Saturday, July 14, 2012

THE TRANSFORMERS: Regeneration One

NEW!! Transformers: Regeneration One #81 - When I heard that IDW was bringing back the creative team from the original Marvel Comics run of The Transformers, I was skeptical but intrigued!  Generation One died with issue #80 back in 1991!!  21 years feels like several lifetimes to me.  However, my love of Transformers has never died...I still collect the toys and am a fan of the current televised incarnation, Transformers: Prime.  I also loved last years' Transformers: War For Cybertron video game and eagerly await the sequel.  However, the orginal comics...I have to say, I own the whole set but I'm in no rush to go back and struggle through some of them.  On the other hand, many of the best characterizations and most interesting elements of Transformers lore came from the Marvel run of The Transformers.  So it was with mixed feeling that I purchased Transformers: Regeneration One #81, a direct continuation of the original comic by the creative team of Simon Furman, Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville, all of whom also worked on issue #80 back in 1991 (and of course several other issues leading up to same!)  Furman, in particular, is practically synonymous with Transformers fiction, contributing as much or more to the mythos as any other writer, ever! 

So how was it?  Join me after the JUMP to find out!

The story, titled "Loose Ends Part 1" was typically Furmanesque, which means that it's a slow build into a new story arc with some interesting characterization, a few tantalizing hints of things to come and at least one major WTF moment!  Almost surprisingly, it doesn't feel particularly dated.  At the same time, it might be a little TOO respectful.  This is such dangerous ground to tread.  The main story arc so far focuses on Kup, the grizzled veteran of a thousand wars, and his disillusionment with the way that Autobot leadership has been handled since the defeat of the Decepticons and the recolonization of Cybertron back in issue #80.  In story time it has ALSO been 21 years, and it's been a long time with not enough action for Kup, not to mention for his friends The Wreckers!!  He feels that Optimus Prime hasn't been himself since being killed by Unicron and then brought back to life through the magic of, well, magic (issues 75-80 of the Marvel series).  He may be right!  We don't know...

On the other side of the (interrupted) hostilities, we have a handful of Decepticons still operating on their own agenda!  In particular I was happy to see Soundwave, always one of my favourites, trying in his own subtle way to remain useful to the 'Cons, stationed on Cybertron and stirring up trouble.  He's contacted by another infamous Con, the "Master of Metallikato" and one time Decepticon leadership contender, Bludgeon!  Bludgeon has a plan and he needs Soundwave to help him implement it!  Perhaps the Autobots are not as secure in their "victory" as we might believe!

Oh and what of Optimus Prime?  Is Kup right?  We only see him for two pages in this entire comic but it's clear that there IS something wrong with the Autobots' greatest hero.  He appears haunted by the spectre of the greatest evil ever to threaten the Transformers universe...the chaos bringer himself...UNICRON.  Vision of things to come or hallucination brought on by the trauma of being killed by the planet eater?  I suspect it will be many, many issues before we can say for sure...

You'll notice I didn't mention the cover-bot of this new series.  What of MEGATRON???  Foolish human, that would be giving away too much!

At the end of the day I enjoyed this "new" issue of what was once my first comic book.  However, I'm just not sure if it'll be a worthy successor to the madness and genius of the original series.  That might have been too much a product of it's own era to really ever be added to in this day and age.  Regardless, I'll give Transformers: Regeneration One the chance and read at least the first 6 issues in good faith!  Who knows, maybe you CAN go home again, if your home happens to be the planet CYBERTRON!

Oh, to see the rest of the free 5-page preview, follow THIS LINK to!  Enjoy!

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