UPDATE – preview is now up, here!
This was always going to be a difficult one. As regular readers of this blog know, it’s my habit (pre-release) to uncover some of the inner workings that led to the creation of a given comic issue. I try and be as spoiler-free as possible. Just teasing/tantalising with a few details or thought processes/decisions that contributed to the finish item. Well, with Transformers: Regeneration One #85 (out this coming Wednesday, November 7th), the climax of the Loose Ends story arc, the amount I could reveal about the issue and not spoil it dwindled to next-to-nothing. Pretty much everyone now knows it features what I hope is the most titanic and revealing Prime/Megatron clash ever. I’d always felt vaguely unsatisfied that the two towering titans of Transformers-dom had never really had an appropriately epic smackdown in the (original) comic series. Circumstances and story direction just seemed to have them in different corners of the storyline, or the clashes would end in stalemate. When I came on the (US) book, with issue #56, the first thing on my mind was to get Megatron back in the fray. But through twists and turns (of my own devising) somehow I could never get them face-to-face, toe-to-toe (if you discount the Mega-Ratchet combo fight with Prime, where it’s fair to say Megatron wasn’t exactly feeling himself). So uppermost in mind when we got to continue the saga beyond it’s abrupt conclusion in issue #80 (in Regeneration One), was to put that to rights, to accelerate Optimus and Megatron into a showdown where all bets are off, the stakes and surrounding elements too mighty to brush off with an inconclusive draw (another stalemate was just not on the cards). In one corner, you’ve got Prime, who’s been head in the sand for the past 20 years, in the other Megatron, who’s been laying waste to Earth with almost the sole aim of sticking it to Prime and getting his attention. Well, now he’s got it — big time. The gloves are well and truly off. And just when you think it can’t get any more extreme (in terms of Prime’s state of mind), any worse — it does. In fact, it’s worth noting that IDW editor John Barber has been really sympathetic to this defiantly non-spoilerish lead-in to #85, and the preview you’ll eventually see is not the standard first 7 pages. It’s 5 pages from safely within the issue. It’ll give you the flavour and some of the stakes, but won’t spoil some of the OMG jaw-droppers in this issue. Anyway, I digress. As well as a totally titanic battle, I really wanted to get under the skin of the truly time and space-spanning grudge these two characters have. I wanted to understand this strange, almost symbiotic relationship a little more, before, well, it ends. Forever. All I can say is, whatever you might think you know from the covers and forums and whatever else has engendered a mountain of speculation, think again. Nothing can be taken from granted. And the Prime/Megatron clash is just one part of this packed issue! There’s Autobots (including Ultra Magnus – wait till you see that incredible Senior variant cover!) vs zombies, Wreckers vs Guardians, Spike vs Auntie and a tail end shock (or should that be ‘sting’) or two, including the return of… and… But that would be telling! Issue #85 hits the stores this coming Wednesday. Shout about it! Be first in line! Read nothing (online or otherwise) until you’ve read the issue. Trust me… fur will fly, feathers will be ruffled!