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
UK #71 - #80
#71 - "Command Performances!" Part 2
Cover Date: 26/07/86
Synopsis: The Autobots battle on until Shockwave orders Devastator into battle, giving the Autobots the readings they need, and allowing Robot-Master to make his escape. Prime orders the retreat. Meanwhile, Megatron's squad attacks the Ark, only to be surprised and decimated by Omega Supreme. However, on the way back Skids crashes into a gorge. Elsewhere, Shockwave decides to cede command to Megatron.
Errors: Why on Earth does Shockwave hand leadership back to Megatron? Megatron looses six Decepticons in one ill-planned raid, whereas Shockwave defends the base with very few troops, ulterior motive from the Autobots or no. It makes no sense whatsoever - Shockwave took over from Megatron on the back of a similar showing in #22, so why hand over now? Why do the Autobots just leave Skids behind? Why does Devastator form lying on his back? On page 5, much of Megatron is purple, and there's too much grey on him on page 6. Laserbeak is coloured like Buzzsaw, presuming that's him getting a small blast to the wing - it's either that or he's fine after being blown up by Omega at the top of the page... In the top frame of page 10, Laserbeak is wearing lippy. On page 11, Jetfire has a red face [maybe feeling bad about spending an issue and a half distracting some humans who blatantly didn't bother following him?] and Grapple has black forearms.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Skids, Shockwave, Mixmaster, Scavenger, Scrapper, Bumblebee, Devastator, Smokescreen, Grapple, Ravage, Soundwave, Omega Supreme, Starscream [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Skywarp [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Thundercracker [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Megatron, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Frenzy [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Rumble [deactivated by Omega Supreme], Wheeljack, Hoist, Hook, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Jetfire.
Notable Others: Robot-Master.
Production Notes: The cover is adapted from US #19.
Extras: Inter Face covers Thrust.
Review: Aside from Omega Supreme's wonderful pounding of the Decepticons, this is a dull, stupid issue, with Shockwave beginning his American decline, and Optimus all upset about Skids when they could have stopped [Ravage, with one of his missiles fired, is hardly a match for half-a-dozen Autobots]... Poor.
#72 - "Showdown!" Part 1
Cover Date: 02/08/86
Synopsis: Ravage is hunting Robot-Master, while Skids is found by a human named Charlene. She finds out he is a Transformer, and befriends him, and the Autobot much prefers his new life to the Transformers war.
Notes: Skids was an anthropologist on Cybertron. Donny Finkelberg dumps the Robot-Master costume this issue.
Errors: Page 11 is printed in incorrect colours.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ravage, Skids, Megatron [flashback].
Notable Others: Donny Finkelberg.
Review: Something of an oddity - an 'offbeat' Budiansky story that's incredibly enjoyable. Skids is a very likeable character, and it's nice to see a pacifist Transformer actively opt out of the war, and especially with such a charming person as the very fun Charlene. Herb Trimpe excels, and even Skids' slightly hard-to-swallow stunts just fit into the fun of it all. It actually fits that the big cliff-hanger of the issue is Charlene soaping Skids down.
#73 - "Showdown!" Part 2
Cover Date: 09/08/86
Synopsis: Skids and Charlene have been tracked by Finkelberg, who in turn has led Ravage to them. The humans jump into Skids, who runs to an abandoned gold-mining town to try and battle Ravage. Charlene and Donny head for cover, but Ravage arrives. Skids is able to trick him into falling down a mineshaft, but realises he must leave with Donny to find the Autobots.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Skids, Ravage. Megatron appears in Skids' dream.
Notable Others: Donny Finkelberg.
Errors: Skids' doors and roof disappear in frame 6 on page 10.
Production Notes: The cover is adapted from US #20.
Extras: Inter Face covers Ravage.
Letters Page: Soundwave announces it's his final letters column.
Review: Inevitably not quite as good as the sweet first part, but still nicely done, especially in Skids' lucky defeat of Ravage and in illustrating his care for Charlene [and hers for him]. It's also rather cute that Skids urges her towards Wendell at the end. Just once, though, it'd be nice to have a 'pacifist Autobot' storyline where the character decides not to go back to the war... It's just a shame Charlene wasn't kept on.
#74 - "In the National Interest" Part 1
Cover Date: 16/08/86
Synopsis: Joyce Meadows makes a report declaring Robot-Master a hoax. Triple-I decides she must be silenced, and accelerates Project: Centurion. Meanwhile, Professor Morris, meanwhile, is on trial for the murder of a Roxxon security guard when armed me break in and drag him away. Triple-I attempt to kill Joyce, but the Dinobots, led by Sludge, still besotted with Joyce, arrive and save her. Morris's rescuers are Triple-I, who want him to work on Centurion, a huge robot.
Errors: The Dinobots start out at the Ark, despite walking out in #70.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron [flashback], Shockwave [flashback], Grimlock, Slag, Swoop, Snarl, Sludge.
Notable Others: Joyce Meadows, Robot-Master [flashback], Professor Morris, Centurion [first appearance].
Extras: A fact file special on new back-up star Hercules.
Review: A gently-paced but intriguing start. There are some surprisingly complicated ideas for a kids' comic on show here, and it holds the interest despite an overall lack of Transformers involvement.
#75 - "In the National Interest" Part 2
Cover Date: 23/08/86
Synopsis: Joyce gets to know the Dinobots, and decides to film an interview with them to clear the Autobots. Swoop sets off to pick up her crew. However, Megatron, believing Joyce to know the location of Robot-Master, gets there first. Swoop tries to battle him, but is no match. Then Triple-I's robot, Centurion, arrives and battles Megatron, devastating Portland.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Grimlock, Swoop, Sludge, Snarl, Slag, Megatron, Soundwave, Mixmaster.
Notable Others: Joyce Meadows, Professor Morris, Centurion.
Letters Page : The debut of 'Grim-Grams', hosted by Grimlock [i.e. Simon Furman]. He gives Megatron's Cybertronian mode as a "handheld laser pistol", and Soundwave's as "the Cybertronian equivalent of his Earthen form". He also mocks cartoon Grimlock's speech patterns [which will come back and bite him when Budiansky incorporates them later in the US run...].
Review: Slick and well-made, but not especially exciting, despite a nice twist to the narrative structure, with the fight scene at the end falling somewhat flat. The big plus is characterisation, with Swoop and Grimlock likeable, Joyce three-dimensional and Morris increasingly sympathetic.
#76 - "In the National Interest" Part 3
Cover Date: 30/08/86
Synopsis: Swoop is able to get the TV crew to safety, but Triple-I place a bug on him. Meanwhile, Morris has barricaded himself in Centurion's control room, and sends the robot off to make peace with Swoop. The beacon leads the Decepticons to the Dinobots, though.
Errors: In the top-left frame of page 4, and in the two frames where Megatron punches him through the air, Centurion is uncoloured. On page 7, it seems to be walking straight over a cliff. On page 10, Long Haul has a green right arm [should be purple]and purple waist [should be green], and Scrapper has purple arms [should be green also].
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Swoop, Megatron, Mixmaster, Slag, Snarl, Grimlock, Sludge, Soundwave, Scavenger, Hook, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Scrapper.
Notable Others: Joyce Meadows, Professor Morris, Centurion.
Extras: A Fact File history on the Dinobots, covering up to #71.
Review: The best part so far, with the action moving along a little and some great camaraderie with the Dinobots, with both Slag and Grimlock getting good lines. The opening, with Swoop narrating the action, is great too, though Simpson's art is rather clunky.
#77 - "In the National Interest" Part 4
Cover Date: 06/09/86
Synopsis: Centurion joins in the battle on the side of the Dinobots, but Soundwave holds Joyce hostage. Laserbeak destroys the footage shot, and the Decepticons leave, happy their Robot-Master story is safe. Meanwhile, Morris, locked in the vault at Triple-I, vows to bring the agency down with Centurion.
Notes: Morris' vault contains food and water for a year.
Errors: Most of the Constructicons have green and purple switched on their colour schemes at one point or another.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Swoop, Scrapper, Snarl, Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Sludge, Slag, Grimlock, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Hook.
Notable Others: Joyce Meadows, Professor Morris, Centurion, Robot-Master [flashback].
Review: A decent conclusion to a slightly overrated arc. The fight scene's not bad, though Simpson's art is still rather unwieldy in places, due to his preference of following the toy designs - a big problem when trying to make Megatron look articulate. Some of the art's very nice - Soundwave's impassive curiosity as Swoop takes out Mixmaster is hilarious, and it's backed up by a pretty good script - again Soundwave is superbly dealt with, and there's a suitably downbeat ending.
#78 - "Target 2006" Prologue
Cover Date: 13/09/86
|Synopsis: Optimus and Prowl are investigating the recent fracas involving the Dinobots. Back on Cybertron, resistance leader Emirate Xaaron and Wreckers leader Impactor are planning Operation: Volcano in their underground base. On the surface, Shrapnel extracts information from an Autobot, telling him of a meeting of Autobot Chiefs in Iacon. This has been planted by Roadbuster, though. Back on the Ark, Prime, Prowl and Ratchet disappear, and on Cybertron the Matrix flame goes out. On Earth, a storm accompanies the arrival of Galvatron, Scourge and Cyclonus.
Notes: The Dinobots go AWOL again at the start of the issue. Iacon was the Autobot capital, and Xaaron's base is underneath it. He currently is overall commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The old Autobot government ruled from the Celestial Temple. The anniversary of Trannis' death [see Cybertron: The Middle Years in #83] is mentioned. There is a Matrix Flame on Cybertron which monitors the status of the Creation Matrix. Galvatron, Scourge and Cyclonus have moved back in time from 2006.
Errors: On page 4, Xaaron appears to be punching Impactor in the crotch.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Prowl, Grimlock [flashback], Sludge [flashback], Slag [flashback], Snarl [flashback], Swoop [flashback], Xaaron, Skater [first appearance], Impactor [first appearance], Shrapnel, Roadbuster [first appearance], Jazz, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, Ironhide, Hound, Megatron [flashback], Starscream [flashback], Gears, Galvatron [first appearance], Scourge [first appearance], Cyclonus [first appearance].
Notable Others: Joyce Meadows [flashback], Centurion [flashback].
Production Notes: The date of 2006 came from the earlier drafts for Transformers - The Movie, which this storyline ties into. At a later stage in the film's development, setting in was changed to 2005, though whenever events are referred to in the comic, even after the film's release, the events are still referred to as happening in 2006.
Review: Wonderful. Fast-paced, lacing together diverse settings and beautifully written. Galvatron & co. are given a nicely atmospheric entry, and the grimness of the situation on Cybertron is well reinforced. Anderson's art is a little bland in places, notably his dry rendering of Optimus, but he does shine in places - Shrapnel's murder of the informant and the last few pages being especially strong, despite the odd toy-based models for the new Decepticons.
#79 - "Target 2006" Part 1
Cover Date: 20/09/86
|Synopsis: The future Decepticons go to Megatron's base, where the Autobots are nervously conducting reconnaissance to see if Megatron had anything to do with the disappearances. Galvatron requests use of the Constructions, but Megatron doesn't believe his story. The future Decepticons attack, burying Megatron and Soundwave. Meanwhile, on Cybertron, and much to Impactor's distaste, Ultra Magnus is to be dispatched to Earth to find out what's happened to Optimus, rather than stay on hand to back-up Operation Volcano.
Notes: Shockwave has disappeared at some point since #71. Galvatron is protected from Soundwave's mind-scanning. Megatron mentions Straxus.
Errors: Cyclonus has an odd colour scheme throughout - blue with a silver head. The mention of Omega jars - how is it too late? He won't be seen for the rest of the story, despite the need for him. Mentioning him makes his absence all the more prominent - some sort of excuse should really have been made - maybe blowing him up cartoon-style? Again, bits of the Constructicons switch from purple to green throughout. Soundwave's visor is white as Cyclonus charges him.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Cyclonus, Scourge, Galvatron, Hound, Jazz, Ironhide, Smokescreen, Megatron, Laserbeak, Bonecrusher, Hook, Scrapper, Mixmaster, Long Haul, Optimus Prime [flashback], Ratchet [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Gears [flashback], Bumblebee [flashback], Soundwave, Whirl [first appearance], Xaaron, Impactor, Roadbuster, Ultra Magnus [first appearance].
Extras: The first half of a two-part 'new leaders' A2 poster, painted by Robin Smith. The first half features Ultra Magnus and the Autobot insignia.
Review: Not quite as great as the prologue, though it's still well above average. Galvatron gets a great formal introduction, being at this stage both powerful and reasonable. Things are moving along nicely.
#80- "Target 2006" Part 2
Cover Date: 27/09/86
|Synopsis: Galvatron is overseeing the Constructicons building a huge structure, watched by Jazz and Hound. However, they're discovered by Cyclonus. Meanwhile, Ultra Magnus arrives on Earth. He interrupts Cyclonus, but Jazz is captured. Hound and Magnus head back to the Ark. Galvatron then tortures Jazz to bait the Autobots.
Notes: Unicron created Cyclonus from the Decepticon Life Spark [it has been suggested that this is a metaphor, i.e. life spark, a la 'Beast Wars', but the text - "Once I lay like you; battered, defeated... close to death. Until Unicron took what had once been Life Spark... Restoring and sculpturing him into Cyclonus" - doesn't support this, whatever Furman's claimed since on the back of 'Beast Wars' giving the TF Universe 'sparks'. That "him" undeniably anchors Life Spark as a character, one that formed the template, at least, for Cyclonus. Taking the Spacebridge from Iacon to Earth would take about 1 Earth hour - possibly including travelling across Cybertron. Galvatron states it's "many years" before Magnus will take command of Autobot City: Earth.
Errors: Cyclonus has the odd colour scheme again. Why don't Hound and Magnus pick up Jazz? Unless Cyke has kicked the former halfway around Oregon, he should just be lying there nearby - after all, Cyclonus runs, leaving Magnus and Hound. By page 11, Galvatron has generously repaired Jazz' wound before starting to torture him...
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Hound, Jazz, Scourge, Galvatron, Long Haul, Scavenger, Scrapper, Bonecrusher, Hook, Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus, Impactor [flashback], Xaaron [flashback], Life Spark [flashback], Grapple, Jetfire, Optimus Prime [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Ratchet [flashback], Soundwave [flashback], Megatron [flashback], Smokescreen.
Extras: The second half of a two-part 'new leaders' A2 poster, painted by Robin Smith. The second half features Galvatron and the Decepticon insignia.
Review: The plot keeps moving at a steady rate, with enough action to keep the muddy motives of Galvatron interesting. A good job is done of showing Cyclonus' power, with the trio's back story unfolding nicely, and some clever tension between Magnus and Jetfire. However, Will Simpson's art is still none-too-easy on the eye, especially in the facial detail.