A Look Back At ‘As Good As Dead’

It’s been 20 years since Local H released their break out album, ‘As Good As Dead‘. The band is in the middle of tour to celebrate ‘As Good As Dead’. Even bringing back their original drummer, Joe Daniels. With a little luck I hope to see them when they come to Portland or Seattle.

localhalbum

I was recently asked to share some thoughts on the 20 year old record because I’m the keeper of the Local H fan site, TheHCorner.com. A website that has changed hands from one fan to another over the years. Currently, I have the honor of hosting it.

YOSHICAST #006: Batman V Superman Review

Thanks for checking out episode #006 of the YOSHICAST! If you want to comment on what you’ve heard on this episode please send an e-mail, leave a comment, Facebook me, or call me up and leave a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you. (360) 610-7047.

YoshiCast_K_B_Y_BvS

On this episode of the YoshiCast we review Batman Vs. Superman. Yoshi, along with Bo, Kathleen, and Isaac drive around Juneau, Alaska discussing the highs and lows of DC’s latest superhero block buster effort.

Show Notes:

  • Listen. Just listen.

Transformers Review Issue 74: The Void!

Issue 74, the Void!. I have experienced such a build up to the promise of an epic battle in the last few issues. Will I get my pay off with issue 74? We’ll find out, but first lets check out this cover art!

Transformers_Issue_74_Youseph

Great Transformers T-Shirts Can Be Found At 80sTees.com!

Side-by-side, on the cover of issue 74 we find Powermaster Optimus Prime and Scorponok fighting a group of robots wearing Unicron masks. The cover even reads, “Optimus Prime and Scorponok Side-By-Side Against the hordes of Unicron!” The Autobot and Decepticon look battle damaged. Might be do to the battles they have been involved with during the last few issues. The cover doesn’t blow me away. Maybe it’s because Powermaster Prime is on the cover. Maybe it’s because the other bots that they are fighting don’t resemble any Transformers I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure. So lets jump into this issue and find out what the hell is going on.

Transformers_issue74_coverThe issue starts off with the retelling of the origins of the Transformers. The story told through Emirate Xaaron while under control by Primus. Though, not all gathered who are listening to this tail are pleased.

Transformers_issue74_XaaronThe story then cuts to the Ark. The Dinobots have returned to find the ship empty and no Transformers left on Earth. Grimlock gives the order to pump Nuclean into the stasis pods in an effort to revive the fallen bots. The effort is rushed and the Dinobots fail to see that Megatron is among those in the pods.

Transformers_issue74_PodsNow back on Cybertron, G.B. Blackrock asks Optimus Prime to have Primus return him and the Neo-Knights back to earth because Circuit Breaker can’t mentally handle being surrounded by all these Transformers.

Transformers_issue74_GB_BlackrockIn the next scene we learn that Unicron has assembled a group of mind-controled Transformers with the intent of bringing death to Opimus Prime as he has been chosen to lead the battle against the planet sized bot.

Transformers_issue74_Death

Scorponok confides in Optimus Prime that he is afraid of dying. Prime is in agreement with Scorponok, and also expresses his concerns over Primus. Above all of that Prime still will face death honorably, like an Autobot should. While the two leaders talk they are attacked by the mind controlled Unicron Transformers.

Transformers_issue74_fearDuring the fight, Scorponok realizes that the Unicron followers are only interested in fighting Optimus Prime. He then enters the fray and saves Prime’s life. One Unicron controled minion, readies a grenade for Optimus Prime that will surly kill him. Just as he is about to lob it, Galvatron steps in and stops him, then signals for help.Transformers_issue74_GalvatronAutobots and Decepticons arrive to help and the battle turns for the better. That is until Unicron arrives.

Transformers_issue74_Unicron

Elsewhere in the galaxy, The Creation Matrix has repaired Thunderwing and is now out for revenge.

My Thoughts On This Issue

So, maybe I missed something in the last issue, but the thing that caught me off guard here was that the Neo-Knights arrived with the Transformers on Cybertron. Why? That makes no sense to me. Their presences didn’t mess up the story. I just can’t understand why they are are there.

Clearly Prime is suspicious of Xaaron and Primus. It reminds me of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, where Kirk starts questioning God.

Galvatron’s motives in this issue, as they have been, are purely selfish. I feel like he is playing the role of chess master, while he moves all the other characters into position.

Nevertheless, I’m dying to find out what happens next. But before I get to issue 75, I would love to hear what you all thought of this issue. Leave me a comment and lets talk about this issue.

Transmission Letters This Issue.

TransMissions_74Dear Transmissions,

TRANSFORMERS #70 was by far one of the best issues ever! I still can’t get over the artwork. Please, please, PLEASE keep Wildman and Baskerville on this book! At last, the Transformers are getting the detail and action they deserve. Thank you for an excellent issue!

Shaun Jackson
Albuquerque, NM

Dear Transmissions,

To me, Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville are by far the best artistic team in the comic field today!

Vincent Trisant
Yonkers, NY

Dear Transmissions,

I can’t believe anyone could dislike Andy Wildman’s artwork. Okay, I was a bit nonplussed at his debut, but I love it now, especially when he is paired with such talent as Stephen Baskerville, Ol’ Steve can draw excellent Transformers in his own right, and the two together are a knockout! This book has never been better!

Sir Jon Johnson
Portland, CT

And so it went. We always strive to present a balanced picture of your views on this page (if the majority verdict is negative, we’ll print a majority of negative views and vice versa), but this is one instance where we really couldn’t find a letter to offset the praise. No one had a bad word to say about our new regular art team, and we can’t say we were surprised.

Dear Transmissions,

I really liked issue #71. Who’d a’ thought the Autobots would ever surrender? Let’s just hope this turns out for the best! Keep Simon and the wild person as your writer/artist team. They’re the best! I’ve a few questions: 1. Optimus Prime has a sudden pain in his gut and issue or three back. Will we ever find out what it was? 2. Will Meggie and Ratchet be separated soon? 3.  Will you gather the new Transformers Universe entries into a collected volume? There’s a lot of people out here who’d dearly love to see it done. 4. Will Circuit Breaker ever settle down and marry a Macintosh computer?

J. Phillips

Simon and ‘that wild person’ (actually, he’s not that wild) will be staying on the book for the foreseeable future, so relax. As for the questions…1. Yes 2. Yes. 3. No 4. !!! Yes, you guessed it, it’s the dreaded return of TRUNIP (the Totally Unhelpful Replies, News and Information Program).

Dear Transmissions,

I am writing to your book in an attempt to win a No-Prize. It concerns Shockwave’s undersea headquarters. In issue #71 Mindwipe questions Shockwave, asking him where he has been and how he got this ship. Well I have an answer to that question. Remember way back in issue #1, when Megatron and his army attacked the ark after it had cleared a path for Cybertron through the asteriod field? We know they left Shockwave abord thir craft and that later he went down to Earth (where he met the Dinobots). It is logical that Shockwave would have hidden the Decepticon spacecraft, remote landing it somewhere it would go unnoticed-a contingency plan against possible disasters. Where better to hide it than on the ocean floor? So does this qualify for a No-Prise? Oh yeah, stick with Andy for the art, you’ve got a winner!

Dave Rhodes
Eria, PA

What would you like first, the good news or the bad news? The good? Okay. Well, the good news is that your explanation is pretty much spot on. The bad news is that this doesn’t qualify you for a No-Prize. The essence of the No-Prize is that you find a mistake or continuity glitch and then eplain it away. All you have done here is read our writer’s mind (what there is of it!) Still, well done anyway!

Dear Transmissions,

Or, more appropriately…

Dear Autobots: enought, ENOUGH! You miserable, self-righteous, self-preserving mecho-bunglers make me sick! I can barely forgive all the pressures you’ve put on Optimus Prime due to your lack of intelligence. If you had half a brain chip between you, Prime’s job could be made a lot easier. He might be able to devote more time to planning strategy if he didn’t have to spend so much time telling you to eat up your energon and come in out of the rain. You have the greatest entity in the Universe as your leader and you shun him! For millions of years he’s led the fight against the Decepticons without any sort of reprieve, always protecting life, always protecting you! He’s suffered more than the rest of the Autobot race combined! So what do you do when he tries to save you all from Unicron? You turn on him like Starscream might! you have no faith in your leader and no loyalty. You’re worse than the Decepticons; at least they’re not hypocrites! You discust me! I’m so sorry that Optimus is duty bound to take care of you-he deserves much better!

Shannon M. Haddad
Oceanside, CA

Erm…it’s just a comic, you know! Nurse, the screens!

Dear Transmissions,

I just finished reading TRANSFORMERS #70. At the end you said Ratchet could be repaired but this would mean repairing Megatron too. I don’t care! You can’t kill Ratchet, not after all he’s been through! In issue #5 he was the last Autobot left active and had to battle Megatron himself. In issue #26 he had to go up again the Mechanic and then in issue #56 he had to single-handedly try to reactive all the scrapped Autobots, before being captured by Megatron and forced to battle him again! And then you bring him back-fused together with Megatron! Why am I starting to get the feeling you don’t like Ratchet?

Hey, we like Ratchet! he’s just, y’know… a good target! Life’s like that sometimes!

Dear Transmissions,

RE: Issue #69 – 71 – AAAAAAAAAA! These have been the best issues to date. Awesome, stupendous (let me check my thesaurus), Nonpareil, prodigious and splendid! I absolutely adored these issues. Simon, you truly can write a story, and if Andy ‘Wild’ Wildman is not the permanent artist I’ll … Drink some of that nucleon stuff! And I thought Jose and Geoff were talented! Issue #69 finally showed us what Autobot leisure time is like, and there was some terrific character development to boot! In issue #70 (third frame of page 2) there was a touching scene where the mutilated Ratchet touches Prime’s mouth and his reflection is seen in Prime’s eyes. The extremely detailed backgrounds and characters are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Recheck page 8, second frame- this is art! Issue #71 was great as well. I thought the flashback in the beginning was very effective. Galvatron is as crazed as ever and Shockwave’s renegade Decepticons are great!

Andrew Frankel

Nonpareil? Yep, you definitely win this issue’s Hyperbole Aware with that. Nice one!

Dear Transmissions,

I think that Nel Yomtov deserves a medal of some sort. He’s been on the book since day one! Geez, Doesn’t this guy have a home to go to?

Rory, Grennan
Stillman Valley, IL

Why yes, Nel has a perfectly lovely cardboard box on the sidewalk outside the Marvel offices. Hey, we treat our freelancers well at Marvel!

Ads This Issue.

Transformers Review Issue 73: Out of Time!

Issue 73 of Marvel’s Transformers is here. Thankfully it’s not an issue were I am upset how these Neo-Knights were used. Still very touchy from my point of view. More on that below. So, before we get into the review lets check out this cover.

Transformers_Issue_73_Youseph

Transformers T-Shirts Can Be Found At 80sTees.com!

The light blue cover to issue 73 depicts an all white Powermaster Optimus Prime, Scorponok, and Shockwave disappearing. The disappearing is done in a very interesting way. A way I wouldn’t have thought about doing myself because I am so used to modern comic book coloring. It’s actually very well executed here. Below the bots at the bottom of the cover we have the Neo-knights with a hurt Circuit Breaker. “Less Than Meets The Eye” is written above the logo with “The Vanishing!” written beneath it. This cover, might just be the most accurate cover to the story within to any transformers cover that I’ve seen to date.

Transformers_issue73_coverGalvatron is impatient at Emirate Xaaron’s slow method o waking up Primus. Galvatron is so worried that Unicron’s Minnions will find him before Primus is wakened. But he either needs Primus himself to beat Unicron or for Primus to recall all Transformers to battle Unicron and one of these options has to start happening soon.

Transformers_issue73_GalvatronOn Earth, The Neo-Knight amuse Scorponok as they attempt to put him down. Optimus Prime is starting to think he might have to fight against the humans to get back to the Unicron task at hand. Before Prime can act however, Neo-Knights, Rapture and Circuit Breaker get the upper hand on Scorponok and bring him down. True to Circuit BReaker’s history she ends up wanting to take out all Transformers. Not just the Decepticons she was instructed to take down by G.B. Blackrock.

Transformers_issue73_CircuitBreakerBy this time Hook, Line, and Sinker have arrived to retrieve Galvatron. But the Decepticon holds his own against the trio until Hook gets the upper hand and draws in for the kill.

Transformers_issue73_hookNow back in Manhattan, Nightbeat has been stopped by Circuit Breaker and is now fixing her eyes on Optimus Prime. G.B. Blackrock is trying to find a to stop her before she makes things worse. Then Blockrock, notices Shockwave and draws Circuit Breaker’s attention to the Decepticon. Circuit Breaker has a flash back, remember that Shockwave was the one who destroyed all her dreams. With a single blast, circuit Breaker brings down the massive bot. Scorponok gets up and readies himself to continue the fight when Optimus Prime gets him to stop and think about the bigger picture involving Unicron.

Transformers_issue73_ShockwaveNo on Cybertron, Hook is dispatched by Primus who has been awaken by Xaaron. Galvatron then talks Primus in to uniting Autobots and Decepticons. Next we’re shown Transformers all over earth vanishing.

Transformers_issue73_CopWe close out this issue somewhere in space, a distant planet, we see the Creation Matrix. It hungers for revenge.

Transformers_twintowers

My Thoughts On This Issue

G.B. Blackrock and the Neo-Knights remind me of Professor X and the X-Men. Thought, G.B. Blackrock does not seem to be as well organized as Professor X. I don’t know. I guess it depends on when in the comic book history you’re looking at the X-Men. In any case, Blackrock doesn’t seem like there’s been enough time to train these super humans.

I’m still left interested in the character of Circuit Breaker because she has been in and out of the main story from the beginning.

The issue was good over all. I’m still very interested in what will happen next. There are a lot of stories going on here and I wonder if Simon Furman knew that the book was going to be cancelled at this point, Is this the real reason why all the Transformers are being brought back to Cybertron? For an epic final battle? I guess we’ll see.

What do all of you think? How did you like the issue? Are you all enjoying it as much as I am?

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Transformers Review Issue 72: …All This and Civil War 2

Marvel’s Transformers issue 72 is here. It contains a great story, great art, and an epic fight.  I know that in recent reviews I’ve been super excited to keep reading. To get on to the next issue. My excitement is due in part to the writing. The great new stories that have started to be told. It’s also fair to say that my excitement is also due in part to the fact that I can see the of the story coming up with issue 80. Something my younger self had no idea was coming. As much as I’m excited to get to the end and find out what happens. Each issue is also making me sad for the same reason. I have a lot of hope that I’m going to have a good ride between now and issue 80. Issue 72 does not disappoint. But first, lets check out this cover!

Transformers_Issue_72_Youseph

Great Transformers T-Shirts Can Be Found At 80sTees.com!

Front and center we have an extremely upset looking Scorponok raging out on Shockwave with his claws. Both bots seem a little worse for wear with all the nuts and bolts and bits and bots falling off of each other from their battle. The flat looking city seen in the background. The war is over–and the war has begun!” is written on the cover. The bots as well as the water they are fighting in are rendered rather well and the cover does a good job conveying energy. The flat yellow background and flat red city behind them hurts the cover more than helps it. It almost seems to absorb any visual energy the fight scene is trying to get across to its reader.

Transformers_issue72_cover

Starscream is very happen as we enter issue 72. He and is fellow Decepticons have done well destroying Scorponok’s base of operations. But not everyone sees eye to eye with Starscream. Fearing survivors and retaliation, Starscream starts digging through the fallen building looking for survivors and he finds one. Scorponok.

Transformers_issue72_StarscreamFurther underground. Powermaster Optimus Prime watches as Decepticons ready themselves for battle. With worry that his alliance with Scorponok no longer exists he worries that the Decepticons will get caught up in another war. Prime gets Kup and Hot Rod to help him search for other Autobot survivors in the rubble of the Decepticon base.

Transformers_issue72_PrimeKupHotRodAbove ground, Scorponok makes quick work of Starscream and his minions as he begins his battle with Shockwave. The fight carries over to the river and to Manhattan. All the while Shockwave is talking Logic which gives Scorponok the upper hand in fighting the logical bot.

Transformers_issue72_Scorponok
I had to share this whole page of the Scorponok and Shockwave battle because the art, imagination, and all together execution are just breath taking.

Here we cut deep into the depths of the planet Cybertron where Emirate Xaaron is on the run from Galvatron. The Autobot is quickly caught. To Xaaron’s surprise, Galvatron reveals that he wants to stop Unicron just as much as Xaaron does.

Transformers_issue72_GalvatronEmerging from the demolished Decepticon base, Optimus Prime’s worse fears are realize as he is witnessing Decepticon fighting Decepticon. Prime and Nightbeat leave for Manhattan hopping to stop the fighting and uniting the fighting bots.

Transformers_issue72_NightbeatScorponok takes down Shockwave. Optimus Prime arrives to keep Scorponok from straight up killing Shockwave. To complicate matters, G.B. Blackrock’s arrives on the scene with his new team of superhumans who are calling themselves ‘The Neo-Knights’.

Transformers_issue72_Humans

My Thoughts On This Issue

We had a lot going on in this issue. Some things I didn’t even talk about so you can enjoy reading it yourself and discover something new.

The story and the art where top notch here. Shockwave is not acting (and hasn’t been acting), like the bot I’ve known him to be. He’s two calculating? He’s like an evil Mr. Spoke who is getting so worked up in how unflawed his logic is that he is distracted by it’s perfection.

In all the cool stuff that happened in this issue, The Neo-Knights bother me. Is adding an human element beyond Spike and Buster going to hurt the story. I generally wouldn’t think this, but we have humans with special powers. Spider-Man making an appearance is one thing. Adding brand new mutated humans into the mix is a whole other. Having humans in an issue was something Bob Budiansky was good at. I hope Simon Furman is too.

What did you all think of this issue?

Transmission Letters This Issue

Transformers_72_TransmissionsDear Transmissions,

RE: TRANSFORMERS #69

Stupendous! Wow! Excellent! Spectacular! The story was great, the art was great! What more could I ask for (except the return of Blaster and Ratbat!)? Thanks especially to Simon for not one, not two, but FIVE storylines in one issue! Storyline 1-Grimlock travels to Hydrus Four to revive the Dinotbos. Storyline Two-Galvatron is brought to 1990 by Unicron, who is plotting the destruction of Cybertron. Storyline 3-Optimus Prime prepares to join forces with the Earthbound Decepticons. Storyline 5-The weirdest one. Ratchet and Megatron combined into one Transformers! I’m sure that eventually all these events will run into one another, causing an indescribable issue!

Nate Wright
Ames, IA

The indescribable issue is actually quite easy to describe. It’s called issue #75! By the way, you almost won this issue’s Hyperbole (get the dictionaries out) Award, but our next reader pipped you out at the post…

Dear Transmissions,

I recently got issue #69 and I must say that I loved the artwork by Andy Wildman. It was great! I hope Andy stays around; he draws Transformers perfectly. I’m looking forward to issue #70, with Ratchet and Megatron fused together and the coming of the Action Masters. I hope to see more of Blackrock’s mutants in the future, too!

Yep, it was an across-the-board thumbs up for Andy’s artwork (and a well justified thumbs up, we reckon). Andy’ll certainly be around for a while, and (teamed with fellow Brit Stephen Baskerville) we expect “great” to become “magnificent” in no time at all! Ah yes, Action Masters…

Dear Transmissions,

Issue #69 had a very good story behind it, even though you will eventually (probably) take away many of the Transformers’ transforming power when they become Action Masters. I don’t like it one bit. You’re just following, basically, what Hasbro tells you. I am asking you, as a loyal Transformers fan, not to take away their transforming power! I know i’m not alone in thinking this. I’m sure that if you put the question ‘do you want transforming Transformers or nontransforming Transformers?’ to your readers, they would almost all go for the transforming option!

Andrew Rush
Bowling Green, KY

Dear Transmissions,

The TRANSFORMERS comic hasn’t been handled so well in a long time. The stories and art are fantastic, and so far I’m very pleased with everything that’s been done! But I’m asking you not to ruin all this by having any of the Transformers become Action Masters! Because, if the comic version is going to be anything like the Action Masters figures, this will result in the Transformers losing their ability to transform. And to me, the concept of Transformers that cannot transform is utterly pathetic!

Vincent Yisanti
Yonkers, NY

Well, the best we can say is, don’t prejudge the issue. We appreciate the nontransforming Transformers sounds a teensie bit on the daft side, but we think that when you see what Simon’s got in mind for the upcoming Action Masters storyline, you’ll be won over!

Dear Transmissions,

I am pleased to announce that ever since Simon Furman took over as writer of TRANSFORMERS, I have been waiting with bated breath for each issue. Though #68 was not up to your usual high standards (the art was really bad, and I don’t like having mutants in the book), I was sure #69 would be better. I was right-it was great. The art was the best I have seen in quite a while. I hope Andy becomes the regular artist! I have one question. Is it me, or does Shockwave seem more boring than before?

David Wehunt
Olympia, WA

Wouldn’t have thought that was possible!

Dear Transmissions,

Just out of curiosity, how is it that Shockwave is still intact and functional? One doesn’t just fall some 400 miles through the atmosphere, burning all the way, to come crashing down in the ocean, with the only noticeable damage being scorched marks and a torn-off audio sensor. I can accept that his titanium-reinforced electro-watchamacallit armor protected him somewhat, but really! So, we must ask, what exactly happened to Shockwave after he was blasted by Spike? What I’m getting at is that there is what I call “plot thread potential” here. I hope you decide to use it.

Blaster Joe
Hackettstown, NJ

Shockwave’s “missing months” and his quest for warriors forms a story in itself, which-space permitting-we should get around to telling eventually (but don’t hold your breath!)

Dear Transmissions,

I have just finished reading issue #69 and the one thing I have to say is… THAT’S GROSS!!!

Tina Palmer
San Bruno, CA

Yeah… but fun!

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Transformers Review Issue 71: Surrender!

I can only imagine how Transformers issue 71 might have affected a Transformers fan who has only ever seen the cartoon. I can’t imagine walking away from this cover as a kid. I would have bought multiple copies of this sucker. So, does this enticing cover offer up a story just as good to go with it? Lets find out, after we inspect the cover art.

Transformers_Issue_71_Yoshi

Fantastic Transformers T-Shirts Can Be Found At 80sTees.com!

Issue 71 depicts Powermaster Optimus Prime kneeling before Scorponok’s feet, placing his own Autobot symbol on the ground before his enemy. It’s raining on the cover as the two are outside. The Transformers logo says “SURRENDER” underneath it. Anyone who has not been following along with this comic would have seen this cover and gone, “What The Fuck?!?” The art has a heavy and gritty feel to it. I really like it a lot. So lets see how it does with representing the story inside.

Transformers_issue71_coverIt’s true. Almost right from the go, Powermaster Optimus Prime surrenders himself and his crew over to Scorponok in a scene that is nearly identical to the one depicted on the front cover. Kup is the only one whos is clearly not taking this surrender easily.

Transformers_issue71_KupScorponok is now basking in the praise he is receiving for the Autobot surrender. He has been dealing with Decepticons leaving his command and back talking him for so long that now he enjoy a bit of respect. Maybe to much. Infact, it’s to the point where Scorponok is ignoring the agreement he had with Powermaster Prime. To join forces and stop Unicron.

While this is going on Shockwave and Starscream continue to grow their little army. But Shockwave sees Scorponok’s recent Autobot surrender as a possible issue and pushes up his plans to strike.

Transformers_issue71_ShockwaveLater, Optimus Prime finds himself in a cell with building stress of the approach of Unicron. Prime starts to think that his planned alliance with Scorponok has crumbled.

Transformers_issue71_cellOver on Cybertron, Galvatron, Hook, Line, and Sinker have arrived and started violently spreading the word that Unicron is approaching.

Transformers_issue71_GalvatronBack on Earth, Optimus Prime has broken out of his cell, and recused Kup and Hot Rod. The three seek out and find Zarak. Prime pleads with him to join forces to stop Unicron. The two shake hands on the deal infront of almost everyone.

The agreement is short lived, as Shockwave and his fellow Decepticons bomb Scorponok’s base.

Transformers_issue71_base

My Thoughts On This Issue

So for me, this wasn’t a horrible issue. It did feel as though it was a filler issue though. The stuff happening on Earth was, I feel, the focus of this story. I just found myself more interested in the stuff happening on Cybertron, or with Shockwave.

The cover art and the art within the book was great. I feel Andrew Wildman is really capturing the spirit of Optimus Prime, even if the writing on this issue isn’t.

A lot of stuff happened in this issue that I’ve left out so you can enjoy reading it for yourself. I will say Kup is a bad ass for an old timer.

So what did you all think of this issue? Did you feel like I do? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Transmission Letters This Issue

Transformers_71_TransmissionsDear Transmissions,

After reading issue #68, I feel I must speak my mind! What are you trying to do, destroy the comic?! I’m not criticizing the plot, Mr. Furman-you’ve done a great job since your debut in issue #56-but the art has hit an all-time low! And now that you’re changing artists all the time one wonders if this fine piece of science-fiction literature will be destroyed by bad judgment (not to mention lousy art!). I’m willing to give Andy Wildman a chance, but I’d much rather see Jose Delbo and Dave Hunt back on a regular basis! By the way, now that we’ve our very own team of mutant super heroes, what are you going to call them (nothing with an “X” in it, I hope!) Will they get their own series?

Name and address withheld by request

We certainly hope so! The Neo-Knights (whaddaya think of the name?!) will be cropping up again in TRANSFORMERS over the next few months, so-love ’em or hate ’em (and believe us, readers were divided on the subject)-they’re here to stay. We feel you raised some valid points about the artwork (don’t be to hard on Dwayne, he was pinch-hitting a bit for us on #68), but, now that Andy Wildman has taken the reins, we think everyone will be a lot happier. Now that Andy’s the regular penciler, and teamed with fellow Brit, Stephen Baskerville, the Quality of the art is just going to get better and better! Geoff Senior fans, don’t despair. He’ll be back to pencil and ink our incredible DOUBLE-SIZED issue #75!

Dear Transmissions,

I’ve been collecting TRANSFORMERS since issue #1 and have been pleased with every issue since. I personally think both Geoff Senior and Jose Delbo do a great job on the artwork. However, for every compliment there’s a complaint. I have just read issue #68. The storyline was great, as usual, but the artwork was the worst I have ever seen! Who is Dwayne Turner anyway? His stuff is well below the standard I have come to expect from this comic! I think you should stick with Geoff and Jose! Otherwise keep up the great work!

Keith Luczywo
Kirkland, WA

Well, never let it be said we don’t print negative mail! See previous letter for the artwork news! On the subject of Jose Delbo, this seems as good a time as any (duck-here comes another in a series of blatant plugs. Collect the set!) to mention Jose’s current project. Issue #3 of BRUTE FORCE is on sale now, and fine stuff it is, too! Just to further justify a plug on the TRANSMISSIONS page, BRUT FORCE is written by our very own Simon Furman!

Dear Transmssions,

Issue #64 was a disappointment to me. I did not like the art of the action. The mutant super heroes, I believe, are a disgrace to TRANSFORMERS> Circuit Breaker is okay, but I feel these mutants should be exterminated. Overall thought, this is a great comic. I knew Shockwave couldn’t have met his demise in Earth’s puny atmosphere! He’s the best-thanks for bringing him back! Keep up the good work and good luck to Andy Whildman. I will miss Geoff Senior!

S. McClain

He’s not dead! In fact he’s gearing up to draw our GIANT-SIZED 75th issue (after completing the DEATH’s HEAD graphic novel-on sale soon!) at this very moment! We always knew our team of super heroes wouldn’t be an instant hit with everyone, but give ’em a chance eh? And don’t worry, we’ll always remember who the real stars of this comic are!

Dear Transmissions,

Issue #68 was great! The artwork by Dwayne Turner was so exact and a lot of attention was given to detail. This has been the best issue of TRANSFORMERS since #50. I hope Dwayne stays on as regular artist! As far as the story goes, it was very good. The return of Circuit Breaker couldn’t have come at a better time (I was beginning to miss her). The idea of a human “super hero” team might well boost morale among the down-and-out Autobots! Rapture is very interesting. She, like Circuit Breaker, is not your typical “weakling female” many of us are made out to be. Please let’s see more of this equality in the future! Any TRANSFORMERS fans out there want to write to me? There seems to be a shortage of them where I live!

Dwayne’s Mom
(just kidding!)

C’mon, pen pals/TRANSFORMERS fans out thee-Kristen McDonough (the real scribe of this letter) would like to hear from you you can write to her at ***** ***** *** Mt. Clemens, MI

 Back in issue #68 we printed a drawing by reader Johane Matte and mentioned that we’d like to see more readers’ artwork. Since then the Marvel offices have been besieged with drawings of just about every Transformers imaginable (and a few besides). When space permits, we’ll print a full page of these. In the meantime, here’s a taster for you (keep sending ’em in, folks; it fives the editor something to do!)…

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Transformers Review Issue 70: The Pri¢e of Life!

We’re at issue 70 day. We’re so close to the end and I’m not ready for that to happen. I wonder if anyone at Marvel, Hasrbo, or any fans see the end in sight? I don’t think so. Maybe at this point in the run it’s better the fans be unaware of the end. That way they can enjoy the comic book with out any worry. So lets do this review. But first, what a cover!

Transformers_Issue_70_Youseph

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The cover for Transformers issue 70 is shocking to look at, but also beautiful done. Andrew Wildman did this cover and he did it well. This cover is a perfect example of why in the comic book universe of Transformers, he is a fan favorite. The cover is dominated with the painfully looking hybrid face of Megaton and Ratchet. If there was any question in the readers mind of these two being in pain, it is spelled out for them on a note card reading “Help Us” that is held by the combiner. (Sorry, Couldn’t help myself.) Just above the Transformers logo is written, “The Ultimate Autobot/Decepticon Team-Up! Now, lets see what this issue is all about.

Transformers_issue70_coverThe only panel of page one, in a way, shows the reader something worse than they could have imagined. The hideous combination of Megatron and Ratchet standing before them. Clearly their trip to the unspace was not a pain free experience as depicted by the looks of agony on their faces. The Autobots present in the room look on in shock.

Transformers_issue70_ughKup enters and reacts to the sight of Megatron before him by blasting his laser first. Nightbeat steps in and gets Kup to release what he is seeing. But before anyone’s mind can be made up on the next actions that should be taken, The combined Megatron and Ratchet, force their way out of the room and start roaming the ship.

Transformers_issue70_KupAs the ship’s security officer, he insists that the creature must be destroyed because he is a threat to everyone on board. Optimus Prime can’t bring himself to agree because Ratchet is is friend.

Transformers_issue70_knocksThe comic then cuts to Hydrus Four, where Grimlock is seeking for the well of Nucleon. This whole scene is laced with warnings that Grimlock should give up his fools mission.

Transformers_issue70_GrimlockWe return to the Ark to find that the Megatron, Ratchet hybrid has hurt Sureshot and now locked its self in the ship’s engine room where it is making a mess of things. Kup takes this opportunity to tell Optimus Prime how much of a screw up he is and then essentially threatens him with the Transformers equivalent of mutiny if he doesn’t grow a pair.

Transformers_issue70_GrowAPairThere is a very short fight between Optimus Prime and the combined monstrosity of Ratchet and Megatron. Though Prime ends up in a great position to vaporize the monster, he can’t bring himself to do it. Then, Optimus Prime is shocked when the beasts pulls prime’s gun at it’s self and in broken words begs to have his life ended.

Transformers_issue70_PleaseReturning to Grimlock on Hydrus Four, the Dinobot seems to now be getting and understanding the completely obvious warning messages that have been coming at him the whole issue. Just when you think he gets it, Grimlock decides to try the Nucleon himself before administering it to his comrades. The result? He feels amazing and all the warnings he got up to this point be believes where bull shit.

Transformers_issue70_GreatReturning to the Autobot Ark, Fixit thinks he can save Ratchet, But only if he also saves Megatron.

Transformers_issue70_Save

My Thoughts On This Issue

Well, I can say this issue was simply a fun ride for me. I enjoyed it. I’ve been pretty much enjoying most issues since Simon took over. Also, Some of Andrew’s art is breath taking. I’m finding myself pausing as I read these books just to take in the art work that’s gone onto these pages.

Kup is really a different character on these pages than he is in the 1986 animated movie. That’s really sticking out to me.

So for me, I’m on to reading the next issue. But while I’m doing that why do you guys tell me how you all felt about this issue. I would love to hear your thoughts and see if anyone looks at it differently than I do.

Transmission Letters This Issue

Transformers_70_TransmissionsDear Transmissions,

I don’t believe it! A miracle has happened. I never thought anyone could restore my faith in TRANSFORMERS. But-with issue #65-Simon has done just that! I had noticed the comic getting better bit by bit and hung in for the longest time. I’m glad I did. I was surprised to find the story narrated by the Matrix itself. It made for a very different view of the Transformers Universe. Is the Matrix truly good? Obviously not, if Thunderwing has it at the end of the chapter. Along with the writing, the artwork is very good. Michael Callahan may not like Geoff Senior’s work, but I find it a refreshing change. Thank you. I believe that this book is returning to, maybe surpassing, the greatness it once had. Who did the cover art for # 65? I found it incredibly striking.

Sir John Johnson
Portland, CT

Sir?! Don’t tell us the nobility has started reading TRANSFORMERS! Then again, why not? Anyway, thanks for all your praise (it never hurts to have the old creative egos massaged) and your comments. The cover for #65 was crafted by artist extraordinaire Bill Sienkiewicz. It was another real opinion provoker amongst readers, who either thought it was the best cover ever to see print or absolutely awful (more of the former than the latter, we’re happy to say), But as we always maintain, better reaction than in difference!

Dear Transmissions,

TRANSFORMERS #65 was stupendous-one of the best issues yet! Please congratulate Geoff Senior on his stupendous work, which my friends and I (all devoted fans) enjoy most. I’m fortunate enough to have collected dozens of TRANSFORMERS U.K. issues several continuing Geoff’s artwork, and I just can’t get over them! One suggestion-in many of the U.K. issues, Geoff and writer Simon Furman feature an awesome character called Death’s Head, a time-traveling mechanoid who appeared recently in Fantastic Four #338. How about featuring Death’s Head in our TRANSFORMERS?

Steve B.
Toronto, Ontario

Glad to see you’re both a Geoff Senior fan and a Death’s Head fan! In that case, we have some great news for you. Though he won’t be appearing in Transformers, Death’s Head will be appearing in his very own 64-page graphic novel, drawn and painted by Geoff (with Simon Furman chucking in the odd word now and then). It’s called “DEATH’s HEAD: The Body in Question!” and it’ll be out in September. Oops-does that sound like a blatant plug? Sorry, we’ll not mention it again.

Dear TransMissions,

I have just read issue #66 and it was terrific! PLEASE keep Geoff Senior as the permanent artist! By the way, where’s Fortress Maximus these days?

Ian McDonald
Oakvill, Ontario

Fort Max will be back soon, though whether he’ll be happy about being back remains to be seen! Though we’d dearly love to keep Geoff as regular artist on TRANSFORMERS, sadly that cannot be (thought he’ll be back in a big way soon-trust us). Geoff is busy working on the DEATH’s HEAD graphic novel – “The Body in Question” (out in September!) right now. Aah- we mentioned it again (but we think we got away with it)!

Dear Transmissions,

Shockwave? That is you, you one-eyed freak, isn’t it? Galvatron, dare you defy your master, Unicron? Dare you strike when the Autobots are at their most vulnerable? Dare you disturb the universe? Starscream, does your traitor’s heart lead you toward your destiny? Dare you claim leadership now that Thunderwing is gone? Are you ready to deal with Shockwave, who may desire the same? Optimus Prime, what to do now? The Matraix is lost to you, but was it destroyed? Didn’t bother to check if Thunderwing actually died, did you?

What a tangled skein you’ve weaved, my dear Brit, what a glorious mire you’ve entrenched yourself in.

Liane Elliot
Gig Harbor, WA

Too true, but our “dear Brit” would like to point out that he doesn’t make a habit of wallowing in mires!

Dear Transmissions,

I applaud the entire staff of TRANSFORMERS. The ‘Matrix Quest’ left me awestruck, and I’m now unable to stand the wait until next issue (I have just renewed the subscription I let expire last year). Simon Furman has done wonders for the comic. What character development I have witnessed! Optimus Prime has finally become the sturdy (but flawed) leader he once was; Grimlock now impresses me as a noble warrior, yearning to be reunited with his deactivated Dinobots; Thunderwing is powerful with a suitably manic edge, as befits a true Decepticon leader. But what has glued me to these pages has been the return of Starscream and a ‘mysterious’ single-optic mechanoid, both plotting deeds of unfathomable evil. Naturally, these aspects are magnified ten times over by the remarkable talent of Geoff Senior. His illustrations evoke feelings of motion, power and mass. Furman and Senior have made TRANSFORMERS a superb publication, and with this team it can only get better!

Brian Orms
Louisville, KY

Aaargh! All this unfettered praise! where’s something to put these upstart Brits in their place? Ah, we’ve got it…

Dear Transmissions,

I think TRANSFORMERS stinks! Geoff Senior’s artwork is the pits, and Simon Furman couldn’t write a check!

Rob Tokar
New York, NY

Better.

Dear Transmissions,

I recently read an issue of TRANSFORMERS U.K. and noticed both Simon Furman and Geoff Senior’s names on the credits for the U.K. strip. How long have these two been doing the U.K. series, and how can I get copies? Is there a subscription to TRANSFORMERS U.K.? It’s not on the subscription page.

Barry Schwartze
Rapid City, SD

Much as we hate to admit we’re not omnipresent, the fact is=we don’t know. Can anyone out there help? We know from your letters that some of you get the U.K. TRANSFORMERS comic, so write in and let us know how you do it. Meantime, we’ll have a word with Marvel U.K. and see if thee are subscriptions to America. Keep watching this page for more details!

Dear Transmissions,

I’ve just finished issue #65, and it can be summed up in one word-superb! Everything was great, especially the artwork. I have a few questions, though. #1-Who was that black robot the Matrix healed? #2-Who was standing over the black mechanoid once it had been destroyed? It couldn’t have been, Prime, he was dead at this time. #3-What are Prima, Prime Nova and Sentinel Prime?

Michael Dreher
Donalda, Alta

The black robot was a Deathbringer, the flashback courtesy of a story in Marvel U.K.’s TRANSFORMERS. And yes, the Transformer standing over the destroyed Deathbringer is none other than Optimus Prime. A good deal of time elapsed between the funeral barge landing on that moon and the dying Deathbringer encountering the Matrix-enough time for Prime to have been rebuilt in his new Powermaster form. And finally, Prima, Prime nova and Sentinel Prime are all former Autobot leaders and holders of the Matrix.

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