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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
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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

UK #41 - #50

| #41 | #42 | #43 | #44 | #45 | #46 | #47 | #48 | #49 | #50 |

#41 - "Christmas Breaker!"

[cover]
Cover: Mike Collins

Cover Date: 28/12/85

Script: James Hill
Art: William Simpson
Letters: [Richard] Starkings
Colours: [Gina] Hart

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #11 [UK]

Synopsis: Circuit Breaker muses on the Transformers war, while the Autobots are putting on a Christmas party for Buster. Jazz then drives Buster into town to deliver presents for Buster. Jazz crashes on the ice though, knocking Buster out. Circuit Breaker sees and attacks. Buster awakens, and appeals to the spirit of Christmas in order to get Circuit Breaker to back down.

Notes: Prowl notes that the Decepticons are leaderless. Jazz swears by "the Primal Program!".

Errors: And where exactly did they get the 40-foot Santa costume? Soundwave has a mouth in the flashback [and people blame Delbo...]. Isn't Circuit breaker terribly cold after she loses her coat?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Soundwave [flashback], Laserbeak [flashback], Shockwave [flashback and hallucination], Brawn, Huffer, Optimus Prime, Prowl, Bluestreak, Jazz, Starscream [flashback], Frenzy [flashback].

Notable Others: Circuit Breaker, GB Blackrock [flashback], Buster.

Letters Page: The letters page gets hijacked by Ratchet for Rat-Chat. With hilarious results.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 3
Matt and the Cat
Robo-Capers [back to normal size, with another lame side-reference to Transformers]

Review: Argh. It's meant to be a seasonal framing of Josie's hypocrisy, but it's actually a rubbish collection of clichés. All it needs is Bumblebee asking "Explain this Earth thing named Christmas". You find yourself pleading for the others to listen to Prowl... Worthless.

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#42 - "Crisis of Command!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Will Simpson

Cover Date: 04/01/86

Script: Mike Collins
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: Mike Scott
Colours: Steve Whitaker

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #8 [UK].

Synopsis: Onboard the Ark, the Autobots are debating their approach to the war. Prowl lobbies for constructing warriors with the Matrix, but Prime vetoes the plan on the grounds that it will endanger the humans. Alone, Optimus is less assertive, worrying if he can still lead. He is spied on by Ravage, who is then captured. But this is part of the plan of the acting Decepticon commander, Soundwave, and after overhearing the dissent in Autobot ranks, the spy escapes.

Notes: Shockwave is still missing in action from #40, and Megatron from #28. Hound has an energy net. Ratchet's magnetic diffusion field enables him to escape most cells.

Errors: Optimus' faceplate is blue throughout. Gears' head is coloured wrong on page 1. On page 4, on the far left of the middle frame, there's a miscoloured Beachcomber [he won't arrive on Earth until #69]. Similarly, Tracks shows up on pages 6 & 7 [the bottom-right frames of both], and he won't be housed in a body until #53.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Prowl, Mirage, Hound, Jazz, Bumblebee, Gears, Ratchet, Ironhide, Ratchet, Shockwave [flashback], Ravage, Laserbeak, Soundwave, Starscream Skywarp, Thundercracker.

Extras: Inter Face covers Blitzwing and Tracks.

Letters Page: Soundwave's back in control.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 4
Matt and the Cat [up to a full page once again]
Robo-Capers [back to normal size, with another lame side-reference to Transformers]

Review: A superb issue. The dialogue crackles, and Senior's off to a good start, capturing the emotion quite well, and also excelling at the action. The colouring's rich, and there's excellent development for Optimus [this is the first time he's really been self-doubting] and Prowl. I really have no idea what's going on with the writers - the credits for all parts list script, which suggests a Furman pot, though there may be nothing going on. Either way, it's a bit of a shame Collins won't write again for the title after #44.

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#43 - "Crisis of Command!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: John Ridgway

Cover Date: 11/01/86

Script: James Hill
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: Mike Scott
Colours: John Burns [pages 1-5], Stuart Place [pages 6-11] [both uncredited; credit is accidentally given to Gina Hart instead. A correction was given in the Trans Formation page of #52]

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #8 [UK].

Synopsis: Bumblebee is tracking Ravage alone after seeing how worried Prime is. Upon finding this out, Prime realises it's a trap, but can't do anything to stop the Decepticons capturing Bumblebee. The Autobots are planning their next move when Laserbeak drops something outside the Ark - Bumblebee's arm.

Errors: On page 2, Bumblebee's eyes are uncoloured in the second frame, and will flicker between yellow and blue throughout. Prowl's forehead is red on page 3. On page 6, Frenzy, Rumble, Thundercracker and Skywarp all have blue faces. Skywarp also has a cool, but sadly inaccurate, greyscale scheme throughout. Starscream's also looking a little grey. Prowl's scheme is way off, with a blue chest and grey head.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bumblebee, Ravage, Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, Gears, Jazz, Hound, Mirage, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Frenzy, Rumble, Starscream, Ratchet.

Letters Page: Soundwave's back in control.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "Night of the Octopus" Part 1
Matt and the Cat [back down to half a page]
Robo-Capers

Review: Senior really finds his feet this issue with some really dynamic frames, bringing out the emotions in a fine story, and his action frames are simply bursting, while James Hill [who also wrote the seminal "State Games" for the 1986 Annual] excels with the scripting. Bumblebee's eagerness and desperation, Skywarp's spite and Optimus' guilt are portrayed perfectly. A real classic.

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#44 - "Crisis of Command!" Part 3

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson

Cover Date: 18/01/86

Script: Mike Collins
Art: John Stokes
Letters: Mike Scott
Colours: Gina Hart , Stuart Place [uncredited]

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #8 [UK].

Synopsis: Laserbeak issues a challenge to Prime - to come and get Bumblebee, alone. Despite the other Autobots' misgivings, he does so. He then battles through the waiting Decepticons, and saves Bumblebee. A more confident Prime reaffirms his believe that compassion must be used by the Autobots, rather than simple annihilation of the Decepticons.

Notes: Prime swears by "the Spires of Iacon" and the narrative mentions Emirate Xaaron.

Errors: On page 2, Prowl's "horns" are uncoloured. Wheeljack has too much blue on him, and Bluestreak has yellow instead of grey on him. On page 3, Ratchet has the wrong scheme - white helmet, red horns. In the next frame Soundwave's faceplate is blue, and will stay like that the whole issue. As he transforms on page 3, Prime's right fist is white. As Skywarp shoots Prime on page 6, Optimus' faceplate is blue. On page 7, as he clobbers Skywarp, Optimus' smokestack is on the underside of his arm. On page 9, Bumblebee's remaining horn is green, and stays like that until the last frame on page 10. Sunstreaker's in the first frame of page 11, despite being heavily damaged in #22. In the fourth flame, Ironhide's snapped back into his toy design, and is uncoloured to boot.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Laserbeak, Optimus Prime, Jazz, Hound, Mirage, Wheeljack, Prowl, Bluestreak, Ravage [flashback], Frenzy [flashback], Soundwave, Bumblebee, Starscream, Rumble, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Sideswipe, Ratchet, Huffer.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "Night of the Octopus" Part 2
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat

Review: An amazing conclusion, with Prime's righteous fury a superb centrepiece. The art's a slight step down, but it's still a fitting finish for arguably the best Transformers story yet.

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#45 - "The Icarus Theory" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Kev Hopgood

Cover Date: 25/01/86

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Barry Kitson
Letters: [Richard] Starkings
Colours: Gina Hart

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #1 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Professor Morris, a Roxxon employee, is fishing as he reflects on the board dismissing his idea that the Transformers are actually a tool of Roxxon's rival, Blackrock. Then he finds something in the lake. Back at the Ark, Optimus is seeing the injured Bumblebee. Meanwhile Morris is using a robot-control device he'd tried to get Roxxon to back to run his discovery through its paces. A guard finds him, and Morris panics, and gets his discovery to kill him. The Ark, and an airborne Transformer is bearing in. The Autobots await, but find the enemy to be Swoop.

Notes: Swoop has been MIA since #32. Following the explosion of the Guardian unit, he crashed in Lake Deka, an artificial reservoir in North Oregon, where Morris finds him.

Errors: Swoop's beak is still blue.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron [flashback], Shockwave [flashback], Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Swoop, Huffer, Ironhide, Prowl, Jazz, Sideswipe, Bluestreak.

Notable Others: Professor Morris [first appearance], GB Blackrock [flashback].

Extras: A free poster of the Minibots, another freebie missing from my copy... if you have any details, please mail me. Plus Inter Face covers Beachcomber and Cosmos.

Back-Up Strips:

Iron Man - "Night of the Octopus" Part 3
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat

Review: Another fine story, with the UK team really getting into the swing of things. Morris isn't just another mad scientist hell-bent on destruction, he's a misguided, well-rounded character, as revealed by his joy at the sensation of flying, and his instant remorse at the killing of the guard. Kitson's art fits the story like a glove too.

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#46 - "The Icarus Theory" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson

Cover Date: 01/02/86

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Barry Kitson
Letters: [Richard] Starkings
Colours: S. [Stuart] Place

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #1 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: After a brief scuffle, the Autobots are able to overcome Swoop. He escapes, but Prime is able to override his programming, and flies off. Prime explains that on Cybertron he was Swoop's commanding officer, and Swoop hated him, and that this hate overrode the control. Swoop confronts Morris, who after initial process agrees he deserves to die. The Autobots arrive, and Swoop gives them Morris, who Prime then leaves for the authorities. Swoop then goes mad again. At Prime's behest, Morris restrains him with the machine, and the Dinobot is transferred back to the Ark. Morris then destroys his machine, and hits the alarm, waiting for the police to arrive. Back at the Ark, Ratchet finds the millions of years spent in a tar pit corroded Swoop's neural circuits. Prime then orders the other Dinobots found.

Notes: Swoop was known as Divebomb at one point [see #135] and was in an airborne unit commanded by Optimus Prime.

Errors: Swoop's beak is still blue, as are his arms.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Swoop, Jazz, Sideswipe, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Trailbreaker, Hound, Huffer, Cliffjumper, Brawn, Ratchet.

Notable Others: Professor Morris.

Extras: A free poster of the Minibots, another freebie missing from my copy... if you have any details, please mail me. Plus Inter Face covers Beachcomber and Cosmos.

Letters Page: The Constructicons aren't out in the UK yet. Soundwave roundly mocks Peter Makinde's story of the origin of the Transformers - that they were built by a bunch of scientists.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "Night of the Octopus" Part 4
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat [full page]

Review: More superb stuff, with a very mature conclusion. Morris' confrontation with Swoop is amazing, as is Prime's acknowledgement that Morris may have done no intentional wrong to the Autobots, but has done to the humans. His trust of Morris is also great. An excellent story.

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#47 - "Dinobot Hunt!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: David Lloyd

Cover Date: 08/02/86

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Will Simpson
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Stuart Place

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #7 [UK], Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #2 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: In a Nevada Desert sandstorm, Snarl attacks a unit of US soldiers, who are saved by Mirage, Trailbreaker and Brawn. The Dinobot then attacks the Autobots, one of four teams dispatched by Optimus Prime to capture their deranged comrades. Snarl then stumbles onto a top-secret US base in the desert. The base personnel evacuate, and the base self-destructs, taking out Snarl. The whole episode has been observed by Laserbeak.

Errors: Snarl's head is grey throughout.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Snarl, Mirage, Trailbreaker, Brawn, Optimus Prime [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Mirage [flashback], Huffer [flashback], Swoop [flashback], Grimlock [flashback], Slag, Snarl [flashback], Laserbeak.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "From the Ashes" Part 1
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat [half page]

Review: A great opening. I'm not a huge fan of Simpson's art, but he's perfectly suited to the sand-strewn visuals of the story, and Furman's scripting is great. General Carl Thompson is a genuinely interesting character, and it's a shame he wouldn't be seen again.

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#48 - "Dinobot Hunt!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson

Cover Date: 17/02/86

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Barry Kitson
Inks: Marc Griffiths
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Jeff Anderson , Stuart Place [uncredited]

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #7 [UK], Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #2 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Windcharger, Gears and Cliffjumper are searching for Sludge in a North Californian swamp. The Dinobot is calm, and has been found by a TV reporter named Joyce Meadows. The Autobots are attacked by the authorities, who believe them to be responsible for some Transformer attacks on the locals. They escape, and run right into the source of the attacks - Soundwave, Scavenger and Skywarp, who have taken down Sludge, and then ambush and knock out the Autobot trio.

Errors: Scavenger's head is green on the last page.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Prowl [flashback], Ironhide [flashback], Bumblebee [flashback], Jazz [flashback], Mirage [flashback], Wheeljack [flashback], Trailbreaker [flashback], Windcharger, Gears, Cliffjumper, Sludge, Soundwave, Scavenger, Skywarp.

Notable Others: Joyce Meadows [first appearance].

Extras: A Decepticon Who's Who, updating the status of the current Decepticon army.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "From the Ashes" Part 2
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat

Review: Any ideas that this will be a "collect a Dinobot an issue" are superbly brushed aside by another good issue. There's also sprinklings of good characterisation for Windcharger's team [Windy himself shows some good leadership skills] and for the placid Sludge. Kitson's art is solid, if unspectacular.

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#49 - "Dinobot Hunt!" Part 3

[cover]
Cover: Geoff Senior

Cover Date: 24/02/86

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Will Simpson
Letters: Mike Scott
Colours: Stuart Place

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #7 [UK], Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #3 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Soundwave's team find a smashed-up Laserbeak, who replays the Autobots' attempts to contain Slag. The Dinobot has attracted the attentions of a pair of human cowboys, while Jazz, Ironhide and the newly-sentient Jetfire have been dispatched to capture the Dinobot. The Autobots save the humans, and then use Laserbeak to block Slag's fire-breath, knocking the Dinobot out via the feedback. Back at the Ark, Prowl and Optimus receive a transmission from the team sent to catch Grimlock, who are in big trouble.

Notes: Jetfire's been given sentience at some point since #40, and probably after #46. He loses his Decepticon insignia in the fight with Slag. Transformers can go into a voluntary safety shutdown. The Rite of Autobrand is mentioned. Jazz stores his rifle in a holster on his hip.

Errors: Jetfire's insignia has disappeared on page 4. On page 8, as Jetfire charges him, Slag is missing the Autobrand on his head. Laserbeak has yellow "feet" throughout.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Soundwave, Scavenger, Laserbeak, Slag [flashback], Ironhide [flashback], Jetfire [sentient now, flashback], Jazz [flashback], Sludge, Gears, Cliffjumper, Windcharger, Prowl, Optimus Prime, Sideswipe.

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "From the Ashes" Part 3
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat

Review: The device of Laserbeak narrating the capture of Slag is pretty good, and raises the tone of a slightly dull instalment a little. But the cowboys are proof that Budiansky isn't the only one who wheels out tacky stereotype humans, and Simpson's art doesn't quite capture the dynamics of the whole affair.

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#50 - "Dinobot Hunt!" Part 4

[cover]
Cover: John Higgins

Cover Date: 01/03/86

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Barry Kitson, Tim Perkins
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Stuart Place

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Collected Comics #7 [UK], Titan Books: Dinobot Hunt [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Dinobots #3 plus a subsequent trade paperback [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Sideswipe's team had nearly secured Grimlock when Sludge arrived. The Dinobots battled, and Huffer and Bluestreak were knocked out, leaving a battered Sideswipe to call for help. The watching Decepticons prepare to use their diversion for cover as they raid a local oil rig. Prime, Ratchet and Bumblebee arrive to try to contain the Dinobots in a lake, with Prowl following in a second shuttle. Prowl is able to crash the shuttle into the lake, electrocuting Grimlock, but Sludge still attacks Prime. Meanwhile, Bumblebee finds the Decepticon shuttle, and gets the trio of prisoners to safety. He then destroys the shuttle, cutting the Decepticons' control of Sludge, and knocking the Dinobot out. The hunt is over, with with several damaged Autobots and a lot of wasted resources, the Decepticons have won this one.

Errors: It's surprising the Decepticons don't booby-trap the shuttle to blow up as soon as someone steps into it, let alone mucks with their device. Scavenger's got his green head again, and Skywarp his greyscale scheme. Bluestreak loses a leg between page 1 and page 10.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bluestreak, Huffer, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Grimlock, Sludge, Soundwave, Scavenger, Skywarp, Prowl, Gears, Cliffjumper [flashback].

Letters Page: Soundwave likes Radio 3 [the UK public classical music station]. Rather fitting, really...

Back-Up Strips:
Iron Man - "From the Ashes" Part 4
Robo-Capers
Matt and the Cat

Review: A decent conclusion to the first UK mini-epic, with a great ending and some original ideas. Soundwave's upheld the Decepticon presence well in his 9-issue stint, thinking small but getting good results. Furman's storytelling skill continues to grow considerably, with this the third successive UK storyline to really excel.

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