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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No, it's not 'Generation 2'..., 4 Sep 2004
Mr. J. R. Coupland (Somewhere on Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transformers: Second Generation (Paperback)
The introduction of the Special Teams - groups of five robots able to combine into one giant - was an important moment in the Transformers toy line, and Hasbro were eager that the Transformers comic should heavily promote the characters. Unfortunately, the US reprints showing the debuts of the robots were several months away from being published in the UK at the time the toys came out, and so the toy company forced Marvel UK's hand into creating an early introduction...
This volume relies heavily on events in early issues of the US comic - Optimus Prime transferred the essence of the Creation Matrix into the head of the Autobots' human friend, Buster Witwicky, to prevent its powers from falling into Decepticon hands while he was held prisoner. As seen in 'New Order', the Matrix was ultimately returned but, as the story begins, Buster is being plagued by nightmares about a new form of Transformer, which the Autobots decide to investigate further.
'Second Generation' suffers for the reasons I mentioned earlier - in effect, it is little more than a toy commercial. While previous UK only stories - 'Dinobot Hunt', 'Crisis in Command' - were used by the writers to tell exciting and adventurous stories, here Simon Furman was pushed into selling the Special Teams' powers at every opportunity. This gives the story as a whole a rather forced feel. Not that the three part 'Second Generation' is a bad story - it is still well written, excellently drawn and exciting enough - but it doesn't really stand up in the same way as other stories. The situation would arise again, with the introduction of the Headmasters, and in both cases Simon Furman's talent and enthusiasm means he just about pulls it off, although often these tales really do seem less like comic stories than extended Hasbro adverts. Interestingly, the third part of 'Second Generation' veers off at a completely different tangent - ignoring the Special Teams almost entirely to focus on the Decepticon leadership battle - and, while it does feel tagged on and might have benefitted from being a stand alone tale, it is largely superior to the preceeding two parts.
The volume opens with two stories which tie into the events of the title story, focussing on Buster's nightmares coming to life. In 'Robot Buster', Wheeljack and Ratchet build their friend a robot suit to protect him against the Decepticons, but he bites off more than he can chew when, almost immediately, he encounters Shockwave, and 'Deveatation Derby' finds the Constructicons (in effect, the first Special Team) on Buster's tail. This story, in its second half, is little more than one big fight - but it's a good one...
Following the events of 'Second Generation', the volume presents three of the UK comic's annual Christmas stories. While nothing essential - they amount to little more than various Transformers learning of the meaning of Christmas - they were always something I looked forward to as a child, and it's nice to have them collected here - although with them being here it would have made more sense to release this book in December, rather than August... Also present is 'Dreadwing Down', a neat little tale starring the Powermasters.
As a whole, 'Second Generation' is easily the least essential UK volume, although it does demonstrate the stories Simon Furman could come up with under pressure and showcases one of the main traditions of the UK comic. Now, how about a few volumes of black and white stories...?
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad artwork, 28 Oct 2007
This review is from: Transformers: Second Generation (Paperback)
It must of been printed on the equivalent of 'economy print' or something because all the glorious artwork of the original comic seems ruined. It's rendered flat and 2 dimensional, like a 5 year olds story book.
I've read it all, and in practice this does actually seem to make all the difference as to whether you enjoy it or not. When you compare the original comic to the annual it's just obvious.

I think its because the shadows and finer texture details etc... are crudely reduced and simplified. Whatever the reason when I compare the splendid artwork in it's original comic form to the artwork in the reprinted form, the reprinted artwork just seems a bit rubbish at the end of the day. This really effects the reading experience for some reason, and I'm actually not going to buy any more of the reprints by the publisher Titan Books because if this.
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Transformers: Second Generation
Transformers: Second Generation by Will Simpson (Paperback - 23 Aug 2004)
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