I didn’t get to the comic store over the weekend. I’m hoping to make the trip on Monday due to other things I need to do but we’ll see what happens.
Marvel (February, 1986)“A World In Chaos” WRITER/ARTIST: Herb Trimpe COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Janice Chiang EDITOR: Bob Harras
An Earth scout ship crashes on the planet Skalorr, and the crew meets the Robotix, giant robots engaged in a continuing civil war. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Sunbow ripped off Transformers when they created the story, and this is an adaptation of the first few episodes of the miniseries, later turned into a movie. The Earthlings make friends with the good guys, the Protectons, but some of them would rather side with the Terrorkors after learning they have a ship they could use to leave. Both sides used to be living beings until a cosmic storm and malfunctioning computer lead to four on each side being transferred to the robots they planned to use to rebuild their planet. With a human at the controls, the Robotix can reconfigure their parts at will. And so the battle begins between the two sides for control of Compu-Core and the fate of the galaxy.
What they got right: Since this is an adaptation of the miniseries/special I’ll look at both. The “interface” angle was a good way to use the building toy’s ability to be built any way the builder (usually kids) wanted to since they’re obviously not going to tear the robots apart. You also get some human characters to connect to and be drawn into the world of Skalorr. I do like the backstory. However….
What they got wrong: Sunbow ripped themselves (and Hasbro) off by basically using the Transformers’ idea of two robot groups at war, even if these robots were carrying the life essence of non-robot being rather than being living robots. The base idea is the same and as the ad above showed not what the toys originally were. (Although for the length of the show they start using Protectons and Terrorkors. This was later dropped by both Milton Bradley and the company that bought the rights, who resumed the idea of human-controlled robotic vehicles.) Also, since they used to be “flesh creatures” themselves, seeing the Terrorkors using that term or the Marvel Decepticon word “fleshlings” seems a bit weird.
Recommendation: At least here in the states the only way to see the special is the internet or bootlegs and this is only the first two or three chapters of the special/miniseries. (It aired as part of a programming block called “Super Week”, later “Super Sunday”. This is also where Jem and friends made their cartoon debut.) While the adaptation has a few hitches it’s overall a good story worth checking out if you come across it.