Wednesday Is Comics Day! Transformers ‘84: Secrets and Lies – Apocrypha

I had something planned that blended both comics and wrestling, but ran out of time. In a bit of a notice, school is back in from next week, so I’ll be revising my review schedule and what I review and when. I hope you’re still enjoying reading about what I’m reviewing.

Issue 2

Where we left off last issue was the big battle where the Decepticons leave their starship and attack the Autobots. It continues the exercise in creative revision and “Remember that?” Easter eggs, for instance Megatron quoting himself from the movie (“Let the SLAUGHTER begin!”). Some are good, some are a bit awkward.

A big part early on goes into explaining how the Dynobots would be available to become the Dinobots. Simon Furman continues taking from himself as there are obvious similarities in the next meeting they have with Shockwave as in IDW’s earlier Spotlight: Shockwave. Also from Dreamwave’s The War Within with the idea of turning Cybertron into a cosmic juggernaut.

With how busy he is, mingling with different characters, and role as narrator, but then subsequent absence from the entire Marvel run, I’m assuming that somewhere along the way Punch/Counterpunch will be going out in a blaze of glory, or rather slinking away into obscurity. It’s surprising to see him rubbing shoulders so readily with Straxus, for instance.

Transformers fans love cameos, so this issue continues with them, including two of the Technobots, the Wreckers (including Impactor, who will have a bit more fame recently with his toy and appearance in the Netflix show), and the Monster Pretenders. It’s gratuitous, but fun.

There are a few loose ends from this issue I hope will be wrapped up, including what Counterpunch might do to Ratbat as instructed by Shockwave and what happens with the coneheads between being infected with scraplets by Shockwave and their next appearance, working for Straxus. Does the infection wipe their minds of Shockwave’s treachery? Also, going for the purposely limited colour palette goes a little awry when Shockwave is facing Dirge (blue), Thrust (red) and Ramjet (white) in one panel, then what looks like two Ramjets (both white) in the next one. It’s the trouble with going for that old way of creating shades of colours like blue. Even the colours on their shoulder columns are inconsistent across pages.

The apocrypha title I took for this review comes from a Counterpunch comment in the second half of the issue. When Marvel published the original Transformers series, the writer took use of the Savage Land as an explanation for the alternate forms that the Dinobots took to battle Shockwave. Here it’s hand-waved away as a legend, instead the Ark’s computer just scanning for the biggest, ugliest things it could to provide their disguises. I don’t mind the revision to separate the story away from an element of another company that it can no longer use, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily better. It is what it is.

I don’t consciously think about issue numbers that much, but this is issue 2 of four, so I am intrigued as to what else will be included in the next two. I would assume that there’s going to be a lot packed in. The cover for the next issue shows Star Saber, from the Japanese toyline. I think a lot will be interested to see him presented heroically as the More Than Meets the Eye series went a very different way from him. So, stuff happening, still interested in seeing stuff to come.