TF comic help needed...

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Mechafire, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hey there, so I am just getting into reading the Marvel TF’s, but first I need some questions answered.

    1. What is the difference between the US and UK comic?
    2. Who are they written by?
    3. How can you tell the difference between UK and US issues, only being able to see the cover? (ala eBay)
    4. Is GI Joe in the main line TF comics, or just in the GI Joe and TF crossover comic?
    5. Is UK’s comic run longer?
    6. Is Spiderman in both US and UK comics? (I think he was in the third US issue but not sure…)


    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    1) If I recall correctly, the Transformers UK series was published bi-weekly, while the US series was done monthly, and although they'd split the US stories in half sometimes, there's a lot of material in the UK series that was used to supplement the US stuff, and as such, to answer question 5) yes, the UK series is considerably longer, as there are a lot of stories that never made it over the atlantic. That's the biggest difference I can think of.

    2) Different issues for both the US and UK series had different writers, but I think Simon Furman has written the most out of any of the authors (not certain though). Check

    Generation 1 (Marvel Comics) - Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki


    for more info.


    3) The covers on a lot of the issues will be very different from the US and UK versions. I guess the easiest way would be to look at the top left corner for the marvel logo, and see if the price is in US dollars, the UK series didn't have prices in US dollars, I think. The UK series I believe had their prices (in pence, obviously) on the top right hand side of the cover, with no marvel "box" for the first couple issues.

    4) GI Joe (or Action Force, as they're called in the UK) shows up mainly in the crossover series in the US series, and a bit in the G2 series. Action Force I believe shows up more often than that in the UK series.

    6) The Spiderman story was used in issues 5-6 of the UK series, so yeah.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  3. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks, but Was GI Joe in the UK comics?
     
  4. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I defer to Aernaroth's reply on this one. And I'd add that the artwork on the UK series always seemed a bit rough and sketchier than the US series. Not that the quality was any less. I always assumed it was a cultural difference in design.

    Many different writers, but primarily Bob Budiansky in the US and Simon Furman in the UK.

    Adding to what Aernaroth's said, there's a much easier way to tell the difference than just noting cover differences: the size. The Marvel UK comics are magazine-sized (wider and taller, like 8.5 x 11), while the US comics are standard comics size (appx 7 x 10.5).

    In the Marvel US series, GI Joe appeared only in the mini-series crossover and some in the G2 series as Aernaroth mentioned, although there were also Joe references and subtle cameos in the TF comics on occasion.

    Aernaroth also covered the Joe involvement in the UK series. I bought some of the UK Action Force/TF crossover issues in a lot purchase on ebay back in the late 90's. They were a decent read.

    Length of time, no. Production run, much. The US series ran for 6 years and 80 ish. The UK series ran just as long, but published over 300 issues. However, it's important to note that the UK was bi-weekly as opposed to monthly and had a shorter story format towards the end of its run.

    If you want to save yourself some money and you're not collecting every issue, I'd suggest buying the TPB reprints. You get whole story arcs/series in one bound edition, and it usually costs less than buying them individually too.

    And tfarchive.com is another great resource for the US/UK Marvel comics:
    http://tfarchive.com/comics/marvel/
     
  5. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think I worded it wrong.

    I meant is the UK's TF STORY longer, not the issues.

    I read on teh wiki that it went like this:

    US #1=UK #1-2 or something like that.

    Why is this? And I mean if UK had about 332 issues, and US 80, is the UK storyline longer? They both end with the same issue: End of the Road. Kinda don't make sense to me.

    Also, would these be US?

    Transformers Marvel Comics Huge Lot - 33 Different - eBay (item 280253101555 end time Aug-09-08 12:07:27 PDT)

    (If you can't tell, I am only interested in Marvel US G1)
     
  6. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Only the US G1? That's a pity. You'll be missing out on some great stuff.

    Even splitting US issues into two parts the UK would quickly catch up and had to add their own stories to keep up with the weekly (and sometimes fortnightly) release. This gave us excellent UK runs like Target:2006, Time Wars and Space Pirates, and a whole load of black and white shorts. :) 
     
  7. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    Technically, yes. There were indeed more stories involved in the UK series, but both wrapped production at the same time, and prior to that a lot of US stories were inserted into the UK series, and vice versa.

    Think of the two series as largely being intertwined continuity-wise, and borrowing from each other. Both series had connecting story arcs so they were able to wrap both series with the same story.

    And both the Marvel US and UK comics offices were connected when it came to TFs. So when production was canceled on one, the other followed suit immediately.

    I can see how it might not make sense, but Furman was writing both the US and UK series towards the end, which explains why there were so many stories being used in both series and how both series were able to end with the same story when production ended.

    You are correct, sir.

    I get a flood of memories every time I see all those covers.

    I still have my entire complete Marvel US TF comic collection, and sadly they aren't worth much more today than they were when I first bought them. But the nostalgic value to me is priceless.
     
  8. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Well, the UK issues were bi-weekly, and would often have content in them besides the main comic (like illustrated stories in in the annual, for example). I'm not certain, but I think they might be shorter than US comics. Anyway, what they'd do is use the american content, but since there wouldn't be enough (especially once they started doing annuals and issues even more often than twice a month), even after they stretched them out to two issues per US issue, so they needed stuff to fill the gaps between US storylines. This leads us to the UK-exclusive content I mentioned earlier. And although the US stuff is certainly easier to find these days, I greatly recommend reading UK stuff if you can get your hands on it.

    As for your G.I. Joe question, there is no G.I. Joe in the UK. The G.I. Joe line was tied into an already existing line called Action Force, so that's what they're called over there.

    Example.
    YouTube - Action Force ( G.I.Joe ) The Movie UK Intro - English (UK)
     
  9. Heretic

    Heretic De Anima

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    Sorry to chime in on this a few days late, but this thread needed some clarification.

    1. The main difference between the US and UK comics is the inclusion of a multitude of additional stories, effectively doubling the size of the complete narrative. The US produced 80 issues and a few miniseries' as opposed to the 332 issues of the UK comic. The US comic stories were typically 22-23 pages each while the UK stories were generally 11-12 pages (Half the US size) per issue. Contrary to what some some have suggested here the series was generally a weekly series. Producing 332 issues in just over 7 years suggests a release rate of roughly 45 issues per year on average. Obviously this is considerably more material than the 12 issues per year that the US produced. The UK imported the US at roughly 1 US = 2 UK. This filled roughly 24 of the approx. 45 issues per year. The UK hired its own writing team to fill in the rest with additional stories. These UK exclusive stories were written in such a way so as to maintain and further develop the continuity outlined by the US stories.

    There are additional differences beyond these extra stories. The US series includes a TF/GIJoe crossover miniseries. This series is not part of the main canon for the UK comic. I don't know if its true, but I've heard that Marvel UK didn't include it because their import of the US GI Joe series was not at the correct point in its chronology to release this story. The story was eventually (much later) printed in the UK TF run but is more of a "what if" story. As a result any lasting effects from the miniseries had to be rewritten in UK exclusive stories in order to maintain general continuity with the US. The obvious point of contention here being the destruction of Bumblebee and his subsequent resurrection as Goldbug. The UK had to write its own story to account for this transformation. This conflict is probably the single greatest continuity divergence between the two series.

    Additionally at various points throughout the UK series, Marvel UK changed minor elements of dialogue and narration in the US import issues in order to better mesh the continuity with their own exclusive stories.

    2. Bob Budianski and Simon Furman are probably the only names you'll need to know. Together they account for about 95-98% of both the US and UK series. Budianski wrote most of the US series (and hence the imports to the UK) up to the late #50s (US). Furman wrote almost all of the UK exclusive issues, as well as all the US issues after Budianski left.

    3. As others have mentioned, the corner logo, currency, and dimensions are tell-tale signs. Sometimes the UK used the same cover art for an issue that the US used, so be forewarned. Obviously issue number is a sign as well. If you find an issue over #80 its probably UK.

    4. GI Joe does not appear in any US issue outside of the crossover miniseries although they are referenced on occasion. They do however appear in the Generation 2 series. Various Transformers appear in the GI Joe issues around the same time. The UK counterpart to GI Joe (Action Force) did their own crossover with TF within the UK exclusive stories. Thus TF UK #125 does have GI Joe members in it (Flint, Scarlett, Bazooka, Airtight, and Barbecue all appear as members of Action Force). The story is a crossover that is concluded in subsequent issues of Action Force.

    5. Obviously in # of issues it is four times the size. Given however that those issues are half of US size generally, the story as I said previously is closer to double the size. Every issue of the US comic including the TF/GIJoe crossover and the Headmasters mini are accounted for somewhere in the UK run. Chronologically however, both versions are basically the same in length. They both start with the same stories and end with the same stories. In other words, in both versions the story takes place between 1984 and 1991 (Although several UK exclusive issues throughout the series take place in the future, 2006 and beyond). It's just more in depth in between. Both series also had roughly the same production life lasting approx 7 years.

    6. Spiderman is in both US and UK issues.

    Hope this helps. :) 
     
  10. Boulder

    Boulder Rock Lord

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    Also, just to add to the confusion, a couple of the issues of the US comic were reprints of earlier UK comics and feature Grimlock in front of the Union Jack.
     

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