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Transformers #17 [UK]: The Kingdom of Starscream
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Something of a come down from last issue, it's becoming very clear at this point that both Etherington and Furman are, despite some highlights, finding the shorter length forced on the comic a struggle to work with. As soon as the story starts to look like it might be going somewhere, Starscream just runs away. The idea of him being a God is a potentially interesting (if old hat) one, but not one of his followers even gets a line.

There's nothing especially bad here, indeed Ironhide's characterisation as he constantly suggests destroying things is delightful, but nothing you'll especially remember either.


The last of three straight fill in issues by Etherington, we see a few of the films main characters who haven't been around for a while. Ratchet and Ironhide were both last in issue #11 (where Ironhide was a non-speaking flashback, his last “in the flesh” showing was #9), whilst Starscream has been absent for even longer, since issue #8 and the pre-film strips.

Ironhide misquotes Speed at one point, “Pop quiz...” (understandably leaving off the asshole bit).

As has tended to be the case of late the storyline has its roots in one of the black and white Marvel UK strips. Starscream was mistaken as a God by primitive tribes people in Race With the Devil (#215-218). Albeit this time it's not Furman recycling his old plots.

The comics look gets a slight redesign, with the contents page getting very brief one line descriptions of Optimus, Bumblebee, Megatron and Barricade added.


Starscream's cunning plan to find new Energon? Walk around the planet digging random holes in the ground. It's also not clear, as he has no intention of using his worshippers, where he's going to raise his army from.

The expedition starts off with two members but has gained a third by the time they reach the temple.

Whilst he's presumably been included because of the letters page it's slightly barking to have Barricade in the title's main characters list on the contents page when he hasn't been in the comic since the renumbering and tended to be a non speaking extra in his few showings before that.

Fantastic Free Gift

Fridge magnets.


Megatron's Mind Maulers has a G1 theme;
Starscream Talks, a spoof interview with the Decepticon;
Green Machine!, colouring page of the cover;
Competitions for I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, a complete set of Armouron books and the most recent set of Doctor Who activity books (where the question is about Amy's policewoman kissogram outfit... Mmmmmm.... Sorry, where was I?);
Cover based poster;
Bumblebee's Guide to the Solar System covers Jupiter;
Lost in the Jungle!, a snakes and ladders style board game (complete with Indiana Jones quote, “Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes!”);
Law and Disorder (with a new look as well).

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