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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
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and Titles

DREAMWAVE TRANSFORMERS COMIC ISSUE GUIDES

More Than Meets the Eye

|#1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|#7|#8|Series Review|

#1

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: April 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Pat Lee, Don Figueroa, Guido Guidi, Mark Brooks, Makoto Ono, Ke Jiang, Sanford Greene, Alex Lin, Matt Kuphaldt, Dan Khanna
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Erik Sander, Elaine To, Clayton Brown, Rob Armstrong, Don Figueroa, Makoto Ono, Sanford Greene, Matt Kuphaldt, Dan Khanna
Colours: Pat Lee, David Cheung, Blond, Rob Ruffolo, Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Twincruiser, Kenneth Martinez, Bonnie Cheung, Makoto Ono, Sanford Greene, Matt Kuphaldt, Dan Khanna

Profiles Contained: The Aerialbots [Air Raid, Fireflight, Silverbolt, Skydive, Slingshot, Superion - 1 page each], Airwave, Alpha Trion, Apeface, Arcee, Astrotrain, Axer, Backstreet, Banzai-Tron, Barrage, Barricade, Battletrap, Beachcomber, Beastbox, Big Daddy, Big Hauler, Big Shot, Blackjack, Blackout, Blaster, Blast Master, Blaze Master, Blitzwing, Bludgeon [2 pages], Bluestreak, Blurr, Bomb-Burst [2 pages], Bombshock, Brainstorm, Brawn, Broadside, Bugly [2 pages], Bumblebee, Buzzsaw, Camshaft, Carnivac [2 pages], Catilla [2 pages], Cement-Head, Chainclaw [2 pages], Chase, Chromedome, Cindersaur, Cliffjumper, Cloudburst [2 pages], Cloudraker, The Combaticons [Blast Off, Brawl, Onslaught, Swindle, Vortex, Bruticus - 1 page each].

Notes: The series opens with a single page of strip, showing a Transformer [later revealed to be Megatron from the Beast Wars] consulting Vector Sigma on the past of the Transformers. The profiles often stick closely to the original toy tech specs for a basic character.

This issue also marks the first appearance of Airwave, Alpha Trion, Axer, Banzai-Tron, Barrage, Barricade, Beastbox, Big Daddy, Big Hauler, Blackout, Blast Master, Blaze Master, Bombshock, Camshaft and Cement-Head in an official Transformers comic.

Production Notes: Each page contains an image of the robot mode, and all official alt modes - Pretenders each have a second page, the first showing their shell, while Headmasters [and later, Targetmasters and Powermasters] also have images of their Nebulan partner. For Action Masters, the robot and companion are both pictured, with a picture of the companion's alt mode also. Each profile contains the character's function, motto, subgroup [if applicable], bio, weapons/abilities and weaknesses. All, some or none of these entries are sometimes drawn from the "datatracks" of another character.

#2

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: May 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Don Figueroa, Guido Guidi, Mark Brooks, Makoto Ono, Ke Jiang, Joe Ng, Sanford Greene, Alex Lin, Matt Kuphaldt, Dan Khanna
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Erik Sander, Elaine To, Clayton Brown
Colours: Blond, Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Twincruiser, Kenneth Martinez, Chris Walker, Sigmund Torre, Trang Dang, Felipe Smith, Linda Bergkvist, Ramil Sunga

Profiles Contained: The Constructicons [Bonecrusher, Hook, Long Haul, Mixmaster, Scavenger, Scrapper, Devastator - 1 page each], Cosmos, Countdown [2 pages], Crankcase, Crossblades [2 pages], Crosshairs, Crumble, Cyclonus, Darkwing, Detour, The Dinobots [Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl, Swoop - 2 pages for Grimlock, one each for the others], Direct-Hit, Dirge, Dogfight, Doublecross, Doubledealer [2 pages], Doubleheader [2 pages], Downshift, Dreadwind, Dropshot, Eagle Eye, Eject, Erector, Excavator, Fangry, Fastlane, Finback [2 pages], Fireshot, Fixit, Fizzle, Flak, Flamefeather, Flattop, Flywheels, Fortress Maximus [3 pages], Free Wheeler, Freeway, Frenzy, Full-Barrel, Galvatron [2 pages], Gears, Getaway, Gnaw, Goldbug, Grand Slam.

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Countdown, Crumble, Direct-Hit, Downshift, Dropshot, Eagle Eye, Erector, Excavator, Fireshot, Flattop, Full-Barrel and Gnaw in an official Transformers comic.

#3

[cover]
Cover: Mark Brooks
Cover Date: April 2003 [misprint, should be June 2003]
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Don Figueroa, Mark Brooks, Makoto Ono, Ke Jiang, Joe Ng, Alex Lin, Pat Lee, Andrew Froedge.
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Elaine To, Clayton Brown
Colours: Blonde, Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Trang Dang, Linda Bergkvist, Shaun Curtis.
Cover: Mark Brooks

Profiles Contained: Grapple, Greasepit, Greaser, Grit, Grotusque, Ground Hog, Groundbreaker [2 pages], Groundpounder, Groundshaker, Growl, Gunrunner [2 pages], Gusher, Gutcruncher, Guzzle, Half-Track, Hammer, Hardhead, Heave, Heavy Tread, Highbrow, Highjump, Hoist, Horri-Bull, Hosehead, Hot House, Hot Rod, Hound, Hubcap, Hubs, Huffer, Hydraulic, Hyperdrive, Iguanus [2 pages], Inferno, The Insecticons [Barrage, Bombshell, Chop Shop, Kickback, Ransack, Shrapnel, Venom - 1 page each], Iron Works, Ironhide, Jackpot, Jazz, Jetfire, Joyride, Kick-Off, Knockout, Krok, Kup, Landfill, Landmine, Laserbeak, Longtooth, Mainframe, Megatron [3 pages].

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Greasepit, Greaser, Grit, Ground Hog, Groundpounder, Groundshaker, Growl, Gunrunner, Gusher, Gutcruncher, Half-Track, Hammer, Heave, Heavy Tread, Hot House, Hubcap, Hubs, Hydraulic, Barrage, Ransack, Iron Works, Jackpot, Kick-Off, Knockout and Mainframe in an official Transformers comic.

#4

[cover]
Cover: Mark Brooks
Cover Date: May 2003 [misprint, should be July 2003]
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Don Figueroa, Makoto Ono, Ke Jiang, Alex Lin, Andrew Froedge, Marcelo Matere
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Elaine To, Erik Sander, Keith Morris
Colours: Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Trang Dang, Linda Bergkvist, Espen Grundetjern, Rob Ruffolo

Profiles Contained: Meltdown, Metroplex [3 pages], Mindwipe, Mini-Spies [2 pages], Mirage, Misfire, Missile Master, Moonrock, Motorhead, Mudslinger, Needlenose, Neutro, Nightbeat, Nightflight, Octane, Octopunch [2 pages], Oiler, Omega Supreme [2 pages], Optimus Prime [2 pages], Outback, Overdrive, Overflow, Overkill, Overload, Override, Over-Run, Perceptor, Phaser, Pincher [2 pages], Pipeline, Pipes, Pointblank, Pounce, Power Punch, Powerdashers, Powerglide, Powerrun, Powertrain, Predacons [Divebomb, Headstrong, Rampage, Razorclaw, Tantrum, Predaking - 1 page each], Monster Pretenders [Birdbrain, Bristleback, Icepick, Scowl, Slog, Wildfly, Monstructor - 2 pages each for individual members, one for Monstructor].

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Meltdown, the Mini-Spies, Missile Master, Moonrock, Motorhead, Neutro, Oiler, Overflow, Overload, Over-Run, Phaser, Pipeline, Power Punch, the Powerdashers, Powerrun and Monstructor in an official Transformers comic.

#5

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: August 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Don Figueroa, Ke Jiang, Alex Lin, Andrew Froedge, Marcelo Matere, Joe Ng, Rob Ruffolo
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Elaine To, Tracy Ho
Colours: Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Rob Ruffolo, Susan Luo, Shaun Curtis

Profiles Contained: Protectobots [Blades, First Aid, Groove, Hot Spot, Streetwise, Defensor - 1 page each], Prowl, Punch/Counterpunch [2 pages], Quake, Quickmix, Quickswitch [2 pages], Rad, Raindance, Ramhorn, Ramjet, Ratbat, Ratchet, Ravage, Red Alert, Red Hot, Reflector [Spectro, Spyglass, Viewfinder - 1 page each], Repugnus, Retro, Rewind, Road Hugger, Roadblock [2 pages], Roadrunner, Roadbuster, Roadgrabber [2 pages], Roadhandler, Rodimus Prime, Rollbar, Roller Force, Rollout, Roughstuff, Ruckus, Rumble, Runabout, Runamuck, Sandstorm, Scoop, Scorponok [2 pages], Scourge, Seacons [Nautilator, Overrbite, Seawing, Skalor, Snaptrap, Tentakill, Piranacon - 1 page each], Searchlight, Seaspray, Seawatch, Shockwave [2 pages], Sideswipe, Sidetrack.

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Rad, Reflector, Retro, Roadblock, Roadrunner, Roadgrabber, Roller Force, Rollout and Roughstuff in an official Transformers comic.

#6

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: September 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick.
Pencils: Don Allan Figueroa, Ke Jiang, Alex Lin, Andrew Froedge, Marcelo Matere, Joe Ng, Rob Ruffolo, Pat Lee, Guido Guidi, Makoto Ono
Inks: Ferdinand Poblete, Elaine To, Tracy Ho, Erik Sander
Colours: Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Rob Ruffolo, Susan Luo, Espen Grundetjern, J. I. Winterbell Lee, Trang Dang, Cil Cheung

Profiles Contained: Siren, Sixshot [2 pages], Sizzle, Skids, Skullcruncher, Skullgrin [2 pages], Sky High [Pretender; 2 pages], Sky High [Micromaster], Sky Lynx, Skyfall, Skyhammer [2 pages], Skyhopper, Skystalker, Skywarp, Slamdance, Sledge, Slide, Slow Poke, Slugfest, Slugslinger, Smokescreen, Snapdragon, Snarler [2 pages], Slapdash, Soundwave, Spaceshot, Sparkstalker, Spinister, Splashdown [2 pages], Springer, Sprocket, Squawkbox, Squawktalk, Squeezeplay, Stakeout, Starscream, Steeljaw, Stonecruncher, Storm Cloud, Strangehold [2 pages], Strikedown, Stunticons [Breakdown, Dead End, Drag Strip, Motormaster, Wildrider, Menasor - 1 page each], Submarauder [2 pages], Sunrunner, Sunstreaker, Surge, Sureshot, Swerve, Swindler, Tailgate, Tailspin.

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Sky High [the Micromaster], Skyfall, Skyhammer, Skyhopper, Slamdance, Sledge, Slide, Slow Poke, Spaceshot, Sprocket, Squawkbox, Squawktalk, Stonecruncher, Strikedown and Surge in an official Transformers comic. Slapdash is in the wrong place.

#7

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: October 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick
Pencils: Don Figueroa, Ke Jiang, Alex Lin, Andrew Froedge, Marcelo Matere, Joe Ng, Makoto Ono
Inks: Ferd Poblete
Colours: Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Winterbell Lee, Cil Cheung, Joshua Perez, Ed Racho, Sue Ng

Profiles Contained: Tailwind, Takedown, Technobots [Afterburner, Lightspeed, Nosecone, Scattershot, Strafe, Computron - 1 page each], Terrorcons [Blot, Cutthroat, Hun-Grr, Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Abominus - 1 page each], Terror-Tread, Thrust, Thundercracker, Thunderwing [2 pages], Topspin, Tote, Tracer, Tracks, Trailbreaker, Tread Bolt, Treadshot, Triggerhappy, Trip-Up, Trypticon, Twin Twist, Ultra Magnus [2 pages], Vanquish, Vroom [2 pages], Warpath, Waverider [2 pages], Weirdwolf, Wheelblaze, Wheelie, Wheeljack, Whirl, Whisper, Wideload, Windcharger, Windsweeper, Wingspan, Wreck-Gar, Blurr [Targetmaster], Bumblebee [Pretender; 2 pages], Cyclonus [Targetmaster], Grimlock [Pretender; 2 pages], Hot Rod [Targetmaster], Jazz [Pretender; 2 pages], Kup [Targetmaster], Optimus Prime [Powermaster, 2 pages], Scourge [Targetmaster], Starscream [Pretender; 2 pages].

Notes: This issue marks the first appearance of Takedown, Terror-Tread, Tracer, Tread Bolt, Treadshot, Trip-Up, Vanquish, Vroom and Wheelblaze in an official Transformers comic. Slapdash is in the wrong place.

#8

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: November 2003
Writers: Adam Patyk & Brad Mick.
Pencils: Joe Ng, James Raiz, Edwin Garcia, Don Figueroa, Alex Lin
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Colours: Mike Majestic, Elliot Kravchik, Sigmund Torre, Winterbell Lee, Joshua Perez, Ed Racho, Rob Ruffolo, Edwin Garcia, Sebastien Caisse, Ferd Poblete

Notes: Instead of profiles, this issue acts as an encyclopaedia, with brief fact-files or histories on the following: The Ark, Autobots, Cloning Technology, Combiners, CR Chambers/Stasis Pods, Cybertron, Cybertronian Martial Arts, Decepticons, Earth, Energon, Energon-Based Weaponry, The Fallen, Gladiatorial Combat, The Great Shutdown, Guardian Robots, Headmasters, Junk, The Matrix, Micromasters, Nebulon [sic], The Nemesis, Powermasters, Pretenders, Quintessa, Shockwave's Experiments, Size/Mass Change, Space Bridge, Sparks, Special Abilities, Targetmasters, Transwarp Drive, Unicron, Vector Sigma, Wreckers and a glossary. There's also a page of strip featuring Megatron [the Beast Wars one] and Dinobot showing the contents of the series to be the contents of the Golden Disc.

I'm not going to bother with a run-down of the facts included therein, because as far as I'm concerned none of this is legitimate continuity, regardless of what Dreamwave have said to shift the book, until it's referred to in one of their story-driven series - much in the way that I view something mentioned in the original Marvel comics' stories as correct, even if it contradicts the Transformers Universe profiles.

The art is a mixture of new pieces and existing work from the Generation 1 and War Within series.


Series Review: A little light, to be honest. While it's nice to see lots of the "new" faces here, lots don't get more depth than the original tech specs gave them, and some of the more complex characters get very brief overviews. It's also alarming now often the phrase "Subject has no significant weaknesses" crops up - as it's generally for those not given overt weaknesses in their tech specs, it comes across as very lazy. The art, on the whole, is impressive, and scores more hits than misses. However, several alt modes look deformed [possibly for copyright reasons?], and there are some poor basic character models on show - using the toys as reference for the likes of Broadside, Air Raid and Carnivac just goes to show what a good job the Marvel team did reworking them in the 1980s. Several of the artists lean too far towards the Pat Lee deformed style of drawing though, and several of the poses are too dynamic for something like this - some twist so much it's actually difficult to see parts of the robot - though the variance here is largely good, rather than just being the Marvel Transformers Universe with digital colouring.

The biggest problem, however, is the irritating ordering used. Some subgroups are placed together, which can make reading jarring, and off-the-shelf referencing frustrating. Some, on the other hand, aren't, like the Micromaster Patrols, and the Micromaster Combiners - the latter would have made more sense to run successively, though I myself would have preferred a straight A to Z listing. It's a shame, because Heli Bartman's basic page design is very striking and crisp.

Also, the last issue and a half is pretty poor. The "upgraded" characters could have been merged with the original profiles, especially given as most of the characteristics of them are very similar. And the final issue is a little asinine, laying out the history of the Transformers in a series of info-dumps. This would be restrictive to future storylines if it wasn't for the fact Dreamwave are just ignoring bits of it already... Vast chunks of it also read like anal retentive fanfic, too.

It's very much a coffee table book, rather than the definitive guide it should have been. The writing's not bad per se [though I do feel there should be a credit of some sort for Bob Budiansky...], just a little unimaginative, and the novelty of the third person "from the Datatracks of..." soon wears off. Maybe I was just expecting a consistent reference book, rather than something which owes a bit more to Image-style Sourcebooks, but this left me feeling rather empty.

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