Transformers Review Issue 61: The Primal Scream

Issue 61 of Marvels’ Transformers is oh so good! Thought it is not flawless, it is a great story and I can’t way to review it with you and share my thoughts on it. But before we get into the Religion and God of all Cybertronian beings, its check out this cover.

Transformers_Issue_61_Youseph

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This busy cover features Jazz, Grimlock and Bumblebee afloat or maybe falling. The background is a yellow and orange lined mess. It looks like it’s a pit underneath…. OH! It’s a face! It’s Primes’ face! I did not see that the first time over. The tag line on the cover, “The Primal Scream!!” fits now. I get it. It’s really close inline to the story within. The render of Primes’ face is very busy though and hard to understand. I get what the artist was going for, but I think the limited color palate really hurt this cover.

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Deep within the core of Cybertron rests the head of the Transformers’ god, Primus. Primus is guarded by a bot known as the Keeper. Grimlock, is the brave Autobot who questions everything the Keeper is saying which causes the Keeper to recount the origins of the Transformers.

Transformers_issue61_GrimlockLiesThe Keeper tells the story of two gods known as Primus and Unicron and their fight. A fight that ends in the two crashing into on to separate metal asteroids. Due to their weekend state they become trapped on the Asteroids.

Transformers_issue61_Asteroids

Over a long period of time, Primus is able to turn his asteroid into what is now Cybertron. Unicron turns his Asteroid into the planet eating bad guy we all know from the 1986 animated movie. Primus creates a race of robots called Transformers to aid in his combat of Primus. Now, deep in space, Unicron searches for Primus.

Transformers_issue61_UnicronNow reaching the end of his story, the Keeper is hit with a Decepticon blast. The Autobots fight back to the Decepticons from waking Primus, only to have Octopunch anciently ricochet a shot off of Grimlock waking Primus. He screams, sending shockwaves through out Cybertron.

Transformers_issue61_UnicronHears

Transmission Letters This Issue

Dear Transmissions,

File_TMAfter reading the several million letters you have printed by people begging you to bring back certain characters, I feel it is time to start giving your writers some advice. They shouldn’t pay so much attention to which new toys Hasbro are producing, and -most importantly- it shouldn’t matter that Hasbro is no longer producing certain characters as toys. Just because these characters aren’t made anymore doesn’t mean you have to kill them off in the comic!

In the 55 issues so far I have seen many characters (good and bad) killed off: Shockwave, Megatron and (everyone’s favorite) Starscream, to name some Decepticons, and Jazz, Blasters and Sunstreaker, on the Autobot side. Please stop this trend before all we’re left with are Pretenders, Micromasters, Powermasters and the like!

I’d better just add this I’ve just flicked to the final page of issue #56, and seen Megatron! So perhaps this letter was unnecessary.

Mark Wright 
Louisvill, KY

Maybe not, Mark. Several other readers share your worry that certain characters are being permanently ditched purely to make space for new characters in the toy range. Hopefully our last few issues should have helped to convince you that the “old favorites” will crop up from time to time. One of Optimus Prime’s main aims in the upcoming “Martix Quest” saga is to recover the Autobots’ sacred life force, in order to restore his injured. Whether he succeeds, of course, is another matter altogether!

Dear Transmissions,

The Micromasters were great! I really enjoyed seeing them in issue #54 and #55. That said, I can’t believe you involved wrestlers in the comic. Please don’t do it again, Bob. By the way, Bob, I think you should do more drawing. The first ten pages of issue #55 were excellent!

I think I have a solution to your new/old Transformers problem. The key is integration! Take a few new Autobots and Decepticons, throw in some old ones for spice, and mix with action, plenty of fireworks and destruction (preferably of the bad guys!). By the way, if the Transformer coming  “back from the dead” is Megatron, I’m going to be thrilled to bits!

Brian Sherwin
Suffolk, VA

Hopefully by now you’ve pulled yourself back together again, Brian, because it certainly was Megatron. We figure -judging by out last sizzling four issues- that our writer and artist agree whole-heartedly with your solution. Stick with us for the even bigger shocks, thrills and all-out excitement we’ve got lined up for you over the coming issues!

Dear Transmissions,

YES! All right! I just read issue #56 and my faith in you guys has expanded tenfold! And no, this isn’t an “It’s about time, too!” letter. You’ve done a great job building suspense over the past batch of issues, finally bring back Optimus Prime and now featuring the return of best of the baddies, Megatron! No frills, no Head/Target/Power master feature, just the unchanged, supreme epitome of Decepticonism! I have dreamed of this resurrection! Megatron was just too cunning and powerful to have been destroyed by a space bridge! Put Megatron back in command of the Decepticons and let’s see some SERIOUS head-crackin’! Thanks, guys. You topped yourselves magnificently with this beauty of an issue!

John Talcott
Lakewood, CA

A Megatron fan, perhaps? Well, let’s hope all this euphoria didn’t dissipate too rapidly after the events in issue #59. Don’t worry too much john. It’s kinda hard to keep a bad guy of Megatron’s caliber down for long!

Dear TransMissions,

After a six month hiatus, I’m back as a regular reader of the comic. I was just a little overwhelmed with new comic books and ever-increasing prices, and so I had to cut some of the titles from my list. Why, you ask, did I drop TRANSFORMERS? I guess I was more than a little miffed because in issue #40’s Transmissions you promised to reveal -in sixty days- if we could expect an ongoing HEADMASTERS series, and you never did! I waited months and months for a verdict which never came, and decided in the end the answer was “no”.

But, as I said, I’m back. The cause of my return is the return of someone else.. Megatron! I’m sure that with him back, the series will return to its old splendor and glory. First Optimus Prime, and now Megatron! The galaxy will never be the same again!

Dr. D
Garland, TX

Welcome back! Apologies to you and anyone else out there who’s been anxiously awaiting news of an unlimited HEADMASTERS series. With the Headmasters and Targetmasters now actively involved in the regular series, it’s unlikely they’ll be getting their own comic. The return of Megatron seems to have won approval across the board from Transformers fans, and believe us…that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as momentous happenings are concerned!

Dear Transmissions,

Have you heard the great news? Marvel has done it again with the return of its all time classic comic book -WHAT IF…? At last, another comic nearly equal in greatness to TRANSFORMERS. Think of the possibilities! Good old Uatu, The Watcher, might tell us stories of the Transformers on other Earths in parallel dimensions and answer such questions as: 1.) What if the Transformers never crashed on Earth four millions years ago? 2) What if Unicron turned someone else into Galvatron? 3) What if optimus prime never died? 4) What if Ratchet never found the Dinobots? 5) What if the Transformers crash-landed in another country? 6) What if Unicron battled Galactus? The ideas could go on and on. Think about it, guys…it would be fantastic!

Brian Jelinek
Sand Diego, CA

Let’s be honest, Brian, if the Transformers never crashed on Earth four million years ago, there wouldn’t have been much of a story to tell! That said, we might just be looking in on an alternate Earth Transformers future right here in about six or seven issues’ time. Intrigued? Then stay tuned…

Dear Transmissions,

so you want us to guess who’s coming “back from the dead,” eh? Well, I know for a fact that it will be Shockwave. And then, shortly after this, it’ll be Megatron. How do I know these things? Well, have you ever heard of Marvel Comics in London? They produce TRANSFORMERS there as well, and -here’s the catch, folks- they print stories we haven’t covered yet! Not only have Shockwave and Megatron reappeared over there, but they’ve covered the future ‘bots and ‘cons from 2005 onward. Now it wasn’t enough to have all the recent battles (they reprint our stories), with the vast number of wounded Transformers resulting from those, no -they have to go and (almost) end everything! You should have seen what they did to- no, that’d be spoiling it for readers over here who might get a chance to see these stories at some point. Keep up the good work and try to shed some light on the British TF comic, please.

Liane Elliot
Tacoma, WA

WRONG…about Shockwave, but RIGHT about his return in the UK continuity. You seem to be one of those fortunate readers who has access to both TRANSFORMERS US and UK stories -unlike our next letter writer…

Dear Transmissions,

I’m a loyal fan and reader of TRANSFORMERS, and though I consider the comic to be among the best being published at the moment, I feel the comic doesn’t seem to be complete. What I think you need is a supporting comic along the lines of G.I. JOE SPECIAL MISSIONS to fill this “Comic hold.” Maybe you should follow the advice of many loyal readers, Including myself, and organize a new book reprinting the Marvel UK transformers stories!

Rondald Kinion
Pasco, WA

Whey-hay! We’ve finally don it! A whole letters page with no letter supposedly from a transformer!

Dear Transmissions,

Hi, Jazz here-

Sorry, out of space! Ha, ha, ha!

My Thoughts On This Issue

Man oh man, a lot happened in this issue. A lot of world building and understanding of the Transformers race. This was a book well worth the cover price.

With each issue it seems as if Simon Furman is giving the characters their real voice. Or a voice that mimics what we have been seeing on the Transformers cartoon program. Grimlock and Jazz are really sounding like themselves in this issue, while Bumbleebee is showing signs of being a badass and not a bad leader either.

Transformers_issue61_Keeper
The Keeper!
The Keeper is a really cool looking character. I kind of hate that he looks like he died in this issue. I would have liked to see more of him.

As the reader, we don’t get the full and complete back story of Primus and how he was created. The story cuts to other happenies while the keeper explains that part. But I don’t feel cheated because what we do get is Gold. IT’s a back story I like and really enjoy. It adds depth to the Transformers and I’m ready for the next issue.

We also see the art of Geoffire Senior in this issue. It’s different then Delbo’s art, It’s good. I don’t know if it’s better, but it’s quite good.

So what did you think of this issue? How do you like the back story of Primus, Gods, and Cybertron?

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Author: Youseph

Cohost of the TransMissions Podcast. Writer, Blogger, Musician.

3 thoughts on “Transformers Review Issue 61: The Primal Scream”

  1. I think Fuhrman is officially saying now “I’ve got this. I’m taking over.” The artwork is darker and grittier than virtually anything that has come out of the Marvel Transformers cannon. Grimlock still retains his badassness, but he’s thankfully devoid of the pig-headedness that Budiansky populated him with. It’s really interesting now that The Transformers have pretty much given up on injecting any kid-friendly plotlines, and have taken some genuine risks, incorporating, as you said, setting up some serious religious parallels, and establishing an overlying sense of dread coming toward both the Autobots and Decepticons.

    1. Yup, Furman is in the driver seat. No question about that.

      I can’t help but wonder if the non-kid friendly portliness is a result of the book under cancellation or Hasbro losing interest, or Furman saying, “screw it. Lets just tell a good story.”

      We may never really no the answer. But, I’m enjoying the book.

  2. This one really got to me even today. I loved that is showed the origin of the Transformers as well as giving us a good introduction of Primus and Unicron. I thought this issue broke a lot of ground with the look at religion and beliefs. You have a basic cast of the religions at the time with Bumblebee (being most kinds of people) , Jazz (being “hate to say it this way” being black,hispanic , and others ) and Grimlock ( being the ones who still don’t believe in God despite him being in front of you).

    I don’t want to rant about religion or anything I just thought I would point out something I got from the book after all these years. Who know it might have been the intention all those years ago by Simon Furhman.

    Though I think my favorite was the Art. I loved how the feel and look the art came out. Not to mention how good it worked it the fights. I really liked the part in the fight when Grimlock headbutted the glass cover on Octopunch. That was one thing I wondered why no one would target a target like that. When you have Pretenders with Helmets and things you would think that things like that would be a weakness or something. (Remember Cloudburst removing his shells armor).

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