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Transformers #18 [UK]: Shadow War
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

The idea of a super super secret Autobot commando team with the job of sneaking in and dealing with Decepticons before getting out unseen is a good one. The problem is the execution is somewhat lacklustre.

Firstly, the secret squad don't act very much differently to what we've seen previously in the comic, and they still leave lots of destruction and a big hole in the ground in their wake. Secondly, the idea that Movie Prime would have any issue with this doesn't feel right at all. Whilst I understand a kids comic can't have him as bloodthirsty as in the films, it's stretching credibility he'd lose sleep about taking the most direct solution to his problems. It's Furman just writing generic G1 Optimus, which is odd as previous issues have had him show a better handle on the character.

Throw in the new Transformers all being dull and you have an issue with some potential that doesn't manage to reach it.


After a three month absence, El Furmano returns to writing duties, and picks up on his ongoing plot of the humans losing faith in the Autobots (hence the new stealthier approach) and Bludgeon's plotting, both of which started in issue #13.

Though the Autobots had their own base in the alternate Universe stories seen in the comics second year, this is the first time we've seen they have a place of their own in the “Main” timeline. Based on the rocky interior Autobase seems to be underground. It's not clear in NEST know about this either.

Yet another issue (following #3 and #9's trips to Las Vegas) set around American gambling cities.

A bar called Nicholson's is likely named for Kat Nicholson, frequent Titan colourist who worked on the Animated comic.

This is the comics last monthly issue, #19 would be released a whole 8 weeks later on 2nd December. Obviously that suggests some very bleak things about the comics long term future.


Slapdash is spelt as one word, unlike the toy. It'll take another appearance before we know if it's a mistake or stylistic choice.

So some cars driving themselves blow up large chunks of a city, before driving off and vanishing in a big explosion. Did NEST never get called in? Nor ask the Autobots if they have any idea what happened?

Prime's behaviour at the end is hugely out of character for the pragmatic shoot 'em in the head film version.

Fantastic Free Gift

A disc shooter and stickers.


The Secret World of Nest wordsearch;
Megatron's Mind Maulers! quiz page;
Megatron Talks, spoof interview with the Decepticon;
Profile: Megatron- Tank Mode;
Competitions for: Spooks books (the kids series, not the BBC “Shove your head in a fat fryer” show), Changeling books and Lego Hero Factory toys;
Cover based poster;
Prime-ary Colours!!!, colouring page of the cover;
Bumblebee's Guide to the Solar System covers Saturn;
Race for Cybertron! board game;
Law and Disorder;
Mega Maze!, a maze that's... well mega.

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