The Other Truly Thrilling 30 Sunbow's Transformers Cartoon Series Turns 30
The day is Monday, September 17th, 1984. The 18th Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney was sworn in, and Reggie Jackson of the California Angels hit his 500th major league home run, becoming only the 13th person at that time to have done so. Not a very exciting day for most, but for some, this would be a day forever remembered.
You're going to see and be able to read a lot of articles today on the internet, specifically in the Transformers Fans' corner of it, and these will be about a certain birthday happening today. This is one of those articles. You're going to read about perspectives from people that were, with a fairly good chance of likelihood, about 5 to 7 years old on that date, who were captured by the premiere of a new cartoon series for the fall season called "The Transformers" on a Monday morning or afternoon. They'll talk very factually and sequentially about the history of the show and where it came from. They'll write well and give good reference for history down the road. This is not entirely one of those articles.
First, some of that base history but not too much, just to give some background. Marvel Comics' run of Transformers books had started in May, 1984, and had seen two published issues with a third to be shortly on the way in October. This was, of course, one channel through which to support the newly imported, rebranded toyline of the same name. The other was a joint production between Marvel Productions and Griffin Bacal's Sunbow Productions, a cartoon series designed to capture the attention of the children in Reagan's America with lots of action, little plot or continuity, and over the top, fun characterizations of the toys they could go have their parents buy on the local store shelves.
It was a simpler, peaceful time, when children ran through quiet streets with gumdrop smiles and wealth trickled down to the middle class and, and, um, wait a minute. I wasn't born yet. What the hell am I writing about?
This is not your typical retrospective, because it can't be. I wasn't born until almost a year after this cartoon premiered. I can't pretend to know what it was like when it came out. Suffice it to say, by the time I was aware of what a Transformer was and could follow along with any sort of cartoon or comic, the show was meandering the random scheduling of syndication and the toyline's only fictional support was in the form of the latter quarter of the Marvel comic run. So how on earth would someone that only hit the rough target age for "The Transformers" in 1990 fall in love with the franchise on a level so deep that close to his own 30th birthday, he still spends countless hours collecting toys, absorbing fiction, and writing long form articles about the brand? How could this happen when things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were new, hip, and vying for attention? The answer's quite simple: home video.
Through the magic of FHE's home video releases, over and over again even children like me born well in the middle of the heyday of The Transformers' success could relive the spectacle of 24 minute long toy advertisements. Given the rushed production schedule, the efforts of now legendary (within our hobby, at least) names such as Flint Dille, David Wise, Wally Burr, George Bloom, Floro Dery, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and countless other voice actors and production crew will never be forgotten by, well, probably anyone reading this site and almost definitely anyone bothering to read this article!
That picture perfect low-res reproduction, right in your own home.
The first season enjoyed by so many through either broadcast or VHS gave us some of the most memorable and joyful characterizations of fan favorites such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide, Bumblebee, Soundwave, Grimlock, the Constructicons, and so many others. For a very young child like what I was at the time, with undeveloped reading skills, these characterizations from the original animated cartoon will always stand out as the original and archetypical examples of those characters within my memory and subconscious.
Right, wrong, or both, my brain instantly says "Rumble" because of the cartoon.
Of course, the show went on for a good while and eventually would come the event that changed everything, at least at the time. This event is also a fond VHS memory, and yes, it's the first Transformers Movie released in 1986.
Having a copy of this amazing work only brought my interest in Transformers to a fever pitch, as between it, VHS copies of nearly all of season one, the continuing toy line, and the comic I had just begun to be able to understand, a fan for life was born. Regardless of your path, or what kind of fan you may be today, some significance can be found by tracing back to 30 years ago today.
Transformers, of course, has continued on persistently in some new animated form ever since, barring the time from 1988 through the start of Beast Wars in 1996 where only repackaged episodes of the original show were still used for various purposes. Even these new evolutions of the brand borrow heavily in spirit from the original show, with characters reusing lines, traits, and sometimes even actual voice actors.
Treacherous, has a crown, flies, yep. It's Starscream.
Even now if we look ahead, 2015 will bring us yet another cartoon series and the second one to be titled "Robots in Disguise", and this will surely be the crux of the franchise's focus next year. Transformers has taken many branching paths and become a multimedia force in Hasbro's brand stable, with never ending toy releases, ongoing comics, frequent video game releases, and of course live action movies. Despite all that, the brand persists on as big and as well as it does because of the cartoons and their influence. Television is a powerful medium, and it's unlikely that The Transformers will ever divorce itself from that medium for very long every again.
I'd be remiss to not also remember some of the fantastic voice contributors to the original cartoon that we've lost over the years, here on a day where we learned the sad news that Buster Jones, the iconic voice of Blaster, is no longer with us. Here's to also remembering the good times brought to us all by such amazing artists as Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers, Casey Kasem, Orson Welles, and others that I may have forgotten.
The legacy of the first Transformers cartoon is undeniable. Hopefully in another 30 years, I'll be back to write another one of these as a crotchety old man, still surrounded by rotting 60 year old plastic toys.
Tell your story in the comment thread below. Why did you, and why do you still, enjoy the original cartoon? Maybe you hate it, that's ok too. Either way, there's no denying the impact it has had, which must have been so unimaginable 30 years ago to the day.
REVELATIONS! The fate of an entire planet hangs in the balance as MEGATRON races to solve the dark riddle of Sector 113. As unseen forces move in for the kill and old friends reveal their true colors, the AUTOBOTS realize that everything—everything—is a lie. All this...and an open briefcase.
Plus a Swerve recap, of course
Death death death death lunch death death afternoon tea death. Pretty much sums up issue 32, the beginning of the Slaughterhouse chapter in More than Meets the Eye, as the DJD are shown - or rather, their aftermath - to make their way through a slightly different Lost Light. With one single, tiny survivor.
Be ready for some explanations that, while making sense even in the non-text world, might take some time to get around in James Roberts' enjoyment of them and the sci-fi genre. At the same time, Nightbeat and, especially, Nautica are still the mouthpieces for exposition, with some nice chemistry between them and with the reader's projection in Getaway and Riptide.
Doesn't get(away) it
What is also very good to see is a healthy dose of self-criticism, too, as Roberts appears to be aware of potential criticisms from the readership. Mostly humorous, but not only, and scattered throughout the book. And to top it all, we get one of possibly the biggest twists in this series' run so far - and it's pulled off twice!
Spoilers - have some Ravage
So far, one of my favourite MTMTE resolutions, after the issues I had with the Overlord and Remain in Light sagas - though I still have some concern for the denouement reserved to the Rewind plotline, and I do hope it gets addressed again before we get lost in Elegant Chaos. As something else seems to be set in motion, very briefly, in the epilogues, too..
Alex Milne's might alone was not enough for this issue, as two inkers join the lineart team to provide some delineation to different scenes - and both Brian Shearer and John Wycough work wonderfully with Milne's pencils, giving some particularly amusing facial expressions, some of which yet unseen in Milne's work alone. Especially Riptide.
What is definitely not unseen, however, is Joana Lafuente's (still) astonishingly good colouring work: from fading to quantum foam, to space, to interiors, different lights, flashbacks, mood settings, the colours really aid the reader in setting further the tone to the scene, if the lines and er.. lines were not enough already.
I mean, the lighting on that
The letters are once more by Tom B. Long, in a style that I have really come to enjoy, and even though there isn't much in terms of sound effects this time round, the title page and the uses of translucency for certain scenes is just part of the trademark visual quality of this series. Something proven by the variant covers too, from Sarah Stone's to Casey Coller and JP Bove, via the main Milne and Josh Perez haunting Rewind and Nick Roche and Josh Burcham (thumbnail) doing justice to the DJD.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This is a James Roberts Transformers comic script, no doubt about it. There is a lot of unpacking to be done once you read through (and even as you are reading, for that matter), and I'd be curious to see the wordcount for the script before and after the visual rendition - because there are a lot of words in this issue. A lot. And yet some of the better scenes can be completely silent. Especially the sweeter, and the more horrific ones. Be warned.
And that's where the art team come in, from Milne and Lafuente to Wycough and Shearer and cover artists, making everything flow so smoothly you almost forget about the atrocities, quantum mechanics, heart-wrenching tales of survival and general twistedness. Are we back on track, though, if the issue's conclusion is anything to go by? Or are we to face even more horrors on the Lost Light?
DECEPTICONS ASSEMBLE! The war for CYBERTRON begins in earnest! MEGATRON brings together the deadliest of his troops for an unbelievable assault on the AUTOBOTS—and the TRANSFORMERS’ world is shaken to the core!
So here we are again, in the time before time on Cybertron (and other worlds in the post-Expansion mess-up), effectively a second before the ignition of the the great war that will shape the history of the Transformers as we have pretty much always known them. As envisioned by Chris Metzen and Flint Dille, with input from artist Livio Ramondelli too - issue #2.
Oh, you're that guy!
The biggest thing to take away from the previous issue, as you might remember, was the slight inconsistencies wit hthe established IDW universe, particularly in the role played by newly rediscovered Omega Supreme. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case once again, as not only is Omega's tale cemented and bolted down to the streets of Iacon, but we also get a look at some peculiar takes on pre-Earth stories, as the Decepticon upper echelon round-up their army, preparing for battle.
Above all, the presence of the Predacons on Canis Tor, in their pre-Earth, pre-Stormbringer - but apparently not pre-beast modes. As much as this is a fairly serious continuity blip, it does seem to me that the explanation is simply to feed in to the Combiner Wars stories in which Predaking may or may not feature. A 'recent' continuity if you will, for newer readers. But still.
Nonetheless, the comic is not a bad read! The narrative choice of a big set up run across the universe beyond Cybertron is a nice touch, and it's plenty of fun to take a look at a number of eventually gestalt teams in their daily life before the war hit. It's a fun romp, with a definite G1 feel to it - but you do need to suspend a bit more than disbelief.
Even with the Predacon glitch, Livio Ramondelli's work on the different planets and environments in which the Decepticons find themselves is plenty of fun, and well variegated. From the light, warm jungle of Canis Tor to the grungy, sulphuric Magmara Nine, Ramondelli paints an enjoyably diverse universe populated by the Cybertronians.
Yes, even there
And he does so without losing the darkness of tones over at Autobot command (and in the Presidium, for that matter), both in layouts and colouring, with Optimus realising what decisions he must and must not make in order to ensure the survival and defence of what he cares for. And the brooding begins.
Chris Mowry's lettering, is extremely enjoyable, with some very well placed translucency, and colours mimicking or complementing the artwork beneath and around it. And it's fun, even shrouded in the dangerous terrain of the issue's plot. We've seen most of the covers already (Sarah Stone's variants are here and here), so the thumbnail includes a convention exclusive this time!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I grinned, almost uncontrollably, throughout the entire first part. Yes, it's silly, yes, it doesn't really do much, and yes, it doesn't fit any more in the IDW continuity, there's plenty of name-dropping and some inconsistencies that don't really hold up to the wider universe, and to the story itself (even within the single issue). But I was grinning so hard it didn't really jar on the first read.
If you can get past that, the issue is an enjoyable read, preparing us for a very very big conflict about to burst at the seams, and we get some very nice double-page spreads to help us position the scale of all this. A very difficult issue to place, as, by itself, is perfectly fine, and only encounters big issues once it's placed on the bigger picture - but as I said, it's grin-worthy, with no doubt.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND! The war has begun—and no bars will be held! SCARLETT’s forces go head-to-head with MEGATRON’s hordes—and the most off-beat adventure in comic book history hits a new level of dangerous alliances, deadly invasions, and devastating betrayals!
Flagg: F**k yeah
The introduction to Tom Scioli's world of G.I. Joe and Transformers has really been like nothing else so far, in issues #0 and #1, even with John Barber's vigilant watch. And issue #2 continues the streak of whatever-it-is this comic is doing, with its anachronistically retro style and feeling, toy advertising without the products and general action-packed whimsicalness.
I.. wut.. huh
We headed with Scarlett's team to Cybertron at the end of last issue, and this is where we find ourselves straight away, as the Joe team brings the war begun by the Decepticons to their own turf - and it sets up the rest of the universe, as Autobots are subjugated by the Kirby-esque merciless godhead figure of Megatron, and his minions.
ThanosDarkseid Megatron on his throne
Though the big bad gun is a slow build-up, Scioli does not hold back on the even bigger, if not the brighter, guns: Trypticon and Devastator, all still through the (I guess) military eyes of Scarlett and the other humans, searching for targets in true Earthican foreign policy: stamp on, blow up, then investigate the remains.
There are some amusing references to the nature of all the characters and their plastic counterparts, though as I said, without the toys existing. The dialogue is still completely over the top, and is still not for everyone, along with the thread being very very thin, though a little tighter than last month. But it's also extremely enjoyable if you can buy into the whole premise.
And I suppose, the artwork. Tom Scioli perseveres in his Silver Age style of dotted galaxies, peculiar proportions, referential work (with Flash Gordon also featuring in some scene set-ups, as the commentary expands upon), mirroring what is already present in the dialogue and set-up with the visual style that some readers still consider a hurdle.
How can you not love it..?
Personally, however, I find that not only does the style really work with the aim of the series, it allows Scioli as both writer and artist to place all of his toys across the drawing board, and just go wild with the colours, interactions and the stupidly fun lettering touches, from the titles to the ID cards to explosions and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
I applauded the production of the book last issue as well, but it is nice to see Chris Mowry's work still shaping the final product. I am not a gigantic fan of the exclusive Liefeld and Tyndale covers, but the Ed Piskor Cobra heavy one and the two Scioli versions are perfectly in keep with the tone and content of the book (thumbnail: Retail Incentive cover by Scioli).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
If you're not on board with Transformers vs G.I. Joe by now, I'd recommend to stop trying. This comic is clearly not for you, and by no fault of the readership. It is doing what it does unapologetically, and received warm-heartedly by many for very good reasons, and it's little to do with the actual lore of the franchises involved in the crossover, if only maybe as reference material and gags. And Scioli and Barber are clearly having barrels of fun with it.
Pictured: Barber and/or Scioli
What is particularly enjoyable, is that after the rollercoaster up a snake with wings in its nose that is the story, the two creators give themselves almost the same amount of space to talk about what went into the creation of the issue, page by page, panel by panel, deconstructing the whole frame and proving just how not seriously this is to be taken - but also how to, if so one wished. I will stop warning readers about this by next issue, but enjoy some green mean killing machines in #2 for now.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE! The crew of the Lost Light are used to past decisions coming back to bite them, but nothing—not even an ULTRA MAGNUS-certified crash course in the law of unintended consequences—could have prepared them for the horrors of Sector 113. Be warned: this issue is not for the easily distressed—or the easily heartbroken.
In space, no one can hear you...
We've seen parts of the Lost Light slowly disappear. We've seen members of the crew do the same. We've seen Ravage, openly, finally revealing himself to the crew. We've seen Megatron's position questioned by several of the older cast, and the new additions being more lenient. We've seen the horrors of Overlord, the DJD, the fighting pits, the mines and Empurata. Now, welcome to Slaughterhouse.
Carrie on, if you will
Premise: More Than Meets the Eye is already dealing with time paradoxes and multiple planes of existence, and has done so in its first season and during Dark Cybertron (that was the whole point, actually). So why not take it further? James Roberts, indeed, does, and gives us a glimpse of what might be, could be or potentially will be/has been depending on the observation point - and it ain't pretty.
Eyes Without a Face
In fact, it's horrific. As the title might suggest, it's slaughter. And even if we know something's not really happening, or not as we know it, it does not detract that much at all from the impact of the scenes. The scenes with Overlord so far are nothing compared to what we see in this issue. And actually, we don't really see it happen, wading as we do in the aftermath of the perpetrator(s)' rampage.
The Chills Have Eyes 2
The stand-out moment of the entire book for me, however, is a long scene between Megatron and Ravage, in which we learn more about both of them, about the Decepticon ideal and loyalty, about Megatron's true nature, and Ravage's presence on the ship. And we see some old friends. Quite a few of them. So to speak. And some very nice interactions between Nightbeat and Nautica, as they discover a briefcase's contents. So to speak.
As the issue was being drafted and inked, Alex Milne took to Twitter to add a running commentary of the horrors he was made to draw for the issue - and he was right. There is nothing pretty here, it's a splatter film in panels, on printed/digital pages. It's a Helex Chainsaw(hand) Massacre with excellent photography and art direction. It even has some formal experimentation to match the temporal paradoxes.
Dial D for.. Death
To make the art work so much more, Joana Lafuente adds some amazing effects in her colours. Most of the ship is adumbrated, shadows shifting in the background, with the only sources of light coming from optics, quantum foam, emergency lighting - until the very end, when power is restored. And the difference in tones is gigantic, and stunningly executed.
The abyss looks into you..
Similarly, the lettering touches that Tom B. Long brings to the issue, used sparingly once again, but to their full effectiveness when in their more creative moments, add to an already eerily tense, situation. And the lower case, almost rounded title font is brilliant in its contrast with the content. As for the covers, we've seen all three now, and how fitting it is to have the Coller/Bove variant, and the realisation of what cover A is actually showing.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Roberts does not hold back on the horrors and emotions running through at high voltage throughout the book, even though some may complain about the warped time nature somewhat detracting from the full impact - but it's powerful enough visually to overcome those (fairly apt) critiques. Milne and Lafuente have created a carnival of sparks, a morbid feast for desensitised optics, and one that is bound to stick with readers for a while.
This issue of MTMTE, much like its RID counterpart this month, reminds us of the many genres that the Transformers comics can span in their fiction, and lands squarely in full-blown cosmic horror, from splatter to gore to psychological thriller - via a couple of Doctor Who references, time warping and well-placed interactions between characters. On an unrelated note, ever noticed how the 1-2-3 Transformers emoticon looks a bit like the puppet from Saw..?
AUTOBOTS VERSUS EARTH! OPTIMUS PRIME and the AUTOBOTS discover the humans’ secret—and they aren’t pleased with what they learn! Will the DECEPTICON’s alliance tear down the peace—and will the world learn the CYBERTRONIANs are back?
A bit hard to miss, really
The past of couple of issues of Robots in Disguise have slowly been building up to the Alpha Trion discovery and recovery, seeding lies and lines about Prowl's true intentions and feelings, Jazz and Arcee's discomfort in their new-and-old roles, Galvatron's connection to it all, the Witwickys, Soundwave, Optimus and the rest of the gang. Slowly.
And then, suddenly, giant spaceships. Stories that were heading one fearfully predictable way go in a direction so different it's almost inwards. Characters more or less established by now are truly revealed for what and who they are. Changes come about so subtly and quickly and yet still make sense with everything teased so far, that reading 28-31 again is almost required to get more out of it all once again.
John Barber does an excellent job at keeping all the threads close, weaving a pattern so intricate that three out of two of us on the comics staff have no idea as to where the story will go from here, but are loving the ride read. This is what RID promised in its initial issues, both seasons, and the heights it can accomplish with its twisted political and social narratives.
And dogs called Buster
And on top of that, the entire issue is a series of well orchestrated, well paced, well placed action sequences, with Prowl and Jazz on one side, the Autobot team on another, and humans and Decepticons between and around the two. With exemplary stand-outs in Thundercracker, Buster and Marissa, as Barber does not forget the series' heart and humour, exactly when needed (the closing sequence is magnificently crafted).
Andrew Griffith is the main artist, taking care of all the gigantic spaceships, stupidly amazing visual references, fights, perspective shifts, interactions and running plot, flashbacks included. The opening scene, the title page, just examples of what Griffith can do with a page, something hinted at in Dark Cybertron. And the amazingness is topped by Josh Perez' colour work on Griffith's pages, giving a grittiness and darker hue to a truly bleak situation - lighting it up by fire, laser and destruction.
Brendan Cahill is confined (I use the term loosely) to four pages in total - but whoah are they some pages! Focusing on the interactions between Prowl and Jazz, and an amazing double page, reader shifting spread that delves deeper into the human connection to the story, both Cahill and Joana Lafuente's colours put the sci-fi back into the Transformers, reminding us of one of the many genres the comics line falls under. And how adorably evil Prowl looks while smirking.
To top everything off, Tom B. Long dazzles in his lettering work, with some wonderfully placed sound effects mirroring the chaos and confusion that must be ensuing during the attack on the human base, and a gorgeous ending sequence caption group. Then add to that the amazing Coller and Bove cover revealed yesterday, and the Coller and Lafuente variant hinting at where the story may be headed (see thumbnail).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Barber was able to take all my fears as to where this series was heading, and spin them completely around into something unrecognisable and impossible to figure out, nearing its sister series MTMTE for twistedness. Griffith and Cahill's collaboration raises the bar even higher, with some mind-boggling art in terms of perspective and layouts, with the excellent Perez and Lafuente giving a decidedly significant boost, and Long's designer eye operating from the shadows.
You did, RID
Robots in Disguise #32 has action, lots of it. It has mystery, it has scheming, it has humans and Cybertronians. Lots of them. It has a good story, excellent pacing, great dialogue, fantastic art, amazing colouring and letters, gorgeous covers and is reaching a level of comic book writing worthy of any other action series currently published in the industry. I cannot recommend this issue enough. Lots of it.
THE WAR FOR CYBERTRON! Optimus Prime versus Megatron. Autobots versus Decepticons. At the dawn of the conflict, battle lines are drawn and sides are set… now legends will be made. The war that would define a planet begins in earnest—and its revelations will shake the TRANSFORMERS’ world to the core!
Autocracy did some really interesting things by taking politics to a whole other level. Monstrosity brought 'the Quintessons' and Trypticon back into the game. Primacy is supposed to shape the IDW Transformers universe as we know it - so what is the missing link between the fall of Trypticon and the rise of Megatron? It looks like issue 1 starts answering that question.
The focus of Chris Metzen and Flint Dille appears to be shifting between Optimus Prime and Megatron as they both 'recover' from the happenings in the previous two mini-series, with the latter in particular sometimes questioning (?) his actions - and yet, at the same time, we also have some nice interactions between Grimlock and Rodimus, Optimus and Ironhide, Megatron and.. well. You'll see.
There is one major snag in the issue, during Optimus' sections, which I'm hoping will get explained later in the series - but for now it's not too distracting (for me at least), and considering John Barber is editing the work, some kind of patching could always take place at another stage, or there's a better reason for it happening as it does.
All in all, there are some big set-ups for this run, with some nice interactions between the key players, and some past exploration and world-defining, delving into pre-established elements of the franchise and plots hinted at in both Autocracy and Monstrosity, and the wider IDWverse.
Livio Ramondelli resumes his task of showing us the beginning of Cybertron's dark ages, with his trademark darker style and colours, shining on big splash pages and spreads, and I mean BIG. The characters, the scope, the layouts - there's a sense of size and scale that follows from some of the later chapter in Monstrosity sliding into here, and not just in the art itself.
Big city lights
The colours obviously work well with the linework, and there are some nicely contrasting tones in some flashback sequences. The eye differences are a nice touch too, with Grimlock, Optimus and Megatron showing off different optics. And a very nice touch comes from letterer Chris Mowry, helping with giving a voice to the different characters, each in its own slightly unique way, and some great translucent sound effects.
I'll take a little longer on the covers, as the main one by Ramondelli is but a fourth of the series' run, but it is joined by an amazing Optimus Prime revealing the matrix by Windblade's Sarah Stone (a nice echo of one of the moments shown above) and an excellent 30th Anniversary variant by Casey Coller and JP Bove, commemorating the smelting pool and poor Scrounge (see thumbnail).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Metzen and Dille's writing is slightly different from the rest of IDW's current output, but still holds its appeal with both older audiences and fans of the more modern ongoings. And their style fits the tone and time of the story, without any doubt, focusing on the two main players of the beginning of the war. Ramondelli's art returns to complement them, and I very happy to have Barber on editing, making sure it all fits in together - even with Omega's confusing statements.
And so do we
It's an easing into the story again, definitely. Some big stuff went down in what leads us to this point, and with this issue we're discovering bigger things still slowly emerging from Cybertron's past and leading into its future. And there are much much bigger things to come, if the last pages are anything to go by. Big things indeed.
To celebrate Cybershark and his various incarnations here on Seibertron.com this week, we have updated the gallery for all 3 of his figures. The images in these galleries have been updated to have larger images than they previously had. The "large" 800 pixel wide images have all been replaced with larger 1200 pixel wide images for your viewing pleasure.
First up is none other than the original deluxe class Cybershark figure from the Beast Wars toy line. He transforms into a threatening Hammerhead Shark. While this version of Cybershark might not be as well known as his Transmetals 2 version, he still is known as the first Beast Wars shark. This figure would later be remolded into the Beast Wars II Hellscream character.
Just when the Predacons thought it was safe to go back in the water. Cybershark rises to the surface for a fearsome feeding frenzy! Like a turbo-charged torpedo speeding through the sea, Cybershark searches the ocean depths for Predacon enemies. Upon finding the enemy he launches his robotic hammerhead to knock 'em out cold, the finishes the job in robot mode by filleting his prey with his switchblade tale.
Next up is arguably the more well known version of this character known as Transmetals 2 Cybershark. Unfortunately, this version of Cybershark wasn't as popular as its Sky-Byte repaint. Below are the tech specs and some sample images of Transmetals 2 Cybershark.
"The Ocean Depths conceal all intentions."
Detecting Predacon activity from over 20,000 fathoms below the ocean surface, Cybershark hunts his enemies at over 600 knots. From there, little room is left for escape. Armor-piercing, jaw-mounted sonar tracer torpedoes have water-to-air capabilities. Spin-drive tail boosts speed and acts as quad-blade razor weapon in attack and robot modes. Also deploys thruster jets for higher speed and limited low-level flight. A fierce warrior, Cybershark honed his skills while bounty hunting a rogue band of Cybertronian space pirates. Fully dedicated to the Maximal cause, he often follows his own methods to the frustration of his commander, Depth Charge. Calculating and fearless, he gives Predacons a good reason to stay out of the water.
Our third rendevous of Cybershark is a version of him that many fans might not realize is actually supposed to be a new version of this character. Behold ... Beast Machines Basic Class Hammerstrike! His tech spec quote is even the same as his Transmetals 2 version. This Cybertronian Hammerhead Shark figure makes Cybershark one of a small handful of Beast Era characters to get a basic, deluxe and mega class sized figure. Beast Wars Rattrap is another figure to get the same treatment.
"The ocean depths conceal all intentions."
Not known for his intelligence or cunning, Hammerstrike is the best there is at what he does-destroy Vehicons. Of all the Maximals, Hammerstrike is the most battle hungry. Insatiable appetite for combat; devastating "frenzy" assault leaves few Vehicon survivors. Knows no fear, feels no pain and has an endurance second only to Cheetor. Calculating and fearless, Hammerhead gives the Vehicons a good reason to stay out of the water.
Predacon Sky-Byte transforms into a fierce Great White Shark. He is a fan-favorite character who was nominated previously for the annual Transformers Hall of Fame. He is best known for his antics and love of poetry in the stand-alone Transformers series "Robots In Disguise" which aired on Fox Kids back in 2001. Sky-Byte is a repaint of Beast Wars Transmetals 2 Cybershark. His level of popularity over the original use of his mold makes him a bit of an oddity.
To celebrate Sky-Byte here on Seibertron.com this week, we have updated the gallery for his Robots In Disguise figure. The images in his gallery have been updated to have larger images than it previously had. The "large" 800 pixel wide images have all been replaced with larger 1200 pixel wide images for your viewing pleasure.
In addition, we have included two additional galleries of Sky-Byte in today's feature. The first additional gallery is an all-new version of Sky-Byte, which was recently released as part of the popular Generations line. The second additional gallery is the BotCon 2010 "G2 Redux" version of Sky-Byte which uses the Energon Sharkticon mold with a new head.
A proud PREDACON to the core, SKY-BYTE lead his warriors into battle against AUTOBOTS or DECEPTICONS. His desire to be in MEGATRON's good favor drove him - and sometimes he got lost. His skills are legendary amongst the PREDACON ranks. Legendary because SKY-BYTE rarely completed a mission. He has a soft side for poetry - a skill no one else has - or wants. If it weren't for SCOURGE and the DECEPTICONS, SKY-BYTE would never have strayed from the PREDACON cause. In his jealous rage, SKY-BYTE looked to the enemy for acceptance - including KOJI and the AUTOBOTS. Perhaps that is why the AUTOBOTS allowed him to remain free on Earth after the final battle - where he currently roams the ocean attacking illegal fishing vessels.
The great white shark has no natural predators other than the Orca. The great white shark is arguably the world's largest known extant macropredatory fish, and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals, including fish and seabirds. It is the only known surviving species of its genus Carcharodon, and is ranked first in having the most attacks on humans.
The Return of Transformers SHARK WEEK begins right here!
Our first featured galleries this week are none other than the G1 Sharkticons! These fictional Cybertronian sharks have rows of razor-sharp teeth that can shred their prey to scrap metal much like how real Sharks can tear apart the flesh from their prey with their multiple rows of serrated teeth.
To celebrate the Sharkticons here on Seibertron.com this week, we have updated the galleries for G1 Sharkticon and Robot Heroes Sharkticon. Both galleries have been updated to have larger images than their original galleries. The "large" 800 pixel wide images have all been replaced with larger 1200 pixel wide images for your viewing pleasure.
Make sure you check back tomorrow to find out which gallery will be featured in "The Return of Transformers SHARK WEEK" on Seibertron.com!
G1 Sharkticon's Tech Specs: Travels in packs with fellow Sharkticons. Fearless and vicious. Loyal only to the master who last fed him. Powerful tail fin allows him to travel at speeds over 150 knots. Carnivorous with a voracious appetite. Possesses several rows of razor-sharp teeth that can tear through solid steel. In robot mode, carries a maceration laser that shoots salt-based corrosive liquid. Also carries a barbed mace.
Shark teeth are embedded in the gums rather than directly affixed to the jaw, and are constantly replaced throughout life. Multiple rows of replacement teeth grow in a groove on the inside of the jaw and steadily move forward in comparison to a conveyor belt; some sharks lose 30,000 or more teeth in their lifetime. The rate of tooth replacement varies from once every 8 to 10 days to several months. In most species, teeth are replaced one at a time as opposed to the simultaneous replacement of an entire row, which is observed in the cookiecutter shark.
Here's one more thing to add upon today's featured Shark Week character: a video from our good friend and voice talent extraordinaire jON3.0!
jON3.0 wrote:A quick parody I did in honor of Shark Week. Another idea I had based on what Transformers' TV shows would be like. Written, Voiced, Edited and Produced by Jon "3.0" Bailey. Models by BlastardInc and Salvidonblak. Music by "Shuvel."
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