My journey through the Transformers Marvel US continuity...

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by johnboy3434, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    My journey through the Transformers Marvel US continuity *COMPLETED*

    Let it be known that I am a total n00b in regards to Transformers, and that this is my first real exposure to the franchise outside of a couple childhood toys, a few vague memories of the G1 cartoon, and information I gathered from the wiki in preparation for this read-through. I am, effectively, flying blind into this.

    Alright, here's how it's going to go. I'm going to go through one issue at a time, typing out my thoughts as they come to me. As for what order I'll be tackling things in, here's a brief outline:

    Transformers #1-23
    G.I. Joe and the Transformers #1
    Transformers #24
    G.I. Joe and the Transformers #2
    Transformers #25&26
    G.I. Joe and the Transformers #3&4
    Transformers #27-31
    Transformers: Head Masters #1-3
    Transformers #32-37
    Transformers: Head Masters #4
    Transformers #38-42
    Transformers #44-53
    Transformers (UK) #215-218
    Transformers #54
    Transformers (UK) #235&236
    Transformers #55-80
    G.I. Joe #138-142
    Transformers: Generation 2 #1-12

    According to what I've read, that the closest approximation to chronological order. #43 is left out due to taking place in the G1 cartoon's universe (it was adapted from a season three episode). I made an exception to the US-only rule in the case of UK #'s 215-218 and 235&236 because the stories from these issues are explicitly referenced in the US comics, as well as for US #33-34, which were reprints of a UK story. As far as I've read, these are the only times such references are made, but I welcome any corrections. Now, to get this baby on the road.


    The Transformers #1 (September 1984) by Ralph Macchio

    Wow. So THAT'S how the Transformers were created: Naturally occurring gears, levers, and pulleys.

    ...

    We are not off to a good start. Also, I call shenanigans on Cybertron being shaken from its orbit. A planet the size of Saturn made entirely of metal? Something powerful enough to move THAT would simply have destroyed the whole thing.

    Wait, how is there still sunlight if they've been thrown out of their star's orbit? And the TFs must be pretty tough to withstand absolute zero temperatures.

    So that's Optimus Prime. I am honored to witness his first appearance.

    Over a thousand years?! So I'm assuming the TFs don't age?

    Well, at least Megatron's not so generically evil that he attacks Optimus BEFORE the asteroids are cleared.

    Lifeless third planet? Oh my God... they're going to Tatooine!

    Umm... what secrets does the Ark have, again? I thought they just now built it to deal with the asteroid threat. Also, Optimus, suicide usually isn't considered a viable "Plan A".

    FOUR MILLION YEARS?! And the ships systems are still operational. They really don't make them like they used to, I guess.

    So, the one system that WAS damaged is the one that gives the bad guys a new lease on life. Typical. Well, this explains why the TFs transform into Earth-based vehicles.

    Decepticon roll call! Well, now I can only hope to tell them apart when they aren't named in-panel. Something tells me they would be a lot easier to identify if I had spent every waking moment looking for their toys. Oh, well, too late for that. Onward!

    And... Autobot roll call! Again, it may be my distinct over-18-ness, but I think I'm going to have a Hell of a time identifying these things.

    Okay, we get it: They think our machines are alive. I hope this gag doesn't go on for too much longer.

    Holy crap! Buster's girlfriend is hot!

    "Hoped to Optimus"? Is he a god or something?

    Ooh. Dissent in the Decepticon ranks? Starscream has called out Megatron's tactics twice, now. I think the writer's trying to tell us something. Well, can you blame him? Personally, I'd be angry too if my supposed great leader couldn't win a war after A THOUSAND YEARS.

    Umm... why was Hound using holographic lasers on Ravage? Wouldn't it behoove him to use real ammunition against such a potentially elusive threat now that he has him out in the open?

    Okay, I got to admit, those last two panels were pretty funny.


    Well, there goes. Issue number one. Don't take my comments about the implausibilities too personally. It's just my style. I'm a very sarcastic-humor-oriented person (it comes from watching too much MST3K). Hate to cut this short, but I've got homework I should have been doing hours ago. Stay tuned!
     
  2. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    No prob. The first four issues really aren't all that great looking back at them. It gets much better from issue 5 onward once Budianski takes over the reigns as writer.

    Nice n00b review. It really cool getting the first impressions of a guy coming in pretty much completely cold. Keep it up! I think I'm going to wind up reading along with you...
     
  3. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    The Transformers #2 (November 1984) by Jim Salicrup

    Metal on metal can be "soundless"? What is Ravage made of again?

    O_O He just shrunk into a cassette tape! How the **** does that work?

    Uhh... can "BOOOOM!" really be considered a battle cry?

    What kind of inhuman monster names their son "Sparkplug"? I mean, "Witwicky" is already going to make his childhood a living Hell. Why compound the trauma?

    Really, Sparkplug is taking the whole "alien robot" thing pretty well, considering. I'd have wet myself by now.

    Ravage is "unseen"... if you don't count those two guys standing right next to him, one of which is looking right at his tail.

    Wait a second, wasn't Dazzler a member of the X-Men?

    And... O's stereo had its cassette port hanging wide open, apparently.

    Wow, if O and Jessie got anything out of Buster's one-panel explanation, they have greater minds than I.

    Was "That's Incredible!" a TV show of some sort?

    Umm... is Mirage contemplating a betrayal? It seems like he's referring to himself in the third person. Granted, EVERYONE does that, but it still isn't normal.

    Damn, those Decepticons work fast. Less than two days on Earth and they've already built a generically evil-looking stronghold.

    Oh, I meant to say: Why Oregon? Nothing ever happens in Oregon. Why not New York or California?

    "The deafening sound of a sonic boom"... which causes neither Buster nor Sparkplug to cover his ears.

    Err... Sideswipe and Sunstreaker are brothers? Exactly how do Autobots reproduce, again?

    Whoa! Reused frame alert! Two of Skywarp and Starscream's transformation sequences are identical.

    Typical law enforcement. As soon as an assignment looks more complicated than a parking ticket, they pass the buck.

    "In a word, Optimus: No." Damn. That was badass.

    "The only language you understand is violence", he says, as he throws a truck into Megatron's face. Irony, much?


    Well, that's another issue down. I'm anxious to see where this goes, mainly because I'm still a little fuzzy on how a simple mechanic is going to convert regular oil into an otherworldly substance. 'Til next time!
     
  4. myhobby

    myhobby ArigatouArigatouArigatou-

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    ooh, man! next issue,
    spider-man!

    this thread is gonna be interesting.
    i'll be back.
     
  5. Misatokitty

    Misatokitty The Major

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    That's Incredible was a TV show in the early 80s on US TV, yeah. We had it aired in New Zealand when I was growing up. Kind of weird stories and amazing feats. They did the investigation into the haunted TRU IIRC - least, that was where I saw it.

    And the roll call of characters was kind of how 80s comics worked. You'll see it in force throughout Marvel Transformers comics.

    I have to say, though, you're going to have a better time of reading #4 than I did growing up. The version we got in NZ was a collected comic - dropped half a dozen pages, including the Savage Land subplot, the Optimus costume, AND THE ENDING. It ended with a certain panel about owing a debt... and there's like another page that set up #5 that we just didn't get :p  I didn't know any of this existed until about a year ago when I got a trade of #1-4. Bah.
     
  6. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Why UK #235 and #236? They covered the end of reprint US #54 (King Con) and the start of reprint US #55 (Interplanetary Wrestling)

    On the subject of 'Busters girlfriend is hot' I've always wondered why there are always throwaway panels featuring scantily clad girls. Busters girlfriend in a Bikini? Check. In a dance session? Check.

    Skids getting a wax and wash by a chick in shorts and tight top? Check.

    I'm gonna tune in to your opinions of those...
     
  7. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    Those were the primary stories. The secondary story was a UK original called "Deathbringer", and it is explicitly referenced in US #65, thus making it canon.
     
  8. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Rollcall gags are neiter engdemic to the 80's or Marvel. What they are endemic too is team books. Since the JSA in 1941 right up to today. I have Avengers and JLA books from the 90's that use the Rollcall gag.
     
  9. Nexus Prime

    Nexus Prime Creation is proof.

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    After all these years I still remember those panels. Oh and by the way it wasn't a dance session, she was working out. :D 
     
  10. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ahhhh, I see.
     
  11. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    The Transformers #3 (January 1985) by Jim Salicrup

    So, five objects became four TFs? I think the writer forgot to mention Rumble.

    Okay, okay, we get it! There's animosity between Megatron and Starscream. We don't need them reiterating it for half a page.

    Wow. Sparkplug's got guts talking back to Megatron. I'm guessing he's the comic's Badass Normal?

    O, however, is an idiot. What do you do when faced with a sentient machine capable of squashing you like a bug? Call him a reject from a George Lucas film, of course!

    A police officer giving a TF a ticket? This ought to be good.

    Meh... not as good as I thought it would be.

    I still don't get how Sparkplug can even begin a project like converting the fuel. I understand the logic of making him a mechanic, but I'd have made him a PhD in Chemistry to sort of ease the massive suspension of disbelief we have going on here.

    Ah, cameo time! We've got Nick Fury, a mention of Godzilla, and, of course, Spider-Man. Ooh, in his black suit, too. Does that count as a Venom cameo?

    Whoa, whoa! Is the sergeant blind? Spider-Man is still in his suit. HE'S JUST WEARING A HELMET! It must come from the same people that make Clark Kent's glasses.

    How can Spider-Man possibly hold up the weight of ANY of the TFs? I know the symbiote enhances his strength, but not by that much!

    I can just see the look on Spider-Man's face when Megatron breaks free of the webbing. Priceless.

    "Say it ain't so"? Listen, you ungrateful little bastard: If your dad didn't do what Megatron told him to do, Spider-Man would have brought him back in a garbage bag. Just be glad he's alive.


    Well, that's it for today. Time for homework.
     
  12. myhobby

    myhobby ArigatouArigatouArigatou-

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    but what if they weren't clear before?:p 

    only half of one i think.

    maybe he's using his suits camo ability? and we can't see it?

    bodybuilder+simbiote=twice the strength of spidy.
    spidy+simbiote=???

    for everything else, there's MasterCard.

    and the autobots are dead.[/QUOTE]
     
  13. cappeca

    cappeca wtf is this?

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    Be careful with that kind of humor. It's the hyphen that keeps smart from ass.
     
  14. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ah, but the Symbiote suit never augmented Spider-mans strength, because he was already 'enhanced'. Therefore the symbiote would only enhance normal peoples strength.

    Also, Spider-man is rated as Class 10 strength, (according to the Marvel Universe handbook) so considering most cars are under 10 tonnes and I'd guess a TF is roughly equivalent mass, him lifting a TF isn't inconcieveable.
     
  15. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    The Transformers #4 (March 1985) by Jim Salicrup

    Wow, Huffer's coppin' an attitude there.

    Whoa, Jazz! I could probably think of fifteen better ways to halt a fleeing ally than shooting at them with a flamethrower.

    How did O's dad throw an Optimus Prime costume together so quickly? I imagine even the best cosplayer would have to spend a week or more on it.

    Jess... Leotard... That is all.

    Hmm... "Call the President"? I was thinking more along the lines of "Run the Hell away". Seriously, any decent commander would order a retreat at this point. You know the enemy is packing serious heat, and the only weapon you can use now would require you and your men to be FAR, FAR AWAY. Unless you want to go hand-to-hand against an enemy ten times your size and tougher than nuclear nails, I suggest you high-tail it out of there.

    Starscream, you are truly an idiot. I have nothing else to say.

    Where the Hell did this Shockwave guy come from? Was he in a previous issue? And how did the probe detect dinosaurs when humans have been shown to be invisible?

    And Mirage's potential disloyalty is neatly wrapped up in one scene. How anticlimactic.

    Yes, Bluestreak, take on Megatron all by yourself. I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

    Go, Sparkplug! Man, he is tough, what with sabotaging those Korean trucks right under their noses.

    Wow. Epic Megatron Fail. You're enemy had plenty of time to see you coming and you didn't bother to compensate for an attempted dodge?

    O_O It's official. Sparkplug is the most awesome character ever created. He single-handedly pwned the entire Decepticon team with nothing more than his... genius-level chemistry skills. Damn, that plot convenience still sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I have to admit, I did not expect the issue to end like that. Kudos, writers.


    Well, I've finished the first four issues, and I have to say that I'd like to see where they go with this. Yes, it's obviously a series of twenty-page toy advertisements, but they put JUST enough effort into it to keep me interested.
     
  16. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    Like i said, it gets a lot better after the original mini-series. Much defferent than the cartoon series, and IMO much better!
     
  17. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    *fap fap fap*

    Seriously though, the US run was always populated by scantily clad girls. I never quite understod it. Superhero comics yes, comics about giant warring robots no...
     
  18. Misatokitty

    Misatokitty The Major

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    I always took it to that the dinosaurs in the Savage Land weren't contained in machines, so there was no question of what the dominant local form of life was at that time. When Aunty scanned the planet, it found machines, and so the Ark (and the Autobots, with their prejudices) would have assumed the machines were the intelligent form of life, and the pink things in them may have been something like a chihuahua and not actually intelligent or sentient. It wasn't until the fight in the drive-in that the Autobots started getting a clue by the behaviour of humans, and lack of behaviour from the machines.

    But you have to get the girl readers in somehow...
     
  19. johnboy3434

    johnboy3434 Well-Known Member

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    The Transformers #5 (June 1985) by Bob Budiansky

    Jackie Gleason! Yay! I love The Honeymooners.

    So this is what Decepticons do in their downtime? Watch TV?

    Dead Transformers hanging from the ceiling. That's not at all traumatizing to the psyche.

    Seriously Megatron, didn't the fact that you're tied up in the most prone position possible give you some hint of Shockwave's intentions? I can just hear him choking on the word "Commander".

    Well, nice recap of the so-called "Limited Series". There's been a three-month downtime between issues, so I can see why they would have to include this.

    Okay, Shockwave is really laying into Megatron here, and I'm loving every second of it.

    Again, the whole situation with the paramedics trying to find the source of Ratchet's voice is actually funny. The dialogue is also considerably more natural (well, considering the subject matter and the general awkwardness that seems inherent to comic book dialogue). I'm only half-way through the issue, and I can already tell that this Budiansky guy is simply a better writer than Macchio or Salicrup.

    Alright, Shockwave is obviously too stupid to last as Decepticon leader. That he would even THINK of freeing Megatron is absurd. I foresee things ending very badly for him.

    I REALLY like how the other Decepticons have basically ditched Megatron and are following Shockwave's orders. I get the feeling that nobody actually liked him.

    Wow, I didn't actually expect them to address Transformer procreation, but there we go! So they're built, not made. I really should have guessed that. I'm supposing this Creation Matrix is what gives them a soul?

    I have to say that Shockwave's transformed mode makes no sense at all. A floating cannon I can understand, but the presence of an actual grip is ridiculous. Who's big enough to hold him?

    Again, the situation with the traffic light: genuinely funny.

    Wow. The whole situation with the "dead" Autobots is incredibly creepy for kid's comic book.


    I must say, I never dreamed a comic could jump in quality like this in the span of one issue. With the first four issues I was only marginally interested, and grew tired of them quickly despite their short length. Now I am genuinely interested in the story. I find this absolutely incredible. Boo, you definitely knew what you were talking about.


    The Transformers #6 (July 1985) by Bob Budiansky

    You see a giant talking gun flying outside your window and you talk smack to it? I get the feeling Blackrock isn't the brightest of millionaires.

    Are most oil rigs this heavily armed?

    Uhh... Shockwave? Destroying the oil rig won't help anybody.

    Oh... I'm guessing he didn't want the rig, then. Also, I was expecting Blackrock to be the stereotypical rich guy who doesn't care about anything but money. Apparently I was wrong.

    I like how Buster didn't question the potential dangers of jamming electric cables into his head. I know he trusts Optimus, but a little hesitation would have been more believable.

    I don't buy Shockwave's logical demeanor. He say we need to look away from the past while in the same breath taking jabs at Megatron's failure. I'm certain he's enjoying this.

    The rig isn't quite as defensible now as it was a few hours ago, Shockwave...

    "All I see is the wreckage of your charred and shattered body." Awesome line, Megatron.

    ...Followed up by an awesome one-liner/attack combo!

    Oh, well. I don't like football all that much, anyway.

    AWESOME MULTI-PAGE BATTLE!!!!

    Megatron is a vindictive little bastard, isn't he? Everything he's said in this issue has been about the joy he'll take in Shockwave's pain.


    Another great issue! Please tell me they keep going like this!
     
  20. Triformis

    Triformis Insecticon Fanatic TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good stuff, man! Keep it up! Recently, I re-read my entire run, plus G2, plus all of Dreamwave's stuff back-to-back, and I know many will disagree, but I still dig the original Marvel run (#1-80) the most. Good times! Enjoy!
     

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