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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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(2001-now)
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(1984-1994)
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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 #271 - #280

| #271 | #272 | #273 | #274 | #275 | #276 | #277 | #278 | #279 | #280 |

#271 - "The Living Nightlights!"

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 26/05/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: John Marshall
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Helen Stone

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Earthforce [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #271 contained the third quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #2.

Synopsis: Snarl and Wheeljack are investigating a night-light that switches itself off when someone wants it to, as Wheeljack had found Cybertronian technology inside it. It turns out the lights can control human minds. The pair sniff around the factory, and are attacked by the lights. They find that Mindwipe is behind it all, and use the lights against the Decepticon to overload his circuitry.

Notes: A sudden burst of bright light can overload Transformer neural circuitry. This story works well with the Earthforce-after-Unicron theory, with Mindwipe working by himself following his defection in #308.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Wheeljack, Snarl, Mindwipe.

Extras: A-Z profiles Skydive and Sky Lynx.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "The Tenth Letter" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Well, if they must give us silly stories, at least some of them are inventive. There's a kind of amiable bumbling to Mindwipe's idea, and both Autobots are good value.

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#272 - "Cry Wolf!"

[cover]
Cover: Stephen Baskerville

Cover Date: 02/06/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Glib

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Annual 1991 [UK, coloured], Titan Books: Way of the Warrior [Worldwide], Transformers Winter Special 1994 [UK, coloured].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #272 contained the fourth quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #2.

Synopsis: An anxious Needlenose has taken to testing his fellow Mayhems' response times, afraid Carnivac will attack them. Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold are very angry, and Spinister has to step in to save Needlenose. Spinister then gives him a lecture, and Needlenose retires to his quarters. Carnivac is there waiting for him, and his team-mates ignore his alert, believing it to be another test.

Notes: Carnivac swore revenge on the Mayhems after Bludgeon killed Catilla in #239.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bludgeon, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Needlenose [destroyed by Carnivac], Spinister, Snarler, Catilla [flashback], Carnivac.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "The Tenth Letter" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: At last! Some real action in the UK strip, and a very welcome return for the Mayhems. Knifton articulates the characters well, and it's nice to see earlier form capitalised on by Furman. Needlenose's panic is believable, excusing the rather predictable narrative.

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#273 - "Wolf in the Fold!"

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 09/06/90

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Staz [pseudonym for Stewart Johnson]
Letters: Glib

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Annual 1991 [UK, coloured], Titan Books: Way of the Warrior [Worldwide], Transformers Winter Special 1994 [UK, coloured].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #273 contained the first quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #3.

Synopsis: The rest of the Survivors debate what to do about Carnivac, and whether to call in Earthforce, while their erstwhile comrade infiltrates the Mayhem Attack Squad's complex. Bludgeon detects him, however, and the pair fight. The commotion summons the rest of the Mayhems, and Carnivac is seemingly destroyed.

Notes: Bludgeon mentions Metallikato, the Cybertronian martial art of which he is an exponent [and, seeing as no-one else mentions it, or indeed seems to have heard of it, possibly its' only exponent].

Errors: Carnivac's chances of sneaking up on Bludgeon surely take a tumble when he decides to talk to himself while standing a few feet from the Pretender.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Springer, Stranglehold, Octopunch, Carnivac, Broadside, Snarler, Spinister, Bludgeon, Skids, Inferno.

Extras: A-Z covers Skywarp and Slag.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "The Tenth Letter" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: A passable second part. Not a lot happens, and it feels a little rushed, as if Furman has the conclusion all laid out, but just needs to manoeuvre the pieces to where he wants them. While Springer's jaded, more cautious character is believable, and even logical considering what he's been through, it's also very frustrating, and he comes across as a bit unsympathetic seeing as the other Survivors are all for action. It's a shame Furman doesn't go inside his head a bit more.

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

#274 - "Where Wolf?"

[cover]
Cover: Pete Venters

Cover Date: 16/06/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Jeff Anderson
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Transformers Annual 1991 [UK, coloured], Titan Books: Way of the Warrior [Worldwide], Transformers Winter Special 1994 [UK, coloured].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #274 contained the second quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #3.

Synopsis: Grimlock reluctantly agrees to help the Survivors retrieve Carnivac. The rogue Mayhem has escaped death, using his Pretender shell to fool the Mayhems, before destroying Snarler. The Autobots arrive, and tackle Bludgeon, Stranglehold and Octopunch. Spinister walks away from the battle, only to be gunned down by Carnivac. He then intervenes to tell the remains of the Mayhem Attack Squad he won't kill them, but Earthforce will take them prisoner.

Notes: The destruction of a Pretender shell causes massive mental shock to its' owner.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Prowl, Grimlock, Skids, Inferno, Broadside, Springer, Snarler [destroyed by Carnivac], Bludgeon, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Slag, Jazz, Spinister [killed by Carnivac].

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cold Snap" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: The mini-arc wraps up nicely, with a crisp, brisk script. Anderson's art works well in black and white, and there's some great characterisation for Bludgeon, Spinister and Carnivac - though the ending seems needlessly brattish. It's a shame we don't see more of the main fight scene, but considering the restrictions of the five-page format, "Where Wolf?" is a successful little story.

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

#275 - "Secrets"

[cover]
Cover: Stephen Baskerville

Cover Date: 23/06/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Pete Venters
Letters: Glib

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #275 contained the third quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #3.

Synopsis: Megatron's Energon shipment is intercepted by Shockwave, and Megatron deduces there to be a traitor in his faction. He assigns Soundwave to root out this traitor - the problem is it's Soundwave, playing both sides against each other. That evening he stumbles into Wildrider's quarters, and gives him battle plans to transmit to Cybertron, before collapsing. However, he's set the Stunticon up, and Megatron destroys Wildrider, believing him to be the traitor.

Notes: Blitzwing, Astrotrain and Octane are aligned with Shockwave. Soundwave has mind-scanning abilities - Megatron knows this, but it would not seem to be common knowledge among the rank-and-file. Syk is a forbidden circuit booster - Mixmaster deals in it. Wildrider's head clearly survives, which could explain why he appears in 'future' stories.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Megatron, Astrotrain, Octane, Blitzwing, Scrapper, Mixmaster, Wildrider [destroyed by Megatron].

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cold Snap" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Despite wooden art from Knifton, this is one of the high points of the black-and-white era. A superbly constructed tight script, and we haven't had a decent Soundwave script for years. It's great to see some of the character's basic traits revived, notably playing the leaders against each other, and it's nice someone used his mind-reading ability for once. A wonderful story.

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#276 - "Bugged!"

[cover]
Cover: Pete Knifton

Cover Date: 30/06/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Jeff Anderson
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #276 contained the fourth quarter of GI Joe and the Transformers #3.

Synopsis: Starscream is on guard duty at Shockwave's base, when he detects the Insecticons entering the base. He disables them with a rustbug hoop. He then lets them go, setting up a battle between Shockwave and Megatron, to further his ambition to rule the Decepticons.

Notes: The Insecticons are aligned with Megatron. A 'rustbug hoop' is basically a fly-swatter.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Shrapnel, Bombshell, Kickback.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Slingshot and Sludge, and a cover mounted Transformers badge.

Letters Page: Dreadwind reveals that the remainder of "Target 2006" has been lost, which is why it was replaced by other material for Collected Comics #16.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cold Snap" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: On the plus side, it's nice to see the Insecticons again. On the negative, did it have to be in such an abysmal story? Starscream's a little tiresome, and the rustbug hoop is easily as embarrassing as anything Mad Ol' Bob ever introduced into the Transformers universe. However, in this case inconsequential is a good thing - you'll only ever have to read this once, and more casual fans could even make do with the synopsis above...

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

#277 - "Internal Affairs!"

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 07/07/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Simon Coleby
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #277 contained the first fifth of GI Joe and the Transformers #4.

Synopsis: Shockwave and Megatron come upon each other at Memphis airport, as Starscream has planned. He then tips off Earthforce, before rendezvousing with Soundwave, with the pair uniting the Decepticon factions under their joint leadership. The Autobots arrive at the airport, and then Megatron and Shockwave realise they've been set up, and forge an alliance of convenience while escaping.

Notes: The Autobot Earthforce base, sixteen miles from Churchill in North Canada, appears to have a phoneline.

Errors: What was Shockwave doing at Memphis airport anyway? On page 4, Starscream is missing his shoulder stack things.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Shockwave, Starscream, Grimlock, Jazz, Prowl, Hook, Soundwave, Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Motormaster, Bombshell.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cold Snap" Part 4
Combat Colin

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Smokescreen and Snarl.

Review: Back on the up again. A decent story advancing the Decepticon faction plot. Starscream's actually skilful here, rather than a laughing Dr. Smith in robot form. The fight scenes are great, with Coleby hitting the big punches, though in other scenes his Transformers are a bit rounded. A nice, tight, believable script, though, Furman back to doing the best possible with the format.

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#278 - "The House That Wheeljack Built!"

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson

Cover Date: 14/07/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Glib

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Earthforce [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #278 contained the second fifth of GI Joe and the Transformers #4.

Synopsis: Outside Earthbase, Wheeljack shows the assembled Earthforce his latest invention - a huge security system. However, he's made one serious mistake - the defences can only be turned off from inside Earthbase... and everyone's outside. With cover from Bumblebee, Jazz and the Aerialbots, Prowl runs the defences himself, and disables them.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Wheeljack, Grimlock, Prowl, Slingshot, Bumblebee, Slag, Fireflight, Silverbolt, Sludge, Jazz, Ironhide, Swoop, Snarl, Air Raid, Skydive, Sunstreaker.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cut and Freeze Dried" Part 1
Combat Colin

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Soundwave [coloured predominantly blue] and Starscream.

Review: While it's a return to the throwaway daft stories, this isn't insultingly bad. It's just about conceivable that Wheeljack would be that scatterbrained. Prowl's determination is great, and there's some good comedy touches [e.g. anything Grimlock says and does].

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

#279 - "Divide and Conquer!"

[cover]
Cover: Bryan Hitch

Cover Date: 21/07/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Staz [pseudonym for Stewart Johnson]
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Glib

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Earthforce [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #279 contained the third fifth of GI Joe and the Transformers #4.

Synopsis: Soundwave leads an all-out Decepticon assault on the Autobot Earthbase, keeping Earthforce pinned down. The attack, however, is just a diversion so that Starscream can attempt to capture an oil tanker off the Gulf of Mexico. Prowl has placed the Survivors on alert, and they promptly take Starscream down. The Decepticon escapes, and Soundwave withdraws his force, mulling over whether he should take leadership for himself.

Notes: Earthbase's defences were deactivated after the debacle last issue. It is not revealed how the Decepticons located Earthbase. The Survivors joined up with Earthforce in #274. Thrust, Dirge, Ravage and Rumble are now also with the Decepticons on Earth. Broadside's appearance is the only time he is seen in his aircraft carrier mode in the comic.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Soundwave, Blitzwing, Octane, Thrust, Dirge, Mixmaster, Bombshell, Tantrum, Shrapnel, Scrapper, Rampage, Headstrong, Astrotrain, Dead End, Breakdown, Runabout, Runamuck, Dragstrip, Prowl, Wheeljack, Grimlock, Slag, Snarl, Swoop, Scavenger, Rumble, Ravage, Starscream, Springer, Inferno, Skids, Carnivac, Broadside, Divebomb.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cut and Freeze Dried" Part 2
Combat Colin

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Streetwise and Sunstreaker.

Review: A snappy, tight narrative which uses great economy. After all the messing around, it's nice to see the Earth factions having a bit of a battle at last. One of the very best black-and-white stories, with some sharp dialogue to boot.

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#280 - "The 4,000,000 Year Itch!"

[cover]
Cover: Pete Venters

Cover Date: 28/07/90

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Jeff Anderson
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Earthforce [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #280 contained the fourth fifth of GI Joe and the Transformers #4.

Synopsis: Optimus Prime is visiting Autobase Earth. However, Slag has lapsed into a primitive rage, and the other Dinobots have to keep him out of Prime's way while Grimlock shows the Autobot leader their base. After several close shaves, Slag burns himself out, with the exhausted Dinobots having kept him out of Prime's way.

Notes: This has happened to Slag before, four million years ago [obviously approximate]. Then, he wiped out his entire unit. Snarl and Sludge, at least, helped cover up then - this lends credence to the to-be-Dinobots working as a unit on Cybertron, before being made into the Dinobots by the Ark [see #26].

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Slag, Swoop, Sludge, Snarl, Grimlock, Optimus Prime.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cut and Freeze Dried" Part 3
Combat Colin

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Steeljaw and Superion.

Letters Page: Dreadwind subtly blames the Royal Mail for the loss of the rest of "Target: 2006" [see #276 letters' page]. He also reveals that an art team has two weeks to draw and ink a one-week story - though he hasn't a clue what "Five Faces of Darkness" is - a broadcast of the Series 3 opener as a compilation on satellite network BSkyB helped to perpetuate the "second Transformers movie" stuff for a while...

Review: Some excellent visual comedy - the Dinobots are funny, and the key is not having them walking around going "Me Grimlock not interesting, me Grimlock king", or "Me Snarl character-free cipher". Swoop written by Furman is always splendid value too, and there's a dark undertone here - Slag killed a whole bunch of Autobots, and the Dinobots helped cover it up... a cracker, if you're in the right mood.

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