Thursday, June 30, 2011

COMICS THAT MADE ME A FAN: 'Optimus Prime Autobot Killer!' - Transformers #12

With every man and his Ravage currently checking out the latest Transformers blockbuster, I thought it was time to pay tribute to a true piece of Generation One coolness, one that is partly responsible for the comic-nut I am today. It's Transformers #12 of the 80's Marvel series, and it has everything - but you can tell that from the cover can't you?

When I was seven I was about to swear off buying comics (not literally - Mum would've killed me). DC had disappeared from the local shelves and while our grocery store still carried four Marvel titles, it was really only the Transformer-ish Iron Man that stopped me from diverting all my hard earned pocket money to saving for Dinobots.

Then, between home and school one day I stumbled into a Ma and Pa type bookstore, where this cover screamed at me from the stand: 'Optimus Prime: Autobot Killer!'! Even if I brought nothing else all year, I had to read this comic!

What I found inside kept me collecting comics. Not only that, it is a prime example (no pun intended) of why comics rock; They can (and do) tell stories other mediums won't.

Inside, an Autobot scouting party are surprised to find Jetfire supposedly dropping the object of their search into a nearby swamp; the captured head of Optimus Prime.

Retrieving and reattaching Prime's likeness to his body, the Autobot leader suddenly opens fire on his former allies, starting with Prowl! Soon joined by Soundwave and his cassettes, the 'Bot's fear the worst - and with scenes like this, it's not hard to understand why;

What a panel! Meanwhile at Decepticon HQ, Buster (whose mind now houses the Creation Matrix) refocuses. Swapping the drills inches from his skull for taking control of Jetfire and using him to take the real head of Prime to his body, a human gives the Autobots a chance of hope.

Unnoticed by the gloating Soundwave, the swap Prime's body makes leads to a confrontation between the two I as a fan had waited for.

Okay, so I pictured it going a few more rounds than that - but what a punch! One that's going to need some panel-beating to hammer out!

With the 80's hardly a place for dragged out comics, the drama only picks up from there. Shockwave races to stop Prime ruining his master plan, a bunch of humans take the fight to Rumble, and the Autobots race to save Buster's head from been cracked open for it's treasure, like some kind of Kinder Surprise.

So if you see this book in your local back issue bin, don't leave it to rust! Herb Trimpe's art is as stunning on the inside as it is on the cover and Bob Budiansky brings the first major in-comic story arc of The Transformers to an end, with more power then a rugby field full of energon cubes. Look for it!


  1. Public Service Announcement: There are two rules when it comes to Transformers 3 . . . .
    DO NOT GO SEE TRANSFORMERS 3!!! the 2nd rule is DO NOT GO SEE TRANSFORMERS 3!!! i left the theater after about the first hour or so to see if i could get my $6.25 back. but they gave me a voucher for another movie instead which i'll use for Capt. America or Cowboys & Aliens.
    there was only 3 good things about what i saw. the premise was kinda interesting and how they tied it into history. shia's character was looking for work for part of the movie and it really did a good job of reflecting the nightmare exercise in futility job hunting is these days. and the other was a scene where the Autobots go to iran and trash it's nuclear program. if you hated the second movie then you'll hate this one that's all i can say. if you liked the 2nd one your a moron. if you go see this one your an even bigger moron. and if you saw this one and liked it you just don't deserve to reproduce cause the world has enough morons already.

  2. I'd pay to read your movie reviews Dave. That's the best T3 review I've read yet. I'm still laughing my ass off.

    It's nice to see I'm not the only one who wanted to see it DESPITE the hot liquid shitstorm that was the 2nd one.

  3. I will say that does fit what I've heard about this movie. That the first half is as bad or worse than the 2nd one, but the second half of the movie is the best of the entire trilogy. I've read he actually fleshed out the characters, giving the other Autobots personality, then in the very same reviews how the characterizations are as weak as in any of Bay's films.

  4. i sent you the link to my Youtube review but just in case here it is as well:

    i heard the 2nd half was better after i got home but i don't really care i just couldn't take it anymore.

  5. the Transformers comic book series started off a 1-4 mini-series. it took forever for the series to continue which i'm sure was the result of the toys and cartoon taking off. when issue 5 came out my friends and i were so stoked over it especially given the kick ass cover with Shockwave. issue 13 featured Megatron solo story which was kinda interesting. but the art work started to really decline after #12 and shortly there after the stories too. i think i stopped collecting the series at #17 or #18.

  6. Wow thanks for al;l the awesome comments Craig and Dave! You folks out there in reader land have to click on Dave's link for his youtube review! It's great stuff...

    I'm saving my cash and taking a pass on T3. I'll watch it when it finds it's way to telly, then I can chanel surf in the bits that tick me off.

    I agree Dave, the US Marvel series didn't take too long before it started having the creativity taken out of it, (20-21 were where I jumped off but bioy those last two were awesome!).

    Luckily the Marvel UK series which we also got here was all kinds of awesome. Galvatron took control of Jazz to destroy the Autobots and manipulated Starscream to destroy Megatron before revealing his true identity to him. Having crushed 'scream, Ironhide, Jetfire and more he was victorious, until Ultra Magnus decided to stop looking for a misplaced Prime and be the hero himself.

    I should post recaps of a few issues up so you folks stateside know what to look for. It really was awesome stuff.