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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

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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 #321 - #330

| #321 | #322 | #323 | #324 | #325 | #326 | #327 | #328 | #329 | #330 |

#321 - "On the Edge of Extinction!" Part 3

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 17/08/91

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 19-27 of US Transformers #75, dated February 1991.

Synopsis: The Transformer casualties continue to mount, while the Neo-Knights struggle to be effective against such a huge enemy. Blackrock decides to gamble Circuit Breaker's sanity. Scorponok is among the Transformers killed by Unicron, when suddenly the Ark arrives - Grimlock has brought reinforcements. Prime once again tries to rally his troops once more when the Creation Matrix also attacks Unicron, tainted by evil.

Notes: Among those revived by Grimlock are Prowl [Underbase casualty - see #268], Skids, Silverbolt [Underbase casualty, see #209], Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Blaster [Underbase casualty, see #209] and Wheeljack. The Matrix has been tainted since it came into Thunderwing's possession in #293. It would seem Quake escapes Unicron's attack - there's no tank debris in the explosion, and the character appears several times later on.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Waverider [destroyed by Unicron], Quake, Joyride [destroyed by Unicron] , Scorponok [destroyed by Unicron] , Grimlock, Prowl, Snarl, Skids, Silverbolt, Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Blaster, Wheeljack, Slag, Swoop, Sludge. The body of Thunderwing is used as a vessel by the Matrix.

Notable Others: Unicron, Thunderpunch, GB Blackrock, Dynamo, Rapture, Circuit Breaker.

Extras: The second part of the hand-painted Geoff Senior poster of Unicron's attack on Cybertron. A-Z profiles Siren.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "If This Be Sanctuary?!" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: Another glorious instalment. There are no easy answers here as Unicron continues to hold the upper hand. Scorponok gets the most touching death scene of the series, and the arrival of the Ark and the Matrix set up a grandstand finish.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*]

#322 - "On the Edge of Extinction!" Part 4

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 31/08/91

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 28-36 of US Transformers #75, dated February 1991.

Synopsis: The Matrix attacks Unicron, but tainted by evil, it can do him no damage. He transforms to planet mode to finish off Cybertron. However, Blackrock goads Circuit Breaker into attacking Unicron. He tells Prime he's bought him a chance with her sanity, and to use it. Prime, having left Hi Q on the surface, takes the fallen Matrix, and flies into Unicron, destroying him. Later, after the battle, Runabout and Battletrap are strolling around, when the former is taken and destroyed by a mysterious creature.

Notes: Prime is able to purge the Matrix of evil.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Fangry, Weirdwolf, Nightbeat, Grimlock, Kup, Prowl, Runabout [eaten by demons], Battletrap. The body of Thunderwing is used as a vessel by the Matrix, and destroyed by Unicron.

Notable Others: Unicron [destroyed by Optimus Prime, using the Matrix], Hi Q, Circuit Breaker, GB Blackrock.

Extras: The third and final part of the hand-painted Geoff Senior poster of Unicron's attack on Cybertron. A-Z covers Kup.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Rime of the Ancient Wrecker!" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: A fitting conclusion to the ultimate battle. Inspired by Scorponok, Prime confronts his own fears, cleanses the Matrix and faces Unicron, with the whole story beautifully draw by Geoff Senior. The story was an intended conclusion to the series, though the inserted page with Runabout and Battletrap is an effective coda. This is by now much, much more than a comic designed to sell toys. The penultimate page is one of the most beautiful in the comic's whole run.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*]

#323 - "Still Life!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 14/09/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-10 of US Transformers #76, dated March 1991.

Synopsis: As the Transformers count the cost of the battle against Unicron, Optimus Prime delivers a message to Prowl before dying. Elsewhere, Hi Q is on the run from the demon creatures. At the Transformers' new HQ, Prowl tells Grimlock he was named as the Autobot leader by Prime. Grimlock seems unimpressed, claiming he has a task of his own to complete - finding the Ark, stolen during the battle, which still has deactivated Autobots inside. He sets off with the Dinobots. Blaster has more bad news, of seismic disturbances on Cybertron, while the Decepticons consider their next move. Soon after the Dinobots leave the Autobot base, Grimlock's body locks up totally. Just then, Hi Q runs up to them, and he's being followed.

Notes: Grimlock claims the Autobot/Decepticon war is caused by genetics.

Errors: Bomb-Burst's jet mode is shown among the wreckage, despite his Pretender shell being crushed by Unicron in #320. It's possible, though, that he'd split the robot from his shell, though the shells haven't been shown to have the power of speech when they don't have a Transformer inside.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Darkwing, Kup, Jazz, Prowl, Wheeljack, Optimus Prime [who dies from his injuries], Bludgeon, Quake, Krok, Rad [first appearance], Blaster, Krok, Grimlock, Siren, Snarl, Swoop, Slag, Sludge. The bodies of Apeface, Scorponok, Cloudburst, Bomb-Burst, Sureshot, Hosehead and Runamuck are seen, casualties from Unicron's attack.

Notable Others: Unicron [flashback], Hi Q.

Extras: A-Z profiles Grotusque.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Rime of the Ancient Wrecker!" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Furman and Wildman cleverly decide to return to the character-driven material rather than to try and match the spectacle of "On the Edge of Extinction". The story mainly concerns Grimlock, with Prowl an excellent foil for the Dinobot's stubbornness and arrogance.

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

#324 - "Still Life!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman & Robin Bouttell

Cover Date: 28/09/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-20 of US Transformers #76, dated March 1991.

Synopsis: The Dinobots are soon cornered by the demon creatures, refusing to abandon Grimlock. Elsewhere, Shockwave and Starscream repair the Ark, planning to take Earth while everyone else is busy on Cybertron, unaware that Galvatron is watching. The Dinobots are being overwhelmed by the demons, but Hi Q realises Grimlock is in a chrysalis stage. The Nebulan is able to accelerate it using his Powermaster energy, and the Dinobot is freed, though the Nucleon exposure accelerates Hi Q's own metamorphosis - he's becoming Optimus Prime. Grimlock drives off the demons - but he can no longer transform.

Notes: The demon creatures were first seen in #245, and live just under Cybertron's surface - presumably the changing conditions forced them out. Grimlock's new body is based on the Action Master figure.

Errors: Grimlock's faceplate is coloured red in the second panel of page 1.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Grimlock, Swoop, Shockwave, Starscream, Galvatron, Snarl, Slag, Sludge.

Notable Others: Hi Q.

Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #76. Pages 7 and 10 had printing errors, mixing up all the colours [Darn 'n' Blast was also affected].

Extras: A-Z covers Horri-Bull.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Rime of the Ancient Wrecker!" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: Big ideas concerning the Nucleon and the Powermaster concept are balanced out by a dull script. Similar to the acolytes in "The Void", the demons really feel like padding - the idea of them being a threat never really occurs, and they're chased off rather easily.

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

#325 - "Exodus!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 12/10/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-10 of US Transformers #77, dated April 1991.

Synopsis: The tremors on Cybertron are getting worse, and the alliance leaders call a summit to decide what to do. Blaster announces that due to Primus' apparent destruction, Cybertron is breaking up, and the Transformers need to evacuate. Shockwave and Starscream have already reached the same conclusion, and the Ark is ready for launch. The alliance is becoming more and more strained, and as the evacuation preparations go ahead, Fangry and Grimlock fall out and fight.

Notes: Bludgeon is now Decepticon commander, with Krok as his second-in-command. It's not clear why Soundwave seems to have been demoted.

Errors: Grimlock's faceplate is coloured red in the second panel of page 1.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Darkwing, Dreadwind, Prowl, Krok, Grimlock, Soundwave, Treadshot [first appearance], Crankcase, Fangry, Quake, Squeezeplay, Bludgeon, Blaster, Bumblebee, Silverbolt, Rollout [first appearance], Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, Jazz, Shockwave, Starscream.

Extras: A-Z profiles Weirdwolf.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Rime of the Ancient Wrecker!" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: An excellent quasi-political saga, with crackling dialogue and believable characterisation throughout, as well as a doom-laden feeling. That said, the exact direction of the title now seems a little unfocused following the battle with Unicron.

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

#326 - "Exodus!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 26/10/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-20 of US Transformers #77, dated April 1991.

Synopsis: Shockwave and Starscream prepare to launch the Ark, unaware something has stirred in the stasis pods. Meanwhile, Grimlock trounces Fangry until Prowl intervenes, deflating some of the tensions. Onboard one of the freighters, the Neo-Knights meet up with Hi Q. Later, the Decepticons have all evacuated, and Bludgeon briefs his troops on their new plan - conquest. Soon after they've left, the Autobots find their own starships sabotaged - Bludgeon has betrayed them. Onboard the Ark, Galvatron stumbles across the latest Transformer to be reactivated - his past self, Megatron.

Notes: Prowl's original plan was to colonise a barren world and start the Transformers' civilisation from scratch. Circuit Breaker is in a catatonic state following the events of #322. Megatron has been on the Ark in stasis since he was separated from Ratchet in #310, and was accidentally infused with the Nucleon in #317.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Starscream, Megatron, Grimlock, Fangry, Treadshot, Soundwave, Bludgeon, Krok, Prowl, Quake, Crankcase, Snarl, Dreadwind, Darkwing, Wheeljack, Galvatron.

Notable Others: Thunderpunch, Dynamo, Circuit Breaker, GB Blackrock, Rapture, Hi Q.

Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #77.

Extras: A-Z profiles Skullcruncher.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: The second half again lacks direction, though at least Bludgeon finally stabbing the Autobots in the back allows the plot to move forward a little. Some fine characterisation helps the whole thing hang together, but "Exodus" really feels like a 'bridge' story.

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

#327 - "A Savage Place!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 09/11/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-10 of US Transformers #78, dated May 1991.

Synopsis: Megatron and Galvatron battle on the Ark, and their life readings are detected by Shockwave and Starscream, who set off to investigate. Meanwhile, the Decepticon force arbitrarily selects Klo as the first planet on its' agenda for conquest. On the rapidly declining Cybertron, Prowl bemoans his stupidity when something unexpected happens. Back on the Ark, Ratchet is also functioning, but finds himself mentally linked to Megatron. Grimlock has a trick up his sleeve to get the Autobots off Cybertron.

Notes: This story takes place in 1991. The alternate Galvatron has much the same roots as the first Galvatron seen - he was converted by Unicron after a near-fatal defeat at the hands of Optimus Prime, though this time in took place in 2005 [in reality, most likely a concession for US readers, who would have seen 2006 as an error]. Klo has a peaceful population, a 'good level' of technology and abundant natural resources.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Galvatron, Optimus Prime [flashback], Starscream, Shockwave, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Darkwing, Prowl, Blaster, Ratchet, Grimlock.

Notable Others: Unicron [flashback].

Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #78.

Extras: A-Z profiles Pounce.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Better, though characterisation rather than plot is still the main interest. Practically everyone's well-written for, but so far there's not actually a massive amount happening. Still, Wildman really captures the desperation on Cybertron, even if he can't quite pull off the fight scene - it really looks like Megatron and Galvatron just spend a few pages striking enraged poses at each other.

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

#328 - "A Savage Place!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 23/11/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-20 of US Transformers #78, dated May 1991.

Synopsis: Grimlock has revealed he hoarded away three Decepticon battle cruisers, and orders the Autobots to get on board. On the Ark, Galvatron realises it is madness to kill Megatron, when Shockwave and Starscream arrives. Galvatron hides, and Shockwave prepares to kill the disorientated Megatron. Starscream stumbles across Ratchet, and decides to kill him also. Inside a storage crate, Hi Q, whose psyche has merged with that of Optimus Prime, pleads with Blackrock and the Neo-Knights to stay on Cybertron and try to find someone called The Last Autobot. Back onboard the Ark, an enraged Ratchet fights back against Starscream, while Galvatron tackles Shockwave. He and Megatron decide on an alliance to rule the galaxy. Ratchet realises this, and destroys the tank of the Nucleon inside the Ark, causing the ship to crash into Earth. Meanwhile, Bludgeon is closing in on Klo.

Notes: Grimlock stole the Decepticon ships and hid them in Cybertron's Rad [presumably Radiation] Zone - which is rarely used - in the event of the Dinobots becoming unhappy with Optimus Prime's leadership. They were probably stowed away before Arklaunch, as Grimlock has actually rarely returned to Cybertron since - he only had spare time on Cybertron between #251 and #252. This lends further weight to the idea that the future Dinobots worked together as a unit on Cybertron before the Ark left.

Note that contrary to common rumour, Shockwave is not explicitly killed by Megatron and Galvatron - they're poised to do so when Ratchet blows the Nucleon tanks, but what happens then is anyone's guess.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Grimlock, Prowl, Blaster, Galvatron, Megatron, Starscream, Shockwave, Ratchet, Optimus Prime [flashback], Fixit [flashback], Wheeljack, Inferno, Ironhide.

Notable Others: GB Blackrock, Hi Q, Dynamo, Circuit Breaker, Rapture, Thunderpunch.

Extras: A-Z profiles Repugnus.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: The plot finally kicks in for a frantic instalment. There's lots going on, all intriguing and all vital. Yet again, Furman doesn't let this smother the outstanding character-work, and Ratchet lashing out at Starscream is one of the most powerful frames in Transformers history. Grimlock, as always, has a plan, and Prowl wins huge audience kudos for simply backing down when he realises he's been outthought by the Dinobot. Add into this Galvatron's moment of clarity, and the Furman/Wildman team are back to their very best.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*]

#329 - "The Last Autobot?" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 07/12/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-10 of US Transformers #79, dated June 1991.

Synopsis: Spike Witwicky finds himself drawn to the wreckage of the Ark, in Northern Canada. He has been called there by Fortress Maximus, his old partner. Galvatron has escaped the crash alive, and started attacking the Canadian military. On Cybertron, Hi Q has been able to persuade the Neo-Knights to stay on the planet. Dynamo's power seems to have established contact with the Last Autobot. Meanwhile, the Autobots pursue the Decepticons to Klo, Grimlock having placed a tracer on one of their vessels. However, the Decepticons are already laying waste to the planet.

Notes: Spike's mental bond with Fortress Maximus was first shown to work over such distances in #212. The Earth authorities are claiming the Transformers have left Earth. This story starts six days after the Ark's crash. Dynamo tried to tap Cybertron's energy in #321.

Errors: The Neo-Knights have been on Cybertron at least a week, surely? So what have they had to drink? [most likely there are some supplies for Nebulans that they've had a share of]. They must bloody stink, too.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron [flashback], Fortress Maximus, Prowl, Silverbolt, Nightbeat, Grimlock, Snapdragon, Dreadwing, Quake, Horri-Bull, Squeezeplay, Fangry.

Notable Others: Spike, GB Blackrock, Hi Q, Dynamo, Circuit Breaker, Rapture, Thunderpunch.

Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #79.

Extras: A-Z has a two-page profile on Fortress Maximus - it's actually the Transformers Universe profile printed in US Transformers #79, with no format changes.

Back-Up Strips:
Machine Man - "Victory" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: Sadly, the Spike plotline is something of an unwanted intrusion, adding another thread to the ball when the Cybertron and Klo plotlines are much more interesting and deserving. The rest is the now-uniform high-quality mix of fine scripting wrapped in expressive art, though.

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

#330 - "The Last Autobot?" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 21/12/91

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Andy Wildman
Inks: Stephen Baskerville
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-20 of US Transformers #79, dated June 1991.

NB: For the back-up strip, "The Big Shutdown!" was reprinted, now in colour [provided by Euan Peters]. #330 contained #230.

Synopsis: Bludgeon's Decepticons easily take control of Klo, and they have found Grimlock's tracer. Bludgeon begins to arrange an ambush for the pursuing Autobots. Spike reluctantly pulls on his control suit, and merges with Fortress Maximus once again. He soon tracks Galvatron, and attacks him, but the enraged Galvatron battles back. Maximus and Spike finally work together, and are able to knock Galvatron out. On Cybertron, Dynamo finally raises the Last Autobot from the heart of Cybertron.

Notes: Sparkstalker appears to have been killed off-screen by Flamefeather. The Last Autobot is the final Guardian left by Primus.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Crankcase, Battletrap, Bludgeon, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Krok, Cerebros, Fortress Maximus, Galvatron, Megatron [flashback], Shockwave [flashback], The Last Autobot [first appearance].

Notable Others: Spike, GB Blackrock, Hi Q, Dynamo, Circuit Breaker, Rapture, Thunderpunch.

Production Notes: Trans Formation announces a new monthly format for #333, which would consist of a new 5-page strip, 10 pages of old material in colour, and the return of GI Joe.

Extras: A-Z has a two-page profile on Fortress Maximus - it's actually the Transformers Universe profile printed in US Transformers #79, with no format changes.

Back-Up Strip:
Combat Colin

Review: Once again, the tedious Fortress Maximus storyline muscles the more interesting stuff out of the way. It's a bog-standard vague teamwork monologue - one covered in "Man in the Machine" to boot, where Spike and Maximus reach the same conclusion. The Ark group weren't something that vitally needed tying up, and there's too little on the more interesting plot to save it.

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

 

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