COUNTDOWN TO REGENERATION ONE #81 (DAY 1)

On Wednesday, July 11th, the much-anticipated Transformers: Regeneration One #81 hits comic book stores and download outlets, heralding the re-commencement (and, ultimately, conclusion in issue #100) of the original Marvel Transformers series — the one that started it all! I’ll be ticking down the days to July 11th with semi-regular blog updates and behind-the-scenes features, starting with the first part of Regeneration One #80.5 — deconstructed.

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The Free Comic Book day bridging issue (part recap/part launch pad for the new series) teased a whole bunch of stuff that’s to come in the twenty issues of Regeneration One, and here — in some detail — are some of the thought processes behind it. Beware – spoilers (especially if you haven’t read #80.5) abound!

Regeneration One #80.5 — DECONSTRUCTED, pt 1: before I get into the page-by-page (or pages) stuff, some of the preparatory background… What to include? How much to reveal? What flashback images were needed to build the foundations of Regeneration One? These questions had to be answered first and foremost. The issue needed to do several things: firstly, quickly establish the new status quo on Cyberton, then jump-start a conflict that has (mostly) been on hiatus for the last 21 Earth years, while ending on enough of a jaw-dropping finale to bring readers back for more. Oh yes, and recap 80 previous issues (plus the Headmasters mini-series). In 16 pages!! Rather than panic, which was my first inclination, I went back to the proposal document and looked ahead to the overall skeleton of RG1 that had been thrashed out between Andrew (Wildman), IDW and myself. And realized I maybe had a means to (kind of) begin at the ending, and in the process incorporate the flashback stuff into the narrative. I hated the idea of just stuffing in random pages of recap stuff. It felt clumsy. I wanted something organic that would pay into the overall circular nature of the larger story. With that in mind, I started to beat the issue out…

Page 1: Why ‘Counterpoint’? Well, one of the things Regeneration One will challenge is how we view the whole nature of the Transformer race, the Great War and — particularly — the Autobot/Decepticon schism. Later in the issue, Soundwave gives his ‘spin’ on the underpinning motivations of Megatron, and as we progress we’ll strip away some of the mythos and present a very different view of Primus and the grand plan. And what is Zero Space? Can’t tell you that, but by issue #100 you’ll know. There are clues, in #80.5 and in later issues, but it’s not just a random construct. It is something. It means something. So what are we seeing here? Both past and future. Yes, that is Jhiaxus top centre. He’ll be coming into things, in a G2ish kind of way, big-time once we reach the third (of our four) story arc. And that is indeed Circuit Smasher on the left. And yes, as described in the solicitation text for #83, he is Spike Witwicky. Looking good for a forty-something year-old, isn’t he? There’s a reason for that. Both he and Jhiaxus are key elements of Regeneration One, which why they’re up front. And all the past stuff is important (to greater or lesser extents) too. In fact, even the shape of the Zero Space effect is important. This is the only issue I’ve written (ever) where I’ve had to include separate notes (for the artist and editor), just to make sure all this fine detail and texture gets in there.

Pages 2-3: Before we get into the background of what flashback image and why, there’s a very important possessive pronoun in the first caption: “our”. With the flashback spreads, apart from giving me a chance to go all Stan Lee with my “Witness!” captions, I needed to pare down what we see and read to the details most essential to what is to come in the next twenty issues. So if it’s there, it’s important. Trust me. Some of it is pure underpinning stuff you’d need to know if you were coming to it fresh, the rest is there because some part or element of it will come into play later. In this case, it’s a lot of the former stuff: essential, underpinning mythos. But that’s not to say we won’t turn some or all of it on its head at some later point. Can this omniscient narrator be trusted? We shall see. I just want to say right here and now: Unicron is gone for good. He’s not coming back. But that in itself is a simply HUGE problem for our cast!

More soon, keep watching…

5 Responses to COUNTDOWN TO REGENERATION ONE #81 (DAY 1)

  1. Kent says:

    I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!

  2. Rob Queen says:

    Thanks, Simon! I am really looking forward to this.

  3. Well now I really can’t wait ,issue 80.5 was awesome ,and was very hard to get .I will say I was a bit let down when I read who Circuit Smasher was ,but I am still very intrigued.
    That being said ,I need to ask .
    Why the name Circuit Smasher ? It is so close to Circuit Breaker ,which I am guessing you can’t use .I don’t want you to spoil anything ,but it is just odd that Spike has that moniker ,and his “powers” seem very similar .Almost like he is a replacement for her .

    • simon furman says:

      As always, there’s a reason. Let’s just say that Spike’s powers are more than just ‘very similar’ to those of Josie Beller (aka Circuit Breaker). There’s a link that will become apparent in #83.

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