Friday, October 27, 2017


Written by Dan Jolley
Pencils by E.J. Su, Tim Seeley, Emiliano Santalucia, & Guido Guidi
Inks by Andrew Pepoy & Sean Parsons | Letters by Dreamer Design
Colors by Jeremy Roberts & Val Staples | Edits by Mark Powers

The Plot: In the 1930s, Beachhead, Roadblock, the Baroness, and a Cobra Viper named Percy locate Optimus Prime and restore him to robot mode. In the present day on Cybertron, Ultra Magnus informs Stalker that the force field he's using to protect the Autobots and Joes will fail in six hours, meaning the various time-teams have that long to return before the Decepticons attack.

Back in the past, Roadblock and the Baroness infiltrate a gangster's nightclub and find their way to four more Transformers who turn out to be Sunticons Wildrider, Breakdown, Dead End, and Drag Strip. The Stunticons chase Optimus Prime and his human allies across town until they bump into Motormaster. As soon as Motormaster is transformed back to robot mode, the entire group vanishes back to the present.

Meanwhile (sort of), Barbecue, Spirit, Doctor Mindbender, Tomax, and Xamot materialize in an apocalyptic future.

Continuity Notes: Roadblock, pretending to be Miles Davis, plays trumpet for an all-black band as part of his cover.

G1 References: Not really any to speak of here.

G.I. References: Likewise.

My Thoughts: Somehow this entire issue feels like filler, which is quite a feat in a finite limited series of only four installments. The plot is pretty straightforward and there's a twist in that the four Transformers our heroes locate after Prime turn out to be the Stunticons, but the chase around town is kind of boring and the expected payoff -- the Stunticons uniting into Menastor, something Prime even warns about early on -- never happens. The group just sort of meets Motormaster and their excursion comes to an end immediately.

That said, there are a few bits to like in this one. Percy the Viper is pretty entertaining. He's kind of a "meta" character in that he realizes he's the only non-"named" guy among the Joes and Cobras and he fully expects to die because of this. The fact that he survives the issue comes as a total shock to him. Also, we get the Baroness vamping it up in disguise as a gangster's moll, complete with frequently visible garter belt under her dress, so that's nice.

Lastly, I need to walk back my compliments on Dan Jolley's scripting from last week. Throughout the entire issue, his Beachhead sounds nothing like the cartoon character, and his Baroness says "screw it" at one point, which is not something that in no way lends itself to her animated counterpart's over-the-top Transylvanian accent. On top of that, Optimus Prime is off here too. (The afore-mentioned warning about the Stunticons: "They can join together to form Menasor -- and trust me, we do not want that." Try to imagine Peter Cullen saying it. You just can't.)

So a promising opening chapter has led into a sub-par second installment. Hopefully things will pick back up with issue 3.


  1. I'm curious as to how much Transformers comics you've read beyond what you've reviewed here, and how important fidelity to G1 is to you. Because James Roberts has been killing it on Transformers comics for IDW for the past few years, but fidelity to the Sunbow years is not a priority there. Those comics actually got me back into comics after a layoff, so I'm wondering if you've thought of looking into them.

    1. Well, I love my G1 and Sunbow is my preferred continuity -- though I fully recognize there were plenty of flaws and some pretty bad episodes in the original series. But I also like the original Marvel and Marvel U.K. runs, and I loved the BEAST WARS show.

      As I noted when I covered Dreamwave's stuff a couple years back, I really liked their ongoing G1 comics and it still bothers me just a tiny bit to this day that the series was unable to continue.

      However I did follow the franchise over to IDW and I read everything they published up through ALL HAIL MEGATRON. I really liked what Simon Furman was doing as far as reinventing the G1 continuity, and I was really upset when IDW unceremoniously dumped him in favor of AHM, which basically took a huge, torrential leak all over everything he'd built. At that point I jumped ship and I've never looked back since.

      That said, I have read about how great all the various ongoing TF comics are right now, and I occasionally get a brief desire to check them out, but I'm generally worried that at best, they won't live up to expectations and/or will be too far removed from the sorts of Transformers stories I like, and at worst I'll hate them. Some of the stuff I'm aware they've done, like making Bumblebee a leader, reforming Skywarp, and having Megatron choose to serve as an Autobot for a while, just feel dumb to me.

      Generally speaking, I do favor a classic G1 setup over anything else. I like the Autobots and Decepticons as robots in disguise, fighting their war on Earth. Move too far away from that, and I begin to lose interest.