View Full Version : What Would Have Been Better For Issue 200 of the UK Comic?

inflatable dalek
2016-01-22, 02:48 PM
So as I hurtle towards the big 2-0-0 for my website I've been thinking about the dueling big issue number epics that are Time Wars and the Underbase saga.

Now, I appreciate the fact they wanted issue 200 to be a British story, and would be hard pressed to say it didn't deserve to be.

But Time Wars in general and the second part in particular with its nonsensical Autobo V Autobot fight ("We must attack these imposters that mostly include people who have 1989 versions actually amongst our own troops!") is quite bad.

Now, in an alternate world where the Underbase was treated with a little more respect than "Not only are we going to break this up, not only are we going to make sure it's emphatically a less important story by pretending Dark Star happens before Time Wars, we're also going to crib some of the plot points that British readers won't see until afterwards" (most obviously the "No fighting today, but next time we meet..." ending) where all four parts had run consecutively--but still with a break for Christmas in 198--then issue 200 would have been Cold War Part 2.

Am I mad to think that would have been a better celebratory issue? It even basically has the same hook as what we did get (one of the two sides has a big fight amongst themselves. Almost as if it was an inspiration on it) to make it "Special", but generally does it a lot better because you kind of expect the Decepticons to be that easily set up for a fight and the resuting--albeit insane--battle actually has a lot more scope and is much more fun as a result.

So would you like to live in that world where Time Wars followed after Dark Star, taking advantage of the longer lead time to be a bit better thought through? Or do you love your big Autobot bitch slap fest as it is?

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-22, 02:57 PM
Hold off on Underbase until after Time Wars, making #200 the last part of that story?

inflatable dalek
2016-01-22, 02:59 PM
Well, there's always that option as well.

inflatable dalek
2016-01-22, 04:59 PM
Thinking on it further though, if 198 was always going to be a standalone Christmas story no matter what, that would have made it hard to run Time Wars all in one go beforehand in the lead up to 200 (the Underbase stories as four distinct units at least lend themselves to fitting an extra story in there. Or indeed two I suppose, it's not automatically that putting Time Wars in the middle is a terrible idea, it's just very badly done).

Of course, I suppose in theory they could have done a "Side Step" Christmas story in the middle of Time Wars, but would Furman's ego have let his own story be interrupted?

2016-01-22, 07:34 PM
I like issue 200 as it is. 'Part 2' Of Time Wars, with Ravage waking up and the Autobots from 2009 arriving at the end...

It perhaps doesn't feel terribly celebratory as a story in the same way #150 did, but I think that's perhaps the only anniversary issue that has a story that feels special (and again, is a chunk of an ongoing arc).

Editorially, yeah, splitting up the Underbase probably didn't work so well ... was it US # 47 & 48 that got reprinted before Time Wars kicked off? If it was just #47 with the Prime/ Megatron flashback, that might have worked alright as its reasonably self-contained. I'm guessing back room budgetry stuff and changes made to Time Wars length might have been a factor in why its plonked where it is...or artwork, whatever wasn't ready to go.

Rest of Issue 200 I think is pretty good. I especially liked the free booklet with all the trivia and 'Meet The Artists' :)

Chris Chapman
2016-01-23, 10:31 AM
I was quite lucky with Time Wars, as the first issue I ever got of the comic was 201. I'd say that after a dodgy part 2, that the rest of Time Wars is great fun! The brutality of it all really hooked me as a kid, and the only big drawback when I read it now is that the future Cons don't get involved.

But what to do about 200?

I'd cut Time Wars down from 6 to 5 parts. Lose the stupid Auto v Auto subplot entirely.

Then I'd lose Cold Comfort and Joy - don't bother with an xmas strip throwaway when you have a good epic to tell.

I'd keep Club Con at 194 and 195, as it works quite well as a standalone. Then I'd go Time Wars 1-5, so issue 200 is the big finale.

Then 201 would be Flames of Bol-thingy.

Although then that'd be my first issue. And it's not great so I might not have started getting the comic! Oh dear...

Cyberstrike nTo
2016-01-23, 02:22 PM
Hold off on Underbase until after Time Wars, making #200 the last part of that story?

They could have also started Time Wars at #200.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-23, 04:34 PM
They could have also started Time Wars at #200.

And do what from #194-199?

What I (and others) suggested was moving existing stories around in a manner that produces the result of TW finishing with #200. You've just conjured up a possible result with no suggestion of how you think that would be best accomplished.

inflatable dalek
2016-01-29, 11:14 AM
Then I'd lose Cold Comfort and Joy - don't bother with an xmas strip throwaway when you have a good epic to tell.

A bold choice, I've always assumed the Christmas story was as much about putting something inessential in the book because kids don't give a **** about comics that week (they lose at least one day's sales as well of course) and don't really pay attention.

Of course, with the Furman/Budiansky meeting in the previous October, Time Wars stands a good chance of being the first comic written after he knew he was going Transatlantic, so if he was giddy with that (and assuming either someone else would be taking over the British book or it would wind up being cancelled due to sales) Furman may never have produced anything too good for the 200 slot.