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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Transformers Key Comics Part 2

The battle for Earth and Cybertron continues with Part 2 of this Transformers key comics series suggested by JW. I'm pretty much gonna make this a straight-forward series and regulate it to the 1st Marvel series.

Then again, I could change my mind as we get deeper into this, but Generation 1 was definitely what I grew up with. Honestly, I don't even know much about Generation 1 and even less about the other stuff that came after concerning the toy line or even the cartoons like Beast Wars.

Anyway, here's part 2 and more robots in disguise key comics!

1st appearance of Circuit Breaker

Not sure why Overstreet notes this issue as the 1st full appearance of Circuit Breaker, but then again, I'm not all that in-tune with this comic series. CGC just notes this as a 1st appearance of the character.

She appears to have a hatred of robots. Understandable because Josie Beller was crippled by them.

In this issue, she dons the special mesh of circuitry or suit in this issue and becomes Circuit Breaker. The suit allows her body to move, but like her name states, it also disrupts the functions of other machinery via energy blasts. 

Her character doesn't distinguish between Autobots or Decepticons and treats both as threats, but she has allied with the Autobots on several occasions. Transformers #9 has the cover date of October, 1985.

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Intro or 1st Constructicons
1st appearance of Devestator

My brother was a Decepticon fan and didn't like the Autobots. Therefore, he collected many Decepticons, and the Constructicons was definitely on his radar.

Actually, he was all over them and had them all in order to form the gigantic Devestator. At that time, it was the coolest thing ever and even on the cartoon.

So the Constructicons were robots that turned into construction or demolition vehicles. When in disguise or vehicle form, they all fit together to form the huge Devestator.

Like many of the special unit teams within the ranks of Autobots and Decepticons, there's a leader and Scrapper is that leader for this Decepticon construction and demolitions unit. In vehicle form, Scrapper is a front-end-loader and the right leg of Devestator.

Hook is the team's egomaniac and perfectionist. He is a master craftsman and arrogant. Hook turns into a crane and is the shoulder and head for Devestator.

Bonecrusher is the beserker who revels in the destruction and the beauty of rubble, which he tries to transform anything he deems imperfect into. When forming Devestator, he is the left arm or shoulder. 

Scavenger is an excavator when transformed. Insecure with low self esteem, he is quite pathetic often. He is the black sheep of the Constructicons and often tries to prove his worth to the unit but fails miserably.

When constructing Devestator, Scavenger is the right arm or shoulder really. Mixmaster obviously transforms into a concrete mixer truck. He is a genius chemist but the nutty one of the group as seen by the other members of his group.

Although a cement mixer, Mixmaster can put virtually anything into his drum and convert it into new building materials. Long Haul is the dump truck and hates his role as a transport vehicle. He longs to be a full time warrior instead of hauling materials to and from a building site.

Long Haul is the lower torso of Devestator. While extremely intelligent individually, the intelligence gives way to the single-minded pursuit of destruction when all are combined into Devestator. Devestator is the first combining toy and character from the Transformers line of toys.    

Like the Dinobots for the Autobots, the Constructicons are a power house hammer used to demolish threats that normal Decepticons cannot not handle outright in battle. While not in battle, they do build various machinery or structures for conventional or non-conventional use.

Transformers # 10 has the cover date November, 1985.

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1st appearance of Jetfire

I do believe I had this character, and for some reason, I remember him being pretty bulky or heavy as a kid. The character was one of the first Autobot jets, and I do believe he was the only jet I had from the Transformers Generation 1 toys.

I did mostly have Autobots and my brother Decepticons. Actually, I can't remember owning any Decepticons.

Well, Jetfire makes his first appearance in comics in Transformer issue #11 as a Decepticon according to Overstreet. Some sources do say that the character appeared in issue #10 briefly.

I'm just going by Overstreet and CGC here. The character would later change sides, and even gain sentience. I think he starts off as a drone, but not sure about that since I didn't read the comic. Jetfire transforms into a VF-1S Super Valkyrie.

Transformers #11 has the cover date of December, 1985.

1st appearance of Grapple, Hoist, Smokescreen, 
Skids & Tracks
Jetfire gains sentience & becomes Autobot

Here's the issue where Jetfire gains sentience according to sources. Not sure whether or not that's correct but Overstreet notes this as the issue where Jetfire joins the Autobots.

This issue also has the first appearances of Grapple and Hoist. Grapple is a builder and Grapple transforms into a crane, kinda like the Autobot version of the Constructicons.

Hoist is the repairman of the Autobots. Much like a family physician and transforms into a green tow truck.

Smokescreen was remolded from Prowl and Bluestreak and he transformed into a 1979 Nissan Fairlady Z race car. His bio said that he is the closest thing the Autobots had to a member who thought like a Decepticon.  

This issue also sees the first appearance of Skids and Tracks, and Transformers #14 has the cover date of March, 1986. 

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1st Blaster, Powerglide, & Seaspray
1st Cosmos, Beachcomber, Preceptor & Warpath
1st U.S. appearance of Insecticons
1st Straxus, Dirge, Thrust & Ramjet

Another Decepticon group that I thought was cool was the Insecticons. Not sure my brother had them all or not, but he at least had one.

In the cartoon, they were some of my favorite Transformers though they were kind of odd. Not really vehicles nor really in disguise.

I mean a giant robot of an insect is hardly in disguise. It's just a big robot insect and anyone seeing that would be able to make them out. However, in the comics, they could shrink down to insect size.

Anyway, the Insecticons are Decepticons but not the most loyal. They help out Megatron only when they can gain something in least in the cartoons.

They do have a limited amount of appearances in this comic series. In this issue, they are guards of Straxus. The character of Straxus was not in the original Generation 1 toy line, and he was created first for the actual comic series.

He does not make that many appearances, but he is depicted as Decepticon warlord. His citadel is called Darkmount and the character's first action figure released in 2010 was named Darkmount instead of Straxus due to the name not being available. 

This comic has a slew of first appearances. The toy line came out with three new jets for the Decepticons: Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet in 1985. 

The trio would be nicknamed the "Coneheads" by Transformer fans as the cartoon had them appear different so they wouldn't be confused with the original Decepticon jets like Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker.

When it comes to whether the first appearance of Dirge, Thrust or Ramjet was in the Marvel UK comics or the American series first, I admit that I have no clue about that. Perhaps an expert on Transformers comics does.

The Autobots communications specialist, Blaster, was a toy I did have, probably because I was making up for not having Soundwave. However, he wasn't as cool as Soundwave and neither were his microcassettes Eject, Grand Slam, Raindance, Ramhorn, Rewind and Steeljaw.

Although Blaster makes his first appearance in this comic, I'm not sure if his microcassettes do or not. Cosmos, the ridiculous UFO Autobot, makes his first appearance as well as the hovercraft Autobot Seaspray.

Preceptor was another Transformer I owned. He turned into a microscope and was a renowned scientist of Cybertron. He makes his first appearance in comics in this issue and so does Beachcomber and Warpath.

Transformers #17 has the cover date of June, 1986.

1st appearance of  Omega Supreme

Although David Wise wrote much of the back ground for the character in the animated series and called the character stupid and based off a completely illogical toy, Omega Supreme was a pretty prominent Autobot character. The character is another powerhouse type character and was created in order to combat the Constructicons by Grapple.

At least, that's his origin in the comics and it is different than in the animated series. He transforms into a rocket base, and has three different components. 

However, unlike other combiners, his different components are not individually sentient. He's kinda of a goofy looking toy to be honest. 

Anyway, his 1st appearance is in this issue, and Transformers #19 has the cover date of August, 1986.

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1st appearance of Aerialbots

The Autobots get their own squadron of jets in this comic issue, but they are also the first Autobot combiner special team like the Constructicons are for the Decepticons. They combine to form Superion.

There are five Aerialbots. The leader is Silverbolt and he forms the torso of Superion. His vehicle mode is a AĆ©rospatiale-BAC Concorde jet.

Skydive transforms into a  F-16 Fighting Falcon jet and forms the left leg of Superion. Fireflight transforms into an F-4 Phantom II jet and makes the right arm of the giant robot.

Then there's Slingshot. He transforms into an AV-8B Harrier II jet and forms the left arm of Superion.

Air Raid transforms into a F-15 Eagle jet and forms the right leg. Superion's intelligence is downsized when all the Aerialbots come together to form it. His two simple goals are to destroy the Decepticons and to protect others.

October, 1986 is the cover date for Transformers #21 and the 1st appearance of the Aerialbots.

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So there's Part 2 of this Transformers key comics. A few first appearances of characters that I remember from the cartoon or had the toy. 

This is the American Marvel or mainstream continuity, and it is confusing when you try to merge it with the Marvel UK comics. However, as stated in Part 1, there are characters who did appear first in original stories written by Simon Furman before the American series.

Astrotrain is one, and I'm not 100% sure, but his first appearance in actual comics or comics/magazine just might be Transformers UK #88, which is the Epilogue to the Target 2006 story arc. Once again, not 100% sure, but if so, that comic came out in November, 1986 in the UK or at least the cover date is such. It was published before the American comics.

Also, the Insecticons did appear first in the UK Transformers Annual 1985 which was a hardcover comic but part of Marvel UK. Most likely, it was released in December of 1985, and that is before the release of the Transformers #17 American comic series. The UK Annual is actually not a plentiful find here in the states.

The Marvel UK comics did have original stories and some of those original stories were even reprinted in some issues of the mainstream Marvel series. So, convoluted and confusing to someone who isn't a hardcore Transformers comic fan like myself.  

Most of the actual U.S. comic books aren't all that valuable yet, despite Transformers being a widely popular brand. Kinda strange but it is what it is.

We got more Transformers key issues in Part 3, so click the link below to continue onward. See ya there and happy hunting or selling.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mayhem,

    small request here by Quasimodo - could you make a Rising Stars key issue list? Got issue 1 - 24 and would like to now which one has key issue appeal so that I should hold on to it. You know, movie coming and all.