Channel Awesome
Transformers: Generation 2 #1

At4w transformers generation 2 no 1 by masterthecreater-d4tsvfc-768x339.png

April 2, 2012
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Not your father's autobots! And thank goodness for that, since these losers would have lost the battle with the Decepticons in five minutes.

Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. It's time to talk about Transformers again. And unlike last time, where the focus was on Dreamwave, this time, we're going back to the same year as the last two weeks' worth of comics: 1993.

(Cut to footage of Linkara's previous Transformers review)

Linkara (v/o): As I said in the last "Transformers" review, my greatest exposure to the original Transformers, aside from Beast Wars, came not from the cartoon, but from the comics, where I have read them all online, thanks to some random website that had posted up scans of every issue of the main series and the "Headmasters" miniseries.

Linkara: No, I don't have the website address. It was at least a decade ago, and I think when I did try to track it down again at some point, the website had fallen apart anyway.

(Cut to a shot of the cover of "Classic Transformers, Vol. 1")

Linkara (v/o): For those you wanting more legitimate channels, though, IDW did release the original "Transformers" series in trade form over six volumes. Some of them appear to be out of print, but it shouldn't be too hard to track them down if you want.

(Cut to a shot of the cover of another Transformers comic: "All Fall Down")

Linkara (v/o): Otherwise, another publisher, Titan Books, evidently released them in trade as well, since fans sent me some trades of them, including "The Car Wash of Doom". Yes, we'll get to it eventually.

(Cut to a shot of a Transformers comic guest-starring Spider-Man)

Linkara (v/o): I don't know how the Titan Books version handles this, but the IDW one had to make a little correction here and there. You see, Spider-Man guest-starred in the third issue of the original Transformers comics, and obviously IDW doesn't own Spidey. As such, they completely blacked out his character on the cover and just wrote up a detailed summary of what happened in the issue. Marvel has had a fascinating relationship with its licensed properties.

(Cut to a shot of the cover for a comic version of "2001: A Space Odyssey")

Linkara (v/o): Most of them, especially during the '80s at least, were considered to be in continuity with the rest of the Marvel Universe. Hell, some of the aspects of those comics are still part of Marvel canon. One example I like to think of is Aaron Stack, AKA Machine Man, who was introduced in the "2001: A Space Odyssey" comics.

Linkara: And yes, trust me, we'll be getting to those eventually.

(Cut to shots of another comic series called "ROM Spaceknights")

Linkara (v/o): Or the mythology around the Spaceknights; in particular, villains called Dire Wraiths. They came from a toy tie-in series called "ROM Spaceknight", an excellent series that unfortunately that has never been collected, because ROM himself is owned by Hasbro. Except, everything that was invented in the comics is owned by Marvel, so while ROM himself isn't allowed to be there, his supporting cast, his planet, his enemies, they are all okay.

(Cut to a Deadpool comic showing an appearance by US-1)

Linkara (v/o): Hell, if you want to go back a bit, I mentioned last year that US-1 has made a reappearance in the Marvel Universe. A small reappearance, but a reappearance nonetheless. And that was a tie-in to friggin' Slot Cars!

(Cut back to the Transformers comics)

Linkara (v/o): Transformers, however, never really took off as a part of the Marvel Universe beyond the Spider-Man appearance, and that's probably for the best, considering the sheer scale of the things and the problems that would arise by having these things just running around and whatnot. So, Marvel's "Transformers" series lasted 80 issues and ended on a high note. There's a lot I have to leave out of this, but here's the long and short of it: the war between the Autobots and Decepticons is over. Optimus Prime has come back to life for, like, the fiftieth time, and the Autobots now have full control over Cybertron, their home world, and the Decepticons are in exile. The series ended in 1991, and that was that.

(Cut to shots of another "Transformers" series: "Generation 2")

Linkara (v/o): However, two years later, to correspond with the Generation 2 Transformers toys being released, it was decided to bring the series back. What resulted was a twelve-issue maxi series that we're here to talk about today. So, why this one and not the long-awaited "Car Wash of Doom"?

Linkara: Well, let me put it this way. In researching this comic, I saw it described as (makes "finger quotes") "gritty". Let that sink in, people. Let that sink in, people. (gestures to his left) Transformers...

(Cut to a clip of an episode of [[Transformers Cartoon|the original cartoon, showing a Decepticon, disguised as a jet, chasing after an Autobot, disguised as a VW bug)

Autobot: Eat my dust, birdbrain! (Decepticon fires its lasers at it, but it eludes easily) You couldn't hit an Autobot with a moonbeam!

Linkara: (gesturing toward his right) Gritty...

(Cut to a clip of Sin City)

Marv (Mickey Rourke): I killed three men tonight. Tortured them first. You might say I've been working my way up the food chain.

Linkara: (gesturing to his left again) Transformers...

(Another clip of the Transformers cartoon is shown)

Optimus Prime: We knew you were anxious to get back to Cybertron, but at least you could have waited for us.

Mirage: Sorry, Prime. The ship was... full. (both laugh)

Linkara: (gesturing to his right again) And... gritty...

(Another clip of Sin City is shown)

Marv: I try to slow my heart down and breathe the fire out of my lungs. My muscles make me a thousand promises of pain to come.

Linkara: (beat) Let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Transformers: Generation 2 #1" and see how one does that. (becomes confused)

(AT4W title theme plays; title card has "Tire Me" by Rage Against the Machine playing in the background. Cut to the cover of the cover)

Linkara (v/o): Oh, where to start with this cover? You can't tell from the scan, but this is a holofoil cover, and like I said last week, I do love me some holofoil. It's just Optimus Prime's head, which is boring, but they spice it up with little things, like a literal smoking gun. There are giant bullets embedded in Optimus' head and liquid dripping down. Is he sweating? Do robots sweat now? Is it supposed to be robot blood? Or is the fact that the he has bullets in his head an indication that the liquid right here is actually drool, and the bullets have caused brain damage? Plus, with the smoking gun, it kind of makes you wonder if Optimus shot himself in the head.


Linkara: Considering that Transformers first came out in 1984 and this comic premiered nine years later, I certainly hope that it's (makes "finger quotes") "not your father's Autobot," since that mean their dad was probably a teenager.

Linkara (v/o): One gimmick for this cover was not enough for this, though, my friends. As you can see, the cover is split down the middle, unfolding to reveal a spread that has the Autobots and Decepticons fighting one another – or fighting the ground, in Grimlock's case. It's far too chaotic and the art style makes it difficult to tell who's fighting who. (looks closely at the lower-right corner) And wait, does that Transformer have a human face behind his visor? What the hell? Oh, and let's not talk about the foreshortening or the sizes of characters' guns. Where the hell was Optimus Prime stashing the gun that's as big as his leg? (looks at a blue-faced Transformer) Or this guy. No, I don't know who he is. What part of his vehicle mode transformed into that gun?

(The comic opens to the first page)

Linkara (v/o): We open...

Narrator: ...billions of light years from our galaxy... the K-Tor Cluster.

Linkara: Ah, the K-Tor Cluster. It's similar to the A-Tor Cluster, but with less quests for the Mighty Sword.

Linkara (v/o): The Decepticons are in the midst of attacking some planet, and their leader wants a report on the situation.

Decepticon: The exo-structuring party on Outpost B-67 has been attacked.

Linkara: (confused) "Exo... structuring... party...". You mean, guys who build stuff outside? Did the Decepticons become construction workers after their exile?

Linkara (v/o): Also, there's this weird thing going on with the dialogue balloons. For some reason, it was decided that all the Decepticons get little colored triangles along the sides of their dialogue balloons, while Autobots get colored squares. My only guess for why they did this was because the artwork is so cluttered that it's hard to tell who is who, so this way, you would at least know what faction is talking. As the minion describes what happened, we unfortunately get a two-page spread that I have to turn on its side. (sarcastically) Yippee. Haven't had one of these in a while. And immediately, your eye is drawn to this guy [Lambor, the G2 version of Sideswipe]. I love how a giant robot franchise from the 1980s can still be made '90s-fied so easily. Whatever he transforms into, the wheels have spikes on them. Yeah, those are really helpful for driving in this city-based terrain. The massive guns, the bandolier – with pouches, of course; those robots in disguise need to carry stuff, you know – and a big, scowling face. Oh, and he's even got other weapons on his back. You know, why the bandolier anyway? Don't they usually use lasers? Wouldn't be more effective than bullets on robots and you wouldn't have to worry about ammunition running out? Anyway, the team of Autobots use their ridiculous weaponry to blast away at the Decepticons. The onslaught of blast circles coming out from so many guns is boring to look at and even more boring to try to describe to you all.

Decepticon: Please, I'm unarmed! Don't shoot!

Hound: Er...

Optimus Prime: Hound... get with the program!

Linkara (v/o): Yep, slaughtering a surrendering enemy. Our heroes, everybody!

(Cut to a clip of The Transformers: The Movie)

Megatron: No more, Optimus Prime! Grant me mercy, I beg of you!

Optimus Prime: (aiming a gun at Megatron) You, who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff.

Linkara: Okay, you really want to bring that one out, do ya?

(Footage of the cartoon series is shown again)

Linkara (v/o): There is a difference between killing an unrepentant leader of your mortal enemies in a war, who you know are treacherous...

(Cut back to the panel showing the surrendering Decepticon getting blasted)

Linkara (v/o): ...and what's going in this comic. In the letters page section, Simon Furman, the writer, says that he wants the Generation 2 comics to be a fresh start for the book, so people unfamiliar with it could jump in and not worry too much about all the backlog of continuity in the comics, even though it is technically a continuation. As such, we get our first major problem with that idea. If I was coming into this blind, I'd think that the Autobots – and by the by, they aren't identified as such until a few pages later – are the BAD GUYS. There is no context for this if you're a new reader. It's just one group of robots killing another, and generally, killing a surrendering opponent is something that VILLAINS DO! Anyway, the Autobots fight some more until a giant tank [this version of Megatron] appears.

Megatron: You seem to be under the illusion that no one here can cut it! So I guess it's up to me to make the right impression!

Linkara: (as Megatron) You don't think we can cut it, huh? HA! My alternate mode is a giant pair of scissors!

Linkara (v/o): However, the tank is quickly crushed by the arrival of the Dinobot leader, Grimlock.

Grimlock: If there are any impressions to be made around here... ME make 'em!

Linkara: (as Grimlock) Me Grimlock want to make good first impression on job interview! Me Grimlock hoping to someday by put in management position!

Linkara (v/o): The other Dinobots arrive... and strangely, their random symbols in their speech balloons fluctuate with trapezoids and triangles. Consistency – try it sometime! They all banter with each other as they effortlessly destroy their enemies.

Slag: We do what we have to. All of us! Moan all you like, but you know as well as anyone we're needed here!

Grimlock: Yeah, right. I mean... its [sic] not like we enjoy this or anything!

Linkara: Actually, considering the lack of smiling in this comic, that was pretty much a given.

Grimlock: Me never in all my life... hear so much babble! This battlefield, not boardroom!

Linkara: Hey, boardrooms can be dangerous as all hell. (points to camera) Ever heard of The Crimson Permanent Assurance?

(Footage of that film is shown, showing the businessmen in the boardroom battling one another in swashbuckling style, then cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): With the villains defeated, the Autobots boast about how awesome their victory was.

Lambor: ...and the good folk of Nexus Seven go to sleep tonight with a roof over their heads-- and their heads attached to their shoulders! This is one planet the enemy won't be adding to its tally!

Linkara (v/o): And we see that the native inhabitants are scared out of their wits.

Optimus Prime: For all the thanks we get! Look at 'em, you wouldn't think we'd just risked life and limb to save their scrawny necks!

Linkara: (as Optimus Prime) They should be thanking us for all the destruction we rained down upon their city, plus the collateral damage caused by the debris and the additional loss of life by stray gunfire, not to mention the ecological damage of the wreckage and foreign substances! THANK US, DAMMIT!!

Linkara (v/o): Hound complains that one of them, Blades, was a little too overzealous. Blades responds that the one who was surrendering was just pretending to surrender. Before it can get any more heated, Grimlock interrupts.

Grimlock: There are too many of the enemy to waste time fighting among ourselves! Just remember we the good guys!

Linkara: (as Grimlock) And if we say that, it must be true!

Linkara (v/o): We cut back to the Decepticon leader, Commander Jhiaxus... Wait, was the guy giving the report narrating that meeting with the Autobots at the end? he grumbles about how he doesn't understand the Autobots and why they always continues to frustrate them. The assistant [Rook] states that he's confused by the terms of Autobots and Decepticons, indicating that he's never heard the distinction before.

Jhiaxus: They are throwbacks, Rook. Anachronism. A race out of time!

Linkara: (as Jhiaxus) I mean, Autobots? Decepticons? Puh-lease! That is so 1991. Get with the times, girlfriend!

Jhiaxus: It therefore falls to me... to bring them screaming into the present day!

Linkara: (as Jhiaxus) You will get a Facebook page, Optimus Prime! (as Optimus Prime) Never! MySpace is the right of all sentient beings!

Linkara (v/o): Speaking of Optimus Prime, we cut to a dream sequence, because robots do dream, though not of electric sheep, but of electric corpses.

Optimus Prime: (narrating) I am drowning in an ocean of corpses. Running. Fleeing from something unspeakably ancient and evil.

Linkara: (looking up and stroking his chin) Hmm, I'd make a Michael Bay joke, but he's not really ancient. Or really all that evil, just really dumb.

Linkara (v/o): In the dream, the ground rises up and rips Optimus apart, where he suddenly awakens, and I absolutely love how the artist felt the need to add neck muscles to him, even though, again, ROBOT!

Optimus Prime: (thinking) A dream? A vision? Or more...A premonition!

Linkara: (as Optimus Prime, stroking his chin) The next Windows operating system spells doom for us all.

Linkara (v/o): Hot Rod is also with Prime, and WOW, does he look old. I think it's how big they drew the jawline for him. Isn't Hot Rod supposed to be the hip, young Transformer?

Hot Rod: We travelled [sic] across half of known space...for this?! A dead planet in the butt end of the galaxy!

Linkara: Do robots even have butts?

Optimus Prime: Grimlock's sudden request for a meeting sounded urgent, but then the Dinobot commander is well known for his sense of... the dramatic!

Linkara: (as Grimlock) By me Grimlock's presence, me Grimlock find zenith doth depend upon a most auspicious star whose influence now me Grimlock now court not, but omit! Me Grimlock's fortunes ever after droop! (beat) Me Grimlock Prospero!

Optimus Prime: (narrating) The war is over. Finished. Four million years of conflict, stretching between Cybertron and Earth, and finally...all the old ghosts laid to rest! Unicron. Bludgeon. Megatron. Shockwave. Scorponok. Galvatron.

Linkara (v/o): Man, it's certainly a good thing this comic is a fresh start for new readers. Otherwise, I might be confused about who the hell all those people are. Also, for some reason, the artist decided that everybody on this page when viewed from the side needed their faces to slant so it'd look like they had massive chins. The only one who got away with it was Optimus Prime, because he doesn't have a chin.

Optimus Prime: (narrating) Gone now, and in their place, peace.

Linkara (v/o): Yep, definitely peace, Optimus. That's why you're carrying around that huge-ass gun on the previous page.

Optimus Prime: (narrating) And yet, though many Autobots chose to discard the tools of war, many others chose to fight on, forming small combat units of their own. Have I become like them? Actively seeking conflict... where none exists?

Linkara (v/o): And then there's a laser blast behind him.

Linkara: (as an Autobot, cowering) OH, DEAR PRIMUS, WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!! (as Optimus Prime, posing proudly) Yep, where no conflict exist. (as the Autobot) THEY SHOT THE GUN RIGHT OUT OF MY HAND! WE'RE SURROUNDED! (as Optimus Prime) I would be stupid to believe conflict still existed. (as the Autobot) OH, GOD, THEY'RE MELTING MY FACE OFF! OPTIMUS, HELP MEEEE!! (as Optimus Prime) Quiet! I'm contemplating things.

Linkara (v/o): Actually, Kup, another Autobot, yells at Prime to quit daydreaming, and we quickly get into another '90s action scene, where we learn that, indeed, the guns he is carrying use bullets that are discarding shells. Hot Rod, realizing that his hands are suddenly human ones, based on the coloring, transforms into his car mode and takes off.

Optimus Prime: Hot Rod! Blast you, come back! (narrating) Gone! And no sign of Grimlock and the others anywhere, even though these are the exact coordinates he gave us! Some days...

(A snippet of "The Touch" from The Transformers: The Movie plays briefly)

Stan Bush (vo): (singing) You've got the touch!

Optimus Prime: (narrating) have to do everything yourself!

Stan Bush (vo): (singing) You've got the power! Yeah!

(Suddenly, everything stops to a record scratch)

Linkara (v/o): Wait, wait, wait, this is the '90s now. Obviously, he'd go with some different music.

(A snippet of "Tire Me" plays)

Rage Against the Machine (vo): Yeah, ya tryin' ta tire me, tire me / I can see you in front of me, front of me / Ya tryin' ta tire me, tire me...

Linakra (v/o): So the Decepticon forces are defeated.

Optimus Prime: Well done.

Hot Rod: Heh. It's strange, isn't it? The old never lose 'em!

Linkara: (as Hot Rod) Even if you do gain larger jowls.

Linkara (v/o): Grimlock shows up and leads them to a Decepticon outpost that they captured. Everyone gathers inside and naturally crowds themselves around a control console, including Optimus Prime, who is sitting down with his arms crossed. Oh, no, wait, in the next panel, he decided to get up and walk towards a window. That makes sense while Grimlock is explaining the situation. Basically, the planet, a desert wasteland, didn't used to be like this; there was a thriving ecosystem in place, but it collapsed under the strain the base was putting on it. In turn, they've discovered seventeen other planets with similar conditions. The Decepticons would land on a planet, subdue resistance, and then start terraforming the planet to resemble Cybertron.

Optimus Prime: can this be? Even if Bludgeon lied about his plans, he had neither the work force nor the resources to accomplish all this!

Linkara: Again, to quote Simon Furman, (reads from comic) "Do not, I repeat, DO NOT expect a continuation of the original comic. A fresh start was needed, and that's how we approached the book. Everything I thought I knew about Transformers went out the window." (looks up) I'm so glad that new readers don't need to know who the hell Bludgeon is or what Optimus Prime is talking about. (smiles sarcastically) Not a continuation at all, my friends.

Linkara (v/o): However, before the Autobots can talk anymore about it, a ship in orbit rains down fire on them, completely destroying the Decepticon outpost. We cut to Earth... aaaand I need to explain some stuff.


Linkara (v/o): In order to create some hype for the Generation 2 comic, the first vestiges of it appeared not in its own book, but in the pages of the "G.I. Joe" comic, which makes sense, since the two franchises seem to have an odd friendship with one another, with occasional crossovers. In this case, our favorite little terrorist organization, C.O.B.R.A., located the remains of Megatron and rebuilt him into his new tank form, to coincide with the Generation 2 toy. And BOY, does he look silly in green and purple! Anyway, the G.I. Joe team gets confirmation of Megatron's rebirth, and they use a special amplifier to try to contact the Autobots and warn them about Megatron. Next scene!

(The transition scene from Transformers is shown)

Linkara (v/o): It seems that despite the base being obliterated, the Autobots are none the worse for wear and have been captured by the ship in orbit.

Jhiaxus: I am Jhiaxus. And as you are no doubt aware, your lives are in my hands. Had I wished, I could have simply pulverized you all from space.

Linkara: (as Jhiaxus) But then I wouldn't get to do my villain monologue, and I've been practicing this thing for weeks.

Jhiaxus: I chose instead... to educate you!

Linkara: (as Jhiaxus) Now, please take your planner and write out the following pages that you need to read. I expect a five-paragraph essay on the themes of these chapters due no later than tomorrow.

Linkara (v/o): Jhiaxus explains that the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons ended four million years ago. You see, originally, Optimus' group and Megatron's group crashed on Earth and were in hibernation during that time. While they were gone, the majority of remaining Decepticons left Cybertron and went looking for greener pastures. The forces that remained were considered small-minded tyrants that had no place in their new future.

Jhiaxus: So you see...we had progressed far beyond the tiny, small-minded war you awoke to on Earth. We are one race now, and the tools of destruction have become tools of construction.

Linkara: (as Jhiaxus) Like that laser beam we shot down at the outpost that blew it the hell up. (gives a thumbs-up) Construction!

Linkara (v/o): By the way, what do you mean you are "one race"? You just admitted it was the Decepticons who left. YOU'RE STILL DECEPTICONS. You didn't mention anything about any Autobots coming with you. Optimus starts acting uncertain for no particular reason, but still denies Jhiaxus.

Optimus Prime: It all sounds very wholesome...

Linkara: What sounds wholesome about it? They left their own home world and apparently have been wandering for four million years, scraping up other people's planets for lunch.

Linkara (v/o): Optimus calls them out on this bullcrap, saying that they're as evil as Megatron was, but Jhiaxus says they aren't evil, they just don't give a crap about other lifeforms, that it's only the Autobots who seem to care about them. He says the war is long over and that Prime is just a relic of an age long past and that he should join them and together they will rule the galaxy, blah-de-blah-de, evil. Somehow, this boring nonsense has gotten to Prime.

Optimus Prime: I tell you, Grimlock, I suddenly feel very small. It's like discovering your entire world is but one blade of grass in an earthen forest.

Linkara: (incredulously) Are you serious?! A bunch of assholes left your planet and decided to be assholes somewhere else! There is nothing more to this!

Optimus Prime: Relics. That's what Jhiaxus called us...and he's right.

Linkara: No, he wasn't! Why are you even buying a single word that he's saying?! De-cep-ti-con! How is it that you always forget the prefix of your mortal enemies?!

Optimus Prime: We're a joke. And everybody knew the punchline except us.

(Cut to a clip of the Transformers cartoon series)

Decepticon: This is bad comedy.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Grimlock points out just how stupid that is, that their time on Earth showed them what was really important.

Grimlock: Time on Earth help us look down, see what we trample on. It life, no matter what it size or form. We watch it struggle, fight for existence. We helped it then-- why not now? If Decepticons not see that their way wrong, it up to us to educate them... THE HARD WAY!

Linkara: (as Grimlock) Me Grimlock give Decepticons detention!

Linkara (v/o): Grimlock punches his way out, which none of the guards seem to hear, apparently, and they steal some guns. Another guard spots them, but Optimus shoots him in the head.

Linkara: (as Optimus Prime) We need to teach the Decepticons how important and precious life is... (holds up machine gun) BY KILLING EVERYTHING!!!

Linkara (v/o) They free the other Autobots, conveniently also locating an arsenal that's... on a wall? On the floor? What the hell is with this perspective? (sounding disinterested) Anyway, we see them quickly move through the ship, destroying the same goons over and over. Then this shot of them scowling and shooting guns all at once with more shells popping out of their guns. Huzzah. They steal two shuttles from the ship, disable the ship's weapons, and make their escape. Jhiaxus isn't concerned, though, since he has another pursuit ship that's going to follow them back to their base. As you can tell by this picture, he's really happy about the fact that he can track. And so, our comic ends with Optimus Prime slumped in a chair and contemplating recent events.

Optimus Prime: The war we thought over goes on. Only now our task seems boundless, endless! I am troubled, and not by the sheer enormity of the problem.

Linkara: You were able to escape from this guy's ship with little to no opposition, and at the rate you were going, you'd probably have taken over the ship within an hour. I don't think there's very much cause for concern.

Optimus Prime: My eyes have been opened, the scale of the threat revealed, and yet still the visions of dark apocalypse persist.

Linkara (v/o): Here's a thought: why didn't you stay on board and end the threat permanently?!

Optimus Prime: Something else waits for us. Something far worse than the Decepticons.

Linkara (v/o): Um, how do you know that? Maybe it is the Decepticons, and they just have greater numbers than you realize. I guess we'll never know because YOU DECIDED TO RUN AWAY!

Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic sucks! I know a lot of people said that they actually thought this series was pretty good, but I've gotta say, I was not impressed by (points to comic) this issue.

Linkara (v/o): It's just so BORING! The action is either too cluttered to follow or too quick to get invested in. The cover was right: this isn't the Optimus Prime I know and love. This guy is just a moron who is easily swayed by the villain! In addition, the artwork featured washed-out colors and, for some reason, incorporated '90s-style costuming trends to friggin' robots! You know, the Transformers in the old comics did a lot more than just shoot their guns. There were brawls, chase sequences, elaborate dogfights, and strategies employed. This is another reason why this style from the '90s doesn't work. Just seeing things shoot at each other is exciting. You've got to have something else: a ticking clock, music, investment in the characters, and concern about what will happen next. But as we keep seeing in '90s comics, they don't even seem to acknowledge the situations around them, just shooting again and again, as if that's all you need! It's so dull and lifeless!

Linkara: You know, Simon Furman wrote in the back pages that it was a great thing that, with this comic, he was no longer under the same constraints of a (makes a "finger quote") "toy book". If this issue is any indication, maybe sometimes it's good to have someone report to shake their head at it. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)

(End credits roll to the closing credits music for the Transformers cartoon)

Be sure to check out Grimlock's latest appearance in the title role of King Lear!

Gritty = shooting guns and being so emo for no good reason, apparently.

(Stinger: Linkara is working on a Cybermat)

Linkara: So you're probably wondering why I didn't feature any Generation 2 Transformers toys or anything of the like in this review. Well, let's just say that the last time I walked into a toy store, I ended up getting stabbed by one of the employees. It's a long, complicated story involving San Francisco, ninja toys, and the Terrible Zodin. It's far too epic in scale for this stinger. (tinkers some more, then looks up again) Heavy assault security sentry for the ship.