Transformers comic: More… Much more than meets the eye
During my childhood Saturday mornings were great. No school, sleep-in, wake up to some of the best cartoons of the time, but nothing gave me quite as much enjoyment as getting my latest Transformers comic arrive through the letterbox to read while I ate my cereal.
More than just a range of toys, The Transformers comic told one epic story ranging from their origins on their homeworld Cybertron, to their arrival on Earth 4,000,000 years ago and beyond. At one point we get a glimpse of The Transformers activities 20 years into their own future.
I still remember getting the first weekly issue #27, September 21st 1985. It had Shockwave transforming from robot to space gun on the cover and came with a free gift, a Cadbury Wildlife chocolate bar. Not only was it the first weekly issue it was also now in full colour.
The stories were captivating, both the U.S. and U.K. although I actually preferred some of the U.K. stories. They made such an impact on my young impressionable mind that many still reside in my head, The Wrath of Grimlock, Dinobot Hunt, Man of Iron and Target: 2006 (Simon Furman), to name but a small handful.
It wasn’t just the stories that were done well, the artwork was in a league of its own too. Some of my favourite comic book artwork is from The Transformers. Artists such as Geoff Senior and Lee Sullivan produced some memorable artwork for the series. One of my favourite pieces was by Senior, The Wrath of Grimlock (Collected Comics 6) cover.
Even more than meets the eye
It wasn’t just Transformers in the comic either, there was usually a supporting story from characters such as Machine Man, The Inhumanoids, Rocket Raccoon and even other Transformers stories in the second half of the comic. There were crossovers with Spider-man and G.I. Joe. Other characters made their debut, Circuit Breaker and Death’s Head, for example.
The comics conveyed a wide range of emotions. I know they’re almost 40 years old but I still don’t want to spoil it for others who may want to read them. There was humour, shock, horror and sad moments too. One story, City of Fear, even involved zombie Transformers on their homeworld, done well and not silly.
Transformers in other media
The Transformers played a big part in my childhood, whether that be in the form of the comic, the toys or the animated television series. they never fail to bring a sense of nostalgia even now and I love the fact that the line is still going strong almost 30 years later. I decided I wasn’t going to delve into the toyline too much, nor go into the whole Diaclone history, for the sake of this post but I would recommend taking a look. It’s a fascinating backstory for one of the ’80s biggest toylines.
The series has been reprinted several times in various forms as well as scans of the original being made available online if you take the time to search. I highly recommend looking out for it. Fans of the movies may even find some similarities in there even if, in my opinion, the comic book tells the story so much better.