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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers Regeneration One 83: Loose Ends Part 3
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

”Do you… question decisions you’ve made?”
Actually still pretty strong. I’m not Circuit Smasher’s biggest fan – he comes off as a total asshole and gives off a lot of Mike Costa Spike vibes, but on second reading he doesn’t annoy me as much as before, mainly because he’s got an actual legitimate reason to be bitter. It’s pretty obvious that the role was written for Circuit Breaker, though I thought Simon Furman handled the switch to Spike pretty well. It’s kind of stupid yet funny at the same time how the reason that the Ark was breached in the first place was because Spike is a selfish dick who left the Ark unguarded, though. I really like the rather hopeless picture that Spike draws, with Megatron’s effortless trouncing of everything the humans threw at him being a rather awesome buildup. It’s not quite up to the standards of murdering Autobots left and right in G2, but it’s pretty good. I also like the numerous continuity callbacks, even if Furman isn’t allowed to name Circuit Breaker, the Neo-Knights and the G.I. Joe (and subsequently kills them all off!). Pretty good setup, and Blackrock makes a surprising yet appropriate appearance.

Megatron really feels like a threat, albeit a short-sighted crazy one. Springer and Topspin get some screentime, although the other Wreckers are still ciphers. Like the rather nice Decepticon power play and the cooperation between Soundwave and Bludgeon, as well as Bludgeon’s destruction of a hapless planet to show that the Decepticons have not gone soft. Between Megatron and Bludgeon, Optimus Prime has certainly screwed up very badly, and I think Optimus is one of the weaker links in the series so far, basically chalking the stupid decisions he’s made (ignoring every other planet out there) to him wanting to delude himself into believing that everything is at peace. Shame on you, Optimus. Both you and Spike screwed everything up.

The art improves from last issue, being much more similar to the older Wildman art although he still has a lot of problem with drawing non-Kup, non-Springer Wreckers, settling on having them look pretty generic. There are, of course, some points of groan-worthy panels, but as a whole it’s pretty fine. I’m kind of annoyed by the needless random UK referencing, which sounds like a desperate call for attention, as well as shamelessly plagiarizing the G2 plotlines. I am also annoyed that they all but killed off Fort Max off-screen (although Nebulos might mean his return), and an asshole Spike seems to be set up as a main character. But still, all things considered, it’s a pretty good setup and buildup issue, and even if nothing much happens here, it’s not a bad read.

Notes

The Autobots have been shown numerous times to keep their Decepticon prisoners (first seen when Omega Supreme defeated a third of the Decepticon forces at that time in issue #19) and Autobots wounded beyond repair (issue #26 et al) inside the Ark. However, see goofs.

G.B. Blackrock, the Autobots’ longtime ally, was last seen in issues #79 and #80, and apparently has been put in a wheelchair in the intervening years.

Breem (8.3 minutes!), a time-unit originating from the Marvel US comics, is mentioned by Ultra Magnus.

Scraplets were seen in the Marvel comics #29-30, although their portrayal here is slightly different from the Marvel comics appearance, see goofs.

On the flashback in the battle against the Decepticon army, what is obviously Circuit Breaker can be seen flying beside Fortress Maximus. However, while she is clearly a floating female figure crackling with energy and has a mask similar to Circuit Breaker’s, she is block-coloured entirely blue, possibly for fear of legalities with Marvel. Her origin was mentioned by Blackrock as the basis of turning Spike into Circuit Smasher, albeit without outright naming her. The block-coloured purple guys under Circuit Breaker might just be the Neo-Knights, but they’re not as evident as Circuit Breaker.

Fortress Maximus had apparently died off-screen during the battle for Earth. At least the Fortress Maximus body has been destroyed, anyway. It can be assumed that Circuit Breaker (and maybe Neo-Knights) had fallen in the battle as well, if Spike’s dialogue is any indication.

The group that formerly resided in the Argus Base is described by Spike in such a way that seems to describe G.I. Joe without explicitly naming the team. The meeting table has the G.I. Joes’ eagle-head insignia, too. Spike’s dialogue that they were ‘all gone’ seemed to imply that all the Joes have been killed (probably in Megatron’s first battle against the military) or assimilated into the resistance. Blackrock is named as the person who designed many of the tech in the base, though, so it might be the RAAT. I lean more towards the Joes, though.

No idea who the people in yellow hazmat suits that are responsible for reactivating Megatron (by purpose or not) are. Might be Cobra, but they don’t look Cobra…

Thunderwing’s body has apparently been recovered since its apparent destruction in issue #75. This story features one of the very few times that Thunderwing’s inner robot is shown.

The Ark’s computer is briefly referred to as Auntie, a name that has only been used exactly once (parsed as 'Aunty') in the first US comic as a carry-over from an earlier script where the Ark was referred to by the rather silly name. However, 'Auntie' later showed up as a rather major part of the Marvel UK story ‘Raiders of the Last Ark’ and other stories that referenced it.

There are battlesuits in Argus Base near-identical to Buster’s battlesuit from the Marvel UK ‘Robot Buster’ arc.

Bludgeon and his Decepticons ride the Warworld, a planetoid-shaped ship of mass destruction. Bludgeon likewise constructed the Warworld and used it to conquer other worlds after the events of Klo in the events of Generation Two.

Altihex, another city originating from Furman’s work in the Dreamwave G1 comics, is mentioned briefly.

‘Scramble City’ is a term originating from the Japanese toyline which described the swapping gimmick of what is known as the ‘Special Team’ combiners in the Marvel comics, as well as a short OVA promoting them. Here, it’s used as the name of a city.

The planet Torkulon is based on the planet of similar name, refreshingly not from the UK or G2 comics, but from the cartoon’s Season 3 episode ‘Webworld’. However, the planet’s inhabitants here are brains inside metallic spider things instead of the psychologist monkey aliens of the cartoon.

Goofs

Circuit Smasher mentions Topspin’s badge, yet neither he nor Rack’n’Ruin are drawn with Autobot badges.

Repugnus, who is not one of the victims of the Underbase saga and more specifically not a Decepticon, is seen among Megatron’s zombie troops. It is possible that he had died during the Underbase Saga off-screen since he never made any appearances outside the Headmasters series.

Scraplets are portrayed in the old Marvel comics as little robot parasites, but here Megatron describes the Scraplets as a virus, and Kup looks like he’s rusting (albeit purple) instead of having Scraplets stick like parasites. It’s also kind of unfeasible (but not impossible) for the Autobots to get a live Scraplet specimen considering all of them were destroyed by the Throttlebots.

At the end of the Underbase Saga, both Optimus and Scorponok had mentioned that they were going to tend to their own fallen, and indeed so far in the Marvel run only Autobot bodies have been seen in the Ark’s medbay/morgue, thus making Megatron’s claim that he harvested the Decepticon dead from the Ark somewhat of a continuity conflict.

Trailbreaker is still consistently drawn without his forcefield generator. Spike’s flashback to his armoured Headmaster armor is quite a bit off from the character model. The kibble behind Sandstorm’s head disappears and reappears from panel to panel. Sandstorm’s head also changes from his comic/cartoon model without a mouth into the toy’s faceplated head halfway through the issue.

The block-coloured Autobots boarding the shuttle are nigh-impossible to ID. Prowl is pretty obvious, and the person next to him seems to be Sunstreaker judging from the head shape and the back kibble. The fourth Autobot from the left seems to be Perceptor judging by the head shape, shoulder cannon and arm kibble, but I have no idea who the other three is.

Quote/Unquote

 
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