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 #91 - #100
#91 - "Heavy Traffic!" Part 1
Cover Date: 13/12/86
|Synopsis: Circuit Breaker explains to capture of the Cybertron seven by RAAT to an unimpressed Barnett. Bombshell, meanwhile, has fired a Cerebro-Shell at Optimus, but can only monitor his thoughts, rather than control them. Skids sets out to search for the seven, accompanied by a reluctant Donny. Meanwhile, the Decepticons piggyback the creation of the Aerialbots, allowing the Stunticons to be brought to life too. Megatron sends them out to destroy Skids. Prime sends the Aerialbots to assist him.
Notes: Bombshell stowed away via Silverbolt in #90. Prime is immune to Bombshell's Cerebro-shells. Skids has an off switch.
Errors: Skids has an off switch... Perceptor's face is blue. As he's attacked, Blaster's is red, then pale blue. As he molests Donny, and rescues that woman, Skids' arms go mental. Skydive's got too much red and black on him. Neither Donny nor Skids notice that a Tyrrell P34's parked outside the motel...
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Perceptor [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Powerglide [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Seaspray [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Beachcomber [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Warpath [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Cosmos [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Bombshell, Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Skids, Megatron, Soundwave, Silverbolt, Fireflight, Air Raid, Slingshot, Skydive, Dragstrip [first appearance], Dead End [first appearance], Breakdown [first appearance], Wildrider [first appearance], Motormaster [first appearance].
Notable Others: Walter Barnett, Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg.
Letters Page: 'Grim-Grams' was replaced for this issue by 'Film 2006', in which Grimlock reviewed Transformers the Movie. Read this here.
Review: Aside from the button idiocy, it's a fairly harmless, unexciting piece of mid-run Budiansky pap, with the new characters starting to slowly overpower development of older ones. After a slow upwards curve since "Shooting Star", Perlin's art seems a little indistinct this time, but a particularly shoddy job from Yomtov probably doesn't help.
#92 - "Heavy Traffic!" Part 2
Cover Date: 20/12/86
|Synopsis: Circuit Breaker and RAAT arrive and battle the Stunticons, while Donny, having fled to safety, is caught by Barnett. The Aerialbots arrive, but the Stunticons decide to discredit the Autobots by "protecting" Skids from them. Both teams form their combined modes, and battle, but Circuit Breaker attacks out Superion, leaving him an easy target for Menasor. Skids and Donny flee, but at a motel later that night, Donny contacts Barnett, planning to sell Skids out.
Errors: Jetfire recalls Ballobots on Cybertron, when he was created on Earth [I would suggest implanted memories, but it's clear from #93 that he doesn't possess these]. The red is missing from Dead End's arms. As Circuit Breaker zaps him, there's too much blue on Dragstrip's head. As the Stunticons form Menasor, Breakdown's colour scheme is reversed. As Menasor shoots Superion, the latter's jaw is white.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Motormaster, Breakdown, Wildrider, Dragstrip, Dead End, Skids, Slingshot, Air Raid, Fireflight, Skydive, Silverbolt, Menasor [first appearance], Superion.
Notable Others: Walter Barnett, Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg.
Review: Pretty dismal. Circuit Breaker's ongoing ability to tell black from white [and her constant choice of attacking white in 50-50 situations] is getting distinctly trying now, and the character's credibility is steadily diminishing. Add to that some uninspired art, Barnett's sudden super-hero leap and more stupidity from the off-switch, and you've got a bit of a mess. Mind, Donny's line about the entrance ramp is classic.
#93 - "The Gift"
Cover Date: 27/12/86
Synopsis: Jetfire visits Buster at Christmas, as he feels unable to communicate with the other Autobots having not shared time on Cybertron with them. In combat situations, he is more hesitant when fellow Autobots are in danger, compared to humans. Buster cheers him up though.
Notes: Jazz and Trailbreaker are back online following Target 2006. The first flashback happens between #90 and #91, and the second after #92, a day before the actual story. Buster was last seen in #64.
Errors: On page 4 Kickback shoots over Prowl, yet seems to hit him on the back. As Thrust kicks Jetfire, he has no right arm. He then just stands there and watches as Jetfire recovers, and his wings disappear when Jetfire decks him. For his part, Jetfire then shoots Bombshell in the back as he appears to be running away.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Jetfire, Optimus Prime [flashback], Trailbreaker [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Wheeljack [flashback], Dirge [flashback], Soundwave [flashback], Kickback [flashback], Jazz [flashback], Thrust [flashback], Bombshell [flashback].
Notable Others: Buster, GB Blackrock [flashback].
Extras: The A-Z covers Beachcomber and Blades.
Review: There's some nice characterisation for Jetfire, but it all feels a little inconsequential. The flashbacks almost feel like rejected stories, largely shoehorned into the plot for padding purposes, and the poor art doesn't help. It's readable, but only just.
#94 - "Decepticon Graffiti!" Part 1
Cover Date: 03/01/87
Synopsis: Circuit Breaker has added Skids and the Aerialbots to RAAT's collection. Meanwhile, Megatron has summoned Runabout and Runamuck from Cybertron, and dispatches them to challenge Optimus Prime to a duel on his behalf. However, instead they follow a graffiti artist kid across the country, attracting the attention of RAAT.
Notes: Runabout and Runamuck have arrived on Earth at some point since #92.
Errors: Once again Skids has no elbows. On page 4, Megatron's cannon is tiny, and Laserbeak looks really odd. How exactly do RAAT know the Cybertron seven's names? Why does Megatron need to send out the Battlechargers to deliver his message? Even Soundwave points out it'd be easier for him to do so [perhaps Megatron's already wading towards the deep end - using the context of the UK stories, it's arguable the arrival of Galvatron has affected his thinking already].
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Runabout, Runamuck. The bodies and/or heads of Skids, Blaster, Silverbolt, Powerglide, Slingshot, Cosmos, Blaster, Beachcomber, Warpath, Perceptor, Air Raid, Fireflight and Skydive are seen.
Notable Others: Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg, Walter Barnett.
Letters Page: Grimlock claims Ultra Magnus weighs 90 tons.
Review: Surprisingly great. The Battlechargers are a fun double act, and even though the kid's annoying, he's meant to be. It's nicely rendered, by and large, snappily written - and for once Josie's after the Decepticons.
#95 - "Decepticon Graffiti!" Part 2
Cover Date: 10/01/87
Synopsis: RAAT attack Runabout and Runamuck, but Circuit Breaker is knocked out. However, she gets the captured Autobots to agree to let her use their bodies to make herself a giant robot suit as a conduit. Circuit Breaker then attacks the Battlechargers at their next target, the Statue of Liberty. She shoots them both down, and lets the Autobots go free, only to be fired by RAAT along with Donny. Donny himself decides to give his RAAT paycheque towards renovations of the Statue.
Errors: On page 9, Runamuck has a red head.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Runabout, Runamuck. The bodies and/or heads of Skids, Blaster, Silverbolt, Powerglide, Slingshot, Cosmos, Blaster, Beachcomber, Warpath, Perceptor, Air Raid, Fireflight and Skydive are all in the Autobot composite robot somewhere.
Notable Others: Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg, Walter Barnett.
Production Notes: The cover is adapted from US #23.
Review: A nice conclusion. The stuff with the giant robot's rather hokey, and it's a shame the Battlechargers are written out as they're really good fun, but it's again nicely done. It's great to have the stakes so small, there's no super-weapon, just a pair of goons trying to draw on the Statue of Liberty, and Josie and Donny are both well-written - the latter gets a nice coda to his story too.
#96 - "Prey!" Part 1
Cover Date: 17/01/87
Synopsis: Optimus Prime muses on the recent failings of the Autobots, especially without him in command. He comes up with a plan, asking Wheeljack for help. At the Decepticon HQ, Soundwave talks Megatron into using the Predacons to flush Prime into the open, so he can defeat him. Prime sets out on a reconnaissance mission to put his plan into action, while the Predacons arrive from Cybertron. Megatron, however, is unaware that they are plotting with Shockwave. They attack Prime, and begin to hunt him.
Notes: The Predacons are the Decepticons' elite hunters. Prime appears to have control over whether his trailer goes into subspace or not. Megatron "structured" the Predacons' Earth modes.
Errors: Runamuck has orange arms on page 2. On page 4, Either Dead End's drawn like Breakdown, or Breakdown's coloured like Dead End. There's too much blue on Megatron's face as he drops the rock too. I tend to let "Cybertronian robot modes" slip, but they could have at least put a shadow over the lion's head on Razorclaw's chest on page 6 [if they are given Earth modes before arrival, how does Megatron know this when Soundwave reminds him of their existence?]. On the bottom-left of page 9, Razorclaw's shoulders are uncoloured. It's interesting to think where Prime got footage of most of the incidents from - some is probably from internal recorders of the Autobots present, while the Battlechargers material could be from TV coverage.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Thrust [flashback], Dirge [flashback], Ramjet [flashback], Scourge [flashback], Runabout [flashback], Runamuck [flashback], Jetfire [flashback], Bluestreak, Megatron, Galvatron [flashback], Jazz [flashback], Motormaster, Wildrider, Breakdown, Soundwave, Dragstrip, Dead End, Rampage [first appearance], Razorclaw [first appearance], Tantrum [first appearance], Divebomb [first appearance], Headstrong [first appearance], Shockwave, Prowl, Tracks, Brawn, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Hoist, Laserbeak.
Production Notes: From this issue on, the UK series was distributed in America in very limited qualities, priced at $1.25. Given the book's format [both in terms of size and content], and that it wasn't common knowledge to Americans that it contained different material [not to mention costing 25¢ more] it's not surprising it wasn't widely stocked Stateside.
Letters: After being collared by Grimlock, stubbie Furman places Galvatron's timejump as happening on page 32 of the Transformers the Movie Special [which would equate to page 5 of TF:TM #2], before he attacks Autobot City Earth.
Review: Will Simpson's art is rather good, aside from the OTT "chroming" on Megatron and a few wayward mouths. Prime gets some superb characterisation, even if a plan concerning him being off on his own comes up at just the same time the Decepticons need him on his own is a little convenient. There's some good politicking from Soundwave and Shockwave too, with Megatron's waning sanity fitting nicely into the American storylines.
#97 - "Prey!" Part 2
Synopsis: Optimus Prime is trying to get away from the Predacons, with little success. They form Predaking, and he seems to be in big trouble. Meanwhile, the Autobots aren't looking, as Wheeljack is unaware that this isn't part of Prime's plan. Optimus makes it back to his trailer, but is seemingly gunned down by Megatron. He orders the Predacons to finish Optimus off. Later, Wheeljack and an Autobot search party stumble over Prime's destroyed body.
Notes: Quite where the Predacons get their combining tech isn't explained. It can't be something Megatron installed into them as we later find out Predaking existed on Cybertron. One theory is parallel evolution - after 4 million years of constant war on Cybertron, there would be more of a push to get an advantage, similar to the massive advances in technology made by combatants of World War II compared to neutral countries. Another option, snaffled from bits of ideas from Beast Wars and The Hub, is that a Transformer invented combining technology on Cybertron while the Ark crew were dormant, and died, his spark then joining the Matrix. This meant that the knowledge was available to the Transformers on Earth upon awakening, who assumed it to be "new" with no way of checking. Silverbolt's returned to the Ark following his ordeal with Silverbolt.
Errors: Ratchet's legs are red. Wheeljack looks as surprised as anyone else at the end...
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Rampage, Razorclaw, Tantrum, Headstrong, Divebomb, Megatron, Predaking [first appearance], Wheeljack, Silverbolt, Prowl, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Jetfire.
Production Notes: The price goes up to 32p.
Review: A fast, action issue best read only once - after the first read, the careful setting-up of the cliff-hanger seems a little obvious. Jeff Anderson's competent but passionless pencils don't gel well with White's insipid colouring either, though Prime gets good development.
#98 - "...The Harder They Die!"
Cover Date: 31/01/87
Synopsis: The Predacons double-cross Megatron, leaving him alone and unarmed to face Optimus. He destroys a clone of Optimus, part of the Autobot's plan with Wheeljack, and is ambushed by the real thing. In desperation, he summons the Spacebridge, sending them both to Cybertron. There, Prime saves an Autobot named Outback from a Decepticon as he adjusts to the state of his planet. Back on Earth, the Autobots, even Wheeljack, are unaware if he's alive or dead. Megatron is in Polyhex, still governed by Straxus, though only his head survived Blaster's attack. Megatron has sent word around of a Prime impostor being on Cybertron, and Optimus is captured and condemned by Ultra Magnus and the Wreckers.
Notes: It's the first time Prime or Megatron have been to Cybertron since the Ark launched. Outback's Cybertronian mode is a hovering armoured car. Straxus was kicked off the Spacebridge by Megatron in #69. Megatron carries a pistol as well as his fusion cannon. He is able to get a replacement cannon on Cybertron. The Wreckers use modified Guardian units.
Errors: Why can't Straxus have a new body built? If Megatron has a weapon as powerful as his cannon stockpiled on Cybertron, why doesn't anyone else use them [possibly they're keyed to him personally somehow, or the power is drawn from Megatron himself]. In the top-right frame of page 3, Outback's back is yellow [it should be tan]. At the bottom of the page, Hoist's head is uncoloured. How does Megatron know Shockwave believes him to have no chance against Optimus Prime one-on-one?
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Outback [first appearance], Hoist, Bumblebee, Gears, Wheeljack, Ironhide, Ratchet, Megatron, Straxus, Razorclaw [Flashback], Rampage [Flashback], Headstrong [Flashback], Tantrum [Flashback], Divebomb [Flashback], Blaster [Flashback], Rack 'n' Ruin, Ultra Magnus, Sandstorm, Roadbuster, Twin Twist.
Notable Others: One of the Wreckers' augmented Guardian robots.
Extras: A free Galvatron stick-on badge. This means if you don't have the badge on the cover, you have a tear in the cover. Argh.
Letters Page: Grimlock gives Macabre's alt mode as a "bat-winged air current glider".
Review: Geoff Senior paints a wonderfully dystopic picture of Cybertron, full of darkness and detail, perfectly matching a charged yet downbeat script from Furman. It's a glorious issue despite a few minor niggles, and the flashbacks really make you wish Geoff had drawn the previous story. The Straxus thing is a nice twist, as is the way he and Megatron are simultaneously plotting against each other. A masterpiece.
#99 - "Under Fire!"
Cover Date: 07/02/87
Synopsis: Outback interrupts Prime's execution, and springs him. Ultra Magnus gives chase, with Guardian units to back him up. Ratbat reports this back to Megatron, while Straxus continues to plot. The Guardians attack Optimus and Outback. They deal with the robots, but not before Outback is badly injured. Prime vows to save him, unaware that Magnus is close by.
Errors: On page 4, the back of Outback's head is yellow. On page 7, there's a bizarre white patch over Straxus' face in one panel. On page 10, the Guardian raises it's arm and it's on Outback's left, but it moves to his right to strike. Where did Ratbat get his robot mode from?
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Outback, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Springer, Roadbuster, Twin Twist, Ratbat [first appearance], Megatron, Straxus, Octane [first appearance].
Notable Others: Three augmented Guardian robots, two of which are destroyed by Prime.
Extras: A free Ultra Magnus stick-on badge, to complement the Galvatron one from last issue.
Review: A good continuation. Anderson isn't quite up to Senior's level, but he does very well, and Furman's fine character study of Prime and Megatron continues. One has to wonder, though, just how Megatron has stayed around so long with his ability to rub everyone the wrong way...
#100 - "Distant Thunder!"
Cover Date: 14/02/87
Synopsis: Optimus regales the injured Outback with the story of what happened to himself, Prowl and Ratchet when Galvatron time-jumped. The three found themselves in a dimension known as limbo, where they're pitched against Shockwave, Thundercracker and Frenzy by parasitic creatures feeding off their hate. Eventually, the sides work together to free themselves of the creatures' control. The Wreckers then find them at the end of the story, but when Prime gives himself up on the grounds that Outback should receive treatment, Xaaron realises he's the real Optimus.
Errors: In the flashback, Twin Twist and Roadbuster's guns have changed. On page 2 Springer and Twin Twist have swapped colour schemes. On page 4 Ratchet has Ironhide's head design with a part coloured white. On page 18 Optimus' head hasn't been coloured in.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Whirl, Springer, Sandstorm, Optimus Prime, Outback, Megatron [flashback], Twin Twist [flashback], Roadbuster [flashback], Ratchet [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Shockwave [flashback], Thundercracker [flashback], Frenzy [flashback], Megatron [flashback], Broadside, Emirate Xaaron, Ultra Magnus.
Notable Others: An augmented Guardian robot appears in flashback.
Production Notes: For the hundredth issue, the cover was a wraparound scene, and the Transformers strip was extended to 19 pages - the longest an exclusive UK strip would ever be. The US price dropped to $1.00 - the same as a US issue at the time.
Review: Disappointing. The flashback story's a good continuity point, but deserves about half the length it takes up... it's also very derivative [and will be revived by Furman almost piece-by-piece for Generation 2 #3 story "Primal Fear!"], and the Cybertronian plot put on hold for the issue is much more interesting. It's not completely without value, though, having some nice scenes for all involved in the flashback, and Simpson's art suits the organic creatures quite well. But not the best way to celebrate the centenary.