some really nifty armor, arise now Optimus Prima! The effort however has drained Prime, as he collapses Megatron arrives with the Seekers.
Without Prime ‘Bee and Carly are sitting ducks until Carly comes up with an idea… She gets Bumblebee to throw her at the ‘Cons. Using her new found power Carly hacks off Skywarp’s arm and Thundercracher’s leg, using the leg as a battering ram she flies it right into Starscream before using her gun to blow off part of his face.
With no way to stay in the air Carly falls and is caught by Megatron, who promptly fires on her, sending her back into the cliff wall. But not to worry, Carly’s back for round two in no time, as Megatron is about to destroy Prime the other ‘Bots arrive, with his troops badly damaged Megatron calls a retreat.
As the ‘Bots repair their fallen comrades Carly is applauded for her actions, including a decent fist bump from Ironhide, and some innocent flirting between Skyrifre and Carly.
Right, this is just plain cool, this comic was done by a fan, an awesomely talented fan, Silas Zee, and I tell you, if you haven’t read this comic, go read it I was lucky enough to get one of the limited run of printed ones, and that is just awesome. The story is as one would expect, different to the standard Transformers story, as is the art, but I feel it benefits from that, amazingly so.
And so, there we have it our top 20 Transformers comics ever, at least as far as I am concerned I hope you enjoyed my reviews, I’ll be bringing you more as they come, but from now on no particular order. Also some news on Transformers as it comes to me.