Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Mecha Monday! Today, I’m reviewing the first volume of Transformers: Regeneration One from IDW Publishing. This comic is a continuation of the original Transformers series (often called Generation One, or G1 for short) which ran from 1984 to 1991 and was published by Marvel Comics. In 2012, IDW decided to continue the original series, bringing back the team from the original comics including Simon Furman (writer), Andrew Wildman (penciller), and Stephen Baskerville (inker). Is this comic worth reading?
Transformers: Regeneration One Volume 1 takes place twenty-one years after the initial comic series ended, mirroring the real world gap between the end of the initial comic’s run and this new series. Cybertron, home planet of the Transformers, has enjoyed a period of uninterrupted peace under the rule of Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, a faction of Neo-Decepticons led by Shockwave speaks out against Prime’s regime, but Optimus orders the Autobots to leave them be, lest violent action lead more Cybertronians to Shockwave’s side. The Wreckers, however, feel something is up and decide to journey to Earth where they encounter a menace they thought long defeated. Meanwhile, Grimlock travels the galaxy in hopes of purging himself of a virus that has rendered him unable to transform.
Simon Furman has written Transformers stories for decades and as result understands the characters very well. Despite the fact that they are machines, Furman manages to inject a lot of heart into his characters and succeeds in drawing the audience into their struggles. The comic has three concurrent stories within that all tie together, but Furman manages to transition seamlessly from one to another, and none of them feel unnecessary or shoehorned in. Similarly with the characters, every actor has a purpose: no individual is superfluous and everyone has a key role to play. I also like that, while this comic builds on the previous continuity, Furman manages to explain most things well enough that I could follow the story without knowing the specific details. My only gripe is that there were a few moments where I wished I’d read the previous comic, especially when it came to a certain character introduced in the volume’s second half.
As two of the artists on the original Transformers comic, Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville are seasoned pros when it comes to all things Cybertronian. The character designs are fairly cool, but retain the 80s vibe of the original Transformers’ designs without seeming dated. Colorist John-Paul Bove uses a great combination of bright and muted tones to bring the characters to life. My only problem with the art is that some of the battle scenes weren’t too creative, and merely involved dozens of lasers flying between enemies. Overall, however, the art is quite good.
Transformers: Regeneration One Volume 1 is a highly enjoyable comic collection. Containing issues #80.5, #81-85, it’s a solid read with great art. It’s not perfect by any means, but I think even casual Transformers fans will get a kick out of it. If you’re not a fan of Transformers, you should still give it a chance, since the characters are likable and the story is entertaining.
-likable, well-written characters
-cool plot that continues from the original Transformers comics
-great art, especially the character designs
-parts of the story are hard to follow without knowledge of issues prior to this volume
-a few of the battle scenes are bland
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He’s hoping Shockwave will show up in the next volume of this series.
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