OTHER TRANSFORMERS BOOKS AND SERIES
Transformers Wreckers #1
Reviewed by Blackjack
“There must be balance between the old and the new.”
Basically, a fanfic made official. There are some rather niggling points where Glen Hallit lets his inner fanboy run around. For example killing off Wheelie and Daniel or introducing nearly every non-toy Beast Machines character. The large cast is unnecessary (the Mutants and Dinobots do nothing after their introduction), and most of the Wreckers are just there to promote their toys. This is made more confusing since the Wreckers’ arrival from post-Beast Wars era to Beast Machines era has yet to be told at that moment. That said, Dan Khanna gives superb artwork, and Glen delivers most of his Wreckers nicely. Ramulus, Fractyl and Apelinq . Guys like Packrat, Rodimus, Spittor and Rotorbolt also get several nice lines. However, Primal Prime is boring, while making Arcee a angst-ridden character might be a wrong move. Still, for something that reads like a fanfic-made-official, it doesn’t foul up too badly.
This issue was published in BotCon 2001, and contained Primeval Dawn part one as a backup strip.
The Nightbirds are based on the G1 episode ‘Enter the Nightbird’. The professor also makes an appearance. The Nightbirds have different coloured faceplates as homages to TMNT. The shuttle that arrives to provide backup is Sky Garry from the Japanese Battlestars line, and he drops a Micromaster Trailer (although instead of Micromasters, it houses Hot Spot’s crew).
Springer sports a blue stylized Autobot insignia, later known as the ‘Wrecker’ insignia.
Arcee’s room contains Hot Rod’s weapons, as well as the deactivated hilt of Hot Rod’s lightsaber and the shield seen in Transformers: the Movie.
Primal Prime borrows Optimus Prime's pose in the final Marvel G1 issue 'End of the Road' as he comes in from the sky to smash Vehicons. This might be a coincidence, but Ramulus paraphrases Thunderpunch's line (the whole 'main event' thing), making this seem more than a coincidence. Also, after receiving instructions from the Oracle, Primal Prime copies Ultra Magnus' infamous pointing pose from TFTM.
Quake is the G1 character, but placed in a body that’s a toy-accurate rendition of Mega-class Tankor. Rodimus (named so) is also the G1 character. In the post-G1 scenes, he is in his Hot Rod magenta colours. After the Maximal upgrade, he is in the same body, albeit the size of Primal Prime and sporting toy-accurate red colours.
Due to the direness of the situation, the Wreckers now accept Predacons (Spittor and Rotorbolt) and Decepticons (Skywarp and Cyclonus) in their ranks.
Ramulus uses a green-and-blue colour scheme. This was supposed to be a running-change variant for the normal red-and-brown Ramulus, and 3H wanted to use the newest version of the toy. But it turned out unproduced. Oy.
Cyclonus and Skywarp appear together. This solves the fandom’s debate of whether Bombshell or Skywarp became Cyclonus. Bombshell did; he was the one in the foreground, after all.
The Wreckers’ lineup consists of mostly BotCon exclusive characters, naturally. Fractyl and Packrat are both 1997 exclusive toys (although Packrat had been reformatted into a Transmetal form based on Fox Kids’ redeco of Transmetal Rattrap). Apelinq is the exclusive toy for 2000, while Arcee and Transmetal Tigatron are among the exclusive toys of the year (2001). Rotorbolt (redeco of Obsidian), Cyclonus (redeco of Jetstorm) and Devcon (redeco of Mirage) are all proposed toys for the following BotCon. Only Cyclonus was produced, however.
The rest of the characters are toys available in stores at that time. Skywarp is out in the Universe lines, while the Vehicons bar Quake, Primal Prime, the Mutants and the Dinobots are out as part of the Beast Machines line. Sonar and Spittor, meanwhile, are later toys from Beast Wars.
At the end, one of the visions shown by the Oracle includes the planet Quintessa from the G1 cartoon.
The Oracle repeats a huge chunk of dialogue twice in two subsequent speech bubbles.
The appearance of the giant floating Megatron head, as well as more advanced drones, implies that this happens within Beast Machines’ second season. However, Tigatron’s line about Optimus Primal being an extremist is more closer to first season Primal than the more level-headed Primal in the second season.
T-Wrecks’ name is parsed as ‘T-Rex’ throughout the series.
The Oracle’s memory wipe of Optimus Primal and Nightscream is intended to make sure that the Wreckers series does not conflict with the Beast Machines show. However, the in-story reason is very clunky for why they shouldn’t know that they are other Maximal survivors.
Transformers Primeval Dawn #1
“Across the cosmos and back again—it’s enough to make a girl’s head spin!”
Basically, Bob Forward uses this to tie up the loose ends left in Beast Wars, and to introduce the new Wreckers into the main story. It’s a nice enough set-up, although the retcon that the Vok preserved Tigerhawk’s spark and that Tarantulas planned
for the Vok to attack him is a little sloppy. The smaller cast would mean that the story would flow better than Wreckers, though.
Tigerhawk’s demise happened in ‘Nemesis Part 2’. This is retconned, saying that the Vok had preserved Tigerhawk’s binary spark.
Another clarification is that Optimus Prime’s Matrix is placed under his similarly-shaped spark holder (seen in ‘Optimal Situation’). This means that Optimus Primal did not
absorb the Matrix into himself.
Tarantulas’ death is retconned as a ruse, saying that he had used his technology to absorb the Vok’s powers into himself. His new colour-scheme is based on his Fox Kids redeco.
Ravage, in a redeco of Cheetor’s Transmetal 2 body, stands in front of pods that contain the inactive bodies of the Beast Wars toy-only characters Iguanus and Razorclaw.
What is the Transmetal 2 Driver doing floating in front of Optimus Prime’s face anyway? It’s also erroneously called as a ‘Datasphere’.
The scene where Tigatron’s spark entered Ravage’s original body is described as ‘a watery realm where a great hero once fell’. Perhaps it’s intended to refer to Depth Charge, but only Ravage’s broken body is shown. Plus, Depth Charge died in the sea.