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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)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE

Marvel UK nav: UK Intro | Story List | #1-10 | #11-20 | #21-30 | #31-40 | #41-50 | #51-60 | #61-70 | #71-80
#81-90 | #91-100 | #101-110 | #111-120 | #121-130 | #131-140 | #141-150 | #151-160 | #161-170
#171-180 | #181-190 | #191-200 | #201-210 | #211-220 | #221-230 | #231-240 | #241-250 | #252-260
#261-270 | #271-280 | #281-290 | #291-300 | #301-310 | #311-320 | #321-330 | #331-332 | Cover Images
Annuals: 1985 Annual | 1986 Annual | 1987 Annual | 1988 Annual | 1989 Annual | 1990 Annual | 1991 Annual
Other titles / G2: Action Force #24-27 | Specials & Collected Comics | UK G2 Intro | UK G2 #1-5 | UK G2 Annual

1985 Annual

| Production Notes | "Plague of the Insecticons!" | "Missing in Action" | "And There Shall Come... A Leader!" | "Hunted!" |

Production Notes

[cover]
Cover: John Ridgway

Notes: The first hardback Transformers annual produced by Marvel. A softback version was published in 1986.

As well as two strip stories and two text illustrated stories, it included brief profiles for Megatron, Starscream, Ravage, Skywarp, Soundwave, Rumble and Laserbeak, illustrated by toy box art, pages 14-15 of US #1 [omitted from the UK printing, scripted by Ralph Macchio and drawn by Frank Springer], nine simple quizzes and a basic game.

Priced at £3.25

"Plague of the Insecticons!"

[20 page strip story]

Script:
[Simon] Furman
Art: [Mike] Collins & [Jeff] Anderson
Letters: [Richard] Starkings
Colours: [Gina] Hart

Later Reprinted In:
Transformers - Plague of the Insecticons [UK].

Synopsis: Optimus Prime, Prowl and Warpath are meeting the President of the USA to negotiate an alliance. However, the Decepticons overhear, and the Insecticons attack the meeting, making the US authorities believe they're on the same side. Prime sends Prowl and Warpath to stop them in downtown Washington, while he tries to find the source of the attack. Prowl is taken out by Shrapnel, though Warpath battles on. Prime then sends Roller to support him, taking out Shrapnel just in time. Prime finds Ravage is controlling the Insecticons, and the Decepticon's attempt to get Bombshell to destroy Prime backfires when Kickback overhears the order and destroys Roller. The feedback cases Bombshell to miss, and take over Ravage, who was in turn controlling him, leaving both mindless. Prime and Warpath withdraw, pondering the failed alliance.

Notes: This doesn't fit anywhere - any complicated explaining of Ravage's condition is negated by the fact that the Insecticons don't get to Earth until after Skids has thrown Ravage underground in #73, where he stays until #199.

Errors: Prime's trailer and faceplate are blue throughout. The Insecticons all have odd colour schemes that actually aren't a million miles from their Diaclone colours. On page 8, Warpath is green, then blue on page 9. Prowl's police badge changes size all the way through, and half the time is absent. As Ravage watches him, Prowl is missing his launchers. The President's behaviour is odd - he knows the Autobots were set up, but will forget the alliance because they didn't explain?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Prowl, Warpath, Shrapnel, Bombshell, Kickback, Jazz [flashback], Megatron [flashback], Soundwave [flashback], Ravage.

Review: Pretty ordinary, and overlong. There are some nice visuals, and it's fairly sharply written, but there's nowhere near the plot to justify 20 pages, and the ending's just confusing. That said, there are some good bits [Prowl's determination to save the town; his messy death], and it's nice to see Roller used.

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"Missing in Action"

[7 page illustrated text story]

Script:
?
Illustrations: John Ridgway & Gina Hart

Synopsis: Tracks is knocked out by Rumble. Prime sends Jazz to investigate, but Tracks has been taken to New York by a pair of criminals. Prime sends a team to rescue him, consisting of Inferno, Grapple and Hoist. They find Tracks, but the crooks start a fire in a bank. The Autobots stop it and save everyone.

Notes: Again, no real continuity slot for this one, as Inferno doesn't arrive on Earth until #188.

Review: Another fairly dull story, a basic rescue/learn the value of all life storyline, albeit competently written.

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"And There Shall Come... A Leader"

[11 page strip story]

Script:
Simon Furman
Art: John Stokes
Letters: [Richard] Starkings
Colours: Gina Hart

Later Reprinted In:
Transformers - Plague of the Insecticons [UK], Transformers Holiday Special '94 [UK].

Synopsis: Emirate Xaaron lobbies the Autobot Council of Elders to cede command of the Autobot army to Optimus Prime, as Iacon is under siege. Bluestreak arrives back in the city with vital explosives, and Prime is given command off the Autobots. They hold the Decepticons up on a bridge, which is mined by a team led by Gears. The Autobots withdraw, and then detonate the explosives, forcing the Decepticons back from Iacon.

Notes: This clearly fits in some time before #1, with #166 putting the start of the civil war at around 4,000,100 BC. Up until this point, it would seem the Primes were just generals with no executive control - this belonged to the council. Traachon was High Councillor. Mentioned but not seen are Ratchet, Hound, Pulsar and Tempest. It's difficult to tell if some of the archaic character models [Soundwave, Gears] are a serious attempt to suggest Cybertronian robot modes, or just odd choices. Some of the art is clearly sourced from the early issues of the US comic, while Fusion is identical to Prime's Cybertronian mode as shown in #1. Bluestreak's Cybertronian mode is a futuristic car.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Xaaron [first appearance], Traachon [first appearance], Optimus Prime, Tomaandi [first appearance], Bluestreak, Fusion [first appearance, killed], Megatron, Soundwave, Prowl, Brawn, Gears, Windcharger.

Review: Something of a gem. It's the first serious injection of Cybertronian history, mixed with a good storyline and some fine character work [the determined Prime, Bluestreak]. Also, the unusual art actually really works, making the story kind of stand out from anything else, clearly pinning it to a different era.

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"Hunted!"

[7 page illustrated text story]

Script:
?
Illustrations: John Ridgway & Gina Hart

Synopsis: Prowl and Bumblebee take the Jumpstarters to investigate Decepticon activity in South America. There they find a Decepticon mine, which they destroy, though the Decepticons are able to escape.

Notes: Once again, this doesn't fit anywhere, as the Jumpstarters don't get to Earth until #172, and are never stationed on the Ark. The narrative totally skates around what the Decepticons were actually mining for...

Review: Once again, well written and with some great characterisation for Prowl and Bumblebee, but with some heavy-handed moralising, and a pretty inconsequential feel.

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