Transformers ’84 #2. I love this series. Simon Furman is doing a brilliant job of weaving these new events into the already established Gen 1 continuity, tweaking it here and there but always staying true to the lore.
We open with the Decepticon attack on the Ark which eventually leads to the two factions crash-landing into Mount St. Helens, there to remain for millions of years. Meanwhile, back on Cybertron, there’s some serious jostling for position going on and this is where I have to squeal like a little girl as one of my favourite Decepticons is introduced. Lord motherfucking Straxus. I ADORE this guy. His design, his character, his habit of melting bots alive or turning them into space bridges. “A smelting pool. It has its own smelting pool. I’ll TAKE it.”
READ MORE: Thunderbirds – Pilot Error!
To see his original run you need to look back at the Gen 1 comic, US issues #17 and #18. The UK, however, got a whole other story-line with Straxus that US readers didn’t see. In this story-line he survives his apparent death by Space Bridge as a decapitated head in a bowl and there’s a story with a Megatron clone and Straxus trying to take his body over and it’s just this whole big thing. And it is AMAZING. It’s also sort of disjointed so if you want to read it you’re best off checking out the TFWiki for details as it spanned multiple issues and they weren’t always in sequence.
Anyway, back to the new past of 2020. In Megatron’s absence, Shockwave quickly moves to take control of the remaining Decepticons before setting off to make sure that everyone that might oppose him is dead but wouldn’t you just know it? Earth turns out to be a great source of raw, unrefined energon that is far more interesting than checking to make sure his enemies are dead! I am TOTALLY sure this won’t come back to bite him in the ass later. Right? (Spoilers – It does. It totally, totally does.)
READ MORE: Transformers #22 – Comic Review
This is also where we bump up against Gen 1 continuity again as the Dinobots and Shockwave pick up where they left off and get stuck into each other. It’s a great looking fight scene, with the classic Dinobot alt-forms on full display. The fight ends on a cliffhanger with the now super-charged Grimlock squaring off with Shockwave and I can’t wait for issue #3, which is teased as giving us more of Straxus and that’s always a good thing if you ask me. Not that I’m biased.
Hats off again to the powerhouse combination of Furman and Guidi. This retro-future take on the Transformers is a delight for an old school fan like me while still being accessible to anyone who might not have been old enough to read it the first time round. My final score is also not impacted by them bringing Straxus back. It’s really not. Honest.
Transformers ’84 #2 is out now from IDW Publishing.