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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

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(2005-now)
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MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE

Marvel US nav: US Intro | Story List | US #1-10 | US #11-20 | US #21-30 | US #31-40 | US #41-50 | US #51-60
US #61-70 | US #71-80 | Comics Magazine | Transformers Universe | Transformers the Movie | Headmasters
G.I. Joe and the TFs | US G2 Intro | G.I. Joe #138-142 | G2 Special | US G2 #1-6 | US G2 #7-12 | Cover Images

G2 US #7 - #12

| #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12 |

#7 - "New Dawn" & "Tales of Earth Part Four"

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: May 1994

"New Dawn"
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings w. [?] O'Neil
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

"Tales of Earth Part Four"

Script:
Simon Furman
Art: Derek Yaniger
Letters: [Richard] Starkings w. [?] O'Neil
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: The Best of Simon Furman [Worldwide, "Tales of Earth" only].

"New Dawn"

Synopsis: The Decepticons' new warriors storm the mining planet of Tykos, winning Megatron stores of the gas named Rheanimum, which makes metal incredibly dense. Then he learns on of his scout vessels has been attacked by Jhiaxus. The Warworld attacks Jhiaxus' fleet. However, the Decepticons are quickly overrun, and Jhiaxus defeats Megatron, sending him crashing into a nearby planet. The Cybertronians then withdraw, while Soundwave finds Megatron.

Notes: Megatron has given life to at least five new Decepticons, and revived Darkwing [who he deactivated in #5] in a new form. Rheanimum is mined on Tykos, and is a gas that massively increases the density of metal, making it nearly invulnerable. It is very rare.

Errors: Sizzle's arm design changes from page 1 to page 3. The overlay as Skullgrin's shuttle crashes isn't drawn very well, and it really does look too much like he crashes into a giant Megatron forehead. When Mossoff coloured Brawl on the Decepticon group shot, she clearly couldn't decide whether to block-colour him in pale blue, or do it properly; he still has grey tracks - maybe it's Armorhide? ^_^ If that is Bonecrusher in the background, as the caterpillar tracks on the legs suggest, he's coloured insanely wrong in red and white. From the same picture, Hook's right arm is uncoloured.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ransak [first appearance], Powerdrive [first appearance], Jolt [first appearance], Sizzle [not the Sparkabot; first appearance], Leadfoot [first appearance], Darkwing [in his new body], Megatron, Starscream, Thundercracker, Fangry, Soundwave, Skullgrin [killed in shuttle crash], Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Blast Off, Bonecrusher, Brawl, Stranglehold [melted by Cybertronians], Scavenger [?, see Errors], Dead End, Breakdown, Frenzy, Octopunch [killed by Cybertronians], Hook, Jhiaxus, Rook, Runamuck [killed by Cybertronians], Crankcase [killed by Cybertronians], Quake [killed by Cybertronians], Battletrap, Dragstrip, Mindwipe, Weirdwolf.

Review: A fine story, with Galan's confidence and style rapidly improving with every issue. The opening pages are probably about the only promotion the comic really does for any new toys. Megatron's arrogance in facing off Jhiaxus is perfectly believable, and the battle scene is fairly well done. It's a nice bluff from Furman, initially hinting that the Decepticons would be phased out as the comic's villains.

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"Tales of Earth Part Four"

Synopsis: Prime is recovering from his wounds on Earth and contemplating the past when a battered Megatron pushes his way into the Autobot compound.

Notes: Optimus Prime is on Earth recuperating from his wounds caused by Megatron in #6. There are flashback references to "All or Nothing!" [ #2], "The Transformers" [UK #1-2, US #1], "Power Play!" [UK #3-4, US #2], "Repeat Performances!" [UK #27-28, US #8], "Afterdeath!" [UK #105-106, US #25], "Gone But Not Forgotten!" [UK #107-108, US #26], "Skin Deep!" [UK #249-251, US #59] and "The Price of Life!" [UK #309-310, US #70].

Errors: In the flashback to the attack on the Ark, the other three Decepticons shown don't look like any of Megatron's crew. In the "Afterdeath!" flashback frame, Megatron's Decepticon insignia is coloured red.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime [plus his original and Powermaster bodies in flashback], Starscream [flashback], Megatron [old body in flashback, Megatron/Ratchet hybrid in flashback, plus the real thing], Ratchet [flashback, plus Megatron/Ratchet hybrid in flashback], Hound.

Notable Others: Sparkplug [flashback]

Review: A gem, brilliantly exploring Optimus' thoughts on Megatron, and it's glorious to see glimpses of how some older stories would have looked had they been drawn by Yaniger. Furman really gets inside the character. A great issue.

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#8 - "Escalation!" & "Tales of Earth Part Five"

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: June 1994

"Escalation!"

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings w. [?] O'Neil
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

"Tales of Earth Part Five"
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Derek Yaniger
Letters: [Richard] Starkings w. [?] O'Neil
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: The Best of Simon Furman [Worldwide, "Tales of Earth" only].

NB: "Escalation!" was printed on pages 1-3, then "Tales of Earth Part Five" on pages 4-9, with the rest of "Escalation!" on the remainder. For this reason, I have reviewed both stories as one continuous comic.

Synopsis: Jhiaxus decides to step up his efforts to destroy the Autobots and Decepticons. On Earth, Megatron and Prime negotiate an alliance to face Jhiaxus. The Autobots then set out to face Cybertronian forces on Ethos, but their assault gets bogged down. The Decepticons bail them out, but upon returning to the Warworld, they find Starscream is missing.

Notes: Inferno now has a red head, and two red hands. Skywarp's presumably been reactivated since "Dark Star".

Errors: From the fourth and fifth pages, damage to the right hand side of Optimus' helmet appear. As Grimlock threatens Megatron with pain, the Dinobot's legs are entirely grey. As the Autobots leave for Ethos, they're watched by a green and grey coloured Decepticon jet. Optimus' wounds are completely gone by the end of the short trip to Ethos. Joyride was clearly killed in "On the Edge of Extinction" - maybe the Last Autobot resurrected him? When Springer's team is decimated, there's no sign of Broadside. It's possible he flew off, but this isn't shown - he just disappears. Like the crash in #7, Galan's art-in-motion isn't quite pulled off as Prime presumably does a trio of rapid shots with a pair of guns - it looks more like he's just used a pair of insane triple-barrelled handguns. The patterns on Skydive's wings are badly asymmetrical. In the top-left of the frame as the Aerialbots are being pounded, I think that's meant to be Slingshot, but he's coloured entirely blue. On the next page, Starscream has red insignia on his wings. Yaniger and Galan again have different interpretations of Soundwave's head. As he emerges from the trench on Ethos, Bumblebee's shoulders are pale blue instead of yellow.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Jhiaxus, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Jazz [possibly in his new G2 colour scheme - he has the new "1" decal on his chest, but the model doesn't use the doors which would settle it], Silverbolt, Prowl, Sideswipe, Powerdrive, Sizzle, Starscream, Soundwave, Bumblebee, Hot Rod, Hound, Slapdash [killed by Cybertronians], Joyride, Slag, Snarl, Sludge, Swoop, Springer, Inferno [killed by Cybertronians, and a building], Smokescreen [killed by Cybertronians], Ironhide [killed by Cybertronians], Broadside, Kup, Skydive, Air Raid, Fireflight, Slingshot [possibly, see Errors], Silverbolt, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Ransak, Vortex, Manta Ray [first appearance], Leadfoot, Rumble, Fangry, Weirdwolf.

Letters Page: Possibly in response to receiving a letter from serial mailer and one-man charisma machine JEFF STEELE, Tokar announces Transformers Generation 2 will be finishing at #12. Tokar also claims the Matrix was rebuilt along with Optimus Prime at the end of the original series. He also has to deal with a question about why the Combaticons and Trypticon weren't in Transformers: the Movie, nearly eight years beforehand.

Review: Another good action issue. This time it's the Autobot's turn to get a hiding from Jhiaxus' men. Yaniger's dark art in the "Tales of Earth" segment adds to the desperation and shadiness of the situation, helped by Prime's worries about how low the Autobots may need to go to stop Jhiaxus. Megatron's character gains more weight by the page, and by the end of it the reader isn't entirely convinced he bailed the Autobots out solely to gain revenge on the Cybertronians. Galan's art on the whole continues the standard from last issue, though in places it's still a little undynamic. Overall, a good read, if not quite as good as the previous pair. Oh, and Smokescreen's death really bugs me...

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#9 - "Swarm" & "Tales of Earth Part Six"

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: July 1994

"Swarm"

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

"Tales of Earth Part Six"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide].

"Swarm"

Synopsis: The Autobots and Decepticons inspect Jasik, a moon where everything has been destabilised on a molecular level. Elsewhere, one of Jhiaxus' battalions is decimated by the Swarm. On Ethos, Starscream meets with Jhiaxus, promising to betray Megatron and Prime in return for a place in the Cybertronian empire.

Notes: Perceptor has been repaired since whatever put him off-line between "Dark Star" and "Yesterday's Heroes". Onslaught suffers internal pain when Mindset is killed.

The hosts of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tom Servo and Crowe T. Robot, are among the corpses on the splash pages.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Megatron, Kup, First Aid, Perceptor, Wheeljack, Mindset [first appearance, killed by the Swarm], Onslaught, Blast Off, Jhiaxus, Starscream.

Review: Fair, if rather bitty. Most of it's simply restating the threat of the Swarm, and while Mindset's a nice character, in this respect it's a little overindulgent. Still, Galan creates a nice enough atmosphere, especially on the dead moon at the start.

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"Tales of Earth Part Six"

Synopsis: The Autobots have set up their mobile Autobase in the Nevada basin, where they find out the decimation of the moon of Jasik was caused by something with the same cellular structure as Transformers. Prime guesses it was a cellular side-effect of the Cybertronians' cellular reproduction, but then Jhiaxus attacks Autobase.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Nightbeat, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Perceptor, Wheeljack.

Review: Fair, if rather bitty. Most of it's simply restating the threat of the Swarm, and while Mindset's a nice character, in this respect it's a little overindulgent. Still, Galan creates a nice enough atmosphere, especially on the dead moon at the start.

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#10 - "Total War!" & "Tales of Earth Part Seven"

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: August 1994

"Total War!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

"Tales of Earth Part Seven"
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide].

"Total War!"

Synopsis: As Autobase comes under attack, Megatron is quick to realise that Starscream betrayed them. Meanwhile, the Warworld is also under attack, with Jhiaxus' troops knowing exactly where to hit it. Starscream leads the Cybertronian boarding party. On Earth, the tide is turning before Jhiaxus introduces reinforcements. Prime orders a retreat, and leaves with Megatron to board the Warworld, where the crew have departed, followed by the Cybertronian boarders, leaving Starscream to discover the Matrix. Elsewhere, the Swarm realises the Transformers are on Earth.

Notes: Autobase is abandoned by the Autobots. Starscream has told Jhiaxus of the weak-points of the Warworld. Air Raid's repaired his wing since #8. Megatron can fly in robot mode.

Errors: On page 6, the logo on Air Raid's wing is out of position and pretty shabby. Maybe he drew it back on himself after the wing was repaired? If Megatron can fly in robot mode, why in the earlier issues does he say he needed Starscream to get him around? [Maybe it burns up a lot of fuel]. Swindle's much shorter than the other Combaticons. Streetwise is miscoloured - too much blue.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Jhiaxus, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Joyride [destroyed by Cybertronians], Soundwave, Frenzy, Rumble, Vortex, Swindle, Brawl, Blast Off, Onslaught, Starscream, Kup, Hot Rod, Grimlock, Sideswipe, Streetwise, Air Raid, Skydive, Silverbolt, Fireflight, Slag, Tracks, Leadfoot, Electro, Sizzle, Sludge, Snarl, Weirdwolf, Headstrong, Rook.

Review: A passable, if unremarkable, action story. The Megatron/Prime banter is the main attraction, as is Jhiaxus' dumfounded reaction to the Autobot counterattack. There's lots of violence, but it often feels more episodic than epic.

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"Tales of Earth Part Seven"

Synopsis: Starscream turns the Warworld upon the Cybertronians, but for some reason does not attack the approaching shuttle of Prime and Megatron. On Earth, Grimlock leads the rear guard of the "first generation" alliance. Back on the Warworld, the very structure of the ship begins to attack Prime and Megatron, and they find that Starscream has merged with the Warworld via the Matrix.

Notes: Presumably Megatron hailed the Warworld off-panel, and found that the ship had fallen into Cybertronian hands.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Razorclaw, Grimlock, Manta Ray, Starscream.

Letters Page: The backlash from the cancellation announcement really kicks in. Among the distressed is Adam Patyk, showing just the ideas his future employers Dreamwave would love - i.e. fans buying half-a-dozen copies of each issue. However, this is a pointless suggestion, as the problem is low retailer orders, and most comic store workers are going to notice if one person keeps buying six copies of the title... actually, this approach would probably prove detrimental to the comic's future, as it cuts down on the copies on the shelf for casual readers. Good thinking, though, Adam, you're on the ball. No, wait, fans like you are the reason the comic business went though the floor in the mid-1990s.

Review: A sharply-scripted piece, with Megatron once again shining though the tarnish of a decade's poor use, splendidly enlivened by Geoff Senior's remarkable artwork - his Grimlock, adorned with bandana and "Big Grim" panel, is glorious, as is the close-up on a disgruntled Razorclaw, and the living internals of the Warworld, especially the startling final image.

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#11 - "Dark Shadows!" & "Tales of Earth Part Eight"

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: September 1994

"Dark Shadows!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

"Tales of Earth Part Seven"
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide].

"Dark Shadows!"

Synopsis: Starscream demonstrates his new power to Prime and Megatron, while Jhiaxus is enraged by the loss of the Warworld. On the ship, Starscream tortures his prisoners, but the Matrix subconsciously helps them, while Starscream is further distracted by redoubled Cybertronian attacks. Prime reaches the ship's control centre, and attempts to reason with Jhiaxus. Instead, the Cybertronian begins to attack Earth.

Notes: The Liege Maximo is situated at the Hub.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Jhiaxus, Rook.

Review: An interesting piece thanks to some fine interaction between Prime, Megatron and Starscream, with Galan largely capturing the twisted Warworld quite well - only his rendering of Megatron's head lets it down.

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"Tales of Earth Part Eight"

Synopsis: The Cybertronians destroy San Francisco, but attempts to fire on a second city are stopped when the Warworld attacks the Twilight. The Matrix is rewriting Starscream, forcing him to do good. Just then, though, the Swarm arrives.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Razorclaw, Grimlock, Manta Ray, Jhiaxus, Starscream.

Review: Nicely done. Senior captures the powerful end of San Francisco superbly done, with Starscream well scripted. Most of #11 is pretty much a device for getting all the pieces in the right place for the finale, but it's well written and fairly well drawn.

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#12 - "A Rage in Heaven!" Books 1-4

[cover]
Cover: Derek Yaniger

Cover Date: October 1994

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Manny Galan [Books 1 & 3]
Inks: Jim Amash [Books 1 & 3]
Art: Geoff Senior [Books 2 & 4]
Letters: [Richard] Starkings & Comicraft
Colours: Sarra Mossoff

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Rage in Heaven [Worldwide].

NB: Book 1 was named "Judgement", Book 2 was named "Twilight", Book 3 was named "Siege" And Book 4 was named "Creation".

Synopsis: The Cybertronians fire on the Swarm, and it begins to destroy their fleet. Meanwhile, Starscream returns the Matrix to Prime, and is separated from the Warworld. Prime heads off to talk to Jhiaxus. Meanwhile, Megatron and Starscream begin to transport the Rheanimum to Earth. On the Twilight, Jhiaxus brutally attacks Prime, when the Swarm attacks the Twilight, destroying the Cybertronian. On Earth, the remainder of the Autobot/Decepticon alliance makes a desperate stand against the Swarm. Meanwhile, Prime has been brought onboard the Warworld by Starscream, who leaves him a canister of Rheanimum before departing. On Earth, the Swarm has nearly won when Megatron arrives, distributing Rheanimum. Back in orbit, Optimus decides to eschew the gas, and face the Swarm. It devours him and the Matrix, and the light within dispels the Swarm. Optimus is returned on Earth, with a new body. They Autobots and Decepticons celebrate their victory. Meanwhile, at the Hub, the Liege Maximo hears of Jhiaxus' death, and talks of a day of reckoning.

Notes: Jhiaxus' rank is Liege Centuro of the Decepticon Elite. Megatron gained the Rheanimum in #7 [and you thought it was just to show off the shiny new Darkwing!]. We once again see Optimus' mouth under his faceplate when Jhiaxus smashes his face in. Transformers can self-destruct. Prime's new body is based on the 1994 Combat Hero toy. Rook survives, and lists seventeen battalions as destroyed [he doesn't say whether it's just by the swarm, or since the battle with the "first generation" Transformers began]. The Liege Maximo describes Megatron as "offspring". Presumably the final page happens some time later to give Rook time to get back to the Hub.

Errors: Why does Razorclaw choose then to kill Manta Ray? When drawn by Galan in Book 3, Prime's chest panels have been repaired, and the amount of faceplate he has keeps changing. His panels are fine once again when Senior draws him in Book 4. Well, until the Swarm devours him anyway...

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Jhiaxus [devoured by the Swarm], Rook, Starscream, Grimlock, Ransak, Scrapper, Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Springer, Skywarp [could be Thundercracker, I tossed a coin...], Air Raid, Motormaster, Powerdrive, Jazz, Swoop, Sizzle, Slag [devoured by the Swarm], Frenzy [possibly overloaded by sonic energy], Perceptor, Kup, Soundwave, Electro, Hot Rod, Razorclaw [killed by Leadfoot], Manta Ray, Nightbeat [self-destructs], Ramjet [devoured by the Swarm], Wheeljack, Slingshot [devoured by the Swarm], Dirge [self-destructs], Ratchet [flashback], Fortress Maximus [flashback], The Liege Maximo. I wilfully hold my hand up to being able to recognise nobody else in the two group scenes in Book Four.

Notable Others: It's possible the two humans in the flashback panel with Ratchet were meant to be important, possibly Buster and Jessie. However, it's difficult to tell, especially with the panel being based on no previous story.

Production Notes: The comic has 37 pages of story, with a price rise to $2.25. The letters page featured a letter-come-mini essay from Starkings, a short written lament from Furman, Yaniger concept drawings of Grimlock, Optimus Prime and Sideswipe [shame these were never done as posters...], a piece of Decepticon art from artist Chi [then serving an internship at Marvel - he also did some drawings for #2, though they weren't used], plus a handful of letters.

Review: A splendid end to the most solid, consistent and imaginative piece of official Transformers media to date. There are many superb moments in "A Rage in Heaven!" - Starscream begging Prime to save him from being good; Megatron's dry wit, two years before Beast Wars; Jhiaxus' astonishing aggression when fighting Prime; the Autobots and Decepticons' "last stand" against a largely unseen, non-corporeal enemy; Prime's final speech; and the tantalising glimpse of the Liege Maximo. There are a few mild tarnishes - the rather pat Razorclaw/Manta Ray/Leadfoot scene in Book 3, and Nightbeat and Dirge's suicide - annoying more because we haven't really seen them for a while, than for its actual execution. It's a microcosm of the Generation 2 series as a whole - look closely and there are blemishes, but it's more than the sum of its' parts, a fine epic that thinks outside the box, breathing new life into an old concept.

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