Transformers Review Issue 80: End of the Road!

Well folks, here we are. Marvel Comics’ Transformers issue 80, entitled ‘End of the Road!’. Everything gets wrapped up in this issue and presented in a quickly made bow. This last issue is the first solid sign I’ve seen that writer, Simon Furman was not ready for the ending of the Transformers comic to come so quickly. In reading this issue I felt like he needed at least one more issue to really wrap everything up cleanly. As it is, the ending of the series feels rushed. A tip of my hat to the whole team for putting something together that made a valiant attempt of finishing story as well as they did. Now, before we get into the review and my thoughts on this finally issue, lets check out this issue’s cover.

Transformers_80_Youseph

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This Wildman cover is really well drawn. Starting at the top we have. “#80 in a Four-Issue Limited Series”. is if defiantly telling to Marvel, Hasbro, and the non believers that the Transformers was and is bigger than anyone could have predicted. The marvel box now has the Decepitcon logo in it where Grimlock once stood. Bludgeon has his sword raised in one had and Wheeljack held up by the wires in his other hand. An image that would not have pass comics code if these where people and not bots. It’s gruesome and dark. Smoke and flames fill out the rest of the cover. “When All Hope Is Gone… One Shall Rise!”, could signal to the casual observer that this issue marks the end of the Transformers and the Decepticons win. Until you realize that the background of the cover a shadow of Optimus Prime can be seen. Something I completely missed myself until I started writing this section. “The Epic Conclusion!” is written at the bottom of the comic in red finishing off the cover.

Transformers_issue80_coverWe jump into this issue night quite where the last one left off. The Autobots have reached the planet Klo and have had their asses handed to them by the Decepticons. Octopunch is tracking down a group of remaining Autobots lead by Grimlock. Prowl is just giving him shit the whole time about how they got into this current situation. He is cut short by the Decepticon tracking party.

Transformers_issue80_ProwlAt another battle location down on the planet, Bludgeon is reading the execution of Wheeljack when the Neo-Knights arrive. They twist some Decepticon metal and before the bad guys can respond in drops Optimus Prime from above. (Action Master Optimus Prime) Bludgeon is caught in disbelief.

Transformers_issue80_BludgeonOptimus Prime is then attacked by the Decepticons, an effort which proves futile. Grimlock and his group of survivors arrive. Bludgeon, realizing hope for himself and the Decepticons is lost, and retreats.

Transformers_issue80_RetreatWith the Decepticons gone, Optimus Prime tells his comrades that Cybertron survived and has been restored by the power of the Matrix. The Autobots plan to help the Klozians rebuild their planet and return the Neo-Knights to Earth before returning to their own planet.

Transformers_issue80_Cybertron

Transmissions Letters This Issue

Transformers_80_ad_TransmissionsTHE END. A strange way to begin, perhaps, but it’s at the end that we now find ourselves. Not by choice–when the axe fell we were as devastated as no doubt many of you were. We (the staff and creators of TRANSFORMERS) know how much the comic meant to our readers, and that only makes it doubly sad that it has come to this. Having read your letters and even met a few of you at a signing in New Jersey, I know you’ve liked what we’ve been doing of late, and that (for many of you, anyway) the story and art had reached an all time high. Does this make it better or worse that we’re finishing now? I don’t know, but I do think we owe you some explanations, some general news, and some comments on the series as a whole. that’s why Rob Tokar kindly turned over the last letters page to me, your humble scribe, so I could tell you what’s what. anyway, before I run out of pace, here goes…

FIRST, WHY? Why cancel now? The BIG question! Unfortunately, the answer is both straight forward and almost belittlingly simple. Though TRANSFORMERS had a dedicated and devoted readership, it was also a worryingly low readership. With the toy no longer a major force, with no Transformers TV show, with many of our original readers suddenly thinking themselves too old to be still picking up the book, our audience had dwindled (and was dwindling still) to a hard core of regular readers. Despite our (and no doubt your) best efforts, new readers just weren’t latching on to the book. The trend was downward, and so (before we got to that sour almost loss making state) the decision was made to pull the plug. It hurt, but at least we were given the chance to wrap things up and go out feeling we’d finished on a high note. No one (not myself, nor Andy, nor Steve, nor Rick, no Nel, nor Rob) gave less than 101% on this last issue and we hope you all enjoyed it. It’s never great reading a final issue, a final page, but far worse to read an indifferent or lackluster finale. We didn’t let the end bow our heads, we hope you do us the favor of not letting it bow yours.

So what does the future hold? For TRANSFORMERS there’s little on the horizon. TRANSFORMERS UK is still running, but that’s just reprinting the stories you’ll have already seen over here and reprinting some old UK stories. Chances are, when this issue has been reprinted in a few months, it too will come to and end. For anyone lucky enough to get hold of a cop of this year’s TRANSFORMERS UK annual (on sale in the latter part of ’91) you’ll find within it’s pages (apart from some nifty reprint British Transformer stories) a text story (illustrated) that picks up from the end of issue #80 and looks onwards into the far future of the Transformers. It’s called “A Distant Time and Place” and it’s written by yours truly. If you can get a hold of a copy do so. I think you’ll enjoy it.

The chances of TRANSFORMERs ever being revived are incredibly small, so we’ll not bother going into that. But there is a slim chance that our resident super-team, the Neo-Knights will go on to greater things. No promises, but Andy and I are (as we speak) putting together and idea for a Neo-Knights (or whatever we decide to rename them) limited series. Don’t hold your breath, but we will give it our best shot.

What about us? What else are we working on? Well, the more keen-eyed among you may have noticed that of late my name has been cropping up on ROBOCOP and SHE-HULK. John Byrme’s back on SHE-HULK at the moment (hey, you can’t buck competition like that!), but i’m doing a few more issues and when John moves on to something new, well… who knows? I’m writing ROBOTCOP regularly now, and I’m joined there (apart from Robo artist supreme, Lee Sullivan, who’s handling the regular art chores) by none other than that Wild man, Andy. to give Lee a break from the rigors of penciling and inking an issue a month, Andy will be filling in from time to time. He’s already done issue #16 and #20, and (by the time this sees print) will probably be hard at work on issue #24. Look out for them! Stephen Baskerville (Baskers to his friends) is inking a Sleaze Brothers graphic novel for EPIC, and Nel (apat from his many coloring jobs), is busy editing for Marvel and Epic. And a quick scan through any month’s releases from Marvel will reveal the talented Rick PArker still busily lettering away. Is this a parting of the ways for Rob Tokar and me? No, of course not. Rob is currently editing none other that… ROBOCOP! isn’t it strange how these things seem to happen?! Enough with the present and future, lets take this opportunity for a stroll down memory lane, and a retrospective look at the many people involved with the world’s first eight-issue limited series!

Bill Mantlo (plot), Ralph Macchio (script), Frank Springer(pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Higgins & Parker (lettering, Nelson Yomtov (coloring), Bob Budiansky, Editor. So read the credit line on the very first issue of a then four-issue limited series. Things have changed a bit since then, but from that original line-up much grew, and the on constant for the series emerged (more on that later). Most notable about that early line-up was the presence of one Robert (Bob) Budiansky, the Editor. Bob, as I’m sure no long-time Transformers fan needs telling, went on to become writer and mainstay on TRANSFORMERS for the next four and a half years, writing not just the comic but also the character biographies for first the toys themselves and then the Transformers Universe entries. Taking over from Jim Salicrup at issue #5, Bob wrote 47 of the next 51 issues, only a fill in by Len aminski (issue #16), a two-part UK story, Man Of Iron (issues #33/34) and a cartoon adaptation by original TF cripter, Ralph Macchio (issue $43) coming between him and a clear run (hey, those deadlines are a pain!). Then it was my turn. Having written almost as much material for the UK TRANSFORMERS comic, my stories threading in with Bob’s stuff (which was reprinted sequentially with the UK stuff), I was possibly the natural choice to continue onwards. This I did for the next twenty five issues, hopefully succeeding in bringing the comic to the sort of conclusion it deserved. But that’s for others to judge.

Well that’s the writers, what about the artists? They range from Frank Springer on the orginal four-issue limited series to Alan Kupperberg to William Johnson (his brief but memorable contribution to TF history still talked about by readers), to Ricard Villamonte, to Herb Trimpe, to Don Perlin (about 20 issues, and featuring the superb inking of Akin and Garvey-who would later come to ink up the TF Universe character shots), to José Delbo who then penciled the book for more than two years, making it very much his own. His detailed style and superb action drawing made him a crowd pleaser almost without compare. Still, if there’s one real contribution I have made to TRANSFORMERS, it’s bringing with me from the UK the artistic talents of Geoff Senior and Andy Wildman. Geoff’s love-it-or-hate-it dynamism and Andy’s incredible animation brought new life to the series, and I feel that they (more than anyone else) ensured that the series went out with a bang!

Letterers too seem to have been on the constant side. Rick Parker was there way back on issue #5, popped in again a few times, and finished up with a long end run on the book. Janice Chiang, Bill Oakley and Jim Massara all did long stints as well.

But it’s our one constant, the one person who’s been with us from issue #1 through to issue #80 who deserves the biggest pat ont he back. Let’s hear it for Transformers colorist supreme, Nel Yomtov! Thanks, Nel-from all of us!

And to round things off, it’s a tip of the hat to the men behind the scense, the editors (Owsley, Carlin, Daley–for forty issues or more–and Tokar), the assistant editors, the Bullpenners and just about e everyone who’s had a hand in the comic that for sever years has been truly, More Than Meets The Eye!

Did we do well? Yeah, I’d say so. Eighty issues of the regular series, three limited series, a series and book of Transformers Universe, 300 odd issues of Transformers UK, reprints around the world. All this from a dreaded ‘toy title’. books which generally have a very limited life span. But then I guess all concerned with the book over its long history have always known that it was more than that. Like ROM and THE MICRONAUTS before it, TRANSFORMERS took on a life of its own, and I am confident that it (the worlds, characters and situations introduced) will live on beyond its cancellation in the hearts and minds of those who read it and created it. For me, personally, IT NEVER ENDS!

Thank you, one and all…and God bless!

– Simon Furman, 1991

The fat lady has indeed sung. It’s the final curtain call- the last hurrah.

I asked Rob if it would be OK to write a few words about the book, being that I’ve been associated with TRANSFORMERS longer than just about anyone else. Y’see, I’m the fella they’ve shackled to a drawing board these past six and a half years, coloring every single issue of the book. Throw in the TRANSFORMERS universe series, the G.I. Joe crossover, the movie adaptation and the HEAD-MASTERS mini series and you’ve got one bleary-eyed workaholic. When the series first started in early 1984, robots were pretty hot—lots of toy manufacturers had big toy lines, there were other robot comics, TV cartoon series–you name it. And we caught a lot of flak for publishing “another stupid comic about robots.” Yet, as the robot craze subsided, sales on our book continued to be very healthy. We had made a point: a well written and handsomely illustrated comic could outlast the fad. In effect, the book had taken on a very substantial life of it’s own.

There wee some pretty unique issues along the way. I remember one in which a couple of hoods find a gun in a garbage dump and it turns out to be Megatron. Surprises! Another one that comes to mind, naturally, was issue #1. The art and coloring had been done, but at the last minute a decision was made by the powers that were to make wholesale changes on the entire book. I remember putting in some serious weekend hours on that one.

It’s been a real treat having toiled on TRANSFORMERS for its entire run. Over the years, I’ve gotten tons of fain mail, and whenever I’m at a comics conventions, someone is sure to say, “Hey, aren’t you that guy who…”
Yup, Sure am.
Bye, Bye.
-Nel Yomtov, 1991

My Thoughts On This Issue

Well lets get the obvious out of the way. With every page the story felt more and more rushed. It’s sad, but this series could have ended a lot worse than it did and I’m pleased with the results. I wish I knew more about what was happening behind the scenes. Maybe someone will write a tell all book and I’ll finally know.

I didn’t get my Optimus Prime back. I got Action Master Prime that tried really hard to look like the original Optimus Prime. Bummed out by this, but oh well.

Bludgeon’s farewell speech bothered me a lot. In one breath he states he and the Decepticons are going to live in Solitary Exile that honor demands. Then in the next breath says, “…and live to fight another day!” It just didn’t flow right and makes the first half of his speech worthless to me as a reader.

Honestly, its a good issue. Not the greatest, not even great. Under the circumstances it’s understandable.

Thanks to everyone that followed along with me while I did the Transformers classic comics reviews. What did everyone think of this issue? Heck, what did you all think of the whole 80 issue run? Lets chat below.

Before I close out here, I would just like to leave a note that, after a short break, I plan on reviewing the 12 Transformers Generation 2 comics next. As well as the 4 or so G.I Joe comics that lead to Generation 2.

Ads This Issue.

YOSHICAST #010: Blank Comic Book Variants

Thanks for checking out episode #010 of the YOSHICAST! If you want to comment on what you’ve heard on this episode please send an e-mail, leave a comment below, Facebook me, Send me a tweet, or call me up and leave a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you. (360) 610-7047.

On this Episode of the YOSHICAST we talk about the variants one can find in blank comic book covers. Transformers: Regeneration One and its multiple blank covers are used as examples of variations one might find.

SHOW NOTES:

00:21 – What is Transformers: Regeneration One
01:26 – Transformers: Regen 1 Issue 81
03:10 – Transformers: Regen 1 Issue 92
04:22 – Transformers: Regen 1 Issue 96
05:14 – Transformers: Regen 1 Issue 100
07:01 – X-Files
07:38 – Rick and Morty

Transformers Review Issue 79: The Last Autobot?

Issue 79. Next to last. The sign of a good story is that you don’t want it to end. I don’t want Transformers to end. Maybe it will be a good thing. To end on a high note before it goes bad. I guess I’ll know when I finish with issue 80. In the mean team lets review Issue 79. But first, lets check out this cover!

Transformers_79_Youseph

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The cover is dominated by the ghostly looking face of Galvatron. A crazed smile across it makes it some what hard to pinpoint as Galvatron for me. Spike Witwicky, baring no resemblance to his Saturday morning cartoon counterpart, looks lost in deep through. Almost upset looking. “The Last Autobot?” is written on the cover. It’s not a bad cover. But I don’t think I love it because nothing about it feels iconic Transformers.

Transformers_issue79_coverHaving crashed landed on Earth, the Autobot Ark is host to a new villain this planet has yet to see. Spike realizes he is the last Autobot left to defend the planet. He reluctantly rejoins with Fortress Maximus to go after Galvatron.

Transformers_issue79_SpikeOn the planet of Cybertron, the Neo-Knights and Hi-Q have escaped from their cell and are now completely alone on the dying planet. Their mission is to find the last Autobot who will prove to be the salvation for the planet.

Transformers_issue79_Blackrock

The remaining Autobots are hot after the Decepticons, following their tracer signal hidding on their ship by Grimlock. They are headed to the planet Klo where they hope to stop the Decepticons before they can cause to much damage.

Transformers_issue79_ProwlBack on Earth, Fortress Maximus catches up with Galvatron. Galvatron, who is not stable from the crash, only becomes more enraged and crazy after taking a shot in the back from Fortress Maximus. Galvatron literally starts ripping apart Fortress Maximus with his teeth! But good prevails and Galvatron is sent to the bottom of a frozen lake.

Transformers_issue79_fwammReturning to Cybertron to close out issue 79, The Neo-Knights have found the last Autobot.

Transformers_issue79_Last

Transmission Letters This Issue.

Transformers_79_TransMissionsWe kick off this page with heavy heart. We’re sure you can guess the reason, though-like us-you’ve probably tried to convince yourself it wouldn’t actually happen. Due to factors beyond our control and despite our most epic efforts to keep the book going, next issue is the last issue of TRANSFORMERs. We’ll tell you all about it then (reasons, whys, wherefores and future possibilities), but in the meantime try to look on the bright side. We have (earlier than expected, admittedly) brought the saga to a conclusion (of sorts). This epic, 22-page story, is not under any circumstances to be missed. So join us next month for a feast of Transformers action and excitement, with more shocks, surprises and thrills than you can possibly imagine. Meanwhile, on with the letters page, and in particular one reader who (we can only guess) had some ‘inside information’…

Dear Transmissions,
I received some most distressing information in the mail yesterday. A friend of a friend of mine had heard from Marvel that issue #80 was to be the last issue of TRANSFORMERS. I was truly shocked; the look and content of the comic has improved so much of late I could hardly believe that it was truly on its last legs. I am writing to express my extreme disapproval of Marvel’s choosing to drop the book. Why, in issue #75, did you act as though the comic still had a chance of survival, if in fact it was already destined to die? Please don’t let it go, the comic is the last U.S. source of Transformers material. Even Hasbro, it seems, has given up on Transformers, the company has recently stopped turning them out. Which leads me to wonder if Marvel UK’s TRANSFORMERS comic is still going or is that too destined to perish? In closing, i would like to thank you and your staff. TRANSFORMERS has been a large part of my life and has brought me much pleasure. Even if the comic dies, I can assure you that we fans will not let the legend of the Transformers die with it!
Mark ‘Highflyer’ Tisdale
Montexuma, GA

Sadly, Mark, your information was ( as by now you’ll know) correct. We like it no more than you, but sometimes the best will in the world cannot buck the system. Issue #75’s letters page was written around the same time #72 was on sale, and at that time we genuinely thought we could save the book. The axe fell shortly afterwords, too late to pull the letter. Sorry, but like you say-Transformers will live on in the hearts and minds of the fans…and the creators!

Dear Transmissions,
HOW DARE YOU KILL OPTIMUS PRIME???!!!
Tanya Dean
N.S.W., Australia

One of the more eloquent laments on events in issue #75/76/ If we thought our double sized issue provoked a bulging mailbag, we had yet to see 76’s…

Dear Transmissions,
What’s going on? Prime’s dead(!) Again(!)? Well, I have a feeling that we’ve not seen the last of him, and that’s especially evident in HiQ’s revolutionary mannerisms. TRANSFORMERS #76 was ultimately stupendous! I thoroughly enjoyed the unpredictable climax of the Big Freeze epic and Grimlock’s magnificent evolution from Dinbot to Action Master!
Steve Beg
Ontario

Dear Transmissions,
I have a few questions I’d like answered. 1) WHY DID YOU KILL OPTIMUS PRIME? 2) Will he be coming back soon? 3) Would you please start up GODZILLA comic again?
John Webster
Lanham, Maryland

GODZILLA? Where do we get these ones from?! Anyway, a lot of readers guessed in part or (almost) in whole that Prime’s return was in the cards from the time HiQ opened his mouth at the end of #76. And since he’s not back yet, and we now only have one issue to go, we figure it’s not giving away too much to tell you next issue features-THE NEW (NEW) OPTIMUS PRIME!

Dear Transmissions,
When I read your challenge to come up with a new name for the Neo-Knights in #75 it was the spur I needed. I read a few early issue of TRANSFORMERS and then stopped in the low teens, for no real reason except for lack of money. What attracted me to those early issues was largely the presence of the delectable Circuit Breaker. How could an adolescent male with hyperactive hormones not appreciate a curvaceous female who could fly, release energy bolds, and-most importantly- wore little more than a rather scanty coating of aluminum foil?

Should we stop this letter now?-Rob

I also found the idea behind her just as fascinating; the idea that she was crippled and relied solely on force of will (plus her costume) to move. all in all, a lovely concept. I was delighted to see her return recently in #68 and so started buying the book again (so what if I’m 23!). I like her fellow superhumans and as well as a new name for the team, may I be so bold as to suggest some new names for the individual memebers. Circuit Breaker, of course, is fine, but as for the others. . . Rapture ( a technotelepath, very nice idea and nicely done), the name doesn’t sum up her talent, so I suggest ‘Electric Dreams’. Thunderpunch sounds like a Decepticon who didn’t quite make it (and as his feet grow too, his name is a misnomer), so I’ll suggest the punchier (sorry, couldn’t resist it) name of ‘Impact.’ Finally, Dynamo is the one thing Hector isn’t! He’s a conduit for natural energy sources, not a generating device. So how about ‘Powerhouse’-As for the team, the alternatives I suggest are, ‘The Human Factor’,’The Human Touch’,’Earth Guard’, and ‘Soft Metal.’
Brian Doyle
Hamel Hampstead, UK

This, believe it or not, is a much shortened versin of Brian’s letter. We’ve had to (for the same of space) miss out quite a few of the very good points he made and the detailed reasons for all of his name choices. Thanks very much for the ideas and input, all of which have been passed to Simon Furman. If he uses any of them, rest assured due credit will be acknowledged. We’re very much hoping the Neo-Knights (or whatever) will survive the demise of TRANSFORMERS. See this space next issue for more on this. . .

Dear Transmissions,
I am a member of a Transformers fan club called the TransMasters. The club started in 1984, and our current membership stands at 45, and we’re looking to expand still further. We have several talented artists and most every member has written Transformer related stories. We are an international club with members in the US, UK, and Canada. If possible, we’d like to open up a line of communication between ourselves and a concerned party at Marvel. I aware your response expectantly.
Liane Elliot
Gig Harbor, WA

Always pleased to help a TF fan club. Our much maligned Brit, Simon Furman, will be happy (as far as workload permits) to enter into correspondence with TransMasters. You can write to him via the Marvel address.
And anyone who wants information on joining the TransMasters can send a self addressed stamped envelope (along with $0.25 for xeroxing) to Liane at the address above!

My Thoughts On This Issue

I thought by issue 79 the story would feel rushed. Thats the impression I get when talking to other people involved in the Transformers fandom. That Simon Furman was rushed to end the story. Well, if he was, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Galvatron got a fitting close out. If this is in fact the last we see of him. I am sure if the series wasn’t coming to an end, Galvatron might have had a bigger and longer lasting role. But I’m happy with this so far.

The Neo-Knights are annoying me like I thought they would. I couldn’t be more happy with that.

I don’t know that I like the whole Hi-Q Powermaster/Optimus Prime angle. Maybe that’s what people are referring to when they say they feel the story was rushed to conclude. But for me, that’s the only weak part of the story. This could also be because I’ve never been a fan of the whole Powermaster thing. Never should have happened and Hasbro forced it on Marvel.

So what did you all think of this issue? You like it? You hate it? Lets talk in the comment section. Maybe I can learn some new insight I didn’t already.

Ads This Issue.

Transformers Review Issue 78: A Savage Circle

Transformers issue 78. Two more issues and it will all be over. But lets not focus on the sad. Lets focus on the story at hand. But before we can do that, lets check out this cover!

Transformers_78_Youseph

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We have before us a beautiful cover. Galvatron stands front and center with a shadow of Megatron before his feet. Behind Galvatron is a wall of cracked, broken glass and in every single reflective peace we see Megatron. The only real look at him on this cover is reflected from the glass behind Galvatron. “Past and future collide as… Galvatron battles Megatron!” is written on the bottom right of the cover. The Transformers logo has also been rendered out to match the glass fragments of the background. It’s a beautiful cover and a very telling cover at that.

Transformers_issue78_coverOn the Autobot Ark, Galvatron replays his past. Pretty much mirroring the 1986 animated Transformers movie from when Metagron is thrown from Astrotrain in space and is found and rebuilt by Unicron. Snapping out of it, Galvatron starts to pummel Megatron. Hating his former self. Megatron’s lacks reaction to this. He is still somewhat mind linked with Ratchet.

Transformers_issue78_galvatronOn the bridge of the Ark, Starscream detects life on his monitors within the ship. He and Shockwave investigate.

Transformers_issue78_StarscreamRatchet himself soon is freed from the stasis pod and soon realizes that a link between himself and Megatron remains. Around this time Galvatron stops beating Megatron to death fearing that his death may somehow affect his life. Galvatron walks away for a moment to gather his thoughts.

About this time Shockwave and Starscream arrive to find a beaten Megatron. Shockwave stays to deal with Megatron and Starscream trys to locate other life forms on the ship. Shockwave blasts Megatron, the effects felt by Ratchet just as Starscream arrives.

Transformers_issue78_MegatronBack on Cybertron, Prowl is feeling like a proper ass. His choices have led to the Autobots being stranded to die on the planet. Then, Grimlock arrives, bringing with him hope. Hope in the form of a Decepticon battle cruisers which he hid away millions of years ago just in case. The Autobots now have a chance to live.

Transformers_issue78_GrimlockReturning to the Ark, Ratchet really gives Starscream what for. Megatron and Galvatron now are on the same page and work together as they turn on Shockwave. Ratchet knows the two Decepticon leaders are to powerful to be allowed to be free. So, the Nucleon is exploded, causing the Ark to crash land on earth….again…just like 4 million years ago.

Transformers_issue78_Nucleon

Transmission Letters This Issue.

Transformers_78_Transmissions75 came and went, and-as expected-the mailbag was building soon after. Thanks to everyone who wrote in (there simply wouldn’t be space in ten issues to print ’em all), whatever you had to say. Here’s a selection of the many we received…

Dear Transmissions,
Unicron is dead, many of our Transformers are gone, and our old Autobot friends are back. A sort of landmark issue, I’d say. I’m just glad Simon Furman was around to bring us this exciting conclusion. Scorponok’s death was saddening, as well as surprising, although i’m glad he ‘did good’ before he went. Xaaron’s death was also felt by me, but Prime-Prime gave his life for everything! Or did he?! As the story reached it’s explosive end, it became very obvious that the Transformers have not been written off. With Unicron’s death, Galvatron is stuck in this timeline. What havoc will he cause? the Autobots are infused with Nucleon-what will happen to them? What of ratchet and Megatron? Who will lead the Autobots now? TRANSFORMERS will live, thrive and survive-even if I have to buy all the copies myself.
Sir John Johnson
Portland, CT

It’s a nice thought, jon-thanks.

Dear Transmissions,
I’ve recently bought TRANSFORMERS #75, the one we’ve all been waiting for. I was utterly speechless after I read it! It was so magnificent, so colossal, so profoundly excellent that it defied all standards of comic book storytelling. It was more than I ever expected it to be! But what was even more magnificent was my brother’s reaction to it. For the longest time my brother (who I see as the ultimate comic critic) had dwindling interest int he series (odd, because he was the on who got me into TRANSFORMERS in the first place), but issue #69 got him hooked again and #75 knocked him for six! Although he expected the art to be done by Andy, he was very impressed by Geoff Senior’s work (i sure was!). Now for an answer to all the Geoff Senior critics. Geoff was an excellent choice for #75. As Brian Orms remarked in his letter from #70, Geoff’s illustrations “evoke feelings of power, motion and mass.” this principle was neatly applied to the cosmic battle at hand, and the whole thing came out really well. The only problem (and a very minor one at that) was that you didn’t make Unicron BIG enough! I mean, the guy’s a freaking planet! But even this isn’t your fault, the movie did the same thing. AFter all, it ust wouldn’t work if he was too big, would it? As Optimus Prime once said to Jetfire, “May your luster never dull and your wires never cross.”
Robert Ramirez
Cambridge, MA

Likewise, We’re sure . Yeah, you’re sorta right about Unicron’s size, but try and think of him more as a planetoid than a full blow planet. As for those ‘Geoff Senior critics’…

Dear Transmisions,
Totally awesome! An epic beyond duplication! Transformers #75 had more action and suspense than the movie. The storyline was brilliant and every page had me on the edge of my seat. BUT-the art work stuck! I mean, every character looked so two-dimensional. Whatever happened to detailed ‘I want to stand out’ drawings you had in previous issues?
Daniel Cecava
Bedfor, TX

Dear Transmissions,
Disappointing! Pathetic! Gross! Need I say more about the art in issue #75? Okay, I won’t.
Lord CB
Cincinnati, OH

Have you ever noticed how many readers don’t own up to their real name when they complain? What do they expect reprisals? (Geoff, put that mail bomb down!) But seriously, these two were the only negative comments in the whole batch. The rest went much like this…

Dear Transmissions,
What a relief it was to see Geoff Senior’s triumphant, artistically cataclysmic return to the Transformers strip in issue #75. Superb! It converted the most nihilistic of disbelieves and the most pessimistic of atheists (whew!). Regarding TRANSFORMERS 375, the story was excellent and it carried the reader along unfettered. I was simply unspeakably awestruck at unicron’s immensity on the opening spread, while I applauded his long-awaited demise. As for a new name for the New-Knights, how about the Annihilation Alliance, hmmm?
Steve Beg
Canada

The Annihilation Alliance? It has possibilities, but it’s a bit long-winded. Any other ideas, folks?

Dear Transmissions,
RE: issue #75…
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! How could you do it, how could you kill almost every Transformer alive (besides the old ones)> I made a list of the Transformers you killed. They are: Brainstorm and Arcana, Emirate Xaaron, Primus, Cloudburst, Highbrow and Gort, Finback, Misfire, Bombburst, Hardhead and Duros, Waverider, Quake and tiptop.Heater, Joyride and Hotwire, Scorponok and Lord Zarak, Mindwipe and Vorath, Runabout, and Optimus Prime. Even if you re-create all these Transformers, Those with Nebulan companions will have lost them irrevocably. How can you fix this? By the way, where is Fortress Maximus?
Matthew Barse
Norman, OK

You missed Thunderwing. Oh yeah, and Quake was injured but not destroyed (he’s made of sturdy stuff). As for Fortress Maximus, dare we say ‘see next issue’?

Dear Transmissions,
I have ust finished reading issue #75. All right-enought! Who killed Scorponok (my favorite Decepticon)? I mean, that was cold! Scorponok was just getting good when Simon Furman ups and thinks, “Hey! Let’s kill him off!” Thanks a bunch. Feed Simon to Unicron!
Matt Brittenham
Las Vegas, NV

We did. Unicron spat him out. By the way, if it’s any consolation, lots of readers were similarly outraged at our resident Brit’s cavalier dispatch of Scorponok. We doubt Scorponok was too happy about it either, come to think of it.

My Thoughts On This Issue

I should have said this sooner. I feel like I have failed by not saying it sooner. But I should have said it sooner. What the fuck has Simon Furman done to Blaster? Blaster was a bad ass. Leader material. Now he’s kind of a recon guy. What gives? The best explanation I can come up with is that something happened with Blaster in the UK comics to put him in this role he now occupies. If this is the case, I’ll learn about it when I do get around to reading the uk books.

Okay, the art (except for Blasters render), is pretty awesome. Beautiful even. And that cover! wow.

I’m impressed with the sarcastic shit talking that Starscream gets away with in front of Shockwave.

Still, so many loose threads and only two issues left. While, I’m reading the next issue why don’t you all comment below and let me know what you thought of this issue. I would love to chat about it with you.

Ads This Issue.

YOSHICAST #009: Blank Comic Book Covers

Thanks for checking out episode #009 of the YOSHICAST! If you want to comment on what you’ve heard on this episode please send an e-mail, leave a comment below, Facebook me, Send me a tweet, or call me up and leave a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you. (360) 610-7047.

On this episode of the YoshiCast, Yoshi explores the topic of Blank Comic Book Covers and why he collects them.

Show Notes:

  • INTRO:
  • What are blank comic book covers
  • What to expect in a future episode.

Transformers Review Issue 77: Exodus!

Issue 77 is here! The Transformers biggest concern is their ailing home world of Cybertron. Hi-Q still clams to be Optimus Prime, and what of the Neo-Knights. Lets find out. But first, what do you think of this cover?

Transformers_77_Youseph

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Issue 77 shows the combined Autobot and Decepticon Symbols with an ‘X’ pained across it. In front we have Prowl and Bludgeon, face to face looking none to happy with each other. They way Bludgeon’s helmet is weaved between the Transformers logo is pretty creative. Written at the bottom is “Fall Out!”. Is this a sign of the end of the alliance between to two robotic factions? Also of note is the image of Grimlock now adorned on the top left Marvel Comics box.

Transformers_issue77_coverWe open up see the state of Cybertron. The weather has gotten far less friendly than before. Inside a building we see that Prowl is fighting to maintain the new alliance between the two robotic factions. Prowl has pretty much become a dick here. Still resentful that he is not the leader but Grimlock, he tries to communicate with the mass of bots as if he were their leader. In this meeting Blaster unveils his findings that the planet is starting to tear itself apart. They have to leave Cybertron before they are destroyed with it.

Transformers_issue77_BlasterOn the Ark, Shockwave and Starscream are ready to fly away. But they are unaware of the bot awakening from stasis.

Transformers_issue77_FistLater, after the gathering, Prowl wants Grimlock to give a speech like Optimus Prime might have done. Grimlock wont be doing things like Prime did and walks off.

Transformers_issue77_GrimlockNext we are taken to a cell where the Neo-Knights are housed. The plan is that they will be taken back to earth in this container. Circuit Breaker is getting works and Hi-Q is still claiming to be Optimus Prime.

Transformers_issue77_HiQAfter the Decepticons have learned of the great plan to leave Cybertron, they put together and execute their own plan. They leave Cybertron and leave the Autobots to die on the planet without help.

Back on the Ark, Galavatron appears, having successfully hidden on board the spacecraft with out notice. He soon is confronted head on with his, (former self the right words for here?).

Transformers_issue77_tron

Transmission Letters This Issue.

Dear Transmissions,
I have just finished issue #74 and now can’t wait for #75! Things, I can see, are going to get very ugly very fast. On the plus side, the Transformers are united under Prime and Scorponok, Primus is awake and Grimlock and company are bringing Nucleon to Cybertron. On the down side, Sludge and Slad are about to revive Megatron (my favorite Transformer), Prime keeps having what looks like heart attacks and, worst of all, Unicron rears his ugly head. Can it get any worse? I sure hope so! Hey, good job guys! The comic just keeps getting better and better. But best of all, Action Masters are coming! isn’t Nucleon wonderful? Everything is looking great!
Louis Pirozzi
Jersey City, NJ

Our first honest-togosh-fan letter for Action Masters! Whoo!

Dear Transmissions,
I have been a tremendous fan of Transformers ever since they where first introduced about seven years ago, but after reading countless issues of the TRANSFORMERs comic in disgust, I just had to write. The artwork has gotten progressively worse. The stories have been okay, but the art is terrible because you are turning the Transformers into human beings. Here is a list of just a few of the problems i see. 1.) I don’t care what anyone says. Robots do not have teeth or eyeballs. Even the cartoon version got that right. 2.) Facial expressions are getting way out of hand. You’re giving robots cheekbones and round face features. Eliminate drooling, tears, etc. 3) There is a complete lack of detail in the drawings. Many issues appear to be rush jobs. 4.) In a fight, just use dents and scratches. Don’t make panels fall off so that wiring shows, because it simply does not look like what a robot of that complexity would consist of. The list goes on, but basically if the art remains the same, you may have one less reader of the title.
Roland Goyette
Moosup, CT

Ah well, never let it be said we don’t print negative mail. But, we’re happy to say that at present, this sort of letter presents very much the minority view. In fact, in a batch of about 200 or so letters, this was the only one that had more than minor quibbles (Action Masters Excepted) with the way things are going with the comic. And just for the record, Roland, we disagree with you too. Anyone out there agree with him?

Dear Transmissions,
While reading issue #74 I cam across something that I imagine was included as satire, and one bona fide mistake. Check page 4, upper left corner. Apeface is peeling a banana! This mistake is on page 11, panel 5. Sluge says, ‘you head the boss’ when it should plainly be ‘you heard the boss.’ Do I get a No-Prize?
Anthony Barbaria
San Jose, Ca

NONONONONO…No! How many times? You have to explain the ‘mistake away in a logical and believable fashion to qualify for a No-Prize. Like one reader suggested that because Sludge had only recently been revived, his speech circuits were still a bit rusty. Not quite No-Prize-Worthy, but heading in the right direction. This time , actually, we reckon it was…well, a mistake! as for the banana, he’s a crazy one, that Andy Wildman, isn’t he? By the way, great name! Maybe you and Andy should get together. Barbaria and Wildman sound almost like a comic, Doesn’t it?

Dear Transmissions,
How are you doing with the Transformer there oh well you please make these new 4 Transformers for the kids going to love them a lot plus I love your Transformers The one Transformer is Optimus Prime oh can you send me a list of names of the Transformers so i can show my friends if you send it well be happy i need to go now by from.
Roy Thedems
Hamilton, GA

But is it art?

Dear Transmissions,
Help! You are my last chance. I have written to Hasbro UK and even Hasbro USA, but they don’t seem to care. I’m talking about the Transformers I cannot obtain in the UK. Like a lot of readers over here, I collect Transformer toys, but can only get the main characters. Ones like Swoop (he’s my favorite), Perceptor, Sky Lynx, Shockwave, the Predacons (and Predaking), and Fortress Maximus. Can you ask the kids of America to help a British Transformers fan achieve his goal? I have different British Transformer things to trade. I have British TRANSFORMER comics (from issue 1 up to the current issue, #298), Transformer music cassette story tapes, all the British TRANSFORMERS Annuals, and all sorts of other stuff. If there’s someone out there who can help, please write to me at [Retracted by Youseph] I’m a Transformers nut, so I’d really appreciate any help you can give to help me complete my collection. Keep up the good work over there, this lad in the UK is right behind you!
Andrew Winn
Leeds, Yorkshire

A heartfelt plea if ever we’ve heard one. Well then, all you readers out there who’ve been writing in asking how to get hold of UK issues of the Transformers, now’s your chance! Why are you still here? Get writing!

Dear Transmissions,
I’m confused. In issue #73 all the Transformers were supposedly zapped to Cybertron by Primus. How come then, in issue #74, Grimlock and gang weren’t with the others. I love the ending to #74. All I can say is…it’s interesting
Jeff Wolf
AUrora, Co

Interesting?! Is that it? Interesting? Doesn’t it make you want to cry! What happened to stupendous, breathtaking, mind-boggling and the like? Sigh… As to your confusion (too right!), Primus brought to Cybertron all the Autobots from Earth, lacking the power (in his weakened state) to search for other randomly scattered groups like Grimlock and co.

Dear Transmissions,
I’be been stumped by something i think needs explaining. How is it possible for Megatron and Galvatron to be two separate people if they’re supposed to be one and the same? I’m sure a lot of readers woud like the Megatron/Galvatron thing to be resolved and explained. One request: Please bring back Thunderwing. He’s my favorite character and I think he’s made a great leader of the Decepticons. How about a profile on him?
Tommy Sims
Chattanooga, TN

That’s two requests. So, after confused of Aurora, we now have stumped of Chattanooga. Are we getting more obscure, or is-(just kidding!). We agree with you Tommy, you’re overdue and explanation/resolution(?!) to the Megatron/Galvatron question, and-bighearted fold that we are-we’re going to give you one. Check out issue #78 for a clash you just won’t believe! Thunderwing has come and gone again already. Blink and you would have missed him. Sorry.

My Thoughts On This Issue

Prowl is a dick. Now that that’s out of the way I can focus on the rest of the review.

Is it just me or did the pacing of this issue seem, I don’t know, off? But even so, I’m still interested. What will happen with Galvatron and Megatron? Are they the same? Or where they the same in Galvatron’s time line? What is Grimlock planning with the Dinobots? How did Bludgeon become accepted in a leadership role? Will Hi-Q get to whatever he is searching for? Just have to read the next issue and find out.

I have to add that in the TransMissions Letter section there is a letter from Roy Thedems. That letter and Marvel’s response, “But is it art?” had me in stitches.

What did all of you think of this issue? Did do you agree with me about the pacing?

Ads This Issue.

Transformers Review Issue 76: Still Life!

What of Optimus Prime? What of Hi-Q? What of the Dinobots? What of Cybertron? Will find out as I crack open issue 76. But first, Lets check out this cover.

Transformers_76_Yoshi

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Firs thought after looking at the cover for issue 76? Hey, Marvel found a printer that can do more than a hand full of colors! Welcome to the modern era Transformers Fans. THis is a rich an full looking cover drawn by Andrew Wildman.  The cover features three Dinobots with Grimlock looking as if he is ready to piss himself with fear over the demonic robot looming up from behind him. It’s silly and hard to make sense of. “I tell you there is something moving out here!” is spoken by Swoop. “Uhh, well it sure not me!” responds Grimlock. At the bottom of the cover is written, “The Big Freeze” The usual Marvel box in the upper left hand corner has been replaced. Where normally you would see Optimus Prime, you know see the remains of Optimus after his altercation with Unicron. It’s pretty gruesome to look at.

Transformers_issue76_coverWe open up to a group of Transformers huddling around the body of Optimus Prime. It’s realized he is still alive, if only just barely. Prime’s last words to Prowl are to make Grimlock leader of the Autobots.

Transformers_issue76_deathSomewhere else on Cybertron, Hi-Q is running for his life. He is driven to get back to Optimus Prime to tell him of the changes they are both going through thanks to the Powermaster process.

Transformers_issue76_HiQBack to Prowl. He tells Grimlock that he is the new leader. Grimlock’s response is not what Prowl was expecting so Prowl blows up at him. In Grimlock’s broken english, he puts Prowl in his place and displays true leadership knowledge. Grimlock and the Dinobots proceed out to find the Ark and revive the remaining Autobots with Nucleon.

Transformers_issue76_ProwlSearching for the Ark, Grimlock’s body seizes up on him. He’s rendered unable to move, but can still speak. Hi-Q appears with demonic looking bots hot on his tail. Surrounded, the dinobots wage a battle rather then to leave Grimlock alone.

Transformers_issue76_Gimlock

Next we are taken to the Ark, where Schockwave and Starscream are repairing the damaged space craft. The logic being that the Ark is the best and fastest ship to use to get back to an unprotected Earth.

Back to the Dinobots. The demonic robots keep coming at the Dinobots in larger numbers. Even with an order to flee from Grimlock, the Dinobots hold their ground. Hi-Q sees something new in Grimlock. A building of energy. Using some special abilities, Hi-Q is able to speed up this process of energy that Grimlock is going through and in a short time Grimlock bursts out of his old body shell and reveals a new Action Master mode. With new strength, Grimlock is able to scare away the Demonic robots.

Grimlock shares that with his new power came with a price. He can no longer transformer. And then, rather abruptly, Hi-Q shares that he is Optimus Prime and the comic ends without warning.

Transformers_issue76_Swoop

My Thoughts On This Issue

Well things are different. Optimus Prime appears to be dead. Grimlock can’t transform. Hi-Q has an odd new power that I don’t recall ever seeing before.

The ending was very abrupt. I had to check my issue to make sure a page wasn’t torn out and missing. Just an out of place ending for me. Normally, the endings are more gentle.

I also wonder why they don’t just put the title of issues on the cover. Why give it a sub-title or a secondary title?

Regardless, this was a good issue. It’s going to clearly take another issue or two for all the fall out from issue 75 to be explained. But I’m enjoying the story and still looking forward to the next issue.

What did you think of this issue? Where you as annoyed and perplexed by Hi-Q’s new power as I was? Let me know.

Ads This Issue.