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1990 Annual

| Production Notes | "Fallen Angel" Part 1 | "The Magnificent Six!" | "Fallen Angel" Part 2 | "Firebug!" |

Production Notes

Cover: Geoff Senior

Notes: The sixth Transformers annual produced by Marvel.

Only one new story, "The Magnificent Six", was included. Also in the annual were two reprinted stories from the regular title, updated A-Z entries for Inferno, Ironhide, Jazz, Prowl, Sunstreaker and Wheeljack, plus a guide to the spaceships featured in Transformers.

Priced at £4.25.

"Fallen Angel Part 1"

[11 page strip story]

Simon Furman
Geoff Senior
Annie Halfacree
Steve White

Originally Printed In:
Transformers #101 [UK].
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Fallen Angel [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Skids is leading the Cybertron seven back to the Ark when he suddenly disappears. Meanwhile, Professor Morris, in Centurion, is patrolling when he comes across a crater. Galvatron leaps out of it, and tears Centurion apart. He then stumbles into the seven, and begins to battle them, knocking out all bar Blaster. The latter attempts to scramble Galvatron's brain, but only enrages him. Then, the Dinobots arrive.

Notes: Skids, Blaster, Perceptor, Cosmos, Seaspray, Beachcomber, Powerglide and Warpath were released by RAAT in #95. Centurion has been a nomad since #77. After returning to his own time, Galvatron was defeated by Rodimus Prime, and Unicron was destroyed, though Galvatron was able to timejump back to 1987. Skids gets displaced into limbo by him. The Dinobots haven't been seen since #77.

Errors: Why didn't the Aerialbots take the other Autobots with them, or at least show them the way? Blaster's missing his visor - it's possible it's either retractable, or was lost during his internment and he hasn't yet found a new one.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Skids [displaced into limbo], Blaster, Perceptor, Beachcomber, Warpath, Seaspray, Cosmos, Powerglide, Galvatron, Rodimus Prime [flashback, first appearance], Shockwave, Soundwave, Razorclaw, Grimlock, Snarl, Sludge, Swoop, Slag.

Notable Others: Professor Morris and Centurion - the robot is torn apart by Galvatron. Unicron is seen in flashback.

Review: Astonishingly drawn by Senior, this is a fine action issue, carefully setting up the return of Galvatron and the Dinobots, bringing the Cybertronian Autobots into the main plot and proving a nice breather from the action on Cybertron. Galvatron's beginning to go off in the deep end, but unlike in the cartoon, it doesn't undermine his character, and Shockwave seems back on form also. Excellent.


"The Magnificent Six!"

[16 page illustrated text story]

Simon Furman
Art: Staz [pseudonym for Stewart Johnson]
Colour: Louise Cassell

Synopsis: Optimus Prime is briefing Prowl, Jazz, Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, Inferno and Silverbolt for a mission to go through the Acid Wastes to investigate the link between the Underbase and Primus in the Stanix region of Cybertron. All bar Silverbolt were involved in a guerilla mission to the same area, and try to get out of it. They set off anyway, through the post-neutronic Wastes. Prowl and the others who have been here before are reluctant, though, especially when they reach the remains of a certain village. The Autobots are then attacked by small robots, under the command of Megadeath - a mad Decepticon general thought dead since he detonated neutron bombs in the area. To Silverbolt's shock, the other five give up, and they're all captured. When the others had been in their infiltration mission, they sheltered in the village of Yuss. This turns its' inhabitants against the Autobots, and handed them, and their comrade Stampede, over to Megadeath and his lieutenant Thunderwing. The Autobots are then systematically tortured, until they were unable to do anything other than watch as Megadeath kills Stampede. In the present, the five veterans of the mission have had their mental wounds reopened by seeing Megadeath again. However, Silverbolt goads them into talking about what happened. After the killing of Stampede, Megadeath released the five into Yuss, giving them two hours to find the bombs and neutralist villagers before he detonated the bombs. They surprised Megadeath by attacking and crippling him, but he refused to tell them the location of the bombs or the villagers. Eventually they realised he wouldn't give in, and fled, leaving the village and its inhabitants to be destroyed. Silverbolt tells them they're not cowards, they're brave for even admitting their past problems, and the six set out to confront Megadeath. Faced with defeat, the Decepticon sends his own nuclear power source critical. The Autobots escape.

Notes: This story takes place in the Earthforce continuity, between #260 and #261. Thunderwing was one of Megadeath's key lieutenants, and would already seem to have a Pretender shell - further evidence they existed before Scorponok 'created' them in #162. The original mission took place before Optimus Prime was Autobot commander, and before he met any of the Autobots [it's not clearly stated whether this was before he received the Matrix, though].

Review: Surprisingly adult, "The Magnificent Six" is a stylishly written piece on redemption, with believable characters and an excellent flashback format. The torture sequences are well-written, and Silverbolt is righteous without becoming pious. A triumphant example of how well the text story format could work - the same script in comic form just wouldn't have carried as much impact.


"Fallen Angel Part 2"

[11 page strip story]

Simon Furman
Jeff Anderson
Annie Halfacree
Steve White

Originally Printed In:
Transformers #102 [UK].
Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Fallen Angel [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Dinobots and Blaster battle Galvatron, but with little success. Shockwave and the Decepticons observe the fight, and he muses that it may be in his own interests to aid the Dinobots. Meanwhile, Morris takes over Swoop briefly, allowing time for the Decepticons to arrive and bail the Autobots out. Galvatron withdraws rather than fight his own side.

Notes: Blaster didn't know the Dinobots on Cybertron. Morris levels with Swoop about everything.

Errors: Blaster definitely shouldn't be missing his visor in the flashback. As he zaps Galvatron, there's no red on his tapedeck mode. On page 6, Dirge is missing his wings, and they're missing on pages 10 & 11 too. As Galvatron decks them both Snarl and Sludge are missing the kibble on their backs, and Sludge has a yellow chest. In the final frame, the notch in the centre of Swoop's forehead is uncoloured.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Blaster, Skids [flashback], Galvatron, Grimlock, Sludge, Swoop, Snarl, Slag, Shockwave, Dirge, Razorclaw, Shrapnel, Soundwave, Rampage.

Notable Others: Professor Morris and Centurion - only the robot's head though. Circuit Breaker and Walter Barnett are seen in flashback.

Review: A decent enough conclusion, though it's not quite as dynamite as the first part. The art's not as tasty, but still pretty good, and both Blaster and Swoop get some fine work. The ending's pretty good as well, with Galvatron not as mad as he'll get and Shockwave showing there's no such thing as a good deed from a Decepticon.



[11 page strip story]

Simon Furman
Dan Abnett
Art: Jeff Anderson
Letters: Tom Frame
Colours: Euan Peters

Originally Printed In:
Transformers #188 [UK].
Later Reprinted In:
Transformers - City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: On Earth a meteorite arrives, and a fiery creature leaps off it. The next day, a Cybertronian reconnaissance team - Broadside, Sandstorm and Inferno - arrives on Earth. Sandstorm spots a fire and checks it out. The others soon follow him. Inferno recognises the cause as a Firebug, an alien that causes fires. They capture him, and send him to Mercury.

Notes: The trio have been sent to observe Galvatron and report back to Cybertron. Broadside is team leader.

Errors: Sandstorm states Emirate Xaaron gave them their Earth modes, but both he and Broadside had Earth modes when they started off in #84. Flying in helicopter mode a short distance above flames isn't very helpful to the town.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sandstorm, Inferno, Broadside.

Review: Not bad as jokey filler stories go, with some good characterisation for the three Autobots and a low-key opponent. The Firebug isn't the worst thing the Transformers have faced, but it's hardly a shame when he doesn't turn up again...



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