It’s the turn (and not before time, as I’m three scripts on from this one already!) of the lead story in Transformers (UK) #16 for the post-script discourse. This one’s more of a standalone tale, though it plays in to what’s come before and the BIG story to come immediately after. It’s called ‘Dark Spark’ (I know, I know!) and it centers around the return of a character many might have thought gone for good (but as this is our ‘alternate’ movie-verse, we can pretty much do what we will!), and whose return is good news for absolutely no one. With ‘Aftermath’ done, we’re now moving on in a big way from the whole ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ arc, and this more self-contained story was very much designed to bridge the gap between that and the next arc, one that will come to define this second batch of 13 UK issues. It’s also more character led than other recent issues, which I do like to do from time to time, to bring the focus back from the epic to a level that anyone, even a casual reader, can jump in on. If you’ve read issue #14 (‘Aftermath pt1’), you’ll have some idea already where the ‘spark’ of ‘Dark Spark’ comes from, but who gets it and what it does to them may surprise you. And it’s all connected to what’s happening (and trust me, it’s all bad) to Earth. The story sees the debut of one Decepticon and paves the way for that of four Autobots. And that’s all I’m gonna tell you, except that issue #16 hits UK stores on September 11th and the art is by Jeremy Tiongson.
No San Diego Comicon for me this year. But my yearly round of conventions and signings continues on Saturday August 2nd at the UK’s only dedicated Transformers convention this year: Auto Assembly 2008. Organizers Simon Plumbe and Sven Harvey are back with another intensive day of guests, panels, signings and dealers (and probably a bunch more stuff too). I’ll be there, as will Geoff Senior, Staz Johnson, Andrew Wildman [TBC], Simon Williams and other Transformers luminaries. And I’ll be packing comics, trade paperbacks, books, scripts and script/comic packs, all of which I’ll be signing/selling on the day. Auto Assembly is being held at the Clarendon Suites, Birmingham. For more information on tickets, the venue, event schedule and guest list, check out the Auto Assembly website here.
Out this Thursday, July 17th (in the UK only) is issue #14 of Titan’s turbo-charged Transformers comic/magazine. Not only does it kick off a second seismic year of TF-UK goodness, the original (alt. movie universe) storyline begun in the epic ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ here kicks (full blown) into its own story cycle with part 1 of the 2-part ‘Aftermath.’ As you’d expect after the events in ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ there’s fallout aplenty for the Autobots and the good people of Earth, recently reprieved from all-out Decepticon domination (for the time being!). In fact, it’s the good people of Earth who are causing the Autobots their biggest headaches right now. Hard pressed to see good (robot) from bad (robot), humankind is kicking back (with heavy armour) against the nearest available hard targets — Optimus Prime and the Autobots! And if you think Starscream isn’t going to do his level best to capitalize on all this bad feeling, you really haven’t grasped the whole Decepticon ‘rules of engagement’ thing. Plus, what exactly is up with planet Earth? The damage done by the All Spark is demonstrably more than skin deep and that’s going to mean big thumping headache number two and an eventual return to… oh, but that’d be telling! Other stuff in this packed issue includes Beast Wars: The Ascending, Megatron: Origin and the usual letters, competitions and a FREE robot blaster! What are you waiting for? Go bag a copy! Now!
Incoming from IDW this week (Wednesday 16th in the US, 17th in the UK) is Transformers Spotlight: Hardhead, the second part of the awesome Revelation cycle. Way back in Spotlight: Nightbeat, the titular Autobot investigator journeyed to a planet called Gorlam Prime, and straight into the jaws of a trap set by the denizens of the Dead Universe (Nemesis Prime et al). Nightbeat emerged with his memories wiped and a ticking time-bomb (not literally) in his head. Now, he’s back on Gorlam Prime—along with Hardhead, the Autobots’ blunt, taciturn, no-nonsense “problem-solver”—looking for answers. What they find is a vast, far reaching conspiracy, a universe-sculpting plan many meta-cycles in the making about to kick in big time, oh and Micromasters… lots of ‘em! Why’s Hardhead along for the ride? Well, let’s just say that he’s Nightbeat’s insurance policy. Those of you after a happy ending may want to look away now!! Plus, more on the sudden resurgence of Thunderwing, the return of the Wreckers, more on Arcee’s quest and much more on the Dead Universe Transformers and the secrets of the Expansion. Bad as things have been for the Autobots of late, they’re about to get exponentially worse! Let the carnage begin! Spotlight: Hardhead is written by me with art from Nick Roche (which absolutely has to be seen to be believed, it’s that good!). For news and updates on all IDW’s Transformers titles, check out their website here, and for a four-page preview of Hardhead, courtesy of Newsarama, go here. EJ Su’s cover art (part of an interlocking set) can be seen by clicking on the thumbnail below.
Been delving deeply into Transformers Animated (the new cartoon series) recently, watching a whole bunch of episodes (which I enjoyed greatly). Why? Well, the news has already broken that Titan (who already do the four-weekly UK Transformers comic) are bringing out a companion publication: Transformers Animated (UK) later this year. And I’m going to be doing some of the fully-originated lead strips. Not all, by any means, but a few here and there, kicking with issue #1’s story “Swiped!”. No details at the moment, I’ll save that for a Script (W)rap down the line, but suffice it to say that it kicks off a whole year’s worth of TFA-UK goodness, self-contained but with that all-important arc as well, and introduces an all-new character. News on the artist for that one real soon, but I can tell you it’ll be a crowd-pleaser! And, the other bit of juicy TFA new I can share is that the bumper-sized October issue #17 (of TF-UK) features a bonus 6-page UK-original TFA story, written by me, featuring none other than the Dinobots! Well, I just HAD to write that one! Right, off to watch some more episodes. Definitely the best TF series since Beast Wars, IMO.