Well, they said it couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be done (and it was mostly me said it), but this week sees the release of Spotlight Wheelie (the second of two Spotlights this week!). It’s no secret that I have little regard for the old (or maybe young) Wheelster, so it’s due credit to artist Klaus Scherwinski for managing to get me motivated enough to join his little venture. Make no mistake, this is Klaus’s book. He came up with the original story concept idea and asked me if I’d pitch in on the writing front. We kneaded and refined the story together, then I wrote what amounted to an old ‘Marvel-style plot’ (in which the action was loosely broken down in clumps of pages) and away Klaus went, breaking down the story, pencilling, inking and colouring the entire book and co-collaborating on the dialog we then layered in to the art. And the end result? Very pleased. We did the IDW thing with Wheelie and while not discarding what had come before entirely re-created him for this new continuity, in the process turning him (we hope) into less of a two-dimensional (and annoying, let’s face it) character. Of all the Spotlights I’ve been involved in, this is perhaps the most focused, the most character-led, and yet still there’s a penultimate page payoff that makes it a part of something MUCH bigger. We even get around to explaining why (by the end of the issue) he talks in rhyme! I’m looking forward (with some trepidation, I’ll admit) to hearing what people think of Spotlight Wheelie. It’s out Wednesday 18th (US) or Thursday 19th (UK). For more information on all IDW’s TF releases check out their website here. Oh, and Klaus’s cover art can be seen by clicking on the thumbnail below.

17 Responses to WHEELS ON FIRE

  1. Bass X0 says:

    Was tempted to post in rhyme but decided against it for this… moment.

    I’m looking forward to this one too. We’ve seen cameos of Wheelie before in the main IDW series – I wonder if this book can be connected in continuity to those previous cameos.

    I have little against Wheelie or this comic but I can’t help but think there are many more interesting Transformers to write about. Repugnus is a pretty interesting character going by his Dreamwave MTMTE profile but sadly never gets to do anything interesting in the comics.

  2. Black Bumblebee says:

    I’m actually looking quite forward to this. Sure, the IDW guys could have gone the safe route and did a story with a “safer” character… but where’s the fun in that?

    How much cooler would it be, if Simon and company are able to pull it off? I think so. Even if Simon did not decide to completely recreate the character into something else, there’s a lot in Wheelie’s tech spec profile that suggests he’s a LOT darker than he’s been portrayed.

    “Only the fiercest shall live.”

  3. Best First says:

    Can’t wait to go to the shop and pay,
    But sadly not ’til Saturday.

  4. Bobby says:

    Oh wow, is this wheelie’s design inspired by the Jizaitoys model? Awesome!

  5. Dan Coyle says:

    I wasn’t gonna get this one (no particular hatred for the character, I just didn’t feel like spendin’ the shekels) but WOW, Klaus’s art blew me away and the story was appropriately epic for such a short space, the way the best Spotlight issues seem to be.

    I remember 15 years ago (!!!) when you made an appearance in Philadelphia for a big Comics convention to hype the (then a few weeks late) Generation 2 series. I remember asking, “There’s no SPOILER, right?” “Oh, don’t worry, there’s no SPOILER”.

    But the last page… I’m normally very averse to SPOILER, but an IDW-verse take on what’s on the last page… I’m all up for that!

  6. Jazzblack says:

    I picked the Wheelie spotlight up straight after work.

    Congratulations Mr Furman, you and Klaus actually made Wheelie likeable.

    When are you going to get around to doing that HubCab spotlight?!


  7. Dawfydd says:

    Now THAT wsa a pleasent suprise 🙂
    Kudos Simon, to you and Klaus for A: making Wheelie into something approximating a bad-ass, and B: for that final panel, promising the arrival of some un-comprimising justice (?) to the IDW TF-verse…

    Oh, and Cyclonus kicked several shades of ass as well. Loved the lineup of Nemesis and his crew.
    One question though: did my eyes deceive or is one of the Dead Universe characters an update of Lord Straxus?


  8. Hasief says:

    Wheelie got kudos from CBR’s “The Buy Pile” column: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16872

  9. azurek says:

    Cyclonus was the one that i was waiting for but the last page of whelie was the real thing worth waiting.

    Thank you mr Furman

  10. simon furman says:

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s good to see that Wheelie seems to have struck the right chord with readers.

    Great review in ‘The Buy Pile,’ I always read Hannibal’s weekly round-up. But where’s the love for Spotlight Cyclonus? Did it not even merit a mention??

    Dawfydd, that is indeed an IDW Straxus (sans the ‘Lord’).

    And Bobby, to the best of my knowledge that is, largely, where Klaus got his inspiration from. Good spot.

  11. Dawfydd says:

    Groovy, nice to see those comic-only characters getting some love Simon.
    Now, any chance of an Impactor/ Xaaron cameo in the future? 🙂

  12. Dan Coyle says:

    It’s what I’ve always wanted: Straxus teaming up with Jihaxus!

  13. Warewullf says:


    I FINALLY got my hands on these two spotlights. (Forbidden Planet Belfast sold out the day they arrived!) and I was really impressed. I LOVED the Wheelie spotlight! Now, admittidly, I’ve never hated the guy as much as some so I was approcahing this from a different viewpoint but I was really very pleased with the story. That two page spread on pages 2 and 3 was a triumph. The image of Wheelie walking through a wilderness, wind blowing dust around him, a heavy weight on his shoulders, that single image sold (and told) the whole story.
    Wasn’t expecting to see the camera trio, so that was nice surprise. Was very happy with Wheelie’s actions at the end, choosing to save a life and sacrifice his own freedom to help another. That’s a proper hero, right there. Congratulations, Simon! You and Klaus really pulled it off.

    As for Cyclonus, it was ten tons of fun! I’m reading the main storyline in trades and I’m two behind so I think most of it went over my head but it was a strong, clear story with good art and some nice character moments.

    And Straxus!! W00t! 😀

  14. Black Bumblebee says:

    I enjoyed Wheelie over Cyclonus as it felt more self contained… Wheelie came off more like an “everyday hero” sort of character.

    As for the Cyclonus spotlight… well, I liked the character portrayal of Cyclonus, but the story itself didn’t seem to have the usual, natural flow of previous issues. There just seemed to be too much happening. And what was with that Prime head turn? That needed to be made into two separate panels with a line between the heads.

    Still, brilliant work all around. You know that with every touch of criticism I give, there’s 20 other words of praise I could add to the mix.

  15. Coptur says:

    not read it yet but i’m a massive Reflector fan so i’ll be looking forward to picking this up when i get the chance

  16. Coptur says:

    cont… but i can’t help but feel sad as the idea i had in mind with Reflector would’ve incorparated both toy/comic(although only minor appearences in the past) & cartoon mythos.

    As i actually prefer how the character is totally different in the cartoon compared to all appearences/tech specs/profiles the character(s) have had. my idea/spotlight would’ve explained how three became one but yet still remained as three in some form.

    oh well 😦

    but i’m sure i’ll like what ever written anyway lol

  17. Coptur says:

    oh and..

    i feel that like Wheelie, Reflector has never been given the chance to truly shine(flash)

    i’m very pleased that they would appear in a comic together so i again tip my hat to you Mr Furman.

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