Okay, here’s an insider look at the thought processes and deliberations behind the second batch of UK-exclusive (new movie continuity) stories for Titan’s Transformers comic/magazine, and specifically TF-UK #7 and the story ‘Starscream’s Militia’. Issues #1-6’s lead stories (of which, by now, you’ll have seen/read #1-4… in fact, #4 is out today) focused (within a larger framing story) on Optimus Prime and Megatron and then some of the characters that maybe didn’t get much screen time/characterization (in the movie itself), such as Jazz, Ironhide and Devastator. This interlinked mini-story arc was set during the early stages of the Prequel material established in the IDW Movie Prequel series. All well and good, but somewhat limiting, in that the characters could only appear (apart from the odd flash-forward) in their pre-movie/Cybertronian (protoform) forms, and if they transformed it either had to be into their spacegoing ‘meteor’ mode or some alien variation on their (eventual) Earth mode. Fine for older readers, but maybe confusing for younger readers who wanted to see the trucks and cars and jets from the movie proper. So, issues #7-12’s lead stories really had to be Earth-based. The question was, how? Where? Given the limitations (sequel in the works, more IDW movie-based stories to come in all likelihood), the stories couldn’t just ‘continue’ on after the end of the movie without possible story contradictions ensuing (later). So, we decided to squeeze our next batch of stories into the very tail end of the movie, exploiting the ‘unseen’ time between the end of the battle in L.A. and the sort of epilogue scenes. Issue #7’s ‘Starscream’s Militia’ picks up directly (moments) after Megatron’s final downfall, and has a distinctly ‘Night of the Living Dead’ type vibe, as Starscream makes decidedly unconventional use of such downed/deactivated Decepticons as Barricade, Blackout and Devastator. ‘Starscream’s Militia’ is written by me, with art from a relative newcomer to TF-strip work (apart, I believe, from a back-up strip in Panini’s Transformers Armada #9) Simon Williams. Simon’s been a regular artist on Panini’s Spectacular Spider-Man comic, as well as supplying new art for the recent Death’s Head collections and a few TF-promotional pieces. Really looking forward to seeing his take on the TF-movie cast. TF-UK #7 hits stores (in the UK only I’m afraid) on 3rd January 2008.


12 Responses to SCRIPT (W)RAP – UK

  1. limabean says:

    ooohhhhh i cant wait to read this

  2. Martin says:

    Cool, Simon’s on board to do some work 🙂 I asked him about doing aTF: Mosaic story a month or two ago but said he was busy. Now I know why. His work is great, as everyone will see.

  3. Guy Cliffton says:

    Are there any plans for these stories to be collected and sold in the U.S., too?

  4. Bass X0 says:

    I hope they are collected eventually. The current cost per issue is too expensive for what content I’m interested in.

    The actual comic strip itself from what little I read seems more orientated towards the very young – no Target:2006 style mega epics in this comic, eh?

  5. Ralph Burns says:

    Great. Looking forward to it. Nice to see the UK comic has a future to it. It’s at least going to outlast Panini Armada and Fleetway G2!

  6. Black Bumblebee says:

    Starscream with Decepticon zombies, eh?

    I’m in.

  7. simon furman says:

    While there probably won’t be any T.2006 style mega-epics (though never say never), I think it’s a little harsh to call the stories ‘orientated towards the very young.’ The key word is ‘accessible.’ We want pretty much anyone who’s seen the movie, young or old, to be able pick up and read/enjoy these stories without fear of too much tangled continuity. I liken them a bit to stories from early Marvel, where you grabbed the reader from the start with some cool splash page and then told a complete story (with a slight pull onwards to the next issue).

  8. simon furman says:

    I’m almost certain, though don’t quote me, to collect the TF-UK material at some point. It’ll be a while. though, until there’s enough material.

  9. Dawfydd says:

    Gotta say, I’m enjoying allthe content in this TF:UK comic. True some of the content could be argued to be a little on the slight side, but it works as a companion of sorts to IDW’s american output. My only slight critiscm would be the page count as by my reckoning it’ll take better part of a year to tell Beast Wars: The Gathering. Or this could be intentional to save Simon from the situation the old UK title was in where there was simply to new material to reprint.
    In any case Simon, I think you can rest easy that your (and the rest of the team’s) goal in making this title ‘accesible’ has succeded and then some. I may have mentioned this before, but in the book-store where I work one of our best selling magazines (let alone kids comics) is Transformers. As someone who started reading TF some 20 years ago (god, thats depressing…) it does the soul good to see dads (and the odd mum) introducing their kids to one of the more interesting franchises out there.

    The only question I really have though, is will the extra content in the comic (by which I mean the character profiles and Vs. features), move beyond the film characters? I just suspect that more than a few readers would get a kick out of seeing a little Gen 1, BW, or similair content. Possibly even some What If? style match-ups? how about Triple Threat movie Megatron Vs. BW Megatron Vs. G1 Megatron? Just as a change of pace perhaps?

    Anyway, just a thout…

  10. Simon Hall says:

    I like the UK TF comic!i really like the buzz on the letters’ page and the UK-exclusive stories.I am suprised that BW gets a larger page count than the Movie Prequel tale though.I’m only suprised because surely the Movie related stuff is what newer readers will be more familiar with.I’m looking forward to the new direction the UK stories will take in #7.Perhaps this could be used to clear up some of the er,plot holes in the film..? 🙂

  11. simon furman says:

    Re: extra content. Yes, by necessity, the feature content will eventually venture beyond the movie. But not just yet.

  12. simon furman says:

    Re: new direction. We’ll certainly be exploiting every plot ho-, er, unexplored avenue the movie has to offer.

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