The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum

THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

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 #161 - #170

| #161 | #162 | #163 | #164 | #165 | #166 | #167 | #168 | #169 | #170 |

#161 - "Salvage!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Bryan Hitch
Cover Date: 16/04/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Lee Sullivan
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Summer Special '94 [UK], Titan Books: Space Pirates [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Psycho probe forces Megatron to face his inner demons, in the shape of Optimus Prime. Outside, the Sparklers attempt to tackle Galvatron alone. Back in Megatron's mind, Optimus is destroyed by Straxus, whose mind is still fighting for control of Megatron. However, Megatron defeats him, winning back control and consciousness. Magnus also overcomes his demons, and defeats Galvatron. Back in the castle, Shockwave takes advantage of Megatron's conditioning, programming him to destroy Galvatron.

Notes: Straxus tried to take over the original Megatron's mind in #103. However, seeing as this is the clone we later find out Straxus fled to following that failed attempt, presumably the struggle is between a copy of Megatron's mind and Straxus. Yep, that's flawed, but it's not "Salvage" that's at fault, so see #244.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Shockwave, Snap Trap, Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, Sizzle, Guzzle, Fizzle. Optimus Prime and Straxus both manifest in Megatron's brain.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Road Safety - from the Air!" [a four-page in-house public message strip]
Action Force - "Battle Island" [a two-and-a-half page in-house strip, with the final few frames submitted by reader Wayne Clarke as part of a competition].
Combat Colin

Review: Some nice storytelling style adds some punch to a rather dull 'mental struggle' storyline, with even the Ultra Magnus/Galvatron fight seeming a bit tired. Considering the huge amount of work "Salvage" has to do, it reads surprisingly well, but it's still not a terrific story, despite Sullivan's solid debut.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0]

#162 - "Pretender to the Throne!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson & Dave Elliot

Cover Date: 23/04/88

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-12 of US Transformers #40, dated April 1988.
Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Maximum Force [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Now working for a company named Alternate Reality, Ethan is playing with Optimus on a computer game, but the Autobot can't understand that he's not a computer character. Fortress Maximus' Autobots find out he's being stored there, and, after Goldbug a new body, decide to investigate. Goldbug finds Ethan, and they are able to use Prime to hack into Scorponok's computers. The Decepticon is creating Pretender shells for some of his warriors. However, he is traced, and to counter this, and hopefully snap Optimus out of his belief that he's a character, Goldbug contacts Fortress Maximus so he can make six Autobot Pretenders to counter them.

Notes: Scorponok claims only his genius made the Pretender process possible, but we later find out that at least Thunderwing, Longtooth, Doubleheader and Pincher had them before this story chronologically. It's possible therefore that Scorponok is lying, or that he's suffering some sort of mental problem since combining with Zarak that's made him know of Pretenders subconsciously, and is unaware of their previous existence. There's even the possibility that Thunderwing was some sort of top-secret project, and he never met the Autobot Pretenders. Optimus' personality has been possessed on a disc by Ethan since #106. The Autobots recovered Goldbug's brain in #157. Fortress Maximus was damaged in #159.

Errors: It's a bit off that the Autobots are investigating random phone-calls when a) the Throttlebots are still bodiless down on Earth and b) Buster is still a Decepticon prisoner. Optimus must be the highest resolution '88 Computer game character by some considerable margin. Yomtov's inaccurate schemes for Brainstorm and Highbrow return. After the first frame of his new body, the 'hood' part of Goldbug is missing until he gets to Earth. Ethan's had Optimus' personality on disc for about a year, and hasn't bothered doing anything about it.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Goldbug, Fortress Maximus, Brainstorm, Highbrow, Scorponok, Iguanus [first appearance], Bomb-Burst [first appearance], Bugly [first appearance], Submarauder [first appearance], Finback [first appearance], Skullgrin [first appearance].

Notable Others: Ethan Zachary, Sparkplug, Spike, Zarak, Vorath.

Extras: A free Cloudburst sticker. Erm, thanks...

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "The Battle of Springfield" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: Not terribly good at all. A dull "computer" story, with the angle of Optimus thinking he's a computer game character totally bludgeoned to death in the opening few pages, so the fact in turns into a plot point isn't good. Add into this that the Decepticon Pretenders are the most stupid looking Transformers so far, that the art's totally stale and that the potentially interesting Scorponok is already morphing into a generic Decepticon leader, and you're not left with an awful lot of any value.

[*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#163 - "Pretender to the Throne!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Lee Sullivan
Cover Date: 30/04/88

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 13-22 of US Transformers #40, dated April 1988.
Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Maximum Force [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Autobots create six Pretenders shells also, and Optimus purposefully springs the Decepticon alarms so their Pretenders will attack Alternate Reality. Meanwhile, Scorponok enters the Decepticon computer. The Decepticon Pretenders find their Autobot counterparts waiting for them. Optimus directs the battle via Goldbug, and the Decepticons are beaten back. Optimus then defeats Scorponok, but after the Autobots win, still thinks he's a computer-generated character.

Errors: It's highly implausible that the Decepticons actually think the Autobot Pretenders are human. Oh, and Yomtov, as well as using more block-colouring that a 4 year old with a single crayon, also chooses his buggered up schemes for Brainstorm and Highbrow again.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Highbrow, Landmine [first appearance], Cloudburst [first appearance], Waverider [first appearance], Groundbreaker [first appearance], Sky High [first appearance], Splashdown [first appearance], Brainstorm, Goldbug, Scorponok, Iguanus, Submarauder, Finback, Bomb-Burst, Bugly, Skullgrin. There's also computer-Optimus.

Notable Others: Ethan Zachary, Zarak, Vorath.

Letters Page: Grimlock confirms that the recently-found Sky Lynx and Trypticon figures in the UK are genuine. They're most likely US overstock shipped to the UK to sell.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "The Battle of Springfield" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Something of a tedious story, with a very transparent narrative and the overplayed computer game speak of Optimus. Delbo's improved ability with the handling of the humanoid Pretenders is totally undermined by Yomtov's colouring, which is generally pretty poor anyway, but is especially bad and lazy here. Unless you're hugely interested in Pretenders, this one is best skipped...

[*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#164 - "City of Fear!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Dan Reed
Cover Date: 07/05/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1992 Autumn Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Sparklers take Magnus back to the Autobase at Kalis, on Cybertron, but find it deserted and run down. All of Kalis is the same, and the Decepticons have blockaded the town. They capture Flywheels and retreat into the city, where the Decepticon tell them the dead have risen in Kalis.

Notes: Xaaron and the Wreckers were based at Kalis. The city neighbours Tyrest. Flywheels' abilities are portrayed as basically those of a Triple Changer throughout his UK appearances. Chuffer was named in Grim-Grams in #175, though Dread Tidings in #206 gives the name as Steamer.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Chuffer [or Steamer; first appearance, killed by zombies], ]Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Guzzle, Flywheels [first appearance], Battletrap [first appearance].

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "The Battle of Springfield" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: A fairly atmospheric zombie story, with a decent amount of suspense and some much-improved art from Reed. Some neat dialogue and development makes this a fun pastiche.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#165 - "City of Fear!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Dan Reed
Cover Date: 14/05/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1992 Autumn Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Autobots and Flywheels are surrounded by dead Transformers, but eventually fight their way out and make it to cover. Magnus deduces the dead are being controlled by a computer signal, and Flywheels suggests jamming the signal. They succeed, and Magnus tracks the source to hundreds of feet under Cybertron's surface.

Errors: Magnus' gun changes hands on page 3, and then disappears from page 5. The following page, in the penultimate frame, Sizzle's gun goes green. The 'Baird' Beaming Transmitter doesn't sound very Cybertronian.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Guzzle, Flywheels.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "The Battle of Springfield" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: The story continues nicely, with the low-tech solution actually not too irritating, and Furman glows in his scripting work for Magnus and the very hard to dislike Flywheels. Dan Reed's still not quite up to scratch with Transformers, but the decaying zombies are something he does quite well.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#166 - "Legion of the Lost!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Lee Sullivan
Cover Date: 21/05/88

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Jeff Anderson
Inks: Dave Elliot
Letters: Tom Frame
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1992 Autumn Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The situation in Kalis began with an explosion in Decepticon territory, caused by the venting of an active nuclear fusion reactor. Xaaron linked this to Megatron's old plan to turn the planet into a flying dreadnought. The Wreckers failed to find the reactor before the zombies attacked their HQ, capturing them and Xaaron when Springer proved unable to blast his way past a zombie Impactor.

Notes: According to Xaaron, Megatron disappeared after a hundred years of war. Megatron's plan was first mentioned in #1. Impactor died in #88, and Springer has led the Wreckers since. Roadbuster and Whirl are both absent from the Wreckers.

Errors: Xaaron describes Megatron as rising to power within the Deceptions, but "State Games" suggested he was a founder member.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Flame [first appearance, not yet named], Guzzle, Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Flywheels, Xaaron, Springer [flashback], Topspin [flashback], Twin Twist [flashback], Rack 'n' Ruin [flashback], Broadside [flashback], Sandstorm [flashback], Impactor [zombie, flashback].

Extras: A-Z covers Inferno and Ironhide.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Thunder Machine" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: An excellent continuation, with some good intrigue and great character work for Springer, as well as an interesting plot point raised from waaay back in the series' past. Jeff Anderson's art doesn't quite capture the dynamics of the explosion and the fight with the zombies, but his clean, crisp Autobase does contrast nicely with Reed's decrepit version in the last story.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#167 - "Legion of the Lost!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Jerry Paris
Cover Date: 28/05/88

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Jeff Anderson
Inks: Dave Elliot
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1993 Easter Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Xaaron and the Wreckers are held by Flame, who plans to continue his attempts to carry out Megatron's plan, which had been denied by the Council of Elders. Xaaron pleads with him as the plan will endanger Cybertron itself, but Flame won't listen. Above ground, Magnus elects to send Flywheels for reinforcements. Meanwhile, Xaaron persuades Springer to escape, but Impactor follows. Springer manages to get through to him, and he sets off to find out what's going on, while Springer sets off to find Ultra Magnus.

Notes: Flame's accident occurred before the execution of all of the Council of Elders [bar Xaaron] by Trannis [see "The Middle Years" in #83].

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Impactor [zombie], Topspin, Xaaron, Sandstorm, Flame, Springer, Broadside, Twin Twist, Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Guzzle.

Extras: Death's Head - a one-page advert-cum-strip by Simon Furman and Bryan Hitch. This was a private advertisement placed by Furman so he held copyright in Death's Head, and not Marvel. The strip is untitled, but is generally known as "High Noon Tex". Not really a back-up strip per se [okay, so it's listed in Trans Formation, but then so was 'The Adventures of Captain Rik', a promotion for Kelloggs' 'Ricicles' breakfast cereal...], but worth noting. While we're hear, Furman and Geoff Senior's US format 'Dragon's Claws' gets a plug, under its working title of Dragon's Teeth.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Thunder Machine" Part 2
Combat Colin

Letters Page: Grimlock admits for the first time that some Transformers material is produced in the US [if I was cynical, I'd say to distance Marvel UK from the more variable recent US reprints].

Review: Well made, with the plot unfolding nicely. Xaaron and Springer get some great writing, while the OTT Flame is quite convincingly out of his tree, rather than just the usual Transformers insanity angle of hitting people and saying "Bwaaaa!" a fair bit. His mad body language is also very noticeable nestled within Anderson's ever-so-slighty bland style.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0]

#168 - "Meltdown!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Jerry Paris
Cover Date: 04/06/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Robin Smith
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1993 Easter Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Flame prepares to fire the reactor under Kalis, while Ultra Magnus, Springer and the Sparklers head down to stop him. The freed Wreckers, meanwhile, are under attack from Flame's zombies. Broadside is nearly killed, but is saved by Impactor, who heads off after Flame, while Broadside uncovers the armoury. Xaaron, meanwhile, confronts Flame, who attacks him. Xaaron considers transforming, but is worried the stress will kill him. The Wreckers have decimated the zombies, and meet up with Magnus' team. Flame seals off Kalis, so Springer and Broadside set off in the direction of Autobase, only to run into Trypticon.

Notes: Flame's alt mode is a fire-tank. Both he and Xaaron were at the Academy of Science and Technology. Xaaron hasn't transformed for hundreds of years.

Errors: Why is there an armoury down there? Flame's zombies don't need the guns, and the story's made it pretty clear that the Autobots know nothing of the catacombs under Kalis. Magnus' quip about saving "a few for us" seems rather out of place considering that in #165 he orders Flywheels not to destroy the zombies... For the last frame, the doorway seems to grow to about twice its' original size, and there's a little bit of cheating to stop Springer and Broadside being squashed by the doors [they fall sideways, when the penultimate frame makes it look like they're going to land on the pair].

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Flame, Springer, Fizzle, Sizzle, Guzzle, Ultra Magnus, Broadside, Topspin, Sandstorm, Rack 'n' Ruin, Impactor [zombie], Xaaron, Twin Twist, Trypticon.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Thunder Machine" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: A decent action story, despite a couple of plot conveniences, well scripted [especially Flame and Xaaron], with some nice action, though Smith's art is a little stodgy and inarticulate at times - that said, the sequence with Broadside and the zombie is actually quite painful to read. Good but not superb.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#169 - "Meltdown!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson
Cover Date: 11/06/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Robin Smith
Letters: Glop
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1993 Easter Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Flame continues to fight Xaaron, while the countdown to firing the reactor continues. Trypticon, meanwhile, is the Decepticon reinforcements gathered by Flywheels, and the Wreckers continue towards Flame's reactor. However, the only way to stop the countdown is to actually enter the reactor. Xaaron orders the others to leave so he can do so. Flame then attacks Xaaron, but is killed by Impactor, who gets Xaaron to leave and enters the reactor himself. He succeeds, and back above the Autobots pay tribute to him.

Errors: Topspin's the tech guy? When he messes up, and Flame summons the zombies, Topspin's Autobot insignia disappears. How does Trypticon get to the surface? He's not shown, and presumably had to take the slower route than the way he got in... He actually won't be seen again - maybe he didn't make it?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Xaaron, Flame [killed by Impactor], Sandstorm, Topspin, Twin Twist, Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Guzzle, Trypticon, Rack 'n' Ruin, Springer, Broadside, Flywheels, Impactor [zombie, vaporised by radiation].

Letters Page: Andrew Grant writes in with the results of the 1987 Transformers' readers poll: -
Best Autobot: Rodimus Prime
Best Decepticon: Galvatron
Best Supporting Character: Death's Head
Best Story: "Wanted - Galvatron Dead or Alive" [ #113 - 114]
Best Cover: #117
Best Writer: Simon Furman
Best Artist: Geoff Senior
Best Letterer: Richard Starkings
Best Colourist: Steve White
Best Back-Up Story: Headmasters
Best Free Gift: Headmasters Data Scan
Best Competition: Headmasters video competition
Best Dinobot [!]: Grimlock

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Thunder Machine" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: An emotional, action-packed conclusion to a very underrated story arc. Impactor's sacrifice is very touching, and seems to be a restructuring of the slightly less excellent original death the character was given. The dialogue generally crackles, and all of the cast of often underused characters is given something to do. Great stuff.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0]

#170 - "Deadly Games!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson
Cover Date: 18/06/88

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers 1993 Holiday Special [UK], Titan Books: City of Fear [Worldwide].

Synopsis: In Tyrest, a mechanoid called Hooligan kills the Autobot Chameleon in a gladiatorial game, watched by many aliens. The next day, Ultra Magnus and the Sparklers arrive to investigate. They're about to return to head back to Earth with the Wreckers to face Galvatron when they check the Jekka amphitheatre. There they find many dead Transformers. Suddenly, the group are jumped by the Firecons and an alien named Zabra, who capture them.

Notes: The State Games haven't been staged since the civil war started. Chameleon has a cloaking device built into himself.

Errors: Why was Chameleon's body left out in the open for the patrol to discover, rather than stockpiled in the Amphitheatre with all the others? Because otherwise Magnus & co. wouldn't investigate, that's why...

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Chameleon [killed by Hooligan], Ultra Magnus, Sizzle, Fizzle, Guzzle, Xaaron [flashback], Springer [flashback], Broadside [flashback], Sandstorm [flashback], Flamefeather, Cindersaur, Sparkstalker.

Notable Others: Hooligan, Zabra.

Production Notes: The price goes up to 35p.

Extras: The comic also featured a one-page promotional strip, starring Ultra Magnus, promoting the Transformers comic series. This was written by Simon Furman, illustrated by Lee Sullivan, lettered by Glib and coloured by Steve White.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Snap Decisions" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: A decent start, with Chameleon well-defined, let down by a slightly ropey, uninteresting second half... it's clearly, even at this stage, going to be a take on the old sci-fi alien gladiators plot done in just about every sci-fi show since the year dot, with the slight twist being it's on the combatants' home planet. Oh, and Dan Reed's art is great when doing aliens, and diabolical when it comes to Transformers, with the renderings in the last frame especially being abysmal.

[*][*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0]

 

To UK #151 - #160 | Comics Guide Index | To UK # 171 - #180 |
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.