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Top 10 greatest and most important events in Transformers fiction history – part 1

10- Sentinel Prime turns on the Autobots – Transformers Dark of the Moon

10 Sentinel Prime kills Ironhide dark of the moon

Cosmic Rust makes its mainstream return!

Bringing up the rear of the pack comes one of the more recent events occurring in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  Sentinel Prime had been billed as an “great” good guy and mentor to Optimus Prime by Micheal Bay and the villain of the film had been pegged as the evil Shockwave, to the delight of one-eye fans.  Little were we to suspect that Sentinel Prime would betray the Autobots at a key moment of the film and kill the much beloved Ironhide.  In some versions of the script, he was meant to kill the Autobot twins, Mudflap and Skids, but this didn’t make it into the film.

The moment has a bit of emotional impact due to Ironhide’s decomposition into rust, but this is not touched upon in the film after it happens even once!  This is Optimus Prime’s right-hand man that’s dead here, and we don’t hear a thing about for the remainder of the film.  The plot of the film tries to convince us that this betrayal was many, many years in the making between Sentinel and Megatron but after piecing the plots of all 3 films together, there is just no way this makes sense.  Ultimately, the movie takes a sudden dark turn after this event and the siege and resultant destruction of Chicago is a direct result of Sentinel Prime’s allegiance with Megatron.

For non-super fans and people avoiding spoilers, this event was most likely a major twist in the Transformers movie plot.  Fans digging for any information on the film most likely knew the twist was coming before they saw the film, and so this event was at least a bit predictable.  The film’s marketing department did a pretty good job of keeping a lid on Sentinel’s Decepticon ties though so this event should receive notable mention in this top ten.

9- Overlord discovered to be prisoner of the Lost Light – Transformers: More Than Meets The eye

9 Overlord discovered in the cargo of the lost light more than meets the eye

Just been hangin' around!

Is this the golden age for Transformers comics?  I’ll put my energon on “yes” and usher in the most recently occurring event in this top ten from the last page of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye issue 6.  In this final panel of the book, we have an upset Red Alert peaking through wall’s crack, discovering very top-secret cargo near the bottom of the Autobots’ ship.  Unexpectedly, we discover the lethal Decepticon Overlord is being held incapacitated, and clearly against his will.  Overlord has always had an almost mythic role in the minds of Transformers fans.  He had a large base-bot toy that has never been available in the United States.  His toy commands high prices worldwide and he finally received serious characterization in the highly-acclaimed “Last Stand of the Wreckers” comic book, in which he was the main antagonist and displayed a level of sadism that was new to Transformers.

We have not seen him since his near-death at the hands of Springer during the climax of “Last Stand of the Wreckers.”  Many had anticipated his return in “More Than Meets the Eye,” but the eventual reveal in issue 6 created intense excitement as well as more questions than it answered.  Who put him there?  Does anyone aboard the ship (other than Red Alert) know he is there? Who rebuilt him (last we saw, he was missing limbs and all but skeletal)?

This issue was followed up with the introduction of the very dangerous Decepticon Justice Division, whom has Overlord at the top of this hit-list.  Having recently discovered traces of Overlord’s energy signature, the DJD is en-route to meet up with our heroes aboard the Lost Light, which we’re all assuming will culminate with deaths, explosions, and utter insanity.

Although the story has not yet been told in full, readers have been biting their nails with anticipation for what Overlord’s discovery could mean and the comic has been in free-fall mode ever since.  It remains to see what the outcome of his presence, but no one was expecting everyone in this comic to come out alive.

8- Forest battle – Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

8 Transformers Movie Revenger of the Fallen forest scene

He'll take you all on!

It’s hard to claim that any of the events in Revenge of the Fallen deserve to be on this list, but if I had to pick one highlight from the entire movie franchise, it is definitely the forest battle where Optimus Prime takes on Megatron, Starscream and a Blackout clone.  After discussing with many fans, this is THE SCENE from the entire movie franchise that made allowing Michael Bay to have his way with us worth it.

I have to wonder though if there may be some sort of generation gap involved with the importance of this scene.  Do young transformers fans choose a different battle scene?  Would the highway battle from movie 1 stand out as more epic in their minds?  Did the initial transformation of Barricade while interrogating Sam have more “WOW” factor?  Hard to say, since I was not able to view these movies with fresh eyes.  To me, as a long-time surveyor of Optimus and Megatron battles, this took the cake for battle scenes and my overall excitement level was at its highest during my first viewing of what we all have come to call the Forest Battle.

The sense of scale of this scene probably took a cue or two from The End of Evangelion, and who else loved Optimus hitting Megatron with a tree?  Such bliss.  It even culminated in the apparent death of Optimus Prime, and our first look at Cybertronian loose teeth.  But more on that later…

7- Return of Megatron – Transformers Animated

7 Megatron returns iN Transformers Animated

Transform and RISE UP!

One thing that was absent from most of the start of Transformers Animated was the Decepticons, and most importantly Megatron.  The method the writers chose to tell the Animated story was somewhat unique to Transformers: the main antagonists were human villains.  This was changed significantly during Season 2 and 3 though, when Hasbro realized they weren’t planning to sell toys for the villains.  The big payoff at the end of season 1 of Transformers Animated was the triumphant return of Megatron as a dual-blade helicopter.  The scene was dark and many thought that Megatron had murdered Professor Sumdac during his metamorphosis from a immobile head and body to a full-fledged warrior of destruction.  We later learned that Megatron was keeping Sumdac as some sort of pet, but it took the break until the next season to discover that.

After a full season of an incapacitated Megatron, seeing him come to life was incredibly satisfying and set the tone for the rest of the run of the show.  The Decepticons were completely over-powered compared to the Autobots and the return of their leader signified a heavy sense of dread that the Autobots themselves must have felt.  Voiced by Corey Burton, the original voice of Shockwave, we now had our first good look at a new style of Megatron that no one dared to challenge, that is except the immortal all-spark-infused Starscream.

All in all, the arrival of Megatron showed that Animated had a lot more to offer than just being a kids’ show.  Definitely the most anticipated and ultimately game-changing event of the series, Megatron’s return reminded us to never underestimate his devious and manipulative demeanor, even if he is lying around the room in pieces.

6- Ultra Magnus takes off his armor – Transformers Dreamwave

6 White Ultra Magnus

They took the brother at arms thing all the way

Compared to where Transformers comics have gone most recently, it’s almost sacrilege to give praise of any kind to the Dreamwave comics run of the early 2000’s.  The Dreamwave era was something Transformers fans had devoured instantly but years later, it’s easy to see where they feel short on many levels.  The art is still one of the great successes of the company’s uses of the Transformers comic license, but even that has its critics.

There was one major plot point that had a resounding impact for the fandom and that was the finale of the second volume of Dreamwave’s G1 series.  During this pivotal moment, Ultra Magnus removes his battle armor and reveals in canon for the first time that he is a white clone of Optimus Prime.  He then attempts to thwart Shockwave, who has already activated the matrix, and evidently doomed Cybertron after inadvertently sending some sort of beacon to a previously dormant Unicron.  It’s a shame that we’ll never know the true outcome of this event since the comics were never fully resolved due to Dreamwave’s demise.

The impact for this was a legitimization of the white Optimus Prime figure included with the G1 Ultra Magnus toy.  Many a young transfan had made up their own reasons for the white Prime figure during make believe battles.  Now for the first time, the white prime was not just being swept under the rug but being celebrated and revered.  Magnus essentially saves Optimus Prime and redeems his previous deeds from the previous five issues.  The scene had nostalgia value, great art, and made for one heck of a wrap-around comic cover.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article!

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Transformers Ani-con 2008 Hong Kong Autobot & Decepticon box sets – TFTM holy grail

Transformers hong kong decepticon giftset

My precious!!!!!

Last year I was on a wild goose chase through the annals of TFW trying to hunt down a very rare and obscure set of boxsets from China – The Transformers Movie Ani-con 2008 Autobot and Decepticon Premium boxset. These were a very short release and each boxset featured a nice spread of figures from the first Transformers Movie. Most of the figures inside were premium versions of the Hasbro releases including Leader Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide, and the standard Ratchet release. The Decepticons included all premium versions of Megatron, Starscream, Blackout, Barricade, and the regular release of Brawl. None of the figures in these sets were extremely notable, it was instead the uniqueness of the packaging which drew my eye.

Transformers Hong Kong Movie 1 giftsets

Cool foil-stamped and embossed packages

I found someone on the TFW2005 boards offering to sell the Decepticon set and I freaked out. It was one of those situations where no one immediately knew what the set was and if I swooped in quick enough, I may snag these gems at a lower-than-expected price point. My ambition got the better of me though after I struck a deal and swiftly paid the seller via Paypal gift, never to receive the packages.

Transformers Movie boxset packaging

They are beautiful as a set!

Long story short, I got screwed out of a good chunk of money, one of my worst losses in Transformers collecting history. Moral of that story? Be more cautious when you find very rare items you think may never find again – there’s always another chance.

My second chance came as a complete surprise when my good friend Deceptigtar surprised me out of the blue with a brand spankin’ new Autobot boxset!!

Transformers Autobot Giftset from Movie 1

Best friend ever!!!!!!!!

One of the more notable things about this set is the nicely embossed outer shell and the gift certificate featuring artwork by none other than PAT LEE?? Yes, post Dreamwave, Pat Lee was comissioned for some artwork specifically for this certificate of authenticity. What’s also strange is that it features the OLD head of Movie Megatron. A bizarre sight indeed.

Transformers Movie giftset certificate of authenticity drawn by Pat Lee

All kinds of crazy

Although Deceptigtar wrangled in both of the boxsets, he is of course keeping the Decepticon one. This just means that I shall live to fight another day and continue my search for the Decepticon version. That item is literally the last piece of my Movie 1 collection I need before I have it all, barring Lucky Draws. Trust me, that shit takes up a LOT of space…

Transformers decepticon movie boxset interior

Decepticons forever!

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The missing Dreamwave Transformers endings – Age of Wrath and Energon conclusions to be revealed by Simon Furman

Transformers The War Within - Age of Wrath - unreleased comic book covers

Well at least we have an inkling that Mr. Prime was coming back

Not all great mysteries in the world of Transformers and collecting have to do with the toys. Take the incomplete works of Dreamwave, which folded out of the blue back in 2004 after 3 great years of Transformeriffic bliss. When the doors closed, locked behind it were the conclusions to Transformers Ongoing, War Within: Age of Wrath, and Energon. These comics had been receiving mixed reviews at the time, but anyone following along was anxiously awaiting to see exactly how the Quintessons would betray Megatron in War Within, see if the dark husk of Unicron would return to life, and watch the antics of Gnaw and Wheelie begin in the Ongoing series.

After over five years of waiting, Transformers scholar Simon Furman is ready to blow the lid off! He is going to finally reveal his plans for where Energon and Age of Wrath were going to go and end. Check out his blog now to get glimpse of what was in the works for Energon and stay tuned for more — much more!

Unreleased Age of Wrath comic covers from NTFA.net.