Transformers Timelines vol. 2 #3
Fun Publications (2008)
Oh, if I’d have realized this was finally coming I would have previewed it in Sunday’s post. We have finally reached a comic I have already reviewed back when it first came out. So what I’m posting today is the original review with some updated thoughts, if only to have it separate from my old “This Week’s Reviews” and give the comic it’s own article. I’ll be doing this from time to time but apparently it starts today. Although I do have to redo the comic credits since I’ve improved my format since those days.
DIAMOND EDITION COVER: Don Figueroa & Espen Grundetjern
MANAGING EDITOR: Pete Sinclair
EDITOR IN CHIEF: Brian Savage
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Lanny Lanthem
STORY: Pete Sinclair & Benson Yee
WRITER: Benson Yee
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Espen Grundetjern
LETTERER: Jesse Wittenrich
ARTISTS: Alex Milne & Makoto Ono
STORY: Pete Sinclair, Greg Sepelak, & S. Trent Troop
WRITERS: Greg Sepelak
ARTIST/LETTERER: S. Trent Troop
Every year, Fun Publications releases a comic during Botcon that comes packed in that year’s special redecoed toys. Sometimes old characters, sometimes new, they’re based in the TFU presented in Master Collector’s bi-monthy Transformers Club newsletter. This year offered up a “mirror universe” story, where Decepticons wage a battle to destroy the evil forces of the Autobots. (Kind of like certain Decepticon apologists in the fandom. I’m not making that up.) Cliffjumper, from a universe seen in a previous Timelines, finds himself in this world, not knowing who to trust when his friends are his enemies and his enemies are his friends.
Being a reprint from the summer convention, I’m not willing to put this in the “Best Scene of the Week” category, but I had to show off “Mirror” Hot Rod.
What they got right: Don’s art is as good as always, as is Espen’s coloring. The world created by the story opens itself for a potential series, and using Cliffjumper (a repaint of Bumblebee in the Universe line) to bring us into this flipped reality was a better idea than simply dropping us in and showing us everyone backwards. It could have ended up like the “April Fools” comic seen at the end of the story. (In fact, if the preview hadn’t been released on April 1, I would have thought this was what the comic was going to do. So did a few others, which is why the joke worked.) There is an attempt to give the characters a bit more depth than being just the mirror versions of their counterparts.
What they got wrong: That, however, is not easy in a one-shot story. Perhaps in a series, or mini-series, which I hope they do at some point. Perhaps they will, since the Club Magazine comic seems to be using a mirror character very well. He even seems to be mentioned here, but I may have only caught it because he was revealed in the last mag. Plus the whole mirror universe story has been done and redone so often, another entry isn’t exactly being clamored for.
Recommendation: Still, I’d say pick it up, especially if your part of the club and getting the magazine. It is a good story overall, and there are sequel text stories on the member site, plus a potential connection to the current Transtech story arc in the magazine.
UPDATED COMMENTS: I’m surprised I didn’t note that the April Fools story was done in the art style used in Transformers: Generation Two. Even back then I didn’t post spoilers in new comic reviews but that wasn’t a spoiler. Grimlock talks like a upper class British parody while Jazz talks like Mr. T and Goldbug just insults everybody and there’s even a nod to Furman’s “it’s over, finished” line that he uses way too often. (Being the mirror universe it ends up as “it’s finished, over!”)
The main story sees a version of Cliffjumper finding himself in the “Shattered Glass” universe and finds himself teaming with Megatron’s Decepticons because this version of Optimus is evil. It’s the obligatory mirror universe story after all, and even the Transformers couldn’t escape it. (Heck, the GoBots already did it on their show back in the 80s.) Here Optimus is preparing the famous Art trip but this time it’s to conquer the galaxy while searching for new energy resources and the Decepticons have to stop the launch. It’s very well done for a mirror universe tale. As for the story in the magazine (I was a club member at the time) I may do a Scanning My Collection article on the magazine story. Or at least the ones I have when I was subscribed to the Official Transformers Collectors Club.
Also, fun fact: Troop and Sepelak have turned their talents to the video review circuit, using puppets loosely based on the Muppet design to make The Isle Of Rangoon, a review show that now does mostly riffing videos than regular reviews. You can check it out here, and I recommend the review of “Rainbow Connection”, the song from The Muppet Movie and a tribute to the late Jim Henson. I joined many others in a cameo where they smartly hid my bad singing.
UPDATED RECOMMENDATION: I liked the story then and I still like it now. You still should get it when you can.