Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

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andersonh1
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Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

Post by andersonh1 »

I haven't been buying any of these "best of" comics so far, because I usually already have all or nearly all of the stories in them, but this one looks like it's worth the purchase. I do have "Ghosts" since it was in an issue of G2, but the rest of this is all new to me.

Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic
Best of the Rarities includes some hard-to-find Transformers stories from the series’ almost 40-year and some never-before-reprinted material from the U.S. and the UK. Read on for the full list (the last 2 items were confirmed by James Roberts on his Twitter):
  • Deathbringer parts 1 & 2 (coloured), Marvel UK issues 235-6
    - Ghosts (1993 G2 Halloween special)
    - The Wind of Change (a mini story from Marvel UK issue 183, depicting Dreadwind taking over from Grimlock as the character being role-played for the letters page)
    - The Night the Transformers Saved Christmas (A Woman’s Day exclusive story from 1985)
    - Dreadwind’s XMas (a text story from TF UK 304, covering Dreadwind’s replacement as letters page avatar by Action Master Blaster)
    - Two Megatrons (coloured) Marvel UK 244
    - Another Time and Place (the text story from the TFUK 1992 Annual, ending the Marvel continuity at the time)
    - An Arcee Sort of Day (from the Synergy anthology produced for International Woman’s Day 2019)
    - Untitled (Forman/Roche script from an Australian DVD release)
    - Perchance to Dream: Galvatron (coloured) Marvel UK 260
    - Starting Over (coloured) Marvel UK 261
    - Untitled (pilot for European comic published in toy catalogues; new translation)
    - Five never-before-seen b&w one-page strips by Simon Furman and Robin Smith. (Created in 1989, originally destined for the Sunday Times’ Funday Times supplement).
    - 50 examples of hand-painted covers (minus cover furniture), pencilled artwork (including some from Target: 2006), unused TFUK and IDW covers, rare posters, and pages from unpublished stories.

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Re: Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

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Got my copy today, and for once one of these $7 collections was worth it. There is a table of contents on the opening two pages and a text piece by James Roberts on the inside back cover giving some context for these various "rarities". A few are modern, most are retro, with lots of Transformers UK content, some text pieces, and lots of other odds and ends as listed in the previous post. I've only had time to skim the book, so more thorough reviews might follow as I actually have time to read it, but I'd recommend it. The only downside is that the isolated stories from the UK series obviously lack narrative context so you're reading them in isolation without knowing how the characters got where they are.

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Re: Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

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Never even saw a copy. I am assuming that my local shop did not order any, (Of course, they miss the one I would have bought.)

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Re: Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

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Dominic wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:26 pm
Never even saw a copy. I am assuming that my local shop did not order any, (Of course, they miss the one I would have bought.)
I was surprised to find a copy in my pull file since TFW2005 was reporting that it was delayed.

I don't know that I'll review everything in the book, but there's some interesting stuff in here.

Transformers Sunday Times Strips - Simon Furman and Robin Smith (1989) - Transformers as a humor strip. James Roberts says they were intended for the Sunday Times and were never published, so this is the first printing ever. They're based around the Marvel continuity, there are six of them, and they're mostly mildly amusing rather than laugh out loud funny. I do like the joke about Pretender Grimlock coming out of his shell though. :D And a random Transformer trying to explain the various Decepticon leaders from that continuity to Prime and giving up, utterly confused, is pretty good. I don't know how well this would have worked in the long run, but there was surely some humor to mine from the property.

Deathbringer - written by Simon Furman, art by Geoff Senior and Stewart Johnson - there's a lot of Marvel UK content in this book. I've read almost zero issues from that continuity, so it's all new to me. This finally makes sense to me of the panel in the Matrix Quest story with the Deathbringer by giving me some context as a random alien crashes his spacecraft, runs across the Matrix, and is changed into the Deathbringer. I love Geoff Senior's art, and it's great to see him at his prime, drawing Transformers. The Autobots under Optimus Prime go to stop the Deathbringer and Optimus is reluctant to fight it since he can tell it's powered by the Matrix. He ultimately decides that he has to stop it, and Nightbeat offers a solution. A Deathbringer is meant to visit planets and put those who are suffering out of their suffering, and since the Matrix power is slowly eating away at the Deathbringer himself, Prime essentially convinces him to commit suicide. Pretty grim ending. Each chapter of this story is only five pages.

The Wind of Change - written by Simon Furman, art by Lew Stringer - A one page gag strip, and I didn't see any context in the afterward by James Roberts, so I'm not sure where it first appeared. Grimlock is going "on holiday" (yep, this is British) from the Marvel offices and has some random human named Stubbie carry his luggage. He wants to leave before Dreadwind shows up but doesn't make it, and he shuts Dreadwind up by dropping all his suitcases on top of him, leading the Decepticon to wonder if he's "suited" for the job. Har har. Okay, I chuckled at the silliness of it.

Ghosts - written by Simon Furman, art by Geoff Senior - this one I had read, the only one in this book that I had seen before. It's in Generation 2 #2, but was apparently originally published in a Halloween special. It's Optimus Prime and his core Autobot cast vs. Bludgeon and his Decepticons fighting over a cache of ultra powerful weapons, which turn out to be guarded by a giant creature who runs off both groups. Hot Rod was supposed to create a fake creature to scare off Bludgeon, and at first Optimus thinks the creature is the result of Hot Rod's efforts, but when he realizes it's real he runs as quickly as Bludgeon did.

Then there are three pages of covers and original art. Some of them are unused covers, one is original pencils, and I don't know the significance of some, but it adds to the variety of offerings in the book, and I enjoy some retro Transformers art, so they're a nice addition.

That's all I have time for at the moment. More later.

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Re: Transformers Best of The Rarities Comic

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Next we have a one page Christmas text story featuring "Ebenezer Dreadwind" at Marvel HQ where three ghosts visit him and convince him to leave, but unlike Scrooge, he does not become a better person.

The Night the Transformers Saved Christmas - kids' comic special - has the feel of those early Marvel G1 issues in terms of art. Soundwave and his cassettes are stealing energy, Bumblebee, Prowl and other Autobots arrive to stop them. While pursing the Decepticons Bumblebee meets some humans who teach him about Christmas. When the outdoor Christmas tree won't light up, Bumblebee provides the needed electricity himself. Short and cute little story.

Next is three part painted poster by Andrew Wildman, presented as one wide format poster here. It depicts the events of Unicron's attack on Cybertron as presented in the Marvel G1 series. Nice art, with Autobots and Decepticons on the left side firing at Unicron, Unicron himself with Xaaron hovering in front of him in the center, and Optimus opening the Matrix on the right.

Next is a black and white page from an adaption of the tv episode "Dweller in the Depths", apparently produced as a fill in issue if needed but never used. Following that is another black and white page from "Destiny of the Dinobots" from the 1990 Transformers Annual. Not sure why this is rare, maybe the annual had a low print run or is hard to get? Then there's another page of four covers.

Two Megatrons! - Simon Furman and Geoff Senior - Ravage watches two Megatron's fight each other, each convinced that the other is an impostor. The duplicate appears to have been built by Straxus as part of some plot (more out of context chapters from Transformers UK here) and is possessed by Straxus. He kills himself with a cannon shot to the head rather than allow Straxus a victory. It's only a five page story, and apparently was chosen by Roberts as it is Simon Furman doing his best to explain how Megatron could have been believed dead in the US comic while active in the UK comic, which would print stories that fit in between the US.

Next is a longer text story, "Another Time and Place" which I have not read yet. I'll post a review of it when I'm able to read it.

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