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Old 2005-05-27, 01:41 AM   #1
IDW Staff
IDW Publishing HQ
Default Marvel (US & UK) Comic Question

Hey Gang -

This is where I'm going to start asking you some questions.

First off... In order to get a feel for what you dig along the lines of Transformers comics I'd like to know what issues/stories are some of the favorites when it comes to the Marvel titles - both the US and UK.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 2005-05-27, 01:49 AM   #2
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From the UK comics I really enjoyed Time Wars and Target 2006. The issues with Nightbeat were pretty good. Also enjoyed the Underbase story.
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:03 AM   #3
One with the Matrix

You have checked the comic guide and/or Titan Books trade reviews, yes? At least browse through the UK cover gallery.

I write mostly from story aspects. I usually accept art if it tells the story well. Beautiful graphics is a bonus though.

UK 9-12 "Man of Iron". (US 33-34) Different kind of TF story, told mostly from the perspective of a young boy. Captured the sense of wonder and alieness of transformers.

US 7-8 aka "Ratchet vs. Megatron" Solid characters from Budiansky. Unforced introduction of the new group (Dinobots). Great use of flashbacks. Surprising ending.

UK 47-50 "Dinobot Hunt" Episodic issues of Autobots and Decepticons trying to capture Dinobots. Many nice characters appearing, team dynamics, differences between autobot and decepticons explored. Decepticons winning that round.

US 17-18 "Return to Cybertron" One of Budiansky's best stories. The situation on Cybertron explained shortly. Sense of actual war, consequences (deaths of an autobot, decepticons and neutralists).

UK Annual 1987 "Victory" Strong characters, lots of material in short space. Splash page of Grimlock slicing Megatron in two.

UK 146-150 "Legacy of Unicron" Propably the best bigger saga using characters from the movie and set into future. Tight plot, good characterisation, some meaningful deaths (Smokescreen, Shockwave), comic book version of the origin of transformers, sense of real threat.

UK 199 "Cold Comfort and Joy" I don't like Optimus Prime as a character. But here it works. Optimus trying to remember why Earth mattered to him, before he died, was seriously compessed and became a mere back up on a computer disc.

US 62-66 "Matrix Quest" skipping chapters 2 & 3 preferably. Nice play with different literary genres(?), detective, sci-fi horror, action comics. Character driven stories, with lots of dialogue. Shades of grey, not clear bad vs. evil.

US G2 issues 1-12 Fresh, new take on transformers story/myth. Scale of war expanded, new alliances, surprising character development.

Short 5-6 pages long black and white stories had many good oneshots. To mention few.
UK 226 "Traitor" Insight to Megatron's character and decepticon ideology.
UK 268 "Flashback" Nice short story of Prowl.

And just to please the little kid inside me...

US 72 "...and Civil War 2" Scorponok vs Shockwave. I had waited for Shockwave to return and kick Scorponok's tail. Didn't happen but good issue anyway.

From Dreamwave I enjoyed most
-Armada 1-2
-The War Within: Dark Ages mini-series

Edit: Bugger, I tried to make it a short and compact list.

Last edited by Osku; 2005-05-27 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:25 AM   #4
Almighty Galvatron
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Is this really news????
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:28 AM   #5
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Originally posted by Almighty Galvatron
Is this really news????
Yup. You missed a meeting, and are being asked a question by the publisher of the upcoming TF comic...

I'll have a think for when I wake up tomorrow. Play nice, everyone.

edit: Updated the news forum rules. Night.
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:38 AM   #6
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Ok. I apologise forthwith, although that kind of info might have been useful in either the thread title or the first post...
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:59 AM   #7
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This may seem kind of simplistic, but I'd like to see more text and dialogue on the page, as well as more concise layouts. DW Would spend a whole page just showing the autobots rolling up, with little to no text. I'd like to see denser stories, more character development, and shorter arcs that nonetheless have impact on an overarching story.
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Old 2005-05-27, 04:49 AM   #8
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Ho hum. Sleep is for the weak... nevermind, I'll probably wind up reusing this somewhere else.

UK #98, The Harder They Die - characterisation for Prime.

He senses that the years spent courting death have finally caught up with him. He can only flail blindly and wait for the killing stroke to come...
Again, he has cheated death. A chance in a million has turned defeat into victory. How many more times, he wonders...

UK #133-134, Headhunt - camaraderie between Cyclonus and Scourge, and internal monologue for Rodimus. Also very effective art. Leads into Legacy of Unicron in 146-151, which manages to keep fight scenes interesting through careful use of dialogue, relationships between characters and plot revelation.

UK #168-169, Meltdown - not the sharpest writing in the build-up, but Impactor's reanimation and true death is very affecting.

Impactor: "I... am already dead. I have no place... among the living anymore. Go... Xaaron, spare... spare me no pity. Dying... comes easily to me."
Xaaron: "Impactor, I don't... matrix be with you, my friend... always."

UK #213-214, The Fall and Rise of the Decepticon Empire - nice little two-parter. Gives characterisation for Megatron, and also provides insight into why the Decepticon society is prone to self-destruction. You catch a glimpse of how inspirational and manipulative the character was, millions of years ago.

Megatron: "Is this idle, pleasure-seeking existence anything but demeaning to a proud warrior race such as ours? Have you all lost the fires of greatness that once blazed bright? I don't think so. All I did those years ago was to give direction to warrior hearts. I was a mere sculptor, moulding the raw material of a great army."

UK #229,237-239,272-274, the Mayhem Attack Squad arc - mingling of the factions, and some home truths for various characters. Alliances are tested, there are fatalities, lots of strong interplay between characters.

Spinister: "I overlooked your cowardice during training because I thought you had potential. I trusted you - and this is how you repay me! Do it again... and I'll kill you myself!"

UK #247+261 - comedy moments with characterisation interspersed. Dawn of Darkness has visual humour, plus a temporary alliance between 'Bots and 'Cons. Starting Over has a particularly apposite line from an original character, showing how much things have changed since the comic started but generally been interwoven so that the changes weren't foregrounded.

Wheeljack: "In our day, it was all straightforward! A Transformer was a Transformer then! One or two modes occasionally combining. You knew where you were then. You could go into battle knowing what to expect. Only now you've got Transformers with little men for heads and guns. Transformers with outer humanoid shells, Transformers whose engines are little men, Double-targetmasters, Micromasters... I get a headache just thinking about it!"

(Followed by a bit that demonstrates good ol' action and mixing it up is still relevant.)

UK #275, Secrets - character piece for Soundwave, Megatron and Wildrider. Also gives insight into Decepticon social situations; including Mixmaster (a chemical engineer) being involved in trading illicit circuit-boosters. Soundwave scapegoates Wildrider for being a traitor when it's he who has betrayed Megatron.

Soundwave: "The tape was a dummy, but his effort to pass it to Shockwave proves his guilt."
Megatron: "Indeed. I'm glad that there are warriors like you, Soundwave - warriors I can trust."
Soundwave: "Apologies, Wildrider, but your paranoid delusions made you ideal. Now I am free to pursue my plans for advancement within the ranks of both groups of Decepticons. Some further good has come from all this. While scanning my fellows I discovered some juicy secrets. I believe some good, honest blackmail is in order..."

UK #290-297, Dark Creation and All Fall Down (US reprint) - the conclusion to Matrix Quest, a lot more interesting and well-paced than the other chapters. Again, fight scenes are enlivened by choice of dialogue, the willingness of Thunderwing to sacrifice fellow Decepticons for the matrix, and the shock ending of the matrix again being lost, tumbling through space attached to Thunderwing and an Autobot spacecraft.

UK #319-322, On the Edge of Extinction (US reprint) - widely regarded as a peak for the later US comic. A particularly meaningful death for Scorponok, and probably the best handling of Unicron as something other than a pure plot device. Also some lighter moments.

Unicron -- the Dark God, the Chaos Bringer. But these are just names, tags created by small, frightened beings.

Wheeljack: "Was that wise? I mean, we've all just come out of a state close to death, reanimated by an untested and highly unstable form of energy. Perhaps we should --"
Grimlock: "Should what?! Have holiday? Put feet up?"

UK #327-328, Savage Circle (US reprint) - confrontation between Starscream and Ratchet.

Starscream: "Oh, come on! This isn't the way it's supposed to happen! Sure, you're supposed to die, but you have to run around a bit first, fight back! What fun is this?"
Ratchet: "How dare you? How dare you trivialize life and death? Is that all it's ever been to you, this war? Fun?"

US G2 #1 - redefined the scale of conflict within a few pages, and also gave us one of my favourite exchanges of dialogue.

Prime: "Relics. That's what Jhiaxus called us... and he's right. We're a joke, and everybody knew the punchline but us."
Grimlock: "Me not believe I hear this! Maybe we guilty of not seeing big picture, but Decepticons guilty too. See too big a picture! Time on Earth help us look down, see what we trample on. It life no matter what size or form. We watch it struggle, fight for existence. We helped it then - why not now? If Decepticons not see that their way wrong, it up to us to educate them - the hard way!"

General opinionated rambling by me on TF comics here:
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Old 2005-05-27, 07:18 AM   #9
Default Repeat Performances

'Repeat Performances' and 'Warrior School' are probably two of the best issues from the US run in terms of art and story. It really nails the balance between the familiar Transformers aspects - the interaction with humans, the somewhat hopeless plight of the Autobots, the introduction of a new team and the usual knock-down battles.

From the UK run, I'd point to the Mayhem Attack Squad arc mentioned above and everything in the Dinobot Hunt trade paperback as damn solid stuff. Gentler Decepticons and brutal Autobots are interesting to have around.
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Old 2005-05-27, 08:21 AM   #10
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US #7 (Repeat Performances) and #8 (Warrior School). A great balance of character development (for Ratchet and Megatron) and plot development, leading to an unexpected finish.

Though it's probably not an opinion that many will share, I liked the Scraplets arc (US#29 and 30).

Two of the Matrix Quest issues, Bird of Prey [US#62] and Dark Creation [US#65], are absolute classics, though for different reasons. The former captured a very fun vibe, the latter a verk dark, serious one.

The Price of Life [US#70], featuring the Ratchet/Megatron hybrid, was heart-wrenching.

All This and Civil War 2 [US#72] is probably the best straight-on punchup I've ever seen in TF media.

A Savage Circle [US#78] is another Megatron/Ratchet-centric installment, and probably the best of the bunch.

War Without End [G2#1] is an absolute masterpiece in every way...scripting, pacing, art, etc. The rest of the Generation 2 series follows along in similar fashion, though it never quite reaches this height again.

What's in a Name [from the 1987 UK annual] and Grudge Match [UK#135 and 136] together form a very personal tale about Swoop and Divebomb.

Legacy of Unicron [US#146 to 151] was an epic, stunning tale from a time when Unicron returning from the dead was actually surprising.

The Kalis/Flame stories [City of Fear, Legion of the Lost and Meltdown, running from UK#164 to 169] start out genuinely creepy and end with something of an emotional gutpunch.
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Old 2005-05-27, 09:30 AM   #11

Return to Cybertron arc (US 17 & 18)

Victory (in the 87 UK annual)

Target 2006 (UK issues 78 to 88) Galvatron Vs Ultra Magnus is stirring stuff

The Harder They Die (UK 98) - IMO possibly the greatest ever single issue of Transformers

Wanted Galvatron: Dead or Alive arc (UK issues 113 to 120 plus 88 annual)

Matrix Quest (but only Parts 1, 4 and 5)

The Unicron War arc (issues 70 to 80 of the US comic)

US G2 issues 1 to 12 - this is the essence of Transformers IMO.

Possibly a predictable selection, but there you go.
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Old 2005-05-27, 10:32 AM   #12
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I've got a soft spot for Space Pirates (UK #182-187) myself, even if it does heavily feature Arcee and the Quintessons. The parts with Soundwave are some of my favourite ever TF stuff.
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Old 2005-05-27, 12:45 PM   #13
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Originally posted by spiderfrommars

Target 2006 (UK issues 78 to 88) Galvatron Vs Ultra Magnus is stirring stuff

Wanted Galvatron: Dead or Alive arc (UK issues 113 to 120 plus 88 annual)
gotta agree with you on those, "Legacy of Unicron" was a great little arc, mostly cos it focused on only a couple of characters (naturally we're not gonna see Death's Head again anytime soon though) and as Warcry mentioned, it was at a time when Unicron coming back actually was a surprise and not a 'oh heck what can we do now' storyline suture.

I think Simon got it right in the initial run by focusing on characters as individuals and running the stories that way, looking at the DW stuff (as has been mentioned before) it's an attempt in shoe-horning in however many character's they can, it failed miserably and I barely read the on-going because of it.

Focus on good story telling, reasonable dialogue with good, dynamic -or- mood-driven artwork and you'll not go too far wrong.

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Old 2005-05-27, 01:09 PM   #14

Here goes.

any of the arcs that do in depth character development.

The Scrounge Arc I think it was uk 66 or thereabouts
in depth look at characters motivation. Tragic death plus noble self sacrifice. At the time it was very moving despite it being a minor non toy character that turned into a wheel.

Man of Iron : different perspective, different location from normal. Transformers getting out of America for a change. uk 9-12

The Swoop/ Divebomb story from the 1987 annual again an in depth look at a character.

The Flame /Zombie arc again great characterisation , tragedy pathos , high drama , good villian . Having to fight your own ex comrades . Lots of emotion there uk 164-169

The Hunting party series with Carnivac: excellent characterisation of Carnivac. Gets inside him. He was well rounded. Not just I am a decepticon I'm evil and I follow orders.

Would love to see a mini Arc of the decepticons and why they signed up for the cause. See them as real individuals. Not just cookie cutter henchmen. Early characters who joined the Decepticons rather than were created into the cause. The seekers etc.
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Old 2005-05-27, 01:52 PM   #15
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Originally posted by The HeartBrend Kid
The parts with Soundwave are some of my favourite ever TF stuff.
Knew there was summat I'd forgotten... also, it has that visually arresting bit when the Autobots arrive on Earth to discover the fate of their comrades.

Extremely unexpected in a kids' comic, to say the least.
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Old 2005-05-27, 02:24 PM   #16
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* The Fall And Rise Of The Decepticon Empire (TRANSFORMERS UK #213-214)
- Megatron shines as he returns to reclaim the Decepticon leadership on Cybertron

* Salvage (TRANSFORMERS UK #160-161)
- Megatron and Ultra Magnus face their respective inner demons

- The Dinobots dream the fantastic and fatalistic, trying to wake up

* Target: 2006 (TRANSFORMERS UK #78-88)
- The first clash of Big Blue Good from 1986 and Big Purple Evil from 2006, both in physical and psychological terms

* Vicious Circle (TRANSFORMERS UK ANNUAL 1987)
- The conclusion of Galvatron trying to harness the power of the Mount Verona volcano

* Dry Run (TRANSFORMERS UK #189)
- Cyclonus and Scourge are "out-of-time" (in both senses of the term) against Shockwave and Megatron

* Robot Buster (TRANSFORMERS UK #59-60)
- A rarity: An interesting Transformers story focused on a human character
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Old 2005-05-27, 02:56 PM   #17
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Most of my favourite stories are the ones with characters I like. For example, City of Fear arc (UK #164-169) has Springer, Magnus and Flywheels, Bird of Prey (US #62) has Nightbeat, Legacy of Unicron (UK #146-151) has Death's Head and Space Pirates (UK #182-187) has Hot Rod. It's important that I got to love these guys because of those stories. I mean, Flywheels wasn't feratured anywhere else before, and suddenly he shows up City of Fear and is great.

Big events, like On the Edge of Extinction (US #75), are also desired, but not very often.

What I missed in Dreamwave series was lack of stand-alone stories (there were two in Energon and I think that was it). There were many of those in Marvel series, some better, some worse, and I personally would like to see more, like Stargazing (UK #145), Fallen Star (UK #248), Showdown (US #20). Parts of Matrix Quest or The Underbase Saga worked as a stand-alones, too.

Originally posted by Warcry
Though it's probably not an opinion that many will share, I liked the Scraplets arc (US#29 and 30).
Me too, especially second part. Rollbar was really cool.
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:02 PM   #18
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I would endorse everything listed so far, especially US 72 – the dialogue that goes with the fight is perfect.

On top of that I’d also look at:

The Wrath of Guardian/Grimlock – UK 031-32

This is where the UK comic really started to get it right – a real sense of threat, great interaction between the characters and more Ratchet. IT cannot be stated what a great character the comic incarnation of Ratchet is IMO.

Crisis of Command – UK 42 – 44

Despite a slightly cop out ending a great look at Prime’s inner demon’s and the varying perspectives on the war amongst the Autobots. Also Soundwave is once more brilliantly done.

Second Generaton Part 3 – UK 65

Once more Soundwave steals the show.

Distant Thunder – UK 100

Not mad on the art but again a great insight into what drives Prime and his outlook. Also a nice examination of the differing ideologies of both sides.

Wrecking Havoc – UK 172 – 173

This is how TF fights should impact the local scenery.

A Small War – UK 232 – 233

A nice look at the feelings of those who were created specifically to fight in the war. Plus way cool Geoff Senior art in part 2 and a great scene between Xaaron and Roadbuster at the end. I would love it if Xaaron made his way into a new continuity by the way.

I’d also say that more or less everything (with the exception of ‘The Human Facror) from US 67 onwards varies from good to great.
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Old 2005-05-27, 03:10 PM   #19
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Anything drawn by Geoff Senior.

Plus, erm... I kind of liked the humor in some of the "Earthforce" stories. Especially the one with Wheeljack and Prowl mocking the concept of "Microheadtargetmasters with Pretender shells".
I'd like to see some occasional light-hearted self-mockery.

And, uhm... Space Pirates. City of Fear (the "zombie" chapters).

Characters: G.B. Blackrock.

I'd also see something like Bumblebee evolving into Goldbug, and staying that way.
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Old 2005-05-27, 04:05 PM   #20
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Marvel US G1

# 5-8 , The New Order, The Worse Of Two Evils, Warrior School, Repeat Performance!

# 17-19 The Smelting Pool!, The Bridge To Nowhere, Command Performance!

# 37-42 Toy Soldiers , Trial By Fire, The Desert Island Of Outer Space, Pretender To The Throne, Totalled, People Power!

# 47-50 The Underbase Saga

# 61-75 The whole Matrix Quest and Unicron's War sagas.

Marvel US G2

# 1-12 The whole story arc.

Marvel UK

# 78-88 Target: 2006!

# 96-104 Prey, The Harder They Die!, Under Fire!, Distant Thunder, Resurrection!

# 146-151 The Legacy Of Unicron!

# 164-172 City Of Fear! , Legion Of The Lost!, Meltdown! , Deadly Games!, Wrecking Havoc

# 182-187 Space Pirates!

# 199-205 Time Wars

Plus the whole Wreckers/Mayhem saga and the Autobpt Earth Force tales.

Last edited by MeGrimlock; 2005-05-27 at 04:48 PM.
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