Comic Name: The Transformers (Marvel)
Writer: Bob Budiansky/Len Kominski
Artist: Don Perlin/Graham Nolan/Herb Trimpe
# of Issues: 12
Release Date: 2011
Reprints The Transformers (Marvel) #14-25 (March 1986-February 1987). The Autobots continue to try to make Earth home, but find opposition from humans and the Decepticons. A man calling himself Robot Master accidentally gets caught in the war and finds himself playing both sides of the battle. When a new space bridge between Earth and Cyberton opens, the possibility of travel between both worlds opens up. As the battle between the Decepticons and Autobots increases, a final showdown between Optimus Prime and Megatron yields shocking results.
The Transformers Classics—Volume 2 follows IDW’s publishing of the first volume of collecting Marvel Comics’ classic The Transformers comic of the 1980s and early 1990s. The collection is a nice affordable set of comics that have become difficult and sometimes expensive to purchase.
One of the first things that new readers of the Marvel Comics series might notice is that the series departs radically from the popular TV series from the same time period. It is a bit of a strange comic because as opposed to the TV series, some of the Autobots and Decepticons do die, and there are more continuing storylines. The comic often shifts from the Transformers’ perspective to the humans battling them and also has more Decepticon based storylines from the Decepticons’ side than the series often had.
Two big “heroes” that evolve in this story are Robot Master and Circuit Breaker. Donny Finkleberg first appears as the comic book writer of Robot Master, but is hired by Barnett to take down the Transformers from the inside in Transformers #15. Donny gets caught up in the battle once he realizes the Decepticons are the “evil” Transformers and finds he keeps getting sucked back in despite his attempts to just get home. Circuit Breaker appeared earlier in the series but resurfaces as a member of R. A. A. T. who is attempting to stop the Transformers. Both characters have several issues that revolve around their story.
The big event that occurs in this collection happens in Transformers #24 and Transformers #25, and it really changes the course of the comic. Optimus Prime and Megatron have a final face off in a computer program and Optimus Prime realizes he’s lost (despite winning) because he allowed computer generated characters to die in his defeat of Megatron…this leads to his destruction (though a back-up file keeps his mind alive for a future return). Megatron then goes crazy since he never actually “killed” Optimus Prime and destroys the Space Bridge in a suicide attempt. Both deaths are kind of lame in the sense that you say “Really? They are going to go out like this?,” but they are pretty shocking to a series that was pretty much based around the two characters fighting.
The Transformers Classics—Volume 2 is a must for Transformer fans or those who grew up in the ’80s. It might not follow the cartoon, but it does have the same feel and the same characters you grew up with. The art isn’t spectacular and the storytelling is also just par, but it feels like a fun visit to the past reading (or re-reading) the series.