Thursday, May 8th 2014 5:30pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News
, Comic Book News
, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al
Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Thirty years ago on this day, 8th May, the very first issue of Marvel Comics' The Transformers
#1 appeared in shops, with Bill Mantlo and Ralph Macchio plotting and planning the war on Cybertron, Frank Springer, Kim DeMulder and Nelson Yomtov bringing it to vivid page life, sounded out by Michael Higgins and Rick Parker (all overseen by the watchful Bob Budiansky). The cover? A gigantic Bill Sienkiewicz-drawn Optimus Prime.
That was all the way back in 1984, and that was in the US. Across the pond, Jerry Paris created a different cover for the first issue of something that was going to be a much longer and tortuous series, reaching 332 issues in total (compared to and including the 80 of the US run).
A series which eventually introduced British writer Simon Furman to the Transformers universe, after Bob Budiansky on writing and other duties since issue 5, left with issue 55. A series which was initially so badly received it was only meant to reach four issues. A series that introduced the Autobots and Decepticons to pop culture around the world, taking a handful of toylines and creating a loosely hanging narrative that would increase their sales. A series that was flanked by its TV counterpart in the animated The Transformers
Fast forward to two years later, 1986, when the Transformers appeared on the big screen for the first time, still in their animated selves. Leaders were killed, moons were eaten, planets became robots
, hearts were broken, fanboys and fangirls started complaining, and even more toys were produced. And comic adaptations, of course.
Marvel Comics resumed its robot stories in 1993, with Furman's revamping of the Transformers in Generation 2, as Hasbro sought to bring back the toyline again. Across the other side of the other pond, meanwhile, Japan was hard at work with the vaguely mecha-style stories of the Transformers, continuing the cartoon series where the US left off after Generation 1: The Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, Victory, Zone. Which also had their comics and manga adaptations!
Skip forward again to 1996, and we reach a massive overhaul in the concept: the Transformers no longer become vehicles, but animals - in Beast Wars. Cue outrage, cue new influx of fans, cue growing fondness, cue cartoon series and even more toys, cue the two Japanese sequels, Beast Wars II
and Beast Wars Neo
. And yet we're still in the universe set by that 1984 series, both TV and comics wise.
Enter Dreamwave Productions in 2002, with a complete (well, sort of) reimagining of the Transformers universe, trying to combine elements of the Japanese manga and the well-loved Marvel and Sunbow fictions, both aesthetically and story-wise. And it included a prequel! We saw what Furman thought of what was happening on Cybertron before 'bots and 'cons disappeared into the universe, with the War Within
storylines and Don Figueroa's designs and Andrew Wildman's take on them.
Dreamwave unfortunately did not end well, and stories were interrupted mid-issue in some cases. It's 2005, and IDW Publishing picks up the license from Hasbro. We have another redesign, retake and reimagining, once again at the hands of Simon Furman and his universe spanning -ations
and Maximum Dinobots
, followed by Shane McCarthy and Guido Guidi's earth-bound, politically paced All Hail Megatron
and the arrival of the first live-action Transformers full-length cinematic feature in 2007, with Michael Bay in the director's chair - and John Barber, Andrew Griffith and Alex Milne adapting it into its comic counterpart and expanding it, too.
Come 2010, another live-action film in the bag, IDW Publishing continues its Transformers storyline more or less succesfully, redesigning its characters to capture the Michael Bay and Paramount aesthetics and potentially new readers, in Mike Costa's The Transformers
ongoing series. Something clearly worked, as the series brought into the franchise talent such as James Roberts, Nick Roche, Mairghread Scott, Mike Johnson, Andrew Griffith, Alex Milne, Sarah Stone, E.J. Su, Joana Lafuente, Robby Musso, Josh Burcham, John-Paul Bove, Josh Perez, Casey Coller, Priscilla Tramontano, Ken Christiansen, Chris Mowry, Brendan Cahill, Tom Long, Shawn Lee, Matt Frank, and many many many more, all under the watchful eye of editors John Barber, Carlos Guzman, Chris Ryall, and after the 2011 final (or so we thought) film in the Bay trilogy, Optimus Prime died. Again. But not really.
Two ongoing series spawned from that moment, neither involving Earth: More Than Meets the Eye
and Robots in Disguise
. We looked at Cybertron's past again, after Chaos Theory, after Megatron Origin, after the Spotlights, Flint Dille, one of the original cartoon series writers, Chris Metzen, and Livio Ramondelli dug deep into the past of the planet and its leaders with Autocracy and Monstrosity, as IDW Publishing ventured into digital-first and motion comics.
Now, thirty thrilling years later, here we are. A fourth live-action movie opening in June, innumerable toys based on the same and reinvented core cast, three currently (more or less) ongoing comics series with IDW publishing with the addition of Transformers: Windblade
, the last issue of the original Marvel US run hitting last March under ReGeneration One and, as far as we can tell, many many more stories to come.
This was a celebration of the Transformers comics. This was the abridged, incomplete story of some the Transformers fictions. We may have left out parts, some intentionally, some less so. There is a lot more to be found in the Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection
edited by Jim Sorenson.
But all of these are also just facets of the whole story - what is yours?
Till All Are One
-The Seibertron.com team
Thursday, April 24th 2014 11:19am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News
, Movie News
, People News
Posted by: Va'al
The Hollywood Reporter
Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
On a not strictly entirely related Transformers movies note, at least not in the foreseeable future, two of the biggest names in the film and TV industry, from production, writing, creation and even directing are undergoing a big shift. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the men behind the scripts for Transformers
and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
, producers of Transformers: Prime and long-time collaborators with the likes of J.J. Abrams (from Alias, to Fringe to the new Star Trek features) have announced
the end of their partnership. Read more below, from an article in The Hollywood Reporter
As we said, this does not affect our favourite transforming robots for what we can see as yet, as Ehren Kruger was working on both Dark of the Moon
and Age of Extinction
. Will it affect the confirmed upcoming animated series
sequel to Prime
and Beast Hunters
though? Leave your thoughts below!
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the biggest writing team in modern tentpole movies, are breaking up.
The duo, who first began writing together on the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys before working with J.J. Abrams on Alias, have worked on the Star Trek and the Transformers franchises (the latter has grossed $2.7 billion so far, with a fourth installment on the way), as well as Mission: Impossible III. They also worked on the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Amazing Spider-Man 3.
THR has confirmed the pair are parting way on the movie side, though sources say the TV side of their production company, K/O Paper Products, will remain intact for the time being. The company has a deal with CBS TV Studios.
Insiders say the parting is amicable and has been brewing for some time as the writers have begun focusing on separate franchises. Orci is spending more time with Trek and is even in talks to direct the third installment. (No negotiations are taking place just yet but the writer already has Abrams' blessing.)
Kurtzman, who directed the drama People Like Us, is focusing more and more on the Spider-Man franchise and is attached to direct the spinoff Venom.
It is unclear how the film projects will be divided.