Sunday, 16 August 2009

Review - Transformers Best of UK: Prey! #1

Having lived in isolation for most of my childhood I was never fortunate enough to have read any of the old Marvel Transformers comics. Now, with Transformers Best of UK: Prey #1, I can finally see what TF fans read back then. This comic was originally published in Marvel UK's the Transformers #96 and #97 in January 1987. Here we go...

Synopsis: Following his return from the limbo dimension, Optimus Prime is disconcerted his Autobots were so lost without him they were forced to join forces with Megatron so they could defeat Galvatron. Optimus decides to test his soldiers, afraid they would be unable to cope if he should die in the future. He plans to convince the Autobots he has died so he can see how they cope without him. Informing only Wheeljack that he has made a fascimile of himself, he then tells the other Autobots that he is going on a reconnaissance mission to the Decepticons' base. He plans to destroy his fascimile and send a distress signal to the others who will discover his "body".
Meanwhile, Megatron is becoming more and more paranoid about Optimus, even attacking Motormaster when he dares to suggest he and the Stunticons could defeat Optimus. Soundwave (acting as double agent for Shockwave in order to depose Megatron) is alarmed by this, and, deciding it is time to remove Megatron permanently, persuades Megs to call in the Predacons from Cybertron to weaken Optimus so Megatron can finally kill him.
Later, while looking for a suitable setting to set up his "death", Prime is attacked by the Predacons. Taken by surprise, he struggles to throw them off. Gradually the Preds wear him down, cornering him. Megatron orders them to finish the job, and they close in for the kill...
Later, concerned that they haven't heard from Optimus, the Autobots (with Wheeljack) set out in a search and discover Prime's body, torn to shreds by the Predacons.

The Good: I like this issue, I really do. Simon Furman did well; the story is as good quality as his modern work, and good dialog as well - I love Prime's internal monologue and his mental conflict. The art, though nothing like today's standard, is pretty good for the era. Andrew Griffith's new cover (pictured above) is really cool, great shot of Predaking about to slag Prime (though he's killed by the Preds in their individual forms). You can see the original covers at TF Wiki by clicking here. But on the subject of the comic itself, all in all a satisfying issue.

The Bad: The quality of the art scanning is terrible (as an illustrious relative pointed out). Whether the comic was originally like that or whether IDW did a half-assed scan of it instead of using the original plates is a mystery that I will likely never find the answer to. Ah well, that is all.

The Ugly: It seems awfully convenient that Prime decided to go out alone at pretty much the exact same time that Megatron came up with a plan that required Prime to be alone. This happens a bit in the 80's - often the writers don't think things through enough, if at all. But hey, it's still a good story - very satisfying for a "hardcore" fan such as I. Oh, and the writing at the bottom has not been changed from the last Best of UK series - it reads "best of uk city of fear".

Verdict: Hugely satisfying all in all. I absolutely loved this issue, and I'm very much looking forward to the next issue (won't ruin it for myself by going on TF Wiki). Real fans should check this one out, it's totally worth it. Rated 8 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 3:44 pm, SUNDAY 16 August


  1. Darn. I hate the Predacons. I just never thought that Transformers that are metallic would transform into an organic Creature, unless of course the creatures they turn into are made of steel. Oh well I guess I'll never know why they put the Predacons in Generation 1 Comics.

  2. You darn right mate. You will never know.
    In the G1 cartoon their beast modes were seriously crappy. boxes with heads and legs. IDW's take on them is good, playing more on their roles as a crack assassin/suicide mission team.


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