In the comments of my last Transformers comic review my friend Sean mentioned that IDW and Hasbro are bringing the Visionaries toyline to their Hasbro Comic Universe. I don’t know what the new history is (we’ve seen them alter MASK enough that the old story is probably gone) and since I was never a big fan of the show or toyline (despite my favorite movie being a fantasy and growing up with Masters Of The Universe I rarely enter the genre) I don’t really care. But for you nostalgia lovers out there this week’s Showcase should be welcome.

So come with us to the planet Prysmos, who joins Skalorr and Symbion in the list of post-apocalyptic alien worlds, where science is dead and magic is the order of the day. The toyline used lenticular holograms to showcase their magical power and those of the vehicles. Star Comics produced a short-lived series and a cartoon by Sunbow and TMS was also produced, which only lasted one season since the toyline they were based on did not succeed. Tonight we’ll look at the first episode to give you an idea what the original series was about and those of you with interest in the IDW comics can compare if they got it right or if it’s another MASK, which was a good comic but a terrible adaptation.

From what little memory I have of the show and a quick refresher on Wikipedia I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Merklynn was behind the event that killed technology on Prismos. He’s a real jerk and is basically using both sides to pursue whatever goal he had. The show ended before anything was realized. The special powers of the non-staff owners was the ability to energize leftover vehicles with magic, thus bringing them back to life and using their own magic gifts. Because we aren’t letting a little thing like dead technology stop us from selling vehicles in our toylines! I think even the Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves toys had vehicles somehow.

Why did the toys fail? I don’t know. It’s not my kind of toyline and I can only assume not enough kids disagreed with me. But I know a few people who did honestly like the toys, or at least the cartoon and comic. Nostalgia is a funny thing. It isn’t just the popular things at the time that people remember.

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About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. Sean says:

    I certainly heard lots of voice actors from GI Joe and Transformers in this episodes of Visionaries. Thank you for showing the first episode on your site. For me, I like Visionaries because it’s that mix of science fiction and fantasy that I enjoy so much. Also, I like how this cartoon uses the concept of animal totems to represent qualities and powers of many of the characters. The cartoon only lasted one season and the comic book from Star/Marvel only lasted six issues. And you’re correct in that the toys weren’t as popular as other 1980s toylines.. Even so, there is a loyal following of Visionaries fans. For instance, the first issue of IDW’s Transformers vs. Visionaries mini-series sold out so quickly in December 2017/early January 2018, that IDW had to send out a second edition of issue 1 later in January 2018. Yesterday, I picked up issues #1 and 2 of the five issue mini-series. Issue #3 comes out later this month. I read those two issues yesterday and am pleased with what I read and saw. I will share my thoughts about the new comic series later today because now I have to head out to visit my parents. Later today, I will write a 2nd posting on here to talk about the first two issues of Transformers vs. Visionaries.

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  2. Sean says:

    Yesterday, I picked up issues #1 and 2 of IDW’s Transformers vs. Visionaries comic book at my local comic shop. On Saturday afternoon, I read both issues, and my final verdict is that I am pleased with this new comic series, and I look forward to picking up the next three issues of this five issue mini-series. Yes, the Visionaries of 2018 are different from those of 1987, but I still like it. The Visionaries characters all look different. For example, Merklynn in 1987 was a wise looking old wizard with a long beard. He reminded one of the mythical Merlin the Magician from British lore. But the new Merklynn is a bald headed, cone headed skinny man who looks rather creepy. Virulina, Cindar, Witterquick, Cindarr, and Galadria look different from their 1987 versions. Leoric is vastly looking different now. In 1987, this leader of the Spectral Knights looked kind of like Tom Selleck (Magnum PI) with his handlebar moustache. Now the 2018 version of Leoric is an African American man with a flowing mane of blond dreadlocks. But I think this makes sense because dreadlocks’s cultural importance is that they are meant to resemble the mane of a lion (an African animal), dreadlocks are an important hairstyle in African and Afro-Caribbean cultures, and Leoric’s totem animal is the lion and part of his name (Leo) indicates the zodiac symbol of Leo the Lion. Add that Leoric is now African American, and his name, hair, and lion totem connect him with Africa where the lion resides. The Visionaries invaded Cybertron due to the destruction of their world of Prysmos. The invasion of Cybertron was a failure, and the Visionaries now live under Cybertron in a refugee settlement known as New Prysmos. The Transformers are uneasy about the presence of these organics in their midst and are watching them carefully. Some Transformers that appeared in both issues include Kup, Ironhide, Wheeljack, and Breakdown. I don’t want to give away everything that happens, but basically Virulina (working at the direction of Merklynn) declares a genocidal war against the Transformers in order to take over Cybertron and transform the whole planet into New Prysmos. The first victim of her genocide is when Virulina kills Kup. Just so you know, Kup will be not be coming back. At the end of issue #1, there was an article saying that this really is Kup’s total demise. This character was totally new to me, so I have no emotions about it. But perhaps you have something to say about Kup’s demise, Shadowwing Tronix. The Spectral Knights under Leoric’s leadership are now joining the side of the Transformers. They want to stop Merklynn, Virulina, and the other Visionaries and refugees from accomplishing the genocide against the Transformers. In conclusion, I’m impressed with the artwork and the story. Yes, it’s not totally like 1987’s Visionaries, but I recognize that changes can happen when a creative property is revisited 30 years later. My opinion is that all Visionaries fans and Transformers fans should buy this five issue mini-series.

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  3. Sean says:

    Last thing I want to say is that Hasbro is very clever business wise in reviving these 1970s and 1980s creative properties that it owns. If Hasbro gets the Visionaries into movies, then the resultant 21st century Visionaries will end up selling much better than the 1980s Visionaries toys ever did. Lots of money will continue to fill Hasbro’s bank accounts for sure!

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  4. Sean says:

    Sorry…one more thing I forgot to mention. The version cover of issue #2 that I picked up is the cover that has some of the classic 1980s Visionaries characters on it. The characters and other artwork on the cover was drawn to look exactly like the 1987 cartoon and Star comics version. That cover was a nice nostalgic look. These Visionaries inside the comic book look different for sure, but I still can detect the Visionaries vibe about them unlike IDW’s 2016/2017 M.A.S.K. that to me did not seem to have much of any of the classic 80s M.A.S.K. vibe.

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