Transformers Universe was a line of repainted Transformers, some dating back to the first two lines (the original and Generation Two) up to the original Robots In Disguise (using the Car Robot molds). Some of the colors were pretty cool and some were…not very good. This series tries to work with the backstory given and form a narrative running alongside the other 3H series, the Beast Machines era The Wreckers, that I finished reviewing prior to my last hiatus.
Transformers Universe #1
3H Productions (Winter, 2004)
STORY: Glen Hallit & Dan Khanna
WRITER: Simon Furman
PENCILER: Dan Khanna
INKERS: Serge Lapointe, Chuck Gibson, & Terry Pallot
COLORING: Hi-Fi Design, Blond, & Dan Khanna
LETTERER: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
POST PRODUCTION/ASSIST: Blue Olive Studios
One year after the events of the Beast Machines cartoon, five time displaced Autobots–Trailbreaker, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Roulette, and Shadow Striker (the last two were Botcon exclusives)–arrive back on the now technorganic Cybertron. They’re greeted by Cheetor, Rattrap, Blackarachnia, and Silverbolt, but the celebration is cut short when the Autobots. Blackarachnia, and Silverbolt are hit with bursts of energy and disappear. They find themselves on an unfamiliar world, being attacked by strange creatures while their rage starts trying to take over. They are then taken prisoner by other Transformers who claim to come from across the multiverse…and serve Unicron! Back on Cybertron, Primus and Alpha Trion call on their only hope, Optimus Primal!
What they got right: The concept of Transformers drawn across the multiverse to do battle is an interesting one. It’s neat to see Trailbreaker, Sideswipe, and Sunstreaker in their classic forms mingling with the Maximals.
What they got wrong: Of course Furman is going to use Primus and Unicron (granted, I think the latter was part of the toys’ backstory anyway), although how much was Furman and how much were Hallit and Khanna I can’t really say). There is no explanation why some of the characters have new bodies shortly after arriving, Silverbolt getting a purple version of his old Fuzor body, while Blackarachnia gets a garish color makeover and Trailbreaker is from what I can tell the exact same he was before they were transported to the surface of Unicron. And if you were a fan of Smokescreen, and alternate universe version of him is killed by an alternate version of Hoist from Transformers Armada.
Recommendation: Some good ideas, and again I can’t tell how much was story and how much was writer, but there are some minor issues that I hope doesn’t get worse as we move on. Recommended for the curious but for the rest of you wait and see where this goes.