Chronological Guide to G1 Comics

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by johnboy3434, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2009
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    Hey, everybody. Having just finished a read-through of all the Marvel stories, I realized how confusing the sequence of events can become, even for those reading straight through. This only gets worse as the series goes on. As a service to anyone wanting to get into the G1 comics, I put together this chronological list of stories, including which issue each can be found in.

    Note that the stories listed below are only the stories in-continuity. There are plenty of stories that do not fit into the standard Marvel UK continuity. Also note that some of these stories have debatable placement, and that what follows is only one way of arranging them. In fact, some of the stories I discarded could be argued to be in-continuity as well. I appreciate any input from those with differing viewpoints.

    Here is the format for entries:

    [(Series) #(Issue Number)] - "Title of Story"
    ===[(Series) #(Issue Number)] - "Title of Story which takes place within above story" {Where it takes place within the above story}

    And here's the series abbreviations:

    US = Marvel US "Transformers" series
    UK = Marvel UK "Transformers" series
    Headmasters = Marvel US "The Headmasters" series
    GIJ = Marvel US "G.I. Joe" series
    19xx Annual = Marvel UK Annual for the given year
    US G2 = Marvel US "Transformers: Generation 2" series

    Marvel UK Chronology

    Generation 1

    [US #1] - "The Transformers"
    ===[1986 Annual] - "State Games" {Between pages 1 and 2}
    ===[1985 Annual] - "And there Shall Come... a Leader!" {Between panels 3 and 4 on page 4}
    ===[UK #132] - "Kup's Story" {Between panels 2 and 3 on page 9}
    [US #2] - "Power Play!"
    [US #3] - "Prisoner of War!"
    ===[UK #9-12] - "Man of Iron" {Between panels 8 and 9 on page 10}
    ===[UK #13-17] - "The Enemy Within!" {Between panels 5 and 6 on page 22}
    ===[UK #18-21] - "Raiders of the Last Ark" {Immediately follows "The Enemy Within!"}
    [US #4] - "The Last Stand"
    [US #5] - "The New Order"
    [US #6] - "The Worse of Two Evils!"
    [US #7] - "Warrior School!"
    [US #8] - "Repeat Performance!"
    ===[UK #29-30] - "Decepticon Dam-Busters!" {Replaces the Epilogue}
    ===[UK #31] - "The Wrath of Guardian!" {Immediately follows "Decepticon Dam-Busters!"}
    ===[UK #32] - "The Wrath of Grimlock!" {Immediately follows "The Wrath of Guardian!"}
    [US #9] - "Disintegrated Circuits!"
    [US #10] - "The Next Best Thing to Being There!"
    [US #11] - "Brainstorm!"
    [US #12] - "Prime Time!"
    [UK #41] - "Christmas Breaker!"
    [UK #42-44] - "Crisis of Command!"
    [UK #45-46] - "The Icarus Theory"
    [UK #47-50] - "Dinobot Hunt!"
    [US #13] - "Shooting Star!"
    [US #14] - "Rock and Roll-Out!"
    [US #15] - "I, Robot-Master!"
    [US #16] - "Plight of the Bumblebee!"
    [1986 Annual] - "Victory!"
    [1986 Annual] - "The Mission"
    [UK #59-60] - "Robot Buster!"
    [UK #61-62] - "Devastation Derby!"
    [UK #54] - "The Special Teams Have Arrived"
    [UK #63-65] - "Second Generation!"
    [1986 Annual] - "In the Beginning..."
    [1986 Annual] - "To a Power Unknown!"
    [US #17-18] - "Return to Cybertron"
    [US #19] - "Command Performances!"
    [US #20] - "Showdown!"
    [UK #74-77] - "In the National Interest"
    [UK #83] - "Cybertron: The Middle Years!"
    [UK #234] - "Prime's Rib!"
    [1987 Annual] - "Ark Duty"
    [1986 film] - "The Movie"
    ===[UK #78-88] - "Target: 2006" {At roughly 36:56}
    [US #21] - "Aerialbots over America!"
    [US #22] - "Heavy Traffic!"
    [Woman's Day 12/26/85] - "The Night the Transformers Saved Christmas"
    [UK #93] - "The Gift"
    [US #23] - "Decepticon Graffiti!"
    [Headmasters #1] - "Ring of Hate!"
    [UK #96-97] - "Prey!"
    [UK #98] - "...The Harder They Die!"
    [UK #99] - "Under Fire!"
    [UK #100] - "Distant Thunder!"
    [UK #101-102] - "Fallen Angel"
    [UK #103-104] - "Resurrection!"
    [US #24] - "Afterdeath!"
    [US #25] - "Gone but Not Forgotten!"
    [US #26] - "Funeral for a Friend!"
    [US #27] - "King of the Hill!"
    [UK #113-114] - "Wanted: Galvatron, Dead or Alive"
    [UK #115-116] - "Burning Sky!"
    [UK #117-118] - "Hunters"
    [UK #119-120] - "Fire on High!"
    [1987 Annual] - "Vicious Circle!"
    [US #28] - "Mechanical Difficulties!"
    [US #29] - "Crater Critters"
    [US #30] - "The Cure!"
    [UK #125, Action Force #24-27] - "Ancient Relics!"
    [US #31] - "Buster Witwicky and the Car Wash of Doom"
    [Headmasters #2] - "Broken Glass!"
    [UK #135-136] - "Grudge Match!"
    ===[1987 Annual] - "What's in a Name?" {Between panels 3 and 4 on page 8 of Part 1}
    [UK #137-138] - "Ladies' Night"
    [Headmasters #3] - "Love and Steel!"
    [US #32] - "Used Autobots"
    [US #35] - "Child's Play"
    [US #36] - "Spacehikers!"
    [UK #145] - "Stargazing"
    [UK #146-151] - "The Legacy of Unicron!"
    [UK #152-153] - "Enemy Action!"
    [US #37] - "Toy Soldiers!"
    [Headmasters #4] - "Brothers in Armor!!"
    ===[UK #130-131] - "Worlds Apart!" {Between pages 20 and 21}
    [UK #133-134] - "Headhunt"
    [US #38] - "Trial by Fire!"
    [US #39] - "The Desert Island of Space!"
    [UK #160-161] - "Salvage!"
    [1988 Annual] - "The Saga of the Transformers - So Far!"
    [US #40] - "Pretender to the Throne!"
    [UK #164-165] - "City of Fear!"
    [UK #166-167] - "Legion of the Lost!"
    [UK #168-169] - "Meltdown!"
    [UK #170-171] - "Deadly Games!"
    [UK #172-173] - "Wrecking Havoc"
    [US #41] - "Totaled!"
    [US #42] - "People Power!"
    [US #44] - "The Cosmic Carnival"
    [UK #188] - "Firebug!"
    [UK #189] - "Dry Run!"
    [1988 Annual] - "Altered Image!"
    [UK #180 Prologue, G1 S3E20, UK #181 Epilogue] - "The Big Broadcast of 2006"
    [UK #182-187] - "Space Pirates!"
    [US #45] - "Monstercon from Mars!"
    [UK #230-231] - "The Big Shutdown!"
    [UK #241] - "Rage!"
    [UK #242] - "Assault on the Ark!"
    [UK #232-233] - "A Small War!"
    [US #46] - "Ca$h and Car-nage!"
    [UK #198] - "Cold Comfort and Joy!"
    [1988 Annual] - "All in the Minds!"
    [UK #199-205] - "Time Wars"
    [US #47-50] - "The Underbase Saga!"
    [US #51] - "The Man in the Machine!"
    [UK #213-214] - "The Fall and Rise of the Decepticon Empire"
    [US #52] - "Guess Who the Mecannibals Are Having for Dinner?"
    [US #53] - "Recipe for Disaster!"
    [UK #219-222] - "Survivors!"
    [UK #243] - "Mind Games"
    [UK #244] - "Two Megatrons!"
    [UK #215-218] - "Race with the Devil"
    [UK #251] - "The Void!"
    [UK #252] - "Edge of Impact"
    [UK #253] - "Shadow of Evil"
    [UK #254] - "White Fire"
    [UK #223-227] - "Aspects of Evil!"
    [1988 Annual] - "Peace"
    [UK #229] - "The Hunting Party"
    [US #54] - "King Con!"
    [UK #235-236] - "Deathbringer"
    [US #55] - "The Interplanetary Wrestling Championship!"
    [UK #228] - "[Double] Deal of the Century!"
    [UK #237] - "Way of the Warrior"
    [UK #238] - "Survival Run"
    [UK #239] - "A Savage Place!"
    [US #56] - "Back from the Dead"
    [US #57] - "The Resurrection Gambit!"
    [US #58] - "All the Familiar Faces!"
    [US #59] - "Skin Deep"
    [UK #240] - "Out to Lunch!"
    [UK #245] - "Underworld!"
    [UK #246] - "Demons!"
    [UK #247] - "Dawn of Darkness"
    [UK #248] - "Fallen Star!"
    [US #60] - "Yesterday's Heroes!"
    [US #61] - "Primal Scream"
    [UK #249] - "Whose Lifeforce Is It Anyway?"
    [UK #250] - "The Greatest Gift of All!"
    [US #62-66] - "Matrix Quest"
    [US #67] - "Rhythms of Darkness!"
    [US #68] - "The Human Factor!"
    [US #69] - "Eye of the Storm"
    [US #70] - "The Price of Life!"
    [US #71] - "Surrender!"
    [US #72] - "...All This and Civil War 2"
    [US #73] - "Out of Time!"
    [US #74] - "The Void!"
    [US #75] - "On the Edge of Extinction!"
    [US #76] - "Still Life!"
    [US #77] - "Exodus!"
    [US #78] - "A Savage Circle"
    [US #79] - "The Last Autobot?"
    [US #80] - "End of the Road!"
    [1989 Annual] - "The Quest!"

    Generation 2

    [GIJ #138] - "Unfoldings!"
    [GIJ #139] - "Realignments"
    [GIJ #140] - "Goin' South"
    [US G2 #1] - "War without End!"
    [GIJ #141] - "Sucker Punch"
    [GIJ #142] - "Final Transformations"
    [US G2 #2] - "All or Nothing!"
    [US G2 #3] - "Primal Fear!"
    [US G2 Special] - "Ghosts"
    [US G2 #3] - "Old Evils"
    [US G2 #4] - "Devices and Desires!"
    [US G2 #4-11] - "Tales of Earth"
    ===[US G2 #5] - "The Power and the Glory" {Between Parts Two and Three}
    ===[US G2 #6] - "The Gathering Darkness" {Between Parts Three and Four}
    ===[US G2 #7] - "New Dawn" {Immediately follows "The Gathering Darkness"}
    ===[US G2 #8] - "Escalation!" pages 1-3 {Between Parts Four and Five}
    ===[US G2 #8] - "Escalation!" pages 4-end {Between Parts Five and Six}
    ===[US G2 #9] - "Swarm" {Immediately follows "Escalation"}
    ===[US G2 #10] - "Total War!" {Between Parts Six and Seven}
    ===[US G2 #11] - "Dark Shadows!" {Between Parts Seven and Eight}
    [US G2 #12] - "A Rage in Heaven!"

    I plan to update this soon to include the Dreamwave comics (which will be rather straightforward) and the IDW comics (which won't).
  2. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2008
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    Interesting. I'm working on something similar myself, as the Marvel saga has, and always will be, the "real" TF story to me.

    I'll take a closer look at this soon, but a few things leap out at me:

    You've placed "Prime's Rib" from #234 way back in time at around the time of "In The National Interest". "Prime's Rib" actually takes place AFTER the US and main UK series, sometime before the "future stories" of 2006-onwards (note: Prime is a powermaster so has to at least take place after #178-179). I haven't read it in years, but doesn't it give a date of 1995 or something in the story?

    I'd move "Raiders of the Last Ark" into US #4, I think around p10 (Prime is moaning to Huffer that the situation is "worse than ever"). This allows Gears (fixed at the end of US #3) to appear, and - fortuitously - Ratchet is absent from ROTLA and, at this time in US #4, he's off with Buster at the hospital.

    Placing those early UK stories anywhere though is never a perfect fit!

    I also like to make things harder for myself, so I have very much kept the Earth Force stories in continuity (the whole Carnivac saga kind of demands it really).

    I think, by accepting the theories around branching timelines (which is kind of a necessity to allow the various Galvatrons with differing memories etc), pretty much everything can be squeezed in somehow.

    I think you'll find the IDW stuff is pretty simple as well as Dreamwave... neither have been particularly complex, esp. in comparison with the Marvel continuity!

    Good work.
  3. doucoo

    doucoo U're an idiot Starscream!

    Apr 7, 2011
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    Good post.

    Thanks for this.
  4. ginrai

    ginrai lost with no way home.

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Well he's placed a whole load of stuff that lead up to the Movie and the movie before Target 2006, I think less out of chronological sense and more in order to introduce you to the characters that will be in Target 2006. I think thats not a good way to do it though, as when Target 2006 came out, I'm thinking the movie hadn't been released yet in the UK, and so most people didn't know who Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr were anyway.

    The only other thing I'd have done, would be to use the Marvel adaption of the movie rather than the movie itself. If everything else is comics, then theres no reason not to use comics again.. even use the more recent Bob Budiansky adaption of the movie.. since it would likely fit the tone of the surrounding stuff even if the artwork didn't.
  5. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2009
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    I placed "Prime's Rib!" that far back because it takes place in the alternate future timeline of the movie. I had puzzled a bit over how to handle this, since this is supposed to be a chronological guide, but chronology ultimately means little when you're dealing with two disparate timestreams. I decided to use the points at which they intersect as a guide. They first intersect in "Target: 2006", so everything that happens in the future timeline before "Target: 2006" will be shunted into reading order immediately before that. Then, I let the stories in the future progress more-or-less in publication order, with two exceptions: "Headhunt" is placed after the Headmasters miniseries due to Rodimus' flashback to working with his Targetmaster, who obviously hadn't been introduced yet, and the "Space Pirates!" arc has been placed after "Dry Run!" since the acceleration of the time storm in the former was due to Cyclonus' death in the latter. Since "Aspects of Evil!" marked the chronological end of the future timeline stories in the main comic, I shunted UK #251-254 back to before that (and "Peace" after it), but that was rather arbitrary. You could just as easily move "Aspects of Evil!" to after UK #254, but it seems more relevant to have them closer to "Time Wars", since that's the last point of interaction between the two timelines.

    Speaking of the Headmasters miniseries, that was a pain in the ass to place. The first part has to take place before the "Prey!" sequence (although it was almost certainly intended to be later), because while I can buy Fort Max and company not learning about the message Scrounge recovered in US #17, there's no way in Hell any Autobot would miss news about Prime being back on Cybertron. All the Decepticon forces in the universe couldn't keep that news from spreading. The last part was also fairly easy to place: Bumblebee sends a distress call in US #37, the call is received in Headmasters #4, the Headmasters arrive on Earth in US #38. However, the placement for parts two and three are almost completely arbitrary, being based on their publication order in the UK series. There are literally no chronological indicators to go on besides a mention of "some months" having passed between the Autobots' arrival on Nebulos and the beginning of part four.

    The second biggest problem I faced (you can probably guess what was the biggest) was the whole issue of when Megatron and Thunderwing are the leaders of the Decepticons on Cybertron. Originally, I just had the Thunderwing stories follow more-or-less immediately from "Two Megatrons!", but I hit a snag: Blackjack is the one who brings the real Megatron back to his senses, and Blackjack isn't created until "A Small War!", which acknowledges Thunderwing as Decepticon leader. You could argue that Furman just meant "leader of this particular group of Decepticons", but the previous story was about him trying to gain the position of Decepticon leader, and the position itself is never referred to as anything other than "Decepticon leader", not "Supreme Commander" or anything like that. For me, that's enough to make the authorial intent a little murky. Ultimately, I used the fact that Thunderwing was aware of the real Megatron's activities in "Yesterday's Heroes!" (and the fact that Megatron would sooner die than work under someone else's rule) as justification for Thunderwing and the fake Megatron both having been leader at the same time. After all, Decepticons armies are known to fracture frequently. Adding to the problem, though, is that "A Small War!" takes place 14 months previous to its publishing, meaning I had to squeeze the entire "Thunderwing becoming leader" arc immediately after Sky Lynx (and presumably Optimus Prime) returns to Earth in "Monstercon from Mars!", before the Christmas story "Cold Comfort and Joy!" (since going back 14 months obviously places things before the previous Christmas). Ultimately, the solution I chose isn't pretty at all, but I think it remains truest to the text.

    As for the early UK stories, I used the Robot War supplement found in UK #63 as indicators for placement. It's not pretty, but this is more-or-less the official word on where they're supposed to go.

    I used the 1986 film (and the episode "The Big Broadcast of 2006", with the addition of the UK prologue and epilogue) instead of their comic adaptations simply to stick closer to the source material. There's no huge differences between the two, so I figured the animated versions would reflect intent better than the adaptations would (which is almost always the case when it comes to adaptations, anyway).

    As for Earthforce, ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. That is all.


    Alright, alright, I'm planning on doing a more thorough analysis of the Earthforce stories later. At the moment, though, I can't see a solution that doesn't involve assuming hugely important events happen completely off-panel and/or straight-up ignoring problematic lines of dialogue. And really, if you have to jump through that many hoops to make something fit, then it really never fit to begin with.

    EDIT: There's one other oddity I need to address. You may think my placement of "The Quest!" is strange, but I'm going by when the frame-story apparently takes place. The only indicator is that the Great War is referred to in past tense, meaning it occurs after one of the war's ends. Considering that it only recaps material up to the end of "Time Wars", the point that would be the least out-of-date would be immediately after the end of the G1 series.

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