Friday, October 17, 2014


Writer: Simon Furman | Penciler: Guido Guidi | Inker: Stephen Baskerville
Colorist: John-Paul Bove | Letterer: Shawn Lee | Editor: John Barber
Editor-in-Chief: Chris Ryall

Cover by Andrew Wildman
The Plot: Against the backdrop of an invasion of Cybertron by Bludgeon's Blitz Engines, Ultra Magnus battles Galvatron. It appears both are destroyed by a blast from the Warworld, but Magnus emerges alive with a disabled Galvatron in his arms.

Meanwhile, Hot Rod is thrown into another realm by Primus, speaking via Grimlock's body. Following Hot Rod's disappearance, Grimlock collapses.

Elsewhere, Prowl releases Omega Supreme to defend Cybertron, while Blaster confronts Soundwave.

G1 Continuity: Two great epithets are tossed out this issue: Prowl says, "By the seven smelting pools of Straxus!" and Ultra Magnus exclaims, "Great God Ginrai!" Straxus was a character from Bob Budiansky's TRANSFORMERS run, and the smelting pools were where he melted down his enemies. God Ginrai is the Japanese name for the character we Americans know as PowerMaster Optimus Prime.

Body Count: One Autobot who I did not recognize is killed by a Blitz Engine. Presumably other Transformers are perishing in Bludgeon's ongoing assault, but this has not yet been explicitly shown.

My Thoughts: The first full action issue of this story arc is here, and it's a doozy! Ultra Magnus and Galvatron had some great knock-down, drag-out battles in the British G1 continuity, but those stories no longer count here -- so Furman revisits the concept for the first time. I hesitate to compare this story to those old ones, but I feel Furman hits all the important notes even though he only devotes one single issue to the fight here, as opposed to several (short) issues thirty years ago.

Variant "retro" cover by Guido Guidi
And those notes are: Galvatron is nuts, Ultra Magnus is unsure of himself, but in the end Magnus prevails despite his doubts. It's a story I've seen before, but it still feels fresh and exciting here, partly due to the backdrop (Cybertron) and partly due to the spectacular artwork of Guido Guidi, who continues to set a new standard as the series' regular artist.

In other news, this issue is rife with cameos, as besides the normal cast of Magnus, Hot Rod, Kup, Prowl, et al, we also see Hound, Mirage, Jazz, and a handful of others drawn impeccably by Guidi and Baskerville. If there's one thing Furman is good at, it's juggling a cast of hundreds and giving everyone token appearances.

Final Opinion: Though this story is somewhat reminiscent of the Unicron battle from Furman's TRANSFORMERS #75, even down to the inclusion of Galvatron as a wild card, it's different enough in that the opponents are an army of Decepticons rather than one big common foe. And in any case, mass carnage on Cybertron never gets old. More importantly, though, I'm psyched for the Blaster/Soundwave showdown, something which somehow never occurred in any of the original G1 comics, and barely in the original cartoon series, either.

Available as part of TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE, vol. 2 from

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