MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE
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Other titles / G2: Action Force #24-27 | Specials & Collected Comics | UK G2 Intro | UK G2 #1-5 | UK G2 Annual
G2 UK #1 - #5
#1 - "War Without End"
Cover Date: October 1994
Synopsis: Bludgeon attacks Earth to draw Optimus Prime out into the open. Prime soon arrives with a small team of Autobots, having already received a mysterious distress call from Earthforce commander Grimlock. Prime sets off after Bludgeon, leaving Jazz, Sideswipe and Skram to pick off the individual Decepticon strike teams. The Decepticon force is just preparing to pull out with low Energon levels when the Autobots find them. Prime defeats Bludgeon, but then Megatron arrives.
Notes: Okay, this story is pretty much irreconcilable with the US version of G2, for a number of reasons - Grimlock being based on Earth, the massive cast differences [the entire cast is of G2 toys, bar Bludgeon], and Prime meeting Bludgeon - by the time he gets to Earth in the US version, Bludgeon's already been killed by Megatron. So this is another alternate reality, where Earthforce still exists [I say 'still', but this doesn't necessarily follow on from the UK Earthforce stories], Bludgeon has a vastly different army and the likes of Grimlock and Ramjet have different colour schemes. All that said, it is set up so the later G2 material can be used - just not the early stuff. Prime does, however, refer to Bludgeon's promise in "End of the Road".
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime [G2 colours], Rage, Hydradread, Bludgeon, Fireball, Tornado, Hawk, Blitz, Flamefeather [G2 colours], Sparkstalker [G2 colours], Clench, Jazz [G2 colours], Sideswipe [G2 colours], Skram, Megatron [G2 body], Grimlock [G2 colours], Ramjet [G2 colours], Terradive.
Production Notes: Simon Furman claimed at at least one convention that he didn't have anything to do with Fleetway's G2 comic, and then said he did in a later trade paperback of US material. Despite the fact that Furman seems to rewrite his own history to suit what's going on, I'm going with him as writer until I hear another name. The issue also contained profiles for Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Megatron and Ramjet, adorned by Hasbro box art.
Review: Little more than a diverting oddity, but still has some plus points. It's nice to see some of the G2 characters, and while Smith's art is a little stodgy in places, Gill Whelan's colours are amazing. Overall, it's a totally different type of story to its American namesake, but as a fun, child-orientated action story, I've read considerably worse.
#2 - "Warzone"
Cover Date: November 1994
Synopsis: Prime and Megatron battle, while Grimlock, recovering from being jumped by Megatron, calls up the Dinobots. Then, Bludgeon's forces attack Megatron, and the Autobots and Dinobots also help. Starscream pulls Megatron out, while Grimlock reports his clashes in space with Jhiaxus to Prime.
Notes: This issue is more-or-less designed to bring the UK book to a point where American reprints can take the strain. Bludgeon's new forces seem to be largely captured, the destruction of the Ark is referred to and the Cybertronians are mentioned. However, it does complicate things a little by not solving the Decepticon leadership issue. Autobase is situated on Earth's moon.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Rage, Aquablast, Drench, Hydradread, Hawk, Terradive, Tornado, Skram, Jazz, Sideswipe, Flamefeather, Sparkstalker, Snarl [G2 colours], Slag [G2 colours], Starscream [G2 colours], Jhiaxus [flashback].
Production Notes: The random Autobot insignias are part of a competition. The issue also contained profiles for Jazz, Piranha, Starscream and Blitz, adorned by Hasbro box art.
Review: Fun if empty, one big fight scene to illustrate how the G2 Megatron toy justified its' price-tag. The biggest problem is the ongoing attempt to force the thing into a basis for US reprints, which, after such a different start, was never going to work. It's a shame the resources couldn't be found for home-made material, as while this title was never going to trouble it's namesake, it could have been quite a superior kids' comic.
#3 - "Devices and Desires!"
Cover Date: December 1994
Synopsis: Against orders, Grimlock sneaks a team aboard Jhiaxus' flagship, the Twilight, but the Cybertronians are already and capture them easily. However, Prime arrives and bails him out. Grimlock expects a long lecture, but instead finds himself left in charge while Optimus makes a trip to Cybertron.
Notes: The first mention of the Liege Maximo, though Jhiaxus doesn't expand on who or what it is. He also describes the Autobot attacks as "niggling". Grimlock is made temporary Autobot commander while Optimus journeys to Cybertron.
Errors: On page 5, First Aid's coloured wrong. On page 6, Sideswipe's missing the grenades or whatever those were strapped to his thigh.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Kup, Sideswipe, Grimlock, Red Alert [killed by Cybertronians], Ironhide, Streetwise, Groove, First Aid, Mirage [killed by Cybertronians], Snarl, Blades, Slag, Swoop, Jhiaxus, Prowl, Hound, Hot Rod.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that for US G2 #4, though it's been recoloured - possibly by Gill Whelan. Page 1 was cut. Surprisingly, considering that the violence of the first issue is believed to be a factor in the new UK opening issues, Red Alert's death is left in. Also there's the first appearance of the "Transmissions" letters page.
Review: There's some good character work for Grimlock, but aside from that it's a less dramatic reworking of the US version of "War Without End". Galan's art is inconsistent, with his necks being a bit of a problem still, and smaller faces being messy. That said, he nails Red Alert's gruesome death fairly well, though some dodgy colouring makes it look a little Delbo-esque as he's hit - it looks like he's simply knocked into neat components, which clashes a little with the detailed partially stripped exoskeleton.
#4 - "Tales of Earth Part One" & "Tales of Earth Part Two"
Cover Date: January 1995
"Tales of Earth Part One"
Synopsis: The Warworld bombards Earth, before the Decepticons land and attack. But there, rather than Optimus Prime, Bludgeon finds Starscream and Megatron. : Weirdwolf is another repaired since damage in "End of the Road".Errors: Bludgeon attacking Earth to draw out Optimus Prime was done in #1, while Megatron's already encountered Bludgeon's forces in #2.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bludgeon, Shrapnel , Stranglehold, Octopunch, Fangry, Darkwing, Quake, Weirdwolf, Megatron, Starscream.
Review: Again the support story kicks the main one into touch. "Tales of Earth" is much more interesting, with some very dark art affirming once again that this isn't a kids' book. That said, Bludgeon meeting Megatron within minutes of planet fall stretches credibility a little. Overall though it's a decent read. Shame that Fleetway blatantly didn't care by this point, though...
"Tales of Earth Part Two"
Synopsis: Megatron and Bludgeon fight, but Megatron wins easily, taking command of the Decepticons.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bludgeon [killed by Megatron], Stranglehold, Quake, Octopunch, Fangry, Megatron, Starscream, Darkwing [deactivated by Megatron], Skydive.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US G2 #5, recoloured, again possibly by Whelan. This issue contained profiles for Snarl and Sideswipe, adorned with Hasbro box art.
Review: Incredibly rushed, with Bludgeon's last stand being pathetically written. The fight with Megatron lasts two pages and two frames, and his death is mostly off-frame. Not a bad read, but not really the series high-point that the momentous events would deserve.
#5 - "The Power and the Glory"
Cover Date: February 1995
Synopsis: Prime travels to Cybertron to decipher his visions, and a group of elders drop him down into Cybertron, where the planet's resonance will amplify his link with the Matrix. There he learns that originally the Transformers reproduce by cellular division. The process was unknown for years, but Prime deduces that Jhiaxus reactivated it. He awakens, too soon to see a black swarm produced as a by-product of the Cybertronian reproduction.
Notes: There are still what seem to be Autobot Elders, or at least whatever Autobots have for priests, on Cybertron. They refer to Optimus Prime as the "fourth heir to the Matrix", after Prima, Prime Nova and Sentinel Prime presumably. The natural resonance of Cybertron allows for relaxation for the Matrix holder, and allows Optimus to find out the source of the visions bothering him. The first Transformers rose from the flesh of the planet, and then used asexual reproduction. This process was thought lost, having served its purpose.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, a trio of Autobot Elders, Jhiaxus, Hot Rod, Air Raid, Fireflight, Silverbolt, Slingshot, Groove, Slag, Swoop, Snarl, Sludge, Grimlock, Kup. Also, on the bottom-left frame of the first page, Scourge, Blurr and Wheelie are visible on Cybertron.
Production Notes: The cover is based on interior art from page 13, recoloured.
Review: Steadily done, with the main thread unfolding nicely, though the training at Autobase reeks of padding. It's interesting stuff, and a plausible theory is put forward for Transformers reproduction.