This week (Wednesday 18th September) sees the much anticipated release of Transformers: Regeneration One #0, the kind of extra (and extra-special) issue we’re squeezing in between issue #94 & #95. Just how ‘much anticipated’ has surprised even us, despite the stellar line up of artistic talent involved, and the first printing has sold out in terms of its Diamond Distributors orders well ahead of its release. But don’t worry. Supply just equals demand, that’s all. And… there’ll be a second printing hot on its heels — with another variant cover by Casey Coller!! As is usual, even though this is a far from usual issue, my script (w)rap — a kind of writerly digression into everything that went into the planning and execution of the issue — follows, and (also as usual) inevitably contains some spoilers (though these tend more towards teases than out and out spoilers), so be warned. Okay, so, what’s with this extra issue, and why? Here we are on the cusp of the final story arc and suddenly we’re knee deep in a whole adventure in the time stream. Was this planned? Well, yes and no. Originally, much of what you’ll see in #0 would have been covered in some kind of recap fashion during the ongoing narrative. Hot Rod would still have been sent into Zero Space by Primus and emerged… well, that’s a might too spoilery… he’d have emerged anyway. But we wouldn’t have had the chance to really explore the four storylines (past, present & future… or rather, alternate future) that are going to come to bear on RG1 as a whole. Originally, #0 was pitched as an Annual and a chance to bring some more classic Transformers artists back into the spotlight. But it kind of morphed into #0 instead, and now has a very defined spot and role in the continuity. The intent, though, remains the same, and we’ve got Geoff Senior (doing his first interior strip work for I don’t know how long), Jeff Anderson, US TF mainstay Jose Delbo and (representing the newer wave of TF artists) Nick Roche and Casey Coller each providing simply gobsmacking pages, in a variety of styles, for the various segments. Stephen Baskerville provides inks (where and when necessary) and John-Paul Bove is on colour duty throughout (weaving different styles to fit the story and artist involved). Most of all, #0 gave me a chance to delve back into the rich history of the original Transformers comic (US and UK as it turned out) and bring yet more strands and loose ends into the seething mix of RG1. Everything now is thundering towards our final arc, The War to End All Wars, and everything in #0 is some facet or portend of where we’re going and what will happen next. Dare I say it… #0 is about as essential as it gets, and a whole of (retro-) fun in the process. Can’t wait to see what people think. You can check out the official IDW preview here and comment on the issue in this very thread.