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Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s Transformers #57.
The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.
Transformers #57 by Simon Furman and Jose Delbo is one of four remaining Transformers comics that I own. I never had a huge collection of them, but I did have more. I’ve no idea where they are now, only that the four I still have are in rough shape. The cover to this issue is barely attached to the comic itself, the corners very dogeared… this is a comic that’s been loved, my friends. A lot of the comics in this box look like this and while some of you are cringing, I think it’s fantastic. I didn’t just read comics as a kid, I destroyed them by reading them too much. Of course, you’d think having read this comic so much that I’d have fond memories of it, but I don’t. I have vague memories surrounding this issue and the others I own — the other three being parts two, three, and five of the five-part “Matrix Quest” (at one point, I had the entire story), about getting them or reading them… but I don’t remember the specifics too much. I may pop in on the other issues throughout the month — “Transformers Thursdays”? I love alliteration and themes. But, let’s get to the comic…
Throughout the issue, I coloured certain parts of characters in with blue pen… like Ratchet’s little tuning fork thing on his head. But that doesn’t really impact anything…
Megatron is back after blowing himself up back in issue 25. He’s back and he’s got a pretty solid plan to take over Cybertron and destroy the Autobots once and for all. He needs Ratchet’s medical help with some sort of weird armour that was probably a toy first… the armour alters the body inside and they want a doctor to make sure nothing goes wrong. If not, they’ve wired the Ark (the Autobots’ ship/home) with explosives and will blow it up. The final page reveals who Megatron wants to put in the armor as he holds up the destroyed remains of Starscream…
Meanwhile, on Earth, Optimus Prime and the Autobots confront some Decepticons called the Air Strike Patrol. Optimus sports a more advanced look here, based on a new toy version of him. (I had that toy, actually. Basically, it was a giant Optimus that came in two parts: the torso transformed into regular Optimus and the cabin of the truck, and the body became the trailer and attack base. So, you could have Optimus as a giant, ultimate version of himself, as his regular self complete with small attack base, or in transport truck form. It was pretty sweet.) The Air Strike Patrol are acting as a distraction as Megatron does his work on Cybertron. Eventually, Scorponok arrives and a fight breaks out. Optimus is apparently going through a dark phase as he is a violent motherfucker, ready to kick some ass. He calms down when some humans are almost hurt, but, by that time, the Air Strike Patrol has abandoned Scorponok and things look like they’ll be over.
The art here is serviceable. Not the best storytelling, but it’s also trying to get across emotion with giant robots. Not a bad read. I wish I had the next issue (which I did have at one point because I remember the cover — which is shown on the letters page) as it’s where Optimus goes even further apparently. “Optimus Unleashed!” Hells yes.
This issue is a solid one-two story: Megatron is back, more calculating and evil than ever, while Optimus Prime is becoming more cold and violent… the two always work best as a binary, playing off one another, and it’s almost like we realise that Megatron’s absence has resulted in Optimus not having his opposite evil self to define himself against. Part of why Optimus was so good was that Megatron was so evil — he had an opposite example to follow in a sense. I imagine a future issue has the confrontation between the two where Optimus returns to his more heroic roots.
Tomorrow, who knows. Next Thursday: Transformers #63.
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