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Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 5:30PM CDT

Categories: Cartoon News, Comic Book News, Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 43,920

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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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers



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).

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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 cartoon.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of 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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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, Stormbringer 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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers


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
Search Got Transformers News? Let us know here!
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572376)
Posted by XDMan on May 8th, 2014 @ 6:53pm CDT
This post made me shed a tear.
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572388)
Posted by Sabrblade on May 8th, 2014 @ 7:42pm CDT
Here's to 30 years of awesome:

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And to what is to come in the future:

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Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572421)
Posted by Noideaforaname on May 8th, 2014 @ 9:51pm CDT
That cover with Soundwave fighting Optimus makes you wonder what it'd be like if Soundwave was Deceptcon leader...
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572425)
Posted by quickmixed on May 8th, 2014 @ 10:15pm CDT
A nice short walk down memory lane. :APPLAUSE:

For all the sh!tstorm that surrounded Dreamwave towards the end, I felt they were still putting out quality work. The first 6 issues of their final ongoing (the whole Sunstorm vs Jetfire vs Starscream) is still some of the finest TF interior artwork and covers Ive seen. Don Figueroa will be remembered as one of the best artists to tackle the franchise.


Va'al wrote: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.


Spoilers!! #-o :lol:
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572427)
Posted by Sabrblade on May 8th, 2014 @ 10:20pm CDT
Wow. I didn't realize the image amount in my previous post totaled to 101. Yikes!

Happy 30th!
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572436)
Posted by Nemesis Destron on May 8th, 2014 @ 11:10pm CDT
Oh c'mon Sabrblade no Mr. Potato Head love?? :P Just kidding and that's some hardcore work! :APPLAUSE: :VEHI:
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572458)
Posted by Downbeat on May 9th, 2014 @ 2:01am CDT
Noideaforaname wrote:That cover with Soundwave fighting Optimus makes you wonder what it'd be like if Soundwave was Deceptcon leader...

Well, he's co-leading with Galvatron in Robots in Disguise, that's something.
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572472)
Posted by MightyMagnus78 on May 9th, 2014 @ 5:04am CDT
Happy Tran-iversary everone! :PEACE:
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572489)
Posted by Sabrblade on May 9th, 2014 @ 7:52am CDT
Nemesis Destron wrote:Oh c'mon Sabrblade no Mr. Potato Head love?? :P Just kidding and that's some hardcore work! :APPLAUSE: :VEHI:
Well, as it was a movie product, consider it (and every other movie product) represented by the movie pics themselves. ;)
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572493)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on May 9th, 2014 @ 8:06am CDT
Wow, that was a great article! :APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE: :APPLAUSE:

I freakin' love this pic:

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So much so, I'm contemplating making it my new sig pic...I'd have to crop it...
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572495)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on May 9th, 2014 @ 8:09am CDT
Oh wow, that commercial took me back to the day. ;)

I'm just glad Transformers are here for my kids like they were for me, and have evolved into what they have. I gotta thank Hasbro for that!
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572502)
Posted by Va'al on May 9th, 2014 @ 8:16am CDT
Thanks for the comments, people who liked it! It was fun to pick out things to write about. :D
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572540)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on May 9th, 2014 @ 9:58am CDT
The G2 Artwork from the gate fold Optimus face comic is the best of them all. Can't beat how badass all of that artwork looked.
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572568)
Posted by Noideaforaname on May 9th, 2014 @ 10:49am CDT
Downbeat wrote:
Noideaforaname wrote:That cover with Soundwave fighting Optimus makes you wonder what it'd be like if Soundwave was Deceptcon leader...

Well, he's co-leading with Galvatron in Robots in Disguise, that's something.

Well yeah, but I'm thinking of the franchise as a whole. When you think about it, a monotone-voiced "faceless" villain who at any time has a small army in his chest is far more intimidating than Megatron could ever hope to be. Imagine if Soundwave was the one Starscream was always trying to stab in the back, that Lugnut was damn near worshiping as a god, that Sky-Byte was trying to eke out a single iota of praise out of, that Tarantuals was throwing darts at a picture of, that never bothered to know Optimus' name until the very end, that got rebuilt by Unicron...


*half expects Sabrblade or someone to whip out examples of exactly that happening*
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572621)
Posted by ScottyP on May 9th, 2014 @ 1:59pm CDT
Dude, Sabr, we have to all work together to scrub Animorphs from history, not post pictures of it :lol:
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572623)
Posted by Sabrblade on May 9th, 2014 @ 2:01pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:Dude, Sabr, we have to all work together to scrub Animorphs from history, not post pictures of it :lol:
Aw, you no like? Took me a good long while to find that pic. ;;)
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572702)
Posted by Mindmaster on May 9th, 2014 @ 8:25pm CDT
So Va'al and I discussed this briefly yesterday, and I thought I'd open it up to you fellas: would you all be interested in a similar article about the cartoons? The first Generation One episode aired 17 September, 1984. If you guys liked this, would you like us to do an editorial in September as well, something to commemorate the cartoons?
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572717)
Posted by Sabrblade on May 9th, 2014 @ 10:48pm CDT
Mindmaster wrote:So Va'al and I discussed this briefly yesterday, and I thought I'd open it up to you fellas: would you all be interested in a similar article about the cartoons? The first Generation One episode aired 17 September, 1984. If you guys liked this, would you like us to do an editorial in September as well, something to commemorate the cartoons?
Yes.

Though, for me personally, I'd also enjoy a multimedia-based article that spans many fictional mediums. Comics, cartoons, movies, anime, manga, books, video games, etc., since there's been so much of all that that's had an impact over years. :-B
Re: Seibertron.com Editorial - The Truly Thrilling Thirtieth of The Transformers (1572753)
Posted by Va'al on May 10th, 2014 @ 5:36am CDT
Sabrblade wrote:
Mindmaster wrote:So Va'al and I discussed this briefly yesterday, and I thought I'd open it up to you fellas: would you all be interested in a similar article about the cartoons? The first Generation One episode aired 17 September, 1984. If you guys liked this, would you like us to do an editorial in September as well, something to commemorate the cartoons?
Yes.

Though, for me personally, I'd also enjoy a multimedia-based article that spans many fictional mediums. Comics, cartoons, movies, anime, manga, books, video games, etc., since there's been so much of all that that's had an impact over years. :-B


We're trying out different things, we'll see what sticks!

I wasn't going to just focus on comics, but halfway through I realised I was, as it's more my area. We're also considering some toy/character retrospectives, both in their plastic and fictional selves.
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