Transformers Review Issue 63: Kings of the Wild Frontier

Transformers issue 63 is here and we are in for a western ride this time around. Thought it was a good issue, its clear it’s following a pattered of story telling established in issue 62. It looks like the next couple of stories are going to follow this template which, I think, will end with the Transformers finally locating the Matrix. Lets get into this review and see if I’m right. But first, lets check out this cover.

Transformers_Issue_63_Youseph

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This old west themed cover really grabbed my attention because, thanks to my older brother’s influence, I have an affection for Westerns. This cover features Thunderwing, front and center, with his  Decepticon troops propagated in the background. The background shows old western main street complete with a wooden sidewalk. There is even a shop sign at the top of the issue hanging by changes, displaying the Transformers logo. The Autobot insignia next to the logo has been painted over with a new Decepticon insignia. In the background Needlenose, appears to be holding a branding iron of the updated Decepticon insignia. Thunderwing is holding a weird four barrel gun with his hand and shoulder. “Ah’ve come fer mah MATRIX!” he says on the cover. To the left is written, “You’ll never forget the day they drifted in…” Also, written on the bottom right of the cover, “Thunderwing and the Deceitpcons hit town!” It’s a cover with a great use of color, but like most Transformers covers, not everything depicted on the cover happens in the issue.

Transformers_issue63_coverOn the planet of Cheyne, the Triggerbots search for the Matrix when they are almost run over by a group of riders then discover that these riders are pursuing an alien child. Dogfight, who has been itching to fight from the start of this issue, gets into the action and the other Autobots follow. The Autobots scar away the group of riders despite their warnings about the child. The Autobots return the child to its parents who insist the Autobots stay away and rest up before moving on.

Transformers_issue63_enoughOver to Thunderwing, we see has attached his three Autobot prisoners (Hosehead, Nightbeat and Siren), from the last issue up to a device that attempts to extract information from their heads. If the Autobots try to fight it off they are painfully punished. The point of this is so Thunderwing can learn as much about the Matrix Quest as they can before setting down on Cheyne.

Transformers_issue63_MindLeechBack on the planet, Hud and his family tell their sob story to the Triggerbots, ending with how they are now picked on by the locals who wont be happy until they have taken away their farm. The Autobots are convinced to stay over night on the farm to rest up before they leave.

Transformers_issue63_Hud

Now, the Triggerbots have been convinced to stay even longer with the Hud family and help on the farm. It’s also clear at this point their minds have been fogged and maybe even controlled. Non of them can remember the Matrix Quest.

Transformers_issue63_ImportantMr. Hud, travels to the town of Osaplam and Dogfight follows to provide protection. Soon they are confronted by Thunderwing and his Decepticons. After a quick battle, Thunderwing deduces that Dogfight’s mind is all but gone and can’t provide any new information about the Matrix. Thunderwing and the others leave Cheyne.

Transformers_issue63_nameDogfight pulls out of his mental fog. either by the Decepticon beating or the fact that Hud is not near by. Whatever the reason he is starting to remember. Dogfight is then approached by the riders he had attacked the day before and is told that mind control is the family’s evil nature. Without wasting time Dogfight races back to the Hud ranch and at gun point forces the Hud family to reveal their true form. They turn out to be Vrobian psychic vampires that have been feeding off the Matrix life-energy all of them have. A fight breaks out which snaps the remaining Triggerbots out of their mental fog.

Transformers_issue63_DogfightThe issue ends with the dispatching of the Hud family and with the Triggerbots contemplating the point of war and if they are any better than the evil doers they fight against.

Transformers_issue63_Victory

Transmission Letters This Issue

Dear Transmissions,

Transformers_Issue63_TransMissionsI have just finishes issue #57, and it was pretty rad, even if I wasn’t rooting for Megatron’s return. However, one question is very much on my mind: what is happening to Optimus Prime?? He isn’t the brave, kind, smart, etc., Autobot leader I used to know. Is it because he no longer has the Matrix of Leadership? Whats going on?

Also, when are you going to put female Autobots in the comic? I know Arcee is in the movie comic book, but that’s not enough for us girl fans. So if you’re ever going to do it, do it now!

Barbara Walker
Nazareth, PA

As you might have gathered from recent issues, Optimus Prime is going through a tough time at the moment, and even the mighty Autobot leader has feelings and emotions. He’s lost the Creation Matrix, and one of his best friends…and believe us, this is just the start of his problems! Before it gets any better for Optimus Prime, it’s gonna get a whole lot worse! Didn’t we finally sort out that there were no male or female characters—just Transformers (most of whom seem to be modeled on the male of the species)? Oh well, if we didn’t before, we have now. Okay?

Dear Transmissions,

TRANSFORMERS #57 was totally awesome! I’m sure that Megatron’s master plan is going to be very successful! Imagine: using your worst enemy, Starscream (the most traitorous, evil villain that ever existed– he’s my favorite, by the way) to destroy your other enemies is pure genius. The main reason that i’m writing this letter is to ask you why everyone is so down on Grimlock? According to his tech specs, he has an intelligence raking of 7, which would indicate that his intelligence is above average. This means he’s a whole lot smarter than a lot of other Autobots, so please keep this in mind when you use the new Pretender Grimlock. Like someone once said, “may your luster never dull, and your wires never cross!”

David Buzzell
North Bend, WA

And the same to you David (whatever it means!). We think your appraisal of Grimlock’s intelligence is right on the money. Grimlock is intelligenct, he just chooses not to show it (we also suspect his speech circuits might well be fairly basic). Friend and foe alike tend to underestimate Grimlock because of this, giving him a considerable edge. We’ll be taking a close look at Girmlock (and the other Dinobots!) in an upcoming issue.

Dear Transmissions,

For a long time I’ve felt that the Transformers series was somewhat disappointing, while at the same time being full of potential. In the last few issues I’ve perceived crucial changes that lead me to believe you’re finally tapping that elusive potential. And best yet, it’s leading somewhere! Megatron’s revival, although not captivating for me, was an essential step in your progression. And now that Megatron’s revival, although not captivating for me, was an essential step in your progression. And now that Megatron’s overseeing the restoration of Starscream–this is almost too much! Optimus Prime unleashed? Never! Really? I’d love to see Prime kick Megaton into the next time zone.

One Suggestion: I’m sure a lot of Transformers fans would like to contact others, including me. So why don’t you devote a page each issue to addresses of TF fans who’d like to correspond? Give it a try, eh?

Brendan Crispin
Madison, WI

To be honest, Brendan, the Transformers series has always been “leading somewhere.” As with all continuing sagas, the main story has many smaller tales to tell, not all of which need to be epic or cosmic to be enjoyable. At the moment, the comic is taking a very positive direction to a battle the like of which it’s never seen before, but–in the course of getting there-it will take many twists and detours. We hope all readers will enjoy both these detours and the main journey! As for a pen-pals page, we’ll let you decide. If we get enough names and address from budding corresponders, w’ll print a selection when we’ve the space. We’ve printed your full address to start the ball rolling… 

Dear Transmissions,

Why is it that TRANSFORMERS doesn’t have an annual? Is it that the Transformers are too tough for the Marvel Universe?

Daniell Patton
Big Spring, TX

Dear Transmissions,

I am writing to demand a TRANSFORMERS ANNUAL. I mean, even that no-account, organic, big-nosed alien (namely ALF), has one…and he’s had only a fraction of TRANSFORMERS’ 57 issues.

Nicholas Gustafson
Oakville, ONT

Do we detect a certain feeling out there that many of you would dearly love to see a TRANSFORMERS Annual next year? All we can say is keep those requests and demands flooding in, and who knows?

Dear Transmissions,

I am sick an dtired of you guys. Fifty eight issues have gone by and still no Rodimus Prime! I know you’re going to say the same old thing–“he doesn’t come around until the year 2005.” Ooooh! Don’t you think we get sick and tired of hearing that? Well, chew on this. Trypticon didn’t come around until after the movie (when Rod first appeared) and you had him in issue #25.

The Headmasters and Targetmasters didn’t make the scene until after the movie, and we said hello to them in issue #40! If you haven’t guessed my question yet, it’s–WHERE THE HECK IS RODIMUS PRIME?! You can’t say he doesn’t come around until 2005, because all these characters came before him!

Mike Barkhouse
Nova Scotia, BON

Let’s clear this up once and for all. Many of you seem to think that the cartoon series and comic continuities are tied up with each other. Not so. The cartoon series is entirely different from the comic in both its sequence of events and representation of characters. The closest in terms of a possible future is the movie, but even then it might not be what eventually happens. Enjoy the cartoon series by all means, but don’t think it shows what will happen in the comic. Issue #43 was the only episode that tide in directly with the cartoon series. Rodimus Prime appears in issue #67, but whether you’ll enjoy this particular appearance remains to be see!

Dear Transmissions,

I bought TRANSFORMERS #57 and loved it! I read the book so many times i have it memoriezed. Now that MEgatron is back, will he lead the decepticons again? Even though he is power-hungry, i still think he’d make a better leader than Scorponok. Another thing. My friend told me to tell you to get rid of Circuit Breaker, because she interferes too much with the Autobot/Decepticon war. Please have someone destroy her!

Ted Bucci
Y., Ohio

With the introduction of Thunderwing and a certain future Decepticon leader, it may be that there’ll be quite a bit of competition for the Decpticon leadership (and let’s not rule out a few ex-Decepticon leaders who may or may not be dead from this equation) in issues to come. Who will rule? That is a question whose answer will have dire consequences for both the Decepticons…and the Autobots! Poor old Circuit Breaker. We’re happy to say that not everyone agrees with you there!

Dear Transmissions,

I would like a Transformers cross-time saga, with Circuit Breaker starring! A ten-part series would do! Nuff Said.

Wesley Holland
Los Angeles, CA

Sheesh! Would you settle just for the return of Circuit Breaker?

My Thoughts On This Issue

Lets work our way back words. The issue ends with the Triggerbots taking the lives of the Hud Family. Even as the reader understands it was more or less a them-or-us situation, it’s still came off to me as very extreme and at the moment I don’t think I like it. Making the Autobots killers? I guess this brings to light the fact that war is messy and people die.

I want to point out that this issue marks the return of Jose Delbo and If I’m not mistaken, I would say his art has improved since we saw his work last.

The new or updated Decepticon logo doesn’t show it’s self in this issue. Not sure why it’s on the cover and if anyone knows for sure, I would love to find out.

Thunderwings four barrel gun on the cover also isn’t seen in this issue.

It’s a solid story. A little bit of a bummer regarding the ending. Thought, I guess it helps make it more real. I wonder if the remaining issues of this Matrix Quest will be more real also.

Let me know what you all thought of this book.

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Author: Youseph

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

3 thoughts on “Transformers Review Issue 63: Kings of the Wild Frontier”

  1. I think a lot of readers are sharing your sentiments – judging by the comments. Simon Fuhrman is leading the Transformers down some dark territory. I’ve always been a bit cool to the ‘western’ motif. I realize you can do a western in space (see the first Star Wars) – where the ‘spirit’ of the western is kept, but applied to modern, or futuristic times. But this – it seems like Fuhrman is trying to shoehorn a traditional, old-fashioned western into a Transformers story – and it just…is a bit odd.

  2. This issue SCARED me at the time (I was already a teenager, but I am kind of sheltered in what I’m exposed to) I’m surprised you did not include a panel of what the Hud family really look like. This issue reminds me of the first Twin Connection book “Mystery at Maguire Farm” It is based loosely on a classic storyline, and I think well done. I agree about the Autobots killing the Huds being off-putting now that I think about it (although it didn’t occur to me at the time)

  3. I remember when I first read this issue i wasn’t sure if I liked it. Now I still feel the same way. Don’t get me wrong it a good story, but just something felt off to me. I think now it the fact the Autobots that were used. There was something about the Trigger bots I just did not like even now. I think they were good designs in the comics expecially Dogfight. I loved his design and really like how he carried his guns, a real gangster. The ending didn’t really surprise me too much. I kind of saw something was amiss right from the start with the aliens who turned out to be psychic vampires. Though the Autobots killing them did surprise me. Though looking now the Triggerbots did seem like a group who wouldn’t hesitate to kill if need be. Though Prime more than likely wouldn’t approve.

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