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Transformers #21 [UK]: A Short Sharp Lesson
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

The first volume of the comic ended with a extra long special that ended over a year's worth of stories with a decent sense of climax and with only a couple of the dangling plot threads that modern Transformers comics seem to love in evidence.

To a certain extent A Short Sharp Lesson has a much easier job. Despite the shorter page count it the lack of ongoing plots in the second run means it's only really Bludgeon that needs to be dealt with. Unlike last time you won't be kept awake at night in a cold sweat wondering whatever happened to Evil Jazz or President Allen.

Last issue promised great things, which sadly this doesn't fully deliver on. The Autobots are reduced to observers, making their presence entirely pointless and meaning Prime and Megatron have to make awkward small talk like two exes who've run into each other in a club.

The Bludgeon/Megatron fight is at least more impressive than it's similarly short Generation 2 counterpart, but having been built up so much since his début the pretender (HAHAHAHAHA! Be still my aching sides) going down like a punk is unsatisfying. The normally exemplary Davis-Hunt isn't fully on song either, Megatron especially looks terrible.

It's a light fast read, but you have to hope the chance to relaunch the comic as a month again will see some of the form we've lost returned. Else, considering how close the comic seems to have come to cancellation this time round, we're unlikely to see the title make it to volume 4.


This marks the end of the comics second volume before its relaunching as a monthly once more in June to tie in with Dark of the Moon. As such it ties up the main dangling thread of the ongoing plot lines, Bludgeon's new Decepticon army. At the time of writing it's unclear what format the relaunch will take, but based on previous form it's likely this marks the end of the current letters page and a rejig for the extra features.

Wheelie's situation is fudged so that none of the Autobots know what he did, meaning he can appear in Dark of the Moon amongst their ranks with a minimum of fuss.

The Megatron/Bludgeon fight is heavily based on that between them in the Furman written Marvel Generation 2 issue #5. Wheelie even hammers home the point by calling Bludgeon “The pretender” at one point.

Tankor is shown to have survived his wound last issue, even if all he does is run away. Apart from Lockdown none of the other Decepticons are seen, though most are apparently captured off panel. The NEST troopers are also absent.

The cover returns to be a stock CGI photo.

Dead End gets the last line. Barking.


Dead End is suddenly all kooky and ooky again after acting perfectly normal last issue [The only way Dead End's appearances make any sense is if you assume he's actually a Payload style drone with multiple copies].

Why doesn't Megatron want to fight Optimus? Indeed, what doesn't Optimus press the point when he's fresher than Megatron? “Oh sure, now isn't convenient for you? Call my secretary and we'll sort something out for Tuesday”.

Why is Optimus not surprised to see Wheelie there? And why has everyone forgotten they were set up by a traitor last issue? Indeed, coupled with his “Lets just kick back and watch the battle” attitude Prime is relaxed to the point of being off his head on weed.

Fantastic Free Gift

Two no less, a disc shooter watch ( possibly either the one from issue #3 or 11, on indeed possibly the same one as both of them and this is its third use. If anyone still has the gifts from those issues and knows for sure...) and a Transformers flyer thing.


Ironhide Speaks, spoof interview;
Bumblebee's Guide to the Solar System ends by covering some of the more notable moons;
Weapons Free!, spot the 8 differences on two pictures of Bumblebee;
Competitions for Cyber ops Bumblebee and some Legends toys;
A poster of Optimus Prime's CGI model;
How to Draw Optimus Prime, basically the same as from issue #19 but with Movie Prime this time;
Megatron's Mind Maulers! quiz page;
Cruising For A Bruising! Optimus Prime Vs. Demolisher, despite the long winded title this is nothing of the sort, instead describing what the two characters did at two different points in the second film (Prime having bits of dead Jetfire stuck to him and Demolisher having his head turned into a Polo Mint);
Law and Disorder, possibly for the last time...

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