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Transformers #19 [UK]: The Nightmare Bee-4 Christmas
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Pure fluff, and Bumblebee's use of song's to communicate continues to not work in print. However, Dead End is always good barking fun and the Witwicky's skewered take on life is never less than entertaining.

Though it's likely you'll have completely forgotten about it once read, it's perfect for Christmas Day reading after a few glasses of Port, between The Queen's Speech and Doctor Who. It's just a shame this will be on sale for over a month after the decorations have come down. Still, Mojo's presence just elevates this to above average.


Ho ho ho. Despite the previous December issues having a dusting of Christmas fairy dust this is the first full on seasonal celebration issue of a British- or indeed, as far as I'm aware, any- Transformers comic since Marvel UK issue #250, a full 21 years ago. [Issue #302 the following year was fairly Christmasy and had a brief spoof text story but as the home-grown strips had ended by that point the comic itself was entirely unrelated to the time of year].

The story itself is something of a reworking of the very first British Christmas story from issue #41, Christmas Breaker!, in which Buster Witwicky attempts to teach the Autobots about Christmas with mixed results, and Jazz has to fight off an unexpected attack from a loon. Unusually this strip was by James Hill rather than Furman so the similarities may be coincidental this time, though it's certain Furman knew he was using a very worn trope. Presumably this story was planned when the comic was still a monthly, as a totally Christmas issue isn't going to stay topical through the end of January.

To really get into things the cover even has Ironhide and Bumblebee having a snowball fight. To contain the free gifts the comic was bagged again.

Though it's unstated Dead End presumably escaped from his capture in issue #11 during the mass jail break in #13.

As a sign of things to come in Dark of the Moon Mikaela doesn't even warrant a mention even though you'd have thought Sam would have been very keen to see her whilst being home for Christmas. We do however get the first appearance of Mojo in the comic. Yay!


So Dead End's randomly wandering the streets of a major population centre doing his whole “SPARE PARTS!!!!” thing without anyone noticing till he falls on Bumblebee?

Even allowing for the usual issues involved with using the likeness of actors Judy looks about 12 years old for the bulk of the issue.

Fantastic Free Gift

An “Ironhide Ion Cannon” (for which read ball shooter) and a return appearance for the Animated Pencil Pod from issue #25 of the first volume. Titan must have had a lot left over in a warehouse somewhere.


Competitions for Harry Potter Lego on the Xbox360, a Venom Scooter, NERDS books, Iron Man 2 Hall of Armour toys, Young Sherlock Holmes books, Mo-Bot High and Monkey Nuts books, a complete set plus 2011 Annual of Club Penguin Pick Your Path books, Tron Evolution: Battle Grids and Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, both on the Wii;
Bumblebee's Guide to the Solar System features Uranus;
How To Draw Optimus Prime, unlike the previous “How to Draw...” features in the first volume this is a simple case of having a picture of Prime in a grid and encouraging kids to copy each square into a blank grid. Oddly it's G1 Prime, even though the suggestion for the colour scheme is the film version;
Megatron's Mind Maulers!;
A cover based poster;
A profile of Megatron's Jet Mode;
Optimum Route, a maze laid over the same picture of G1 Prime as used for the “How to Draw” feature;
Law and Disorder.

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