Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Transformers #10, 1985.

Transformers, More Than Meets The Eye! So, looking back, I didn't really collect as many Transformers comics as I thought I did. I bought way more G.I.Joe comics. There's kind of a reason why I didn't buy too many Transformers books and I'll get into that as we go. So picking one to review was pretty easy, because this one was far and away my favorite for a very long time. However, as I went back and read it, I really wasn't that impressed. This comic is beat the hell up though and I remember reading it over and over as a kid, so as a kid, I enjoyed it. Marvel actually came up with most of the back story for Hasbro in addition to the cartoon, but there was a difference vibe going on in the cartoon that I liked a lot better. A lot of stuff didn't translate to the comic very well. A lot of things. But we'll get to those later.

Anyways, so this one opens with Shockwave talking to Optimus Prime's severed head. Early on in the series, Shockwave arrived and totally takes out most of the Autobots and in the process, Optimus gets his head chopped off. During this time, Megatron is also pretty hurt and Shockwave keeps him on the disabled list by attaching him to some kind of machine that just barely keeps him alive. This plotline actually took awhile to get through, I think it was about 12-14 issues, which is forever in terms of reading a comic book series. That's over a year with your best hero and villain both on the shelf and reduced to minor roles. Not good. This is kind of reason #1 as to why I didn't collect the Transformers title, Optimus was my favorite, and why should I buy a comic book that doesn't feature him or his arch-nemesis, when I could watch them beat the crap out of each other every afternoon on TV for free? Even 10-year-old Tyler saw this as a no brainer.

Anyways, it's also revealed that Shockwave was able to steal the Creation Matrix along with Optimus' head, and he doesn't waste any time creating new villains. He introduces his new creations as the Constructicons, because, well, they all look like construction equipment, like cranes, bulldozers, cement trucks and so on. Optimus' severed head doesn't like this development but he can't do anything about it, because he's just a head.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, aka: The Ark, the Autobots are making some repairs and talking to some guy in a suit, basically providing expository dialogue, just in case you weren't up to speed on some of the recent plotlines.

Bumblebee breaks this up with a report. He's keeping an eye on the badguys and reports that Lazerbeak and the Constructicons took out a military base. Prowl tells him to follow them to see where they go and that he'll send a team along to help.

Cutting back to Shockwave and Optimus' severed head, and Shockwave reveals that the Constructicons weren't his only creations. He unveils...Jetfire (who was called Skyfire for some reason in the cartoon) and he will bring about the destruction of the Autobots. Or not. I didn't buy the next couple of issues, but I'd probably put money on not if I were a gamblin' man.

Anyways, to fast forward through a bunch of stuff, we finally get to the part where there are robots fighting each other, which to me, was the whole point of buying the comic. The Constructicons build a giant satellite dish (because they're good at building stuff) and Soundwave plugs in and tries to dial up Cybertron. Well, the Autobots figure out what is going on and, it's clobberin' time! Wait a second, I think that's a Registered Trademark. Ok, it's Robot Smashing Time™!

But before we get to that, I'd like to bring up another one of the major problems I had with the comic: the transformations sucked. Normally the artists can draw a ok car or truck or plane, and they can draw kick-ass robots, but the transition from ok car or truck or plane into kick-ass robot pretty much left a lot to be desired. For example:

See what I'm sayin? How much does that suck? And there's no way that the cool transforming sound that they used in the cartoons could translate into the comic. I've seen a lot BA-DOOMs and KA-BLAMMOs in my day that get the job done when used correctly, but you just can't replicate that sound with words. However, I used to do the sound while I was reading the book. I'm pretty sure that was the only solution.

A second thing I really could have done without was all of the human characters they introduced during the series. Every issue had a least one to three new humans in it and you could never really keep up with them, because they would be gone just as fast as they were introduced. This issue introduced a dude named "Bomber Bill". He's a truck driver. He goes on to help the Autobots as much as he possibly can, but he's a human and he really can't do all that much against giant metal robots. in fact they kind of have to stop what they're doing to save him a couple of times while they're fighting the Decepticons, which is not an easy thing to do. I'm just sayin' that this comic could have used a lot less of Bomber Bill and a lot more of robots beating the crap out of each other.

Getting back on track, so we finally get to the part where the Constructicons reveal their deadly secret: they can combine into a super giant robot named Devastator. They didn't just randomly name him Devastator, he can back up his talk. In fact, he proceeds to start tearing into the Autobots right after the transformation is complete and we finally get to see them start beating the crap out of each other. It's about time.

So this one ends with what was basically the hallmark of the Transformers comic series; the classic Good News/ Bad News ending. Good News: they saved Bomber Bill (or was that bad news?) and no one got seriously hurt or deactivated. Bad News: Soundwave was able to send a message to Cybertron, they got their asses kicked by Devastator, and Optimus Prime's head is still severed from his body. Mmmmm, not a very balanced ending now that I think about it. Like I said, upon rereading it, I really wasn't that impressed, but you could kind of see why kids would eat this stuff up. So there you go, Transformers #10, sort of entertaining.

1 comment:

Ahi said...

Wow, I think at 10 I could have drawn better transformations. I think you could cut 'em some slack though. It's one thing to get a drawing to look cool in pencil, but then you have to turn it over to someone else to ink it, then color it. So things could have just gotten really cheesy once they were all filed in with one solid color that had actually looked cool and full of motion when they were black and white.