And so we begin… the end. 100 (or so) issues and 30 years in the making, the original grounding Transformers comic and series starts the countdown to its epic conclusion with the release (this week, November 27th) of Transformers: Regeneration One #96. The final arc kicks off with both aftermath (of #95′s epic battle against Bludgeon’s Blitz Engines) and the opening thrusts and feints in what is to be a truly double-edged conflict, one that will come from without and within (with the lines blurring constantly). As is my habit at such pre-release moments, my scribely digressions on the issue follow. Beware of slight spoilers if you wish to enjoy the experience without even a whiff of what’s to come. But, as always, my aim is to tease and torment rather than reveal. So begins The War to End All Wars, the pulling together of all the threads we’ve been dangling for the past 15 (or so) issues. Omens and portents abound on Cybertron as Rodimus Prime struggles to understand the often cryptic clues scattered by Primus on his journey through Zero Space, and uppermost in his mind is the question: who is Jhiaxus? And perhaps more importantly, what’s he been up to since he deleted himself from Cybertron’s history many millennia ago? But more immediate concerns, such as the Primordial Cybertronians and rogue (time-lost) Decepticon Galvatron take precedence this issue, but that doesn’t stop ace investigators Nightbeat and Bumblebee beginning their search. While on Earth, the building of a Space Bridge to unite two mauled and battered worlds/populations, brings its own clanging chimes of apocalyptic doom. Let me just say, that the omens for a happy ending are not good, and nothing (and no one) is quite what they seem. For a full preview of the issue, check out the official IDW offering here. Otherwise, just clench your bits and wait for Wednesday. Trust me, it’ll be well worth a few grimaces.
And here we are, after the short but essential detour that was issue #0 (just how essential you’ll see once we hit our final chunk of RG1), at the wall-to-wall drama and destruction finale to the third arc, “Destiny”. Hang onto your hats as Transformers: Regeneration One #95 hits the stands this coming Wednesday (October 23rd). This one has a truly cinematic summer blockbuster feel, with relentless action on all fronts. As usual, ahead of publication, here’s my scribely musings on wrapping up the penultimate RG1 arc. But be warned, there are inevitably some small spoilers, so if you’d rather go in cold, cease and desist now. Otherwise, here we go… So, where we left things several intriguing clashes were in the offing: Omega Supreme vs Monstructor, Blaster vs Soundwave, the Wreckers en route to Bludgeon’s WarWorld, Ultra Magnus battered but triumphant after his battle with Galvatron (and now pitched into the all-out rearguard action against Bludgeon’s nigh-on unstoppable Blitz Engines), Grimlock and the Dinobots surrounded by the feral Primordials at the heart of Cybertron (in the mysterious Primus Chamber). Can the Wreckers cut the supply of Matrix energy (courtesy of the remains of Thunderwing) to Bludgeon’s Blitz Engines? Not if Bludgeon himself has any say in the matter, which he certainly does. Our master of Metallikato shows exactly why he’s one of the most feared and deadly Cybertron warriors, as he takes on all the Wreckers… at once! And grudge matches abound, as Blaster squares up to his fellow ‘sonic’ warrior Soundwave. Blaster wants payback after Soundwave tried to have him silenced (permanently) in issue #92, but don’t expect Soundwave to just roll over. (Trust me, this one rocks!) And what about the freshly-minted Rodimus Prime… where does he fit into all this? And as always, as some storylines reach their conclusion others are just gathering pace, ready for the total meltdown that is our final arc, The War to End All Wars. If you think things are looking bad for our beleaguered robots in disguise this issue, wait’ll see what’s just around the corner. It’s bad, y’know. The full IDW preview of the issue is up here if you just can’t wait until Wednesday. What am I talking about? I can’t even wait!
Okay, so, just when I thought my 2013 convention commitments had taken me as far afield as I could go this year (without actually leaving the country), along comes Dundee’s 2013 Comics Day, aka Starblazers — on Sunday 27th of October. And yes, I’ll be there, along with Regeneration One artist Andrew Wildman and a host of other luminaries in the comics field. As usual, I’ll have exclusive signed comic/script packs and other goodies for sale at the event, and Andrew and I will be co-hosting a panel in the afternoon. Check out this link for more details.
And just a note to say that, regretfully, I won’t now be attending Thought Bubble in Leeds at the end of November. Apologies if you were counting on tracking me down there. Fellow RG1-ers Andrew Wildman and John-Paul Bove will both still be in attendance though.
Just a quick (and very slightly late) heads up that the scorching and yet slinky 2nd printing of the sell-out Transformers: Regeneration One #0 is now in comic stores. So if you missed out on this frankly unmissable issue (which features the artistic flourishes of no less than five Transformers greats — Geoff Senior, Jeff Anderson, Jose Delbo, Nick Roche and Casey Coller — and sets up just about everything, story-wise, for our searing final arc) or just want (yet) another cover variant (this time courtesy of the multi-talented Casey Coller) to line up with the others, then what are you doing still reading this? Go straight to your local comic book store and pick it up this instant! Before it sells out too.
Hard to believe, but yet another date has been squeezed into a humongously packed 2013 convention schedule. This coming Saturday – October 5th – I’ll be at the London Film and Comicon (Winter variant) at London’s Olympia. I’ll be there all day (though not the Sunday), signing and selling my wares (including super-rare Regeneration One script/comic packs), as well as chatting about the halcyon days of Marvel UK on a special panel to commemorate 25 years since Dragon’s Claws #1 hit the stands, heralding the beginning of Marvel UK’s US format comic publishing program. Tickets are still up for grabs or available on the day, so pop down if you can for a wallow in pure UK comics nostalgia. For more info, check out the LFCC website here. There’s even a rumour that Dragon’s Claws co-creator Geoff Senior might drop in too, and we may just drop a few hints about our new creator-owned project, which owes a few debts to Dragon’s Claws. Oooh!
A whole bunch of signed script and comic packs are now up for grabs, including (for the first time/not previously available at any convention) Regeneration One #0. You can check out the auctions over on my ebay page here.
This week (Wednesday 18th September) sees the much anticipated release of Transformers: Regeneration One #0, the kind of extra (and extra-special) issue we’re squeezing in between issue #94 & #95. Just how ‘much anticipated’ has surprised even us, despite the stellar line up of artistic talent involved, and the first printing has sold out in terms of its Diamond Distributors orders well ahead of its release. But don’t worry. Supply just equals demand, that’s all. And… there’ll be a second printing hot on its heels — with another variant cover by Casey Coller!! As is usual, even though this is a far from usual issue, my script (w)rap — a kind of writerly digression into everything that went into the planning and execution of the issue — follows, and (also as usual) inevitably contains some spoilers (though these tend more towards teases than out and out spoilers), so be warned. Okay, so, what’s with this extra issue, and why? Here we are on the cusp of the final story arc and suddenly we’re knee deep in a whole adventure in the time stream. Was this planned? Well, yes and no. Originally, much of what you’ll see in #0 would have been covered in some kind of recap fashion during the ongoing narrative. Hot Rod would still have been sent into Zero Space by Primus and emerged… well, that’s a might too spoilery… he’d have emerged anyway. But we wouldn’t have had the chance to really explore the four storylines (past, present & future… or rather, alternate future) that are going to come to bear on RG1 as a whole. Originally, #0 was pitched as an Annual and a chance to bring some more classic Transformers artists back into the spotlight. But it kind of morphed into #0 instead, and now has a very defined spot and role in the continuity. The intent, though, remains the same, and we’ve got Geoff Senior (doing his first interior strip work for I don’t know how long), Jeff Anderson, US TF mainstay Jose Delbo and (representing the newer wave of TF artists) Nick Roche and Casey Coller each providing simply gobsmacking pages, in a variety of styles, for the various segments. Stephen Baskerville provides inks (where and when necessary) and John-Paul Bove is on colour duty throughout (weaving different styles to fit the story and artist involved). Most of all, #0 gave me a chance to delve back into the rich history of the original Transformers comic (US and UK as it turned out) and bring yet more strands and loose ends into the seething mix of RG1. Everything now is thundering towards our final arc, The War to End All Wars, and everything in #0 is some facet or portend of where we’re going and what will happen next. Dare I say it… #0 is about as essential as it gets, and a whole of (retro-) fun in the process. Can’t wait to see what people think. You can check out the official IDW preview here and comment on the issue in this very thread.