About the Author:
Simon Furman began writing comics in the UK but later began writing for the American market. He now works primarily in animation as a scriptwriter.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Transformers: All Fall Down
(Art by Andrew Wildman, Stephen Baskerville, Harry Candelario and Bob Lewis)
The UK editions of these stories were my first introduction to the world of comics (barring the Beano and the Dandy, of course) and, after watching 'Transformers: The Movie' for the first time in a decade, I bought this book out of nostalgia. I was pleased to discover that the stories of the robots in disguise were as enjoyable as ever (although I don't have the toys to reenact the battles any more!).
This is the penultimate book in the series and deals with the desperate preparations for the coming of Unicron (imagine the Death Star as a Transformer). Although there's a full cast of characters here, four of them take centre stage. The first is, unsurprisingly, Optimus Prime who has to face the disapproval of his fellow Autobots in order to unite the Transformers against Unicron. The second is Prime's opposite number, the Decepticon leader Scorponok who similarly has to go against his very nature and agree to peace. However, he is also faced by a rebellion against his leadership which threatens his relations with Prime. Next there's Galvatron. He has been pulled out of an alternate future to serve Unicron and the temporal ramifications and his hatred of his master have driven him insane. Galvatron battles against his own rage whilst secretly plotting against Unicron. The final primary character is my old favourite; Grimlock. Warlike and rebellious, Grimlock mutinies against Optimus Prime in order to use an ustable energy source to revive his beloved team-mates, the Dinobots. Grimlock is a wonderfully ambiguous character in a series which has always been clearly defined as Autobots=Good and Decepticons=Bad.
The best bit here is where we finally learn the true origins of Unicron, Cybertron and the Transformers themselves.
Followed by 'Transformers: End of the Road'.
4 out of 5
Transformers: End Of The Road
(Art by Andrew Wildman, Geoff Senior and Stephen Baskerville)
The end of the original run of Transformers comics picks up exactly where 'All Fall Down' left off; with the appearance of Unicron in the skies of Cybertron. The first quarter of the book therefore deals with a classic 'last stand' scenario as Autobots and Decepticons alike become both heroes and martyrs. We are then shown the aftermath, as Cybertron is wracked by seismic upheaval and the alliance between the Autobots and the Decepticons begins to break down.
Once more there are several key characters amid a cast of dozens. Optimus Prime and his Powermaster partner Hi-Q are vital, as the leaders of the Autobots and their guiding conscience. Grimlock rises to a position of unprecedented power but is troubled by the side effects of the energy source which he used to revive fallen Autobots for the battle against Unicron. Attempting to make the alliance work are Prowl and Bludgeon, both of whom become disillusioned with their opposite numbers. However, where Grimlock was the most interesting character in the last book, here it is Galvatron; who is still mentally unstable after being torn from his own timeline in an alternate future.
Surprisingly, it is Galvatron who manages to cement the resistance against Unicron and he briefly becomes almost heroic. However, his mental state begins to unravel once more when he encounters the revived Megatron; his past self in an alternate reality. Ultimately he finds himself caught in a savage battle on Earth against the last Autobot on the planet; Fortress Maximus.
I liked the way in which the Transformer civil war ignites once more and spreads to an alien world (not Earth this time), where Autobot and Decepticon clash in one last battle royale. However, as with most long comic series which come to an end, the conclusion is somewhat abrupt and doesn't tie the story off in an entirely satisfactory way.
Where do the Decepticons go? How do the Autobots react to Prime's return? Are Rachet and Megatron dead? What of the Neo-Knights? None of these questions get an answer.
4 out of 5
Collaborations & Anthologies:
Transformers: The Definitive G1 Collections Volume 6 - Target: 2006 (here)