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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
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(1984-1994)
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and Titles

TRANSFORMERS TITLES FROM TITAN BOOKS / MAGAZINES

Titan Transformers #1 (Optimus Prime)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Expectations were high. Geoff Senior is generally regarded as the best single Transformers artist of all time, and his self imposed retirement for so long has made fan excitement at his return huge. It would have been very easy to be disappointed - as happened with the return of Andrew Wildman - but he hasn't lost his touch. Despite the goof over Prime's robot mode every page sings with crisp, beautiful art.

As for the story, it's a standard Furman monologue for Prime. But as an intro to Transformers comics to new fans it works well and shows something significant that, surprisingly perhaps, happened off page in the Prequel Comic.

For anyone who's collecting the IDW material there's not enough new stuff here to justify the cover price (hopefully they'll be some Summer Special type titles collecting the original strips together as it goes along), but for anyone who isn't, it's well worth getting for Senior's triumphant return alone (and the back up strips are decent as well).

Notes

Titan acquired the UK rights to the Transformers license shortly after the Panini Armada comic folded, but have sat upon them until the Movie’s release to maximise sales. Editor Steve White had provided art for various issues of the Marvel UK comic and was extremely keen on the chance to run the title. As is the norm with British comics this is effectively an anthology title, with IDW reprints making up the rest of the comic. Beast Wars might seem an odd choice, but the TV show was broadcasted in a loop on Saturdays on Channel Five a couple of years ago, the only Transformers series to be broadcasted in its entirety on British terrestrial television, so it's likely to be the best known after the original in the UK. The Gathering also has the advantage of being the same length as the Movie Prequel, meaning if sales aren't good enough to sustain it after the Movie hype wears off, the title can end there without leaving any stories dangling.

Apart from a few covers for the Armada UK comic, this is Geoff Senior's first TF work since A Rage in Heaven 13 years ago. Colourist Robin Smith also worked on the Marvel UK title, so this is something of an old school reunion. At ten pages this is the longest UK originated strip since Time Wars Part 7 back in 1989.

The events here take place towards the end of issue 1 of the IDW prequel comic, or around issue 3 of this title if the page ration stays the same.

The Movie itself doesn't comment on how the Allspark was lost. The idea of Prime firing it into space, as seen here (and IDW's output), is likely inspired by The Flames of Boltax! (Marvel US #48), where Prime shoots the Underbase- Cybertrons greatest source of knowledge - into space to stop Megatron from getting his mitts on it (and it later arrives on Earth). Here it's actually Prime's assistant, Arctus, who presses the button as Prime is busy at the time.

And to round of the in-jokes, the drone that tries to kill Prime is seemingly based on the Leige Maximo from the Generation 2 comic (which as noted above, was the last interior art Geoff Senior did).

The idea that the Allspark can give visions of the future is taken from issue 2 of the Prequel comic. It seems to show Prime exactly the same vista of Mission City it gives Captain Whitwicky.

Goofs

Though he turns into the protoform spaceship thing, Prime's robot mode is clearly based on his Earth body. It's like someone provided Geoff Senior with reference photos of two different toys by mistake (and it's nothing like the robot mode we'll see Prime have later in the Prequel comic).

The fuel container has "FUEL" written in English in large letters (a possible Jose Delbo tribute?).

The intro page encourages readers to go see the new Movie right now even though it wasn't yet released in the UK when this issue was published. Even more oddly, the letters page is full of comments from people that have seen the film at the cinema.

In the advert/feature on the original Movie there are several stills taken from TV episodes rather than the feature film.

Fantastic Free Gift!

Want to be as cool as a soldier without having to do all that nasty killing? Well, now you can with amazing Autobot dog tags!

Extras

Also included is a Optimus Prime poster (based on the cover), a run down on who'd win in a fight between Ratchet and Barricade (written by Furman) and two thinly disguised adverts for tie-in merchandise and the Metrodome DVD release of the 1986 film.

 
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