Friday, December 5, 2014


Writer: Simon Furman
Pencilers: Andrew Wildman, Geoff Senior, & Guido Guidi
Inks: Stephen Baskerville & Geoff Senior | Colorist: John-Paul Bove
Letterer: Chris Mowry | Editor: John Barber
Editor-in-Chief: Chris Ryall

Cover by Andrew Wildman
The Plot: Rodimus's forces return to Cybertron to find it changed, corrupted and haunted by shadow creatures who can kill with a touch. The Dinobots still live, and explain that this happened near instantaneously. Rodimus realizes that Primus, who he now believes to be the dark Matrix energy, is behind everything. He goes to confront Primus while sending the rest of his team to track down Galvatron.

Ultra Magnus and company find Galvatron has taken the space bridge to Nebulos. They pursue him there, where Magnus finally kills him. Fortress Maximus, also now on Nebulos, attempts to kill Magnus, but is stopped by the arrival of a second Autobot team, led by Prowl, which had traveled to Earth looking for Galvatron, joined by human forces.

Meanwhile, Rodimus reaches the Primus chamber and is transported to Zero Space, where he confronts the dark Matrix creature and fights Optimus Prime, summoned and possessed to attack him. Rodimus uses the sword of Primus to finish the creature off, sealing it into Zero Space forever. Optimus dies, and Rodimus and Spike return to the real world.

We return to the far future, where Rodimus reflects on the fact that after the corrupted Matrix energy was destroyed, all violence seemed to leave the Transformer race. They then traveled the stars, spreading peace wherever they went -- even Starscream and Shockwave. And the human and Nebulan races joined forces as well, rebuilding together.

Finally Rodimus dies, and in his place a plant-robot organism springs into existence.

G1 Continuity: Not really anything from Generation One. Though in Zero Space, Rodimus manages to summon various versions of himself from across the multiverse (various Transformers toylines) to aid his fight.

BW Continuity: The plant which takes Rodimus's place bears some resemblance to Botanica, a character from BEAST MACHINES -- the sequel series to the BEAST WARS show from the nineties (on which Furman did some writing).

Body Count: Well, everyone left on Cybertron when Rodimus departed -- aside from the Dinobots, who were protected via Grimlock's brief time as host for the dark Matrix -- was changed into a shadow creature. The shadows then kill Hosehead, Slingshot, and Streetwise (who I thought was killed a few issues back but merely had his demise delayed). Galvatron kills Scattershot behind the scenes as he uses the space bridge to head for Nebulos. And of course, Galvatron, Fortress Maximus, and Optimus Prime all perish as well.

Variant "retro" cover by Guido Guidi
My Thoughts: So that was, uhh... something. I won't try to break down all the details, but suffice to say that everything Furman explains here adds up just fine and makes perfect logical sense. The corrupted Matrix creature was behind practically everything that's happened over the past twenty or so issues (except for the Underbase stuff, which was totally extraneous to the entire story... bizarre).

It's all just too metaphysical to me. TRANSFORMERS, for me at least, has always been a pretty simple premise: shape-shifting robots in a war between clearly defined good and bad guys. That's it. It's black-and-white, and that's what I like about it. You can certainly provide extra depth to the characters and their motivations. But I guess what bugs me here is that the final confrontation was simply between the Autobots and, like, a demon. Sure, the previous story arc was a big Decepticon war -- but wouldn't you expect that the advertised "definitive ending" to the original Transformers saga might conclude with that instead? Wouldn't you expect Optimus Prime, the end-all, be-all Autobot, to be the protagonist of that story, or at least to serve in some capacity other than mindless puppet?

And to be fair, Prime does regain his senses and convince Rodimus to do... whatever it is he does to finish off the Matrix creature, but still... this whole thing where the story's point is that he's outlived his usefulness, and is basically in a holding pattern until he dies, is just depressing and not the right way to go. We got twenty extra issues of G1 TRANSFORMERS and Optimus Prime stood on the sidelines for about fifteen of them! I can't be the only one finds this odd, can I? Kill him if you need to kill him, but don't prolong his existence as a shadow of his former self, simply to kill him in the final issue.

Anyway -- the journey was enjoyable enough, though I expected and hoped for more from these issues. They weren't bad, but they could've been so much better if they'd stuck to the basics rather than trying to get all metaphysical and mythological. The series started strong, but really petered out at the end.

Final Opinion: Now that REGENERATION ONE is over, I have a pitch for IDW which I'd enjoy a lot; certainly much more than this series: An ongoing, open-ended series set in the Transformers TV series continuity, telling stories from the twenty years between the cartoon's second season and TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE. Y'know, the definitive Generation One continuity; the version of the story we all actually care about.

Get someone well versed in the cartoon's mythology to write it; absolutely get Guido Guidi to draw it, and color it in a cel-shaded style. Don't make it a kiddie book, but aim it at all ages. I would read the living heck out of this series. And if IDW needs someone to write it, well there's a guy right here with zero professional experience but a profound love of that cartoon, willing to work for peanuts!

(Yes, my final REGENERATION ONE review turned into a creative pitch. Honestly, I didn't see that coming either.)

Available as part of Transformers: Regeneration One Volume 4 from


  1. >>Y'know, the definitive Generation One continuity; the version of the story we all actually care about.<<

    Hmm no, I am going to have to disagree there.
    The idea that all G1 fans only care about the cartoon is implausible at best, disingenuous at worst im sorry to say.
    Even though the cartoon is the most popular and most well known interation of G1. That doesn't mean its actually good or preferable, and these days the plots do not stand up to closer scrutiny. ( They never did )

    I always liked the original G1 Marvel comic much much better
    and the marvel Uk comic, is a different beast all together and superior to both. ( in my opinion off course )

    But here is the thing about Transformers as a franchise, the franchise is so huge and so diverse, fans can like different things and still be Transformers fans.
    And this fan happens to dispise the cartoon.
    No version is intrinsically better then the other, they are just different.

    ...Except Kiss Players that's just awfull.

    1. Yeah, I didn't mean to belittle anyone else's opinion, though that's pretty much exactly what I did. I was just very frustrated with what I felt was a lame conclusion to a promising series. I had really liked RG1 up to the final story arc, with a few reservations like the sidelining of Optimus Prime for most of the action.

      I think the first season of the original TRANSFORMERS cartoon still stands up fairly well, for the most part. I mean it's clearly for kids, but the majority of the episodes make sense are are not too dumbed-down. The second season has some very simplistic plots, plus a lot of the first season's internal logic breaks down as characters just start popping up non-stop with no explanation. Though I do think that even season 2 has some bright spots.

      I have less to say about season 3 as I've rarely re-watched it.

      Anyway, I liked the G1 comics too; I just happen to prefer the cartoon's continuity and characterizations.

      By the way, if you're no fan of the cartoon, then I'm sure you'll have something to say about my currently ongoing opinions of the Dreamwave comics, which worshipped the G1 animation, and which I really liked for that reason.

    2. Oh -- agreed on KISS PLAYERS, by the way. Though I really liked the BINALTECH storyline, since -- no surprise here -- it drew a lot of its inspiration from the cartoon series.

    3. Oh, absolutely, regeneration is a let down.
      The conclusion of the first and original Transformers run.
      ( The comics were first, they were released in May 1984 the cartoon came in September 84 . )
      Should have been joyous and momentous.
      What we got was a depressing 20 issue run constrained by 4 rigid 5 part "acts" ,instead of the freeflowing self contained but still connected issues of the Marvel comics.

      Personally I would have preferred if issues 79 and 80 were discarded and Furman picked up where he left of from issue 78.
      But that's a problem a lot of modern comics have these days, they write for the trade.
      There are no stand alone issues anymore or stories taking as many or as little issues as they need. They are all rigidly constrained in 4, 6 , or 12 issues.

      At least "More Then Meets The Eye" bucks that trend somewhat, with free flowing storylines. two parters, three parters and single issues, and just plain insane concepts and ideas and an insane level of foreshadowing and planning.
      If you haven't read MTME yet, now is a great time to do so.

      I suppose season 1 of the cartoon stands up reasonably well though its very 80's, but it mostly stands up because its just 16 episodes.
      Season 2 just goes off the rails and crashes straight in to a wall, mostly because they had to produce a whole new episode every week.
      Which is quite insane when you think about it.

      I personally like season 3 the best, because Rodimus Prime is so different from Optimus.
      As well as the sheer guts they had by twisting the knife with Dark Awakening.
      Let's bring back Optimus as a zombie and kill him again, in the most horrible manner we can get away with ! Yay !
      ...memorable and nightmare inducing.
      Web world and The Ultimate Weapon were great too.
      First Aid is a pacifist and willing to die for his convictions.

      I personally like the G1 comic and characterization much better
      But again as I said that's whats so great about this franchise.
      You can pick and mix and match what you like and we are still all fans of Robots In disguise.

      ...I have a few choice words about Dreamwave.
      None of them good, but most of my ire is raised by their dubious business practices.
      And Pat Lee's "art "

      As far as their over glorification of the cartoon goes. it gets a bit heavyhanded at times but they were the first who were doing that.

      Some times I go" oh for uhh Primus sake there is more to Transformers then geewun Dreamwave !!
      Because even at that time we had Beast Wars, Beast machines and RID\Car Robots 2000, with Armada gearing up.
      But these days the slavish devotion to G1 is a bit more in effect.
      Dreamwave did it first and, at the time were the only ones who were doing it.

      Mad Brick ..err Brad Mick mostly paraphrased the movie though.

      Other problems I had was that they constrained their stories in to 6 issues.
      That Sunstorm story in V3 should have ended with issue 4, but no, it dragged on for another two boring bland issues.
      I still cant stand Sunstorm. ( but I loath Starscream, so that probably doesnt help. )

      Best comics that came from Dreamwave were Armada\Energon and the two War Within mini's for me.

      And Kiss Players is ...eurgh. I liked the Binaltech line mostly because the toys were so awesome.

      Anyway do you play video games ?
      If so have you seen Transformers Devastation yet ?
      If not it's totally up your street.
      It's the cartoon in video game form.
      They managed to contract quite a few major voice actors of the G1 cartoon.

      If you play video games I'm pretty sure you'd like it

      I'm very tempted to get it myself, I must admit.
      Anyway, I am making my presence known your blog and leaving a few comments here and there.

    4. I'm completely with you on the "writing to the trade" mentality. I can't stand it. If your story only needs three issues, it should only be three. If it needs only one, so be it. It will all still fit into trade paperbacks; some of them just might have one or two issues more or less than others.

      I did think Furman started this series off pretty well, even with the five-part arc structure. There were still bits of foreshadowing and sub-lots along the lines of an old-school comic. But after the first arc, it became clear he was moving into a more modern style. The individual issues didn't even have their own titles; they were just "STORY ARC TITLE Part 1", "Part 2", etc.

      I agree that none of Dreamwave's positives should outweigh their despicable business practices; however I can't hold the creative teams responsible for management's shortcomings. Because of that, my DW TF reviews are steering clear of pot shots at management and just looking at the issues themselves.

      Also, as will become apparent when my posts reach the Sunstorm arc, I'm with you -- in fact I say basically the same thing in my reviews -- it should only have been about four issues long. The weird thing is, the six-issue structure was less rigidly adhered to in the actual six-issue miniseries, WAR AND PEACE. Mick wrote that more like the first six installments of an ongoing series, even dropping in plot points which didn't get resolved in the mini. Then along came the ongoing and suddenly he was artificially padding the Sunstorm thing to fill six issues. Which is even more glaring when the subsequent story about the Insecticons is only a two-parter! Why not do a four-issue Sunstorm story and a two-issue Insecticon story, and boom -- there's your six issue trade??

      I actually played the demo of DEVASTATION at Comic-Con this year. I don't own any of the current gen platforms though, so when I pick it up I'll have to get it for PS3. I'm not a big gamer, but this is one I can't pass up based on the character designs and voice talent.