MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE
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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
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Other titles / G2: Action Force #24-27 | Specials & Collected Comics | UK G2 Intro | UK G2 #1-5 | UK G2 Annual
UK #61 - #70
#61 - "Devastation Derby!" Part 1
Cover Date: 17/05/86
Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Second Generation [Worldwide].
Synopsis: Soundwave is training Devastator after his disappointing first battle. Shockwave then sends them to capture Buster, who is attending a demolition derby with Jesse. Sparkplug, meanwhile, shows Prime a drawing Buster did while having a nightmare. Prime sends a team lead by Smokescreen to watch over the human. The Constructicons arrive and battle the Autobots, before forming Devastator. Just then, Buster collapses.
Errors: There's a blank speech bubble on page 3. Shockwave's eye is purple instead of yellow throughout. Would Sparkplug really go to the Autobots about Buster's nightmare? Long Haul's name is spelt "Longhaul". How is Wheeljack able to recognise Superion as being a combiner from a drawing?
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Devastator, Soundwave, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Hook, Scrapper, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Shockwave, Wheeljack, Optimus Prime, Smokescreen, Ironhide, Tracks, Brawn.
Notable Others: Buster, Sparkplug, Jessie.
Extras: Inter Face covers Devastator.
Letters Page: Soundwave blames the difference in style between #41-50 and #51 as the team experimenting with different colouring methods - the origin of the US material would not be admitted to for some considerable time.
Review: A good story enlivened by some sharp dialogue and smatterings of good characterisation - Ironhide and Smokescreen are both great, as is Soundwave challenging Shockwave. It's marred slightly by Sparkplug being a lot more easygoing than late, though, which smacks of convenience, and some of Simpson's art is a little stoic, though he gets across the fight in a nice fashion. Spike does look bloody ugly on page 4, though...
#62 - "Devastation Derby!" Part 2
Cover Date: 24/05/86
Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Second Generation [Worldwide].
Synopsis: While Devastator delays the Autobots, Soundwave is able to scan Buster's mind. Smokescreen is able to confront the Decepticon, but is surprised when Soundwave immediately offers to retreat. The Autobots take Buster back to the Ark, while Soundwave reports to Shockwave, telling him thanks to the Matrix, Buster has a vision of the future of the Transformers race.
Errors: Sparkplug's snapped back into anti-Transformer mode... Soundwave's eyes are uncoloured on page 7, and in the first frame of page 8.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Devastator, Tracks, Ironhide, Smokescreen, Brawn, Soundwave, Long Haul, Hook, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Ratchet, Shockwave.
Notable Others: Buster, Sparkplug, Jesse.
Letters Page: Soundwave reaffirms that "Man of Iron" and "Enemy Within" were set before #8 [see #13]. He also states that Red Alert was deactivated somewhere around this point, and has not been revived [see #15].
Review: Another fun issue, though it's largely one big fight scene with some nice dialogue. It grates, though, that Soundwave, after realising what's happening, just lets Buster go - if what he says is true, wouldn't it make more sense to take Buster? The ending's pretty cool, though.
#63 - "Second Generation!" Part 1
Cover Date: 31/05/86
Synopsis: In Buster's nightmares the only thing able to stop Shockwave is Superion, but he is countered by Menasor and Bruticus, Decepticon combiners. The Autobots realise the importance of the message. Meanwhile, Soundwave is visiting Megatron, who decides to let Shockwave tap Buster's mind so he can reap the results. Buster and Prime mind-link to decipher the dreams, unaware Shockwave can see too.
Notes: Soundwave's been assisting Megatron, unknown to Shockwave, since #56, which is where Megatron also took Robot-Master prisoner.
Errors: Ratchet is coloured wrong throughout, with a white head, red forehead adornment and red legs. Similarly, Megatron has a dark green head. In the middle-left frame of page 6, Menasor's right leg is on backwards [the car should be on the back]. The next frame, Superion has Slingshot on his left arm - elsewhere he's his right arm. In the bottom frame, Menasor has Breakdown as one of his arms - it's normally Dead End. At the top of the next page, both Menasor's legs are on backwards, and all his limbs bar Dragstrip are coloured red. Swindle's drawn exactly like his toy in car mode - it really should be a jeep that looks not even remotely like the toy. In the middle-left frame of page 8, Prime's Autobot sign is on the side of his shoulder, instead of the front. In the middle-right frame on the same page, Buster has brown hair. As Robot-Master sticks up for humans on page 9, Megatron's fusion cannon has vanished [which could be why the speech-bubble's been placed over his left arm, rather than in the huge white space at the top of the frame]. The following page, Shockwave has two hands.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Megatron, Shockwave. Jazz, Superion, Menasor, Onslaught, Vortex, Blast Off, Swindle, Brawl and Bruticus all appear in Buster's dream.
Notable Others: Buster, Sparkplug, Jesse, Robot-Master.
Production Notes: The cover incorporates the Hasbro box art for Superion and Menasor.
Extras: A cover-mounted fold-out booklet giving brief profiles of each Special Team member, derived from the toy tech specs. Hasbro box art was used for illustration, and the combined modes and team leaders had none as yet - cards depicting them were given away over the next eight issues. Also a Robot War III feature, recapping the story of the Transformers up to #62.
Letters Page: Soundwave gives the Man of Iron's name as Navigator [see #12].
Review: A real muddle. The dream sequences are unengaging and seem very forced, like Hollyoaks trying to do David Lynch. The scene with Megatron appears to have been put in simply to remind readers he exists, and thus makes even the first time reader see some kind of involvement for him coming a mile off. Add to this the entire page devoted to Buster's ordeal since meeting the Transformers - which is ran through by either him or Sparkplug in what feels like every issue they turn up in, and Sparky's ongoing inability to decide if he's reluctantly going along with the Autobots, or if the Autobots are Evil Alien Bastard Machines, and there's very little of value left. The cover's diabolical, too...
#64 - "Second Generation!" Part 2
Cover Date: 07/06/86
Synopsis: Prime and Buster watch Superion, Menasor, Defensor and Bruticus have a big fight, and wake up realising the Autobots must build them. The Decepticons also realise this, and Soundwave informs Megatron, who vows to take Decepticon command back from Shockwave.
Errors: Prime's faceplate is blue on page 1. Also on page 1, Megatron's got his gold pre- #30 scheme back again [it's back to normal when he really appears on page 11... The odd thing is Buster's only been in stories where he's got the white scheme]. First Aid's face is all wrong - it's pretty bog standard, when it should be a blue visor and white faceplate only. Menasor has two different arm designs on pages 5 and 7 - on page 5 the Stunticons form the shoulder through elbow, and by page 7 they're just placed on his elbows - both are different to #63, where they form his entire arm. On page 6, Vortex is coloured like Blades. The idea of a combined robot referring to his arms as a separate entity is stupid enough, let alone them arguing back - but then on page 7, Menasor calls Dragstrip "Dead End" [this was corrected for the Collected Comics reprint]. On page 9, Dragstrip is absent from Menasor altogether - he just has a grey arm.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Soundwave, Mixmaster, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Megatron. Hotspot, First Aid, Blades, Streetwise, Grove, Dead End, Motormaster, Breakdown, Wildrider, Dragstrip, Menasor, Onslaught, Swindle, Vortex, Brawl, Blast Off, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Fireflight, Skydive, Slingshot, Bruticus and Superion all appear in Buster's dream.
Notable Others: Buster.
Extras: A free Hotspot Special Teams card.
Review: Another complete mess. A glorified commercial dressed up in hurried art. The issue's best summed up by the fact Mixmaster's the best thing in it, and he's only in two frames.
#65 - "Second Generation!" Part 3
Cover Date: 14/06/86
Synopsis: Shockwave and Megatron fight for Decepticon leadership, with Robot-Master televising the battle, much to Soundwave's distaste. Meanwhile, back at the Ark, construction of Superion is interrupted when the Dinobots reawaken. Soundwave meanwhile persuades Megatron and Shockwave to form an alliance.
Errors: Shockwave's is mainly blue, including his optic, while his chest panel is also coloured the same as his body. Prime's smokestacks are red throughout. Swoop still has his inaccurate UK colour scheme. If showing the Special Teams to the two would-be leaders would only aggravate the situation, why did Soundwave do it? Grimlock's twice the size of Ratchet again. Slag's dinosaur head is coloured grey. Why exactly do the Decepticons allow Robot-Master to televise the fight? Aside from Furman thinking it'd be a cool narrative device? Quite how Soundwave spits through a faceplate isn't expounded upon - it's clearly a nod to his "Puttup!" put-downs in the letters page...
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ravage, Soundwave, Megatron, Shockwave, Hound, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Ratchet, Sludge, Grimlock, Swoop, Slag. Soundwave also remembers Menasor from Buster's dream, and there's a schematic of Superion.
Notable Others: Robot-Master.
Extras: A free Silverbolt Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Blaster and Soundwave.
Review: Not bad. Anderson's art is too low on detail, but the fight scene is well done, and he really captures Megatron and Shockwave looking quite sheepish. It just feels odd that Soundwave would sit there and watch them fight rather than interrupt straight away - why let the pair get so wound up in the first place? Why put up with Robot-Master? I would say it's a good conclusion to "Second Generation" compared with the first two parts, but why exactly it's tacked on to the story, rather than given a title of its own, I don't know...
#66 - "The Smelting Pool!" Part 1
Cover Date: 21/06/86
Synopsis: On Cybertron, Autobot resistance member Blaster awaits the arrival of his friend Scrounge, who unknown to him is spying on the Decepticon fortress of Darkmount, trying to find out what's happened to a neutral scientist named Spanner. He finds some important information, and is able to contact Blaster, but is then caught by Shrapnel. Blaster heads back to his resistance HQ, where Perceptor vetoes a search party. The other Autobots agree, though, and Perceptor is forced to agree to look for Scrounge. The missing Autobot has been taken to see the Decepticons' leader, Straxus, who sentences Scrounge to death in the smelting pool.
Notes: The Decepticons now control most of Cybertron. There are still some neutrals, though. There are also dropout robots known as Empties, who inhabit part of Cybertron known as the Dead End. Darkmount is in Polyhex. A Breem is equal to 8.3 minutes, and a Vorn to 83 years. The Decepticons receive the radio message sent by Soundwave in #36.
Errors: Perceptor's blue top-half of his face disappears on page 8 as he points at the sculptures of the Ark crew. Why does Blaster say Scrounge never lets him down, and is so adamant he's telling the truth, when he admits earlier Scrounge has a habit of making things up?
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Blaster [first appearance], Ferak [first appearance - killed by Blaster], Telus [first appearance, killed by Ferak - probably a neutral], Rotorbolt [first appearance, killed by Ferak, probably a neutral], Scrounge [first appearance], Shrapnel [first appearance], Wheezel [first appearance, Empty], Powerglide [first appearance], Seaspray [first appearance], Cosmos [first appearance], Warpath [first appearance], Beachcomber [first appearance], Perceptor [first appearance], Kickback [first appearance], Bombshell [first appearance], Straxus [first appearance], Dirge [first appearance], Thrust [first appearance], Ramjet [first appearance].
Production Notes: The cover is adapted from US #17.
Extras: A free Motormaster Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Blaster and Soundwave.
Review: A fine return to form for Budiansky, who creates a fascinatingly complex Cybertron [there's a huge amount of story told in 11 pages], a magnetic character in Blaster, a sympathetic one in Scrounge and a pretty evil baddie in Straxus. Perlin's art is actually rather good - he's clearly getting used to the material, and Williams' inks work better with his drawings than Gordon's did. A great start.
#67 - "The Smelting Pool!" Part 2
Cover Date: 28/06/86
Synopsis: The Autobots find that the Decepticons caught Scrounge, and Blaster sets off to rescue him alone. He is captured, and Straxus orders him thrown into the smelting pool. He is able to avoid falling into the molten pool himself, but Scrounge is not so lucky. Just then Powerglide arrives, but it's too late for Scrounge, although he does give Blaster the information he found. The small squad of Autobots rescuing Blaster are then attacked by the Decepticons, but Blaster is able to beat them back. Back at Autobase, they find that the Decepticons have received a message from Earth informing them that Prime and Megatron are both alive.
Notes: Beachcomber's Cybertronian mode looks exactly like Kup, while Cosmos' is the same as usual.
Errors: On page 8, Thrust and Dirge switch colour schemes. Why is there a raised area around the smelting pool? Soundwave's message is odd in mentioning Megatron and Prime - the former was MIA, and the latter just a head at the time it was transmitted.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Perceptor, Blaster, Cosmos, Powerglide, Warpath, Seaspray, Wheezel, Beachcomber, Shrapnel, Straxus, Scrounge [who dies in the smelting pool], Ramjet, Dirge, Thrust, Kickback, Bombshell, Megatron [flashback], Soundwave [flashback], Ravage [flashback], Optimus Prime [flashback].
Extras: A free Bruticus Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Perceptor.
Review: A decent conclusion. Blaster comes across as a quasi-Wolverine, and is possibly a little too derivative of a clichéd never-follow-orders maverick to be truly original and enjoyable, but the funereal atmosphere is maintained, and Perlin's art is still up to scratch.
#68 - "The Bridge to Nowhere!" Part 1
Cover Date: 05/07/86
Synopsis: On Earth a bridge briefly appears in the countryside. A Transformer is on it, but explodes, and the bridge vanishes. The bridge is an experimental device being used by Straxus to teleport troops to Earth. The process is watched by Blaster. Back at Autobase, Perceptor vetoes a rescue of Spanner, deciding that stopping the Spacebridge is his first priority. Back on Earth, Megatron is having an argument with Robot-Master when Shockwave and the other Decepticons arrive. Just then, Straxus contacts Earth, and the three Decepticons agree to work together to plunder Earth. Meanwhile, the Cybertronian Autobots prepare to assault Darkmount.
Errors: Straxus has lost the red from his colour scheme, and Perceptor his half-blue face. Both look miles better though...
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Crosscut [first appearance, destroyed by Spacebridge], Straxus, Bombshell, Shrapnel, Kickback, Blaster, Perceptor, Powerglide, Beachcomber, Warpath, Cosmos, Seaspray, Scrounge [flashback], Ravage, Soundwave, Megatron, Shockwave, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Starscream, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw.
Notable Others: Robot-Master.
Extras: A free Defensor Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Long Haul.
Review: A mixed story. The Cybertron parts are pretty good, well rendered by-and-large with some interesting ideas and a gritty feel, but the Earth-based scenes are irritating and stale. Still, Budiansky continues his current revival.
#69 - "The Bridge to Nowhere!" Part 2
Cover Date: 12/07/86
Synopsis: The Autobots are able to blow up Darkmount, but then face a tough battle with the Decepticons. Blaster then plants explosives on the Spacebridge, before finding out it is actually Spanner, who implores Blaster to destroy him. The Decepticons realise the attack on Darkmount is a diversion, and head for the Spacebridge. The bridge is activated, and both factions fight it out on the structure. The battle comes down to Blaster against Straxus, and the Autobot knocks him off the edge of the bridge, seemingly to his doom. He manages to lead his friends across the bridge to Earth before the damaged structure disappears.
Errors: On the top-left frame of page 7, Straxus is huge compared to Blaster.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shrapnel, Straxus [blown up by Blaster], Bombshell, Perceptor, Warpath, Seaspray, Beachcomber, Powerglide, Cosmos, Blaster, Spanner [first appearance].
Production Notes: The cover is based on US #18.
Extras: A free Superion Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Swoop.
Review: A decent conclusion. Perlin's art is a bit variable, but he gets the fight scene with some style, and there's an imaginative rendering of Spanner. Some good scripting from Budiansky, too. Overall, a fitting conclusion to the "Return to Cybertron" mini-arc, although the two stories are somewhat overrated by a large portion of fans - it doesn't really seem to be Budiansky's finest moment, and certainly isn't up to the same level as his first arc.
#70 - "Command Performances" Part 1
Cover Date: 19/07/86
Synopsis: Optimus Prime shows off the Ark's latest defence, Omega Supreme, who has been built by Grapple. However, Grimlock announces he and the Dinobots are leaving in protest of Prime's tactics, which involve a diversionary attack on the Decepticons' new quarry base. Megatron, meanwhile, leads a team of Decepticons to meet the reinforcements from Cybertron, only to find Autobots instead. Just then, Soundwave advises them of the Autobot attack on the quarry, and Megatron decides to sue the opportunity to attack the Ark.
Notes: Grapple began work on Omega Supreme in #53. Megatron and Shockwave have been jointly leading the Decepticons since #65. Perceptor & co. arrived on Earth in #69. Ratchet says there are over a dozen injured Autobots.
Errors: Prime's plan is a bit ramshackle - can he really have imagined what state the Decepticon base is in, or that the Dinobots would walk out? All in all, he's lucky that Megatron takes the bulk of the Decepticons off for a jaunt. Also, would Megatron break off his attack on the Cybertronian arrivals instead of pressing home the advantage for a few more minutes? On page 9, Tracks is red as he transforms. On page 10, Blaster is coloured like Prime.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Omega Supreme [first appearance], Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Grapple, Ratchet, Skids, Wheeljack, Snarl, Sludge, Swoop, Slag, Grimlock, Smokescreen, Tracks, Hoist, Jetfire, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Hook, Scrapper, Shockwave, Megatron, Ravage, Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, Blaster, Cosmos, Perceptor, Powerglide, Warpath, Beachcomber, Seaspray, Soundwave.
Notable Others: Robot-Master.
Extras: A free Menasor Special Teams card. Also Inter Face covers Omega Supreme.
Review: Competent, if not spectacularly good. It's mainly a restating of the Earth status quo after the Cybertron issues, and as such serves fairly well. Skids is well captured by Budiansky, as is the tension between Shockwave and Megatron. The art is similarly solid but unexciting, largely marred by block-colouring.