Friday Flashback – Transformers

Friday Flashback is where I look back at the books, films, TV shows and million and one other things that have inspired me over the years in my art, story telling and well... life! This week I'm have a look at a series of comics: Transformers!



There have been several publishers of the Transformer comic book over the years and the one that I read and adored as a child was the Marvel UK edition from back in 80s (The titles first publication was back in 1984). As a kid once a week I would pop into my local news agents on the Saturday and pick up the two comics I had on standing order, 2000AD and Transformers. (Yes, we were lucky in the UK we got a Transformers comic every week, not monthly!).


The Marvel UK Transformers series ran for 332 issues including 7 annuals and 28 specials (many of which are still wedged in my parents attic). The Marvel UK edition was a weekly publication that spliced original stories into the continuity of the reprinted Marvel US monthly issues, these were mostly written by Simon Furman. In the beginning, due to the weekly publication format allowing more time for characterisation and story telling, the UK comic had a more serious and science fiction approach in comparison to its US counterpart.




Something else unique to the UK edition was Simon Furman's efforts to maintain a continuity with The Transformers: The Movie, where he wrote several stories set in the future after the movie's ending, as well as bringing characters from the future, such as Galvatron into the present day story arc.

As with all good things the comic finally came to end, however the UK editions have enjoyed numerous reprints over the years by Marvel UK, Titan Books and more recently IDW Publishing.



For me the Transformer comics held much more than the cartoon show which to memory digressed into a simple formula of skirmishes over Energon Cubes as the episodes went by. Recently I picked up some of the IDW reprints, both the UK and US editions, and I must admit the the US versions are not a patch on the UK comics, and that is not just nostalgia talking either. I had to really push myself to get from one comic to the next when it came to the US versions, a real shame. Or not! The UK versions are still just as good as they were from all those years ago, a solid mix of fantastic art and story telling.

If you like the Transformers, films or otherwise, grab yourself some of the UK reprints of the comics. They are simple awesome!


 



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