Transformers: Generation One #1
Dreamwave (April, 2002)WRITER: Chris Sarracini PENCILER: Pat Lee INKER: Rob Armstrong BACKGROUNDS: Edwin Garcia COLORIST: TheRealT! LETTERING: Dreamer Design GRAPHIC DESIGN: Paul Villafuerte
How do we show we’re adult now? Megatron kills a guy while his fellow lookout is taking a leak. This gives you an example of how we’re going to do things around here. Not that this pisses on the franchise because it doesn’t but forget the kids, they have Armada. The backstory is told through a fake new article at the back of the book. In 1999 the Earth got tired of Decepticons messing up the place and the governments of the world united to join the Autobots in finally bringing them down, but with a heavy cost. Afterwards The Ark II was built not only to bring the Decepticon prisoners to Cybertron but human envoys who would establish proper ties with the Autobots. Considering what we learn in the next miniseries there are problems with this plan but I’ll get into that there. Not that it matters because for unexplained reasons the ship exploded and presumably killed everyone, including Sparkplug (who is from Cleveland now for some reason).
Now your obligatory secret military group (who is actually named in the aforementioned article along with the guy in charge, Colonel Hallo…because “Lazarus” wasn’t enough biblical naming for this story apparently) approaches Spike. There is a good few seconds showing young Daniel of this continuity. As Lazarus shows Megatron to another buyer and explains he found the Transformers and reprogrammed them to follow his commands (although even now Megatron bows to no human), Hallo shows the picture of Megatron attacking the South American rebels (the peeing guy and his friend were part of that) and that they WERE able to find a Transformer of their own…Optimus Prime!
What they got right: I’m not a fan of continuing a continuity we weren’t privy to (even in this story this isn’t the cartoon continuity…Buster gets name dropped for example), but at least they do a decent job telling us how we got to this point via the article and mild exposition.
What they got wrong: Let’s get the art issues out of the way first. The humans have blank expressions that ranks somewhere between dull surprise and not really caring on the character’s part. Probably the laziest thing, however, is that you can tell they just used the Autobot symbol from a Transformers fan-made font and put it on Optimus’s shoulders. I can’t draw the symbol well either but I’m not a supposedly “superstar” artist who fought for one of the most coveted nostalgia licenses of the time, and I would still at least try to put the symbol in the art itself!
Then there’s the story. There’s the obligatory autonomous military body that no military would put together or be allowed to put together, even under a President and Congress body who like the government in charge of our existence. This of course comes with the janitor warning Spike that they aren’t what they seem, just in case you weren’t convinced they were going to be the bad guys later on. Lazarus and both of the clients we’ve seen so far talk like nobody has heard of the Transformers before while obviously everyone has heard of them, as they fought a war with them! Lazarus even uses Hound as his personal jeep. In the Arctic. An open-aired jeep. Lazarus is kind of stupid is what I’m saying.
Recommendation: Thankfully Sarracini will be replaced from the second miniseries on and this one ends up rather inconsequential. It’s not worth the trouble.