Transformers Classics #1 (Hundred Penny Press edition
reprint of The Transformers #1
IDW Publishing (June, 2011)
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics (September, 1984)PLOT: Bill Mantlo SCRIPT: Ralph Macchio PENCILER: Frank Springer INKER: Kim DeMulder LETTERERS: Higgins & Parker ORIGINAL COLORIST: Nel Yomtov IDW COVER ARTIST: Guido Guidi IDW RE-COLOR: Digikore Studios
Millions of years ago on the planet of Cybertron, life evolved as machines called “Autobots”. But Megatron, leader of a faction known as “Decepticons”, started a war for the future of the Cybertronian race and the planet itself. So mighty was the war that the planet was ripped from it’s orbit and sent hurtling through space. When that path headed for an asteroid belt, the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, race to blast a path through, only to be attacked by the Decepticons. They end up crashing on Earth, awakening centuries later in the year 1984. Their war is restarted and a boy named Buster Witwicky is destined to be drawn into their struggle.
What they got right: Note that a lot of my enjoyment of this comic comes from nostalgia. I love the Transformers, it’s my #1 fiction. We get a proper introduction to the Transformers and their situation, and we are also introduced to our human characters. The Autobots not realizing that the local lifeforms aren’t machines makes sense since this version never had any interaction with “carbon-based” lifeforms. (At least before the Ark took off.)
What they got wrong: Although one would think they would monitor communications and come across a TV signal. The real problem with the comic, if any, is the dialog. The way Macchio has the Transformers talk is a bit TOO proper, making the guys who use contractions stand out a bit more. There are also long discussions like Megatron warning Ravage to not switch sides that feel way out of place and came to nothing as Ravage’s loyalty was never in question through the entirety of the 80 issue run (plus two miniseries featuring stories in canon). On IDW’s side the lineart sometimes come off too dark. Whether this is something that should have been fixed in editing or was a result of the changes in printing since 1984 that couldn’t be fixed I can’t say, but it is noticeable when I compare it to my copy of the original Marvel comic. They also should have use the Marvel cover instead of a static shot of Optimus by a back background. (As nice as Guidi’s Prime is.)
Recommendation: This is a piece of history and unless you bought an Optimus Prime reissue that came with the comic or IDW’s previous reprint this is a must have for any Transformers fan, and it’s only a dollar. You can’t beat that price.
Tomorrow’s (old) Comic> Amelia Rules #0 FCBD edition