Simon Furman

Transformer UK Comics – Space Pirates

I must confess that this was probably the collection I was looking least forward to reviewing, but upon re-reading it found that it contained some of the strongest stories in the UK run, the highlight of course, being ‘Salvage’. With a pair of short stories set in the present day continuing the Galvatron plot, and then the main event, Space Pirates, there are plenty of touches to keep even the most hardened cynic happy.

Salvage begins with two Mechanoids being dredged from the River Thames – namely Megatron and Centurion (how they got there is covered in the Transformers / Action Force crossover, and I have a feeling rights issues means it can’t be reprinted, sadly enough). Hilariously enough though, it is a certain Richard Branson doing the dredging. Bless him and his little smile!

Of course, Shockwave has other plans. Looking for a weapon he can use against Galvatron, he steals back Megatron himself and has a psychoprobe attempt to snap him out of his cataconic state, a task involving sending Megatron into his own nightmares, facing both Prime and Straxus. › Continue reading

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Thursday, March 5th, 2009 Media 4 Comments

Transformer UK Comics – The Legacy Of Unicron

Now I shall gear up into exploring another of the Titan Transformer trades, in this case The Legacy Of Unicron which collects two storylines set in the future, and two smaller stories set in the present that continue the tale of Galvatron

The Legacy Of Unicron

 

We kick off with Headhunt, a very cool two-parter set in the future and featuring everyone’s favourite homicidal killing machine, Death’s Head! Last we saw him, Rodimus Prime forcibly transported him back to the future to prevent him killing Galvatron, but more importantly in Death’s Head’s eyes, cheating him out of his bounty. Death’s Head is a robot, so I’m not really sure what he spends all this money on, but I would like to think that it is on cheap whores. Or hoovers, whatever the robot equivilant is. › Continue reading

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Thursday, February 26th, 2009 Media 3 Comments

Transformers UK Comics – Fallen Angel

So we continue this whistlestop tour of some of the best Transformers collections with one of my favourites – Fallen Angel, which collects the return of Galvatron and the Fire On High storyline. And of course, the introduction of Death’s Head!

Fallen Angel

On a similar note, I absolutely love the cover art for this trade paperback. Remember, these things are larger than usual graphic novels because in the UK comics were A4 sized, so it looks really really nice.

Galvatron, at the end of Transformers the Movie, is hurled into space by Rodimus Prime. And thats where the comic and the cartoon diverge (the UK never really got the third season, you see). In the comic, he has kept his time travel device from Target: 2006 and uses it to travel back in time to present day Earth (and crash landing at high speed). › Continue reading

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Thursday, February 19th, 2009 Media 7 Comments

Transformers UK Comics – Prey

It seems I got a decently positive reaction from my last piece, so I’ll continue by looking at Prey. Now in an attempt to encourage people to buy the trades, I’ll look at the other story in the Prey TPB as well, Grudge Match.

Both of these were favourites when I was little. And one of the best things was that coming back to them as an adult (and a postgraduate student in English literature) was how fantastically well they were written, how well Furman can write both touching characterisation and epic plots interwoven in the same story, with just a tiny page count to do it in.

Aren’t I nice to you all!

So, without further ado…

Prey

 

We open with Optimus Prime reviewing the events of Target:2006, and worrying quite profusely. Namely that the first thing the Autobots did without him to let Megatron lead them, which given that he is commander of the Decepticons probably wasn’t the sanest thing do to. And now there is the added crisis of the Decepticon’s fully-operational spacebridge sending constant reenforcements. And shoud he die, what will the Autobots do then?

So he sets upon a… rather macabre plan – he will get Wheeljack to create a duplicate of himself so he can pretend to be dead and see how the Autobots will react, and at the same time as everyone believes he is dead, destroy the Decepticon’s spacebridge. Prime, you scally, its almost like reality TV! › Continue reading

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Thursday, February 12th, 2009 Media 5 Comments

Transformers UK Comics – Target: 2006

Recently there has been a surge of interest in Transformer comics generally, from the ill-fated Dreamwave era, to the steady IDW era. But how did it all start? What about the ones in the eighties? Surely they were just for little kids, and not worthy of a read by serious comic readers? Here, I plan to show you guys some of the best Transformers comics, and heck, comics period, that I have read. Prepare to be educated.

One of the defining points of my childhood was this thing. A little bit of background though first. The US Transformer comic was… mediocre at best. But when it came to porting it over to the UK there came a problem. UK comics were half the size pagewise of the US versions, but came out weekly (and boy, do I miss those days). So someone had to write more tales. Enter Simon Furman

Mr Furman didn’t just write filler stories to tread water until the US tales came out. He wrote massive, sweeping epics, small personal tales, which more importantly, didn’t contradict the US comics but made a massive universe. It actually became a story about this huge civil war fought by gigantic robots. And since they were robots, Marvel UK didn’t really care what he did. Some of my childhood nightmares were full of beheadings, eye-gougings and that one issue where the Autobot Micromaster military patrol were captured and dissected alive. Little Matty-Boy didn’t sleep much that week. › Continue reading

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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 Media 7 Comments