MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE
A quick guide to the Guide
The guide was originally written and intended for TFDatabase.com, Tom's own site, and donated to us in a very complete state when he wandered off to create the also-interesting Counter-X.net...
So, what does that mean? Well, chiefly that the final editing and throwing stuff together into pages got done by me in a state of frenzied caffeination. I also don't know anything like as much about the comics as Tom, so I'm not a particularly good person to be maintaining, checking for the kind of typos where one name got substituted for another, etc.
Which brings us to the community approach that the rest of this site is based on. If you have any feedback, new info, spotted a broken link, or anything similar, please do drop by the site and let us know.
This guide will hopefully become a definitive archive for all past and present official Transformers comics, so I thought some general notes to the whole thing might be helpful.
First of all, it will only cover official comics than have been released in the English language to a sizeable proportion of the general public. So, for now, no recaps of the comics produced in places like Finland, Sweden and Holland, who all had Marvel reprint series, or overviews of publications like the Japanese mangas such as TV Magazine or Comics Bon-Bon. This isn't because a comic being not in English somehow makes it less worthy, but because with a single language to my credit and resources and understanding therefore limited, it's for now rather beyond my reach.
A second thing is that people will notice that the Marvel US reviews and the Marvel UK reviews of US reprint stories are near-identical. In fact, the former are edited versions of the latter. This is partially because it's easier, and partially for consistency. By and large, they're the same stories [occasionally the context changes] and I'll admit it's easier to cut and paste a lot of it, and re-edit it so the details are fine. But a lot of it is because I want the reviews to be consistent with each other, and not quite so dependent on my mood; e.g. it's ridiculous if I'm claiming "Buster Witwicky and the Car Wash of Doom" to be a postmodern masterpiece in the US review, and the worst thing ever in the UK reviews. Occasionally context can change the value of a story, as can it being printed in one comic rather than across four, but overall the value of the story is more or less the same.
The format is pinched from Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping's Doctor Who - The Discontinuity Guide, via Ratbat's Virgin Guide to Transformers UK. A brief overview of the format for each comic: -
|The cover image.|
Cover Date: The date as shown on the cover.
Synopsis: A brief run-down of what happens in this issue.
Notes: General observations. It could be a bit of history, a character ability, a theory as to certain actions, a fact... interesting stuff that isn't mentioned in the synopsis. Any theories discussed here are just that, and should not be accepted as 'canon', even if they can be bloody good.
Errors: The cock-ups, basically. Anything from a total breakdown of logic to Nel getting confused and colouring all the Throttlebots the wrong colours. Please note that I don't include anything inaccurate on the covers as an error - comic covers are meant to simply make us want the purchase the comic, they don't represent an extension of the narrative.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: What it says on the tin. The character must have a known name, and be a Transformer [obviously]. Any additional information [e.g. whether it'sa debut, or flashback] is featured in brackets.
Notable Others: Notable non-Transformers characters. This is something a little bit arbitrary, but I've tried to list anything that appeared in more than one story.
Production Notes: Any bits of trivia on the actual comic issue itself.
Letters Page: Any interesting trivia that arises from the letters page.
Back-Up Strip: For Transformers UK, there was a back-up strip from another series.
Review: A brief summing up of the issue, whether I like it and a rating out of 10. Please note this bit is purely my opinion...
Best First - For various [unwitting] pieces of theoretical input, and the hard work conducted on Operation Volcano, from which the archive of UK letters pages has been very helpful.
Brendan Reilly - Whose provision of US comic scans via the Transformers Archive has been the backbone of the reviews, and who pays for the TF Archive bulletin board where lots of helpful discussion has taken place.
Brendocon - Who has carried out strenuous research of the TF UK back-up strips and cover artist credits that have helped immensely.
Crespo - Whose sadly short-lived UK scans archive helped fill a number of gaps.
Denyer - For constant ideas and input on comic stories over the years, and several original issues that have made research an awful lot easier, not to mention web help and all sorts of scans.
James Wilson - Whose "Rise and Fall of Transformers UK" essay was a vital research text.
Jetfire 2.0 - For sending me several Dreamwave G1 comics when supplies were hard to come by in the UK, and theoretical input.
Josh Maki - For sending me a number of War Within and Armada comics when there was a drought in the UK, and helpful theoretical input. And nagging me into reading Stormwatch, even though it's not especially relevant...
Legion - Huge amount of interesting data from the UK comic, again unwittingly given in discussions at Transfans.
Liam Kavanagh - Who started it all again for me with his site containing some great scans, and has proved exceptionally helpful via email discussion since.
Osku - Masses of theoretical input, plus all sorts of scans, including the elusive Action Force #27
Ozz - Helpfully cynical, with great working knowledge of the comic.
Papa Snarl - Another victim of thought-theft from the Transfans board. Also the supplier of scans for G.I. Joe #139-142.
Prowl - For Generation 2 #7-12 scans.
Rapido - For UK Generation 2 scans.
Ratbat - For the Virgin's Guide, which not only inspired this, but gave some great starting points.
Rebis - For various theoretical input, again via Transfans.
Senex Prime - For taking the time to email me a number of scans when I really needed to read them.
Tengu - For TF Multiverse, which helped restart it all for me.
The Comix Shoppe - For quick, patient, reasonable supplies of comics!