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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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Manga
Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Movie Prequel #1 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

They say I'm a hero. I say I did my duty.

This is the darkest issue by far of the Prequel comic, indeed it's so different in tone from the knockabout light hearted film it's almost a shock to realise they're supposed to be in the same Universe.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, it demonstrates the film Universe can sustain different types of story, and as a tragedy play it's one of the best examples a Transformers comic has ever done.

The main problem comes from Bumblebee himself, whilst it's nice to see what he was like before going nuts, he just comes across as the stock Furman noble character. Indeed, at times his narration - full of phrases like "I hear an inner voice - drowned out before in a clamour of crossed swords" - sounds like a intentionally bad spoof of the writers excesses. This is odd for a comic he only co-wrote.

The normally reliable Don Figueroa also seems to be having an off day. Later he would do some excellent work with the Movie designs on the UK comic, but here he seems to be struggling to create anything really distinctive.

All in all though, it wins extra points for being the only Prequel issue to have an honest to goodness plot and for a rather fun camp Megatron, and whilst inessential for viewing of the film is still worth a few moments of your time.

Notes

This was the first published tie in fiction to the 2007 film, and thus the first real glimpse for many of us as to what we might expect from it (though the film, and indeed the subsequent issues, are a rather different tone).

Much was made in the pre-publicity of how closely IDW, Del Ray (the publisher of the Prequel Novel), the computer game developers and Dreamworks worked together to create a seamless mesh of a fictional universe. The main example given was that the battle shown here was extrapolated from dialogue in the script. Sadly, whilst it still makes it into the novelisation, the mention of Tyger Pax isn't in the final film. Ultimately, the Movie offers no explanation of how the Allspark was lost.

As a slightly more successful example of things tying together, Swindle, Payload and Dreadwing are all characters developed for the computer games, whilst Arcee is a toy based character.

Uniquely amongst Transformers comics, the first page has a note explaining that everything we read is being translated from the Cybertronian.

The City of Simfur is named in honour of long serving Transformers writer Simon Furman. We'll be charitable and assume his co-writer- normal range editor, Chris Ryall, was responsible for that.

This would subsequently become the backbone of Titan's UK Transformers Comic, reprinted across the first 12 issues. The first two also contain UK created strips that tie in directly to the events here, one showing Optimus Prime launching the Allspark into space (which doesn't tally at all with what Bumblebee tells us here is going on at Simfur) and the second revealing Megatron was further hindered by the other Movie Autobots after leaving Bumblebee's body.

Goofs

Wouldn't it make more sense for the other Autobots on the team to be told the truth once they set out on their mission, rather than just assuming their work is unimportant to the overall war effort?

We're told that after loosing his voice, Bumblebee learnt "To communicate in other ways, by other means. Eventually alerting the others to Megatrons quest". So have the Transformers never invented something as simple as the pen and paper? How did he eventually communicate with everyone then? "Five words... first word... big...huge...large...Mega? Megatron!".

Oh, and even if it wasn't Furman himself who did it, whoever thought it was a good idea to name one of the comics main locations after one of the writers? Didn't they think it would look a bit egocentric?

Quote, Unquote

Bumblebee: Our salvation or our doom, one lies waiting somewhere far beyond this place we call home. It's a big, big Universe, and the Allspark could be anywhere.

Bumblebee: The Allspark was sacrosanct. Its energy sustained us - And the planet itself! In return, we tended to it, kept it secure and protected.

Bumblebee: My unit - valiant fighters all, but like me, so new to warfare. A killer instinct it seems is learned, not borne.

Optimus Prime: None of our lives matter! The Allspark is All. With the Allspark, new life can arise, whether here or elsewhere.

Bumblebee: My...job is done! The Allspark is finally beyond your reach!
Megatron: For now, perhaps. Though of this small, pyrrhic victory no word shall ever be uttered!

 
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