27 April 2008

The New Quest

Related previous chapter: The Big Move Epilogue

*Kudos to Deadpool/ Den-O for guessing right before I even started penning this chapter!*

Due to the slight discomfort I spoke about in the previous chapter, Fortress Maximus was to be my next acquisition. Also, knowing myself, it must be an MIB one at the very least- no matter the cost.

Fortress Maximus.

I turned the thought over in my head a couple of times. 'Which one?' I asked myself.

Which one?

Certainly not the RiD reissue, since I have 2; Certainly not Grand Maximus, since I have that guy. So its a toss up between either a USA boxed one or a Japanese boxed one. Normally and as I always do, I will go for the US boxed one but in this instance there was more to consider.

A year ago, I had the chance to acquire a US boxed Fortress Maximus from Hong Kong. At SGD$750, but with a broken Cerebros and yellowed/ yellowing parts, I declined to buy it. One of the reasons actually, was also that the US Fortress Maximus box art was, I thought, less than impressive.

Now, when I'm definitively getting a Fort Max, I'm faced with the further choice of either still going for the US boxed one or the Japanese boxed one. I quickly decided that the Jap box Fort Max is the way to go because:
  • It has such sweet box art. Much more beautiful than the US box art.
  • It comes with a Master Sword and having seen from my Grand Maximus how impressive one of these babies were, I thought there is no harm in getting another.
  • C-114, Jap box Fort Max is in recent times becoming even rarer than what was previously the already rare C-311 Grand Maximus. I have gotten confirmation of this from my circle of collectors and toy shop owners in both Singapore and Hong Kong. In short, its a of better investment value.

USA box package art (left) versus Japanese box package art (right) (images from Botch's Box Art Archive)

The verdict is out: The quest is for Fortress Maximus, it is for C-114, Fortress Maximus in japanese box.

Next: The Acquisition

Real all Fortress Maximus chapters!
Chapter 01: The New Quest
Chapter 02: The Acquisition
Chapter 03: It is here

Related articles

The Big Move chapters:
Chapter 01: The Big Move
Chapter 02: Their New Home
Chapter 03: Shelves zoom in!
Chapter 04: Epilogue
Chapter 05: The New Quest

25 April 2008

Bluestreak (part 02) - His special place

I'd like to think that Bluestreak holds a special place in more than my heart- he holds a special place in the history of G1 as well.


I can at the moment think of 3 reasons:

[1] The blue Bluestreak controversy
It is basic knowledge among fans that while the Bluestreak box art and package pictures depict a predominantly blue coloured Bluestreak, the toy is anything but- in fact, the actual toy is almost entirely silver in colour. This begs the 24 year question of 'why didn't Hasbro release Bluestreak in his microman blue colour?'

The mythical blue Bluestreak

[2] Bluestreak is in every Transformer package
I'm sure a portion of G1 fans would have realized this, and I certainly did when I picked up my first Series 1 Transformer. In the 'Study your Transformer's Tech Specs' section of the instructions, it is the Bluestreak tech spec that is used as an illustration. Since this section of the instructions is present in all Autobot and Decepticon G1 toys up to 1990, bar carded ones, Bluestreak is by default in every Transformer package!

There are 2 versions of this- the first appeared only in Series 1 (1984) instructions and is fully coloured; the second appears from Series 2 (1985) onwards till the end of G1 and is not fully coloured. It is noteworthy that Series 1 toys who were also released as part of Series 2 (and in some countries as Series 3) had fully coloured instructions but a tech spec section that is not fully coloured. See below.

Coloured Bluestreak tech spec used as example (found in the instructions of 1984 Series 1 toys only)

Non-coloured Bluestreak tech spec used as example (found in the instructions of TFs from 1985 to 1988)

Non-coloured Bluestreak tech spec with bar chart overlay (found in the instructions of TFs from 1989 to 1990s)

[3] Parts mix up
It is also basic knowledge that Bluestreak, Prowl and Smokescreen were cut from the same mold, and had similar parts. There appears to be a mix up of launchers, whether deliberate or not.

Bluestreak came with red launchers, Prowl with silver and Smokescreen with white. These were, again, at odds with the toy depicted in their respective packages. From the pictures on the package, Bluestreak was to have silver launchers, Prowl white and Smokescreen red. This was corrected to a limited extent in that the Bluestreaks released with Series 2, in 1985, did in fact come with silver launchers.

Another mix up issue that is perhaps a little less known is the base material colour of the gun and 3 missiles that came with the launchers. This base colour, which can be seen once the chrome has faded/ been worn off/ scratched off, should correspond with the colour of the launchers. That is to say that if a Bluestreak toy came with red launchers, the base material colour of his gun and 3 missiles will be red as well; white launchers will come with guns and missiles with a white base material colour and so on.

It is thus easy to identify whether a 'complete' vintage Bluestreak, Prowl or Smokescreen is truly complete in the sense that it has all the parts it originally came with or that a seller simply mixed and meshed parts together to sell the unsuspecting buyer an apparently 'complete' toy. And that, is a word from the wise for eBay rookies.

With Bluestreak having such a profound importance to the G1 line, it is little surprise that I hit the roof when Hasbro and Takara, in recent times, purported to call him Silverstreak.

Next: What's in a name?

Read all Bluestreak chapters!
Chapter 01: A (re) introduction
Chapter 02: His special place
Chapter 03: What's in a name?

24 April 2008

Would you buy it?

I mean I always knew things here were more expensive than they have a right to be.

A couple of days ago, my colleague who's on secondment here from Hong Kong remarked about how expensive things were here. I said 'yeah', went on a little rant and forgot about it.

So I was at Books Kinokuniya today looking to buy some Neil Gaiman books in preparation for his book signing next week, which I reckon would be an earth shattering moment... then I saw it.

Encore Starscream.

AU$144.95? WHAT in the name of the universe?!? $145 for an Encore Starscream? Suddenly, my colleague's words and all that I've said in 'How do prices like these make commercial sense?' hit me like an epiphany.

If expensive comes in gradations, it would range from expensive, to very expensive, to very very expensive, to ridiculously expensive, but this instance would go beyond the final gradation- $145 for an Encore Starscream is stupid expensive- it is so expensive it goes beyond ridiculous and enters the realm of stupid.

That amount of dosh can buy 3 Encore Starscreams from BBTS US, shipped to Australia; it can buy 4 Encore Starscreams from any shop in Singapore or Hong Kong with change to spare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The proliferation of the internet and internet shopping means that a person can choose to buy a product from anywhere in the world and at anytime. It means that retailers must compete in the global marketplace rather than confine themselves to the local market. It is not a choice they can make, it is a reality. Why would any reasonable person with internet access and spending capacity buy a cash-and-carry item from a shop here when they can with a few clicks of the mouse have the very same item shipped to their doorstep? And why don't retailers realize that?

I just cannot understand how Encore Starscream and most every other thing for sale here can be thus priced. Where is the basis? What is the justification? Are the people pricing it (1) oblivious to market price; (2) mistaken about its relative availability in Australia; or (3) just plain vultures?

I suspect I'm going to lose sleep thinking about the whys and wherefores...

22 April 2008

Megatron Origin - issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)

Previous chapter: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)

This is the second part of the issue #04 easter egg hunt.

*Spoilers from here forward*


Megatron's inspiration...
So the million dollar question- how did Megatron coin the term Decepticons for his band of renegades? (pun intended)

The answer- ironically, was Sentinel Prime. It was Sentinel Prime who probably gave him the inspiration here... he was going to say 'the worst deception', but got cut off short by Megatron.

Megatron doing a karate 1-2 on Sentinel Prime (not that I know what a karate 1-2 is) (page 21, last panel)


The best line...
This must be one of my all time favourite lines in the entire series: 'I will create desolation, and call it peace'.

It even trumps my favourite Megatron line from Transformers: Infiltration (issue #06) where on Starscream's bidding, Astrotrain, Thundercracker, Runabout and Runamuck wanted to take Megatron on and he said to them- 'You will stand down. If you fight, you die... In the end you are all expendable. Choose'.

'I will create desolation, and call it peace'; it has a ring that sounds like
'Peace through tyranny'...

... which is Megatron's motto from his G1 Tech Specs. That is his vision for Cybertron, for the Decepticon cause. I need look no further than why old kings fight wars, in particular the reason why the first emperor of China united the 3 warring Kingdoms (the gist of the movie Hero is an illustration)- it is to unite all dissenters, even if it means tyranny, to bring about stability and peace. This is not my view but is certainly attributable to them.

It appears that the intent is not evil. It may be ignoble, but it may not evil in the malevolent, nefarious sense.

Eric Holmes managed to plumb the very depths of Megatron's motivations, go to the core of his very character, and in doing so tied it inextricably to G1. If anyone accuses him of not knowing Megatron, this is the line which he should hit them in the head with.

This is one of my favourite panels (page 21, panels 4 & 5)


Decepticons by choice
And... on the last page of the last issue, the Decepticons are officially formed. So begins the first Great Cybertronian War.

If I'm not too far off mark, Dreamwave's War Within vol. 1 'picks up' shortly after the events here. As was obvious, Megatron ripped the spark core out of Sentinel Prime a few pages back. In WW (vol.1) #01, Bluestreak tells Optronix 'Sentinel Prime is dead... Megatron himself ripped the spark core from his torso', fully confirming the events of Megatron Origin #04.

It may be a retcon, but its a pretty darn good, and I think it works, and I like it.

The first Great War beings... (final page, panels 2 & 3)

Next: The Quotes

Read all Megatron Origin chapters!
Chapter 01: The Mini Series
Chapter 02: Issue #02 easter eggs
Chapter 03: Issue #03 easter eggs
Chapter 04: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)
Chapter 05: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)
Chapter 06: Quotes from Megatron Origin

20 April 2008

Megatron Origin - issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)

Previous chapter: Issue #03 easter eggs

Issue #04 was packed with easter eggs and G1 tribute moments. I attempt to record some of them here.

*Spoilers from here forward*


Fusion Cannon
I think its fair to say die-hard G1 fans grew up with the notion that Megatron always had his fusion cannon. Here, we see how, why and from whom he got it from- it was, ironically, a gift from the treacherous Starscream!

Starscream arming Megatron with his fusion cannon (Page 6)


The first comic appearance of Squarkbox? (Other than in Dreamwave's MTMTE)

Squarktalk appears on Soundwave's right!


A TFTM moment
There prima facie isn't anything special about this panel until I quickly recognized how much it reflected the moment in TFTM when Megatron and Starscream were conversing after decimating the crew of the Autobot shuttle.

There are certainly a lot of similarities in terms of the way both are laid out.

Top: Megatron talking to Soundwave (page 7, last panel)
Bottom: Megatron talking to Starscream (TFTM)


The Cybertronian social life
An insight into how Cybertronians enjoyed life and socialized before the first great war and before factions. The ladies seem to have pretty interesting headgear... kind of like Melbourne Cup day here.

Cybertron high society (page 7, panel 1)


Autobots can't fly?
Just like what Galvatron said to Optimus Prime in The Return of Optimus Prime (part 2), Starscream here tells Trailbreaker- 'I just remembered... you can't fly'. For the record, Galvatron said 'I just remembered... Autobots can't fly'. =)

This at least confirms 2 things in IDW's TF continuity:
(1) a flying Transformer is rare among Cybertronians, as is also alluded to issue #03 when Megatron specifically asks Soundwave to source for 'flight-capable combatants'; and
(2) Autobots generally cannot fly.

This gives an added dimension to my theory in Autobots can't fly, can they?

Starscream ditching Trailbreaker (page 9)

The origin of Ratbat's mode
Ratbat was not always a cassette, that is, before he was betrayed and made into one.

This here actually made me think that Dreamwave's War Within vol. 2 & 3 does not fit into IDW's continuity. Here is why:

If Ratbat is already a cassette before the first great war, then it is unlikely for him to have the robotic mode he had during War Within vol. 2 (see issue #02), and then later have a cassette mode again during the regular G1 continuity. What I'm saying is that, it is unlikely, but not impossible- after all, it would hardly be fuel efficient to keep morphing from one mode to another.

It is reasonable to assume that he became a cassette here, which is before War Within vol. 1, and remains as one. At the very least, it casts doubt on whether elements and plot points from War Within vol. 2 (and vol. 3) are to be considered part of IDW's TF continuity.

Soundwave betraying his former master Ratbat and surreptitiously turning him into a cassette (page 13)


That's a wrap for the first part (of 2) of issue #04's easter eggs. Gosh, there are just so many of them this issue that I had to split them into 2 parts. Next, I will look into the final part of Megatron Origin and the formation of the fearsome Decepticons!

Next: More issue #04 easter eggs!

Read all Megatron Origin chapters!
Chapter 01: The Mini Series
Chapter 02: Issue #02 easter eggs
Chapter 03: Issue #03 easter eggs
Chapter 04: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)
Chapter 05: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)
Chapter 06: Quotes from Megatron Origin

And a little shameless advertisement:

The next series of articles will be on...

18 April 2008

Megatron Origin - issue #03 easter eggs

Previous chapter: Issue #02 easter eggs

Issue #03 was packed with easter eggs and G1 tribute moments. I attempt to record some of them here.

*Spoilers from this point forward*


This was one of those 'Wow' moments. After it sank it and I thought about it. I was totally awestruck at how well Holmes used what was an 80s marketing gimmick, the rub-sign, in a totally justifiable way in terms of the plot. Kudos! I tip my hat to you Eric.

Soundwave using his rub-sign to reveal his allegiance (Page 1)


Energon flail
This was another moment where I raised both arms in a Hiro Nakamura moment with my jaw simultaneously hitting the ground. No more need be said.

Page 6

I recall these moments...

Left: Megatron versus Optimus Prime atop Sherman Dam
Right: The same Sherman damn battle seen from a matrix induced vision (Issue #05, War Within vol. 1, Dreamwave Transformers)


Left to right: Sentinel Prime, Elita-One, Orion Pax, Alpha Trion, Prowl, Wheeljack and Ironhide.

In terms of who Optimus Prime previously was, Alex Milne (or Eric Holmes) seem to favour the G1 cartoon, War Dawn, more than Dreamwave's War Within vol. 1, even though the plot and a vast majority of the Cybertronian modes originate from the latter series.

The third robot from the left has no mouth guard and looks more like Orion Pax in War Dawn than Optronix in War Within vol. 1. Personally, I'd prefer Orion Pax over Optronix and so I'm happy here.

Page 7, panel 5


The Autobot brothers
This is such a cool moment because I've always liked the Autobot brothers Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. The fact that they might have been gladiators themselves and that they could have started off as Decepticons would go a long way to explaining their proficiency at hand to hand combat and their rebellious attitude.

After all, Sideswipe's motto is 'I don't break rules, I bend them- a lot'.

After the panel below, Sunstreaker says 'C'mon, its me. I never lose', further alluding to his G1 motto- 'They can't beat the best'.

Page 12, panel 2


Grimlock and the Dynobots
Grimlock and his Dynobots answers Megatron's call-to-arms, echoing Starscream's assertion that Grimlock used to be a Decepticon (Issue #0, War Within vol. 1)

Page 12, panels 7 & 8


G1 design goodness
Blast-Off on the extreme left, with the 3 spots on his chest, bears an uncanny resemblance to his G1 Floro Dery designed self rather than any of the more recent styles.

... and, the guy on Razorclaw's right... is that Sunstorm by any chance?!?

Page 16, panel 2


Origin of the Decepticon insignia
Megatron, at this point, stills wears the insignia like a necklace but now hints that it should be worn as a symbol of their allegiance.


The Predacons
The Predacons appear again- Razorclaw, Rampage and Divebomb (that is if the 'What's in a name' story in Marvel UK has happened and he's already taken that name from Swoop).


That's a wrap for Issue #03 in terms of easter eggs, links with G1 and other little conclusions.

Next: Issue #04 easter eggs

Read all Megatron Origin chapters!
Chapter 01: The Mini Series
Chapter 02: Issue #02 easter eggs
Chapter 03: Issue #03 easter eggs
Chapter 04: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)
Chapter 05: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)
Chapter 06: Quotes from Megatron Origin

16 April 2008

Bluestreak (part 01) - A (re) introduction


'Bro, look at this. It's so nice.' I voiced in excitement as I was pointing out the Bluestreak box to my brother, 24 years ago.

The Bluestreak toy, after Sunstreaker, was one of the first Transformer toys I ever laid eyes on within physical proximity. It has a special place in my heart, but I never had him during childhood and that adds to the bitter-sweet relation I have with this 'bot. Bluestreak is so ingrained in my mind that he ranks within the top 10 'Transformers I really wanted as a kid... but were denied'.

Of course, I now have him, together with his oh-so-beautiful-box, and even his eHobby exclusive'black hood' edition. But that is besides the point.

Not only does Bluestreak have a special place in my heart, but I'd like to think that he has a very place in G1 as well...

Next: His special place

The Bluestreak boxart - one of the most beautiful pieces of G1 Transformer art.

Next: His special place in G1

Read all Bluestreak chapters!
Chapter 01: A (re) introduction
Chapter 02: His special place
Chapter 03: What's in a name?

13 April 2008

The Big Move (part 04) - Epilogue

Previous chapter: Shelves zoom in!

So the displays were finally up.

So its all nice, all good, all excellent.

Or is it?

There I was relaxing, sitting, admiring the shelved Transformers and... I was dissatisfied. I found something is not right. Something is not right with this picture...

What's wrong with this?

I was turning my gaze from left to right and from right to left. Left to right is fine. Right to left is... not fine. At the top, I see Korean box Brave Maximus, Japanese box Brave Maximus, Grand Maximus, then Overlord. Overlord?!?

Not that I have anything against Overlord but that space to the left of Grand Maximus appears to be crying out for another 'Maximus'. Nay, it must be filled with another Maximus!

I now saw it this way. That grey area that must be filled.

I must fill it with another Maximus.

Yes, that's what I'll do. That will be my new quest- a Fortress Maximus!

Next: The New Quest (Deadpool, this chapter is dedicated to you!)

Read all The Big Move chapters:
Chapter 01: The Big Move
Chapter 02: Their New Home
Chapter 03: Shelves zoom in!
Chapter 04: Epilogue
Chapter 05: The New Quest

11 April 2008

Megatron Origin- issue #02 easter eggs

Previous chapter: The Mini Series

Issue #02 was packed with easter eggs and G1 tribute moments. I attempt to record some of them here.

*Spoilers from this point forward*

Megatron versus Cy-Kill
What can I say? As mentioned here, this is a great moment. Megatron going against Cy-Kill for real and its not some obscure thing in the background like the damaged Cy-Kill in Dreamwave's Transformers Armada #16 (page14, panel 1).

Here, we see the future leader of the Decepticons go toe-to-toe with the leader of the Renegade Go-Bots. And Megatron kills him just as surely as Transformers killed the Go-Bot toyline. A metaphorical and literal victory of Transformers over the Go-Bots.

Megatron versus Cy-Kill in gladiatorial combat


The Audience
Here (from left to right), we see unknown (probably Go-Bot), Spinister, Sunstreaker, Slugslinger and, interestingly... a Transformer that appears to be Overlord.

Page 4, panel 5

From the comparison below, I am, myself, quite convinced that the guy on the extreme right is indeed Overlord. If that is correct, this would mark his first ever appearance in US continuity perhaps even foreshadowing his future role as the Decepticon Ambassador of Destruction- woohoo!

Left: Robot suspected of being Overlord. He has a distinctively similar headsculpt with the Overlord toy (right). He even has a 'cone' on his shoulder like the toy.
Right: Head close up of Overlord toy.


Terrocons and Predacons
The Terrorcons and Predacons were with Megatron from the beginning. This panel shows Hun-Grrr and Tantrum; Blot appears to be in the background as well.

The beginning of the Predacons' ascension as the Decepticons' elite cadre of hunters and crack strike team perhaps?



Look! It's Blaster's buddy from the G1 Marvel Transformers comics!

Left: A Scrounge looking robot scavenging for energon? (Page 14, panel 1)
Right: Scrounge from page 5, Marvel Transformers #17


An empty
This here (top picture) appears strikingly like an empty from the Dead End region of Polyhex- not just any empty, but the empty that supplied Blaster with the whereabouts of Scrounge! (bottom picture)

Top: An empty empty in the vicinity of Megatron's latest gladiatorial arean (Page 14, panel 3)
Bottom: Apparently the same empty from page 12, Marvel Transformers #17


Weapon enhancements

An offering of Decepticon weapon enhancements. Present, are Megatron's energon flail/ morningstar/ mace, Starscream's null ray, Shockwave's arm cannon and other assorted weapons that I don't exactly recognize.

For me, the highlight of this issue is definitely the Megatron- Cy Kill fight at the beginning- that in itself is worth the dollars and cents I shelled out for this issue.

That's a wrap for Issue #02 in terms of easter eggs, links with G1 and other little conclusions.

Next: Issue #03 easter eggs

Read all Megatron Origin chapters!
Chapter 01: The Mini Series
Chapter 02: Issue #02 easter eggs
Chapter 03: Issue #03 easter eggs
Chapter 04: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)
Chapter 05: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)
Chapter 06: Quotes from Megatron Origin

08 April 2008

The Big Move (part 03) - shelves zoom in!

Previous chapter: Their new home

At the new place, I could do what I did not use to- I can display my Transformers.

Those identified as display worthy are wrapped using heavy duty clear plastic sheets called talc. Now, they can be proudly displayed without fear of moisture or dust. How wonderful!

These are pictures of the display shelves in my Singapore Transformers' room.

Display shelves near window - highlights are the newly acquired D-93 Mega Zarak and D-307 Overlord... and also Metalhawk which I bought from HK some years ago at a ridiculously low price.

Close up of top section

Upper display shelves near window - highlights are a Jap box and Korean box Brave Maximus and a gem that's close to heart- BT-18 Clear Mirage

Close up on middle section - includes all Takara Masterpieces from MP-01 to MP-05; all Binaltechs plus variants from BT-01 to BT-16 (though I don't think I put all out there)

Bottom section featuring the MISB Victory Saber giftset and a spare Victory Saber loose. For more, see The Road to Victory (part 03) .

Upper display shelves second section

Close up of middle section - highlights are my childhood Jap box Predacons

Close up bottom section - eHobby exclusives. Hard to believe as it sounds I actually got TigerTracks (Figure King Magazine exclusive), Deepcover and Clampdown, all MISB, for SGD$120 net when 'nobody wanted these'.

I was over the moon when all these were up. It is such a joyous thing to be greeted by that many Transformers on entering this space. It was great. But, there was something nagging at the back of my head... something that would lead me on yet another... quest.

Next: Epilogue

Read all The Big Move chapters:
Chapter 01: The Big Move
Chapter 02: Their New Home
Chapter 03: Shelves zoom in!
Chapter 04: Epilogue
Chapter 05: The New Quest

06 April 2008

Megatron Origin - the mini series

I've been catching up on reading the recent Transformers comics lately. Yesterday, I read Megatron Origin. It blew my socks off.

It rocked my world.

It's awesome. (So much so it was in my dreams last night)

Eric Holmes weaved an origin that is every bit as convincing and intricate as Furman is doing for the IDW TF-verse. More importantly, through the use of themes and designs from Dreamwave's War Within (vol.1), Megatron Origin confirms the former's validity as Optimus Prime's origin story. If nothing from the Dreamwave TF-verse survives the IDW transition, we know at the very least that War Within (vol.1) did, for now.

When Holmes indicated that he was writing this series because Megatron is his favourite Transformer, I was skeptical about how good a series he could pen. As it turned out, all the details and G1-ness that he put into the story has proven, to me at least, beyond doubt that he certainly knows Megatron and may only so know if that is indeed his favourite Transformer.

*Spoilers from this point forward*

So why was it awesome? In short, the series revealed Megatron's motivations and visions, the origin of his ruthlessness, how he acquired his arsenal and very importantly- how, when and why were the Decepticons formed.

While reading, I continually went 'oh yes', 'so that is how it came about', 'nice point', or just screaming 'woowwwww!'. Below at some of the instances.

Issue #01:
  • Megatron began as a miner. Which may go a little to explaining his immense strength and endurance;
  • He meets Rumble and Frenzy on a prison transport ship. Rumble and Frenzy were miners too, which could explain why one had pile drivers and the other has sonic powers- it was for mining purposes; and
  • Megatron showed tactical brilliance toward the end of the first issue and this could have developed into his powress at military strategy later on.
Issue #02:
  • Megatron versus Cy-Kill for real! The future leader of the Decepticons versus the leader of the Renegade Go-Bots. Megatron killed him just as surely as Transformers killed the Go-Bot toyline;
  • Sunstreaker is always present in the gladiatorial battles (panel 5, page 5; panel 6, page 10);
  • assorted Transformers and lots of Go-Bots cheering for Megatron (page 7);
  • Ratbat is shown with a body and as a very calculative Senator (pages 8, 9);
  • Blaster's friend, Scrounge, from Marvel Transformers #17 appears! (panel 1, page 15);
  • Soundwave offers Megatron his arsenal including the Flail (Morningstar) that he used when battling Prime in G1 More than Meets the Eye part 2; and
  • Bumper dies (hooray!).
Issue #03:
  • Soundwave uses a rub symbol to show his allegiance! (panel 4 & 5, page 1);
  • Megatron meets the 3 original seekers for the first time. Flying Transformers are a rare new thing- kudos to the G1 episode War Dawn;
  • Megatron 'officially' gets his energon flail when Hook installs it (page 6);
  • Elita-One, Orion Pax (because he does not have a mouth guard; alternatively this could be Optronix), Alpha Trion, Prowl, Wheeljack and Ironhide appear (panel 5, page 8);
  • Sunstreaker and Sideswipe answers Megatron's call to arms. The Stunticons, Predacons and Dynobots (Dinobots) answer as well;
  • Rumble and Frenzy are shown after their mode conversion to cassettes to 'work better with Soundwave' (page 14);
  • Sixshot appears during Megatron's speech (extreme left, page 15); and
  • Starscream's first betrayal of Megatron.
Issue #04:
  • Starscream gifts Megatron his fusion cannon!;
  • the Insecticon Kickback appears (panel 4, page 7);
  • Sentinel Prime 'goes Apex' perhaps implying that all Primes have this ability. After all, what was the Godbomber armour in Japanese continuity is, after the Hasbro TRU exclusive reissue, now officially Apex amour Optimus Prime in terms of US continuity;
  • the origin of Ratbat's cassette mode;
  • Megatron kills Sentinel Prime and presumably, it is shortly after this point that Dreamwave's War Within (vol.1) picks up; and
  • Megatron coins the term 'Decepticons'.
There is so much more in the four issues. So much, that words cannot fully describe. So I'll use pictures.

Next: Issue #02 easter eggs

Read all Megatron Origin chapters!
Chapter 01: The Mini Series
Chapter 02: Issue #02 easter eggs
Chapter 03: Issue #03 easter eggs
Chapter 04: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 1)
Chapter 05: Issue #04 easter eggs (part 2)
Chapter 06: Quotes from Megatron Origin

02 April 2008

Predaking vs Autobots

I just finished re-reading Transformers UK #96 and #97 (and #98, #99 & #100). Man was it awesome. I can almost remember how I felt when I read it so many years ago.

Why was it awesome? Answer: Optimus Prime vs the Predacons (and Predaking!).

Got me thinking about Predaking and how there's this particular picture of the guy I've been fascinated with since the 80s. It was an illustration from a Japanese pocket book which was a gift from my classmate. I have no idea as to the picture's origin- the book is the one and only place I've seen it.

In that picture, Predaking appeared to be trying to get snuff out Blurr, Arcee and Wheelie in order to get to an objective they were trying to prevent him from reaching.

This is the picture:

To me, this is such a great picture because:

[1] the action is so dynamically drawn, it becomes quite alive in my mind every time I view it- Predaking stomps down using the foot that is Tantrum, the ground quakes, rocks fly, the 3 Autobots are thrown off balance while still trying to keep their aim, Predaking now 'fires up' his ahem light saber... The action does not stop with the picture, the mind finishes each characters' movement, connects it to the next, they continue to lose balance, Predaking advances... ;

[2] Predaking and all the other characters in the picture were drawn in their exact G1 representations- just as Floro Dery had designed for the Marvel Universe profile books. I do love the way artists are drawing Transformers now, but they generally tend to be too blockish, too chunky and overly sophisticated and less anthropometric than desired- in short, they lack the simple grace and 'human-like' qualities that so characterizes Floro Dery's G1 Transformer designs; and

[3] Predaking was not using Razorclaw's sword but something that appears like a light sabre! And it appears to be just shooting out at the exact moment Tantrum comes into contact with the rocky ground. I've always managed to hear the distant light saber hum whenever I look at this picture.

Now, look at the picture again.

01 April 2008

The Big Move (part 02) - their new home

Previous chapter: The Big Move (part 01)

28 January 2008. It was a grueling day.

I started moving things from 8am till 4pm, non-stop. The Transformers were the last things to be moved to the new place- they were too precious to be manhandled by rough movers. I had to personally move them, all 35 storage units and 15 to 20 carton boxes worth of them.

It was trying to say the least, but at least I got peace of mind (or was it piss off mind). Yeah, I know, I've been known to be obsessive compulsive, at times.

By early February, it was all ready. I had them all properly stored and sorted into the new storage system.

Here they are...

Store room

The Transformers room - complete with little bonsai courtesy of daddy

The Transformers room - display shelves near window

Display shelves (part 01)

Display shelves (part 02)

Next: Zoom in of displays

Read all The Big Move chapters:
Chapter 01: The Big Move
Chapter 02: Their New Home
Chapter 03: Shelves zoom in!
Chapter 04: Epilogue
Chapter 05: The New Quest

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