A DASH TO DALLAS
(griffin's 2012 BotCon adventure)
For those who don't know - Simon Furman (Transformers comic & cartoon
writer since 1984) was one of the writers for Dreamwave while they had
the comic license. When Dreamwave folded in 2004, a number of comic
issues were in various stages of development, from scrip stage to fully
printed stage. None of those issues could be produced or sold after
Dreamwave collapsed, and until recently, the events of various stories
that were unfinished, were not fully seen or heard by fans.
As the Dreawmwave situation is still sorting itself out, more of the unpublished work is being forwarded to fans, thanks to Simon Furman. Either by printing copies of the scripts, or by presenting to the fans through a slide-show, some of the unseen artwork.
I'm not sure how much I missed, or what he covered before I got there,
but the first unreleased comic he was talking about when I arrived was
the Beast Wars comic.
This mini-series by Dreamwave was meant to follow on from their short Summer Special story (about Rattrap having a dream).
The first issue would be more of Rattrap's dream, a recap of the Beast Wars cartoon series, leading to the end of the series and their departure from Earth with Megatron strapped to the front.
But as they are leaving, Megatron breaks free, causes the shuttle to crash back to Earth, and begin the Beast Wars again. (remember - Beast Machines doesn't follow on directly from BW, so they could do just about anything between the two cartoon series in an ongoing comic if they wanted to... as long as the story ends where Beast Machines begins)
The first issue was penciled, and maybe even inked. Some pages from within the first issue..
More of Rattrap's dream.
Still dreaming... and waking up.
Megatron on the front starting to break loose... then forcing the shuttle to crash.
Ending with Megatron in Dragon mode. And the cover to Issue 2.
The last issue released was #30.
Energon #31 was apparently printed, but never made it out of where ever it was printed/stored.
The issue featured a flash-forward by Over-Run, talking about it to the Autobot Traitor, who is revealed to be a member of the High Council.
Alpha Quintesson is also shown to be running his own agenda, while on Unicron's leash... using his four horseman.
#32 & #33 Covers. Ghost Starscream would have eventually gained his solid state over several issues.
These were the first and last ages from #32.
WAR WITHIN V3 - Age of Wrath
Only #1-3 were released, leaving #4-6 not done.
Issue #4 was fully coloured and lettered, ready for printing.
He showed us a couple new "Seekers" - Atomic Pile & Critical Mass.
Mentioning that they had something to do with the "Grimlock Clones".
From #4 - Quintessa, where most of this issue was centered, featuring the Turbomasters.
Pencils and fully finished first page.
And some more finished pages.
Including this nice one with Blaster and his Cassettes... plus the Triggerbots.
He's excited that the "team" is back together.
First up, he talked about how he was originally pulled into the UK Transformers
comic, asked to do some stand alone stories that wouldn't contradict anything
in the US stories (so had to resolve themselves as if nothing had happened).
Then he talked about his time with the comic, highlighting some pivotal events/issues:
- Target 2006 (their own universe in the future that they could play with as they they pleased, as long as it didn't mess with the present day too much),
- UK #150 Origin Story (something that wouldn't be easy to get approval for today, but at the time, no one at Hasbro said no),
- US #56 (taking over from Budiansky, who only met in person with Simon on the day he offered the role. He was tired of writing Transformers and only thought the series would last a few more issues anyway).
Simon felt confined on Earth so took the story out into space soon after. And brought across some of his UK story elements in the proces. After a while they "went nuts", as it hadn't been axed as expected)
- US #68 (Furman wanted Wildman to start with this issue but the editor wanted someone else to draw the Neo-Knights issue),
- US #75 (Wildman was meant to draw it, but couldn't fit it in his schedule). The consequences of Unicron's destruction was meant to played out for a while.
- US #80 (had to wrap up as much as possible in a couple issues, as the quest for the Last Autobot was to be lengthy, and Optimus wasn't planned for resurrection for quite a while).
The new RG1 comic will use some Gen2 elements, but not others (no Liege Maximo or Swarm), so it's a bit like a new Gen2.
Hasbro wasn't too sure that the original series needed a continuation
or planned ending, so asked Simon to give them 3 loose ends he'd focus
on. He gave them nine.... just to start with.
Plot elements that Furman wants to wrap up this time:
- Action Masters/Nuecleon
- The underworld creatures from #76
- Ultra Magnus
- Wreckers (different line-up to Gen1 Wreckers, but will be featured from #81)
- Ark crashing on Earth and its passengers (Shockwave, Starscream, Megatron, Ratchet, etc).
- Megatron/Ratchet symbiotic situation (to be a big element of the first story ark of RG1).
No Marvel characters (like Circuit Breaker) will be used. A new human called Circuit Smasher will be introduced, who is similar to CB, but is not related to Circuit Breaker.
Furman was initially planning/offered a 4-6 issue mini-series for RG1,
but was then offered 20 issues, to bring it up to #100.
It is written to absolutely END at #100, with no intention or allowance for it to become an ongoing series after that.
(on a side-note, the day before* I asked the IDW senior editor Jon Barber if the series could become an ongoing if it ended up being really successful - and he said it wouldn't be something they'd say no to, but would have to be a real hit for that to happen)
The First story arc - Loose Ends Parts 1-5
Second story arc - Natural Selection
Someone asked about the "First 13" concept that Hasbro have now designated as the founding concept of their current Aligned (Prime/WFC/etc) Universe, noting that it was first mentioned in Furman's Ultimate Guide a few years beforehand. Furman mentioned that he'd forgotten that he threw that in there, but did confirm that that is where Aaron Archer later got the idea from, and expanded on it to be current (Aligned) Canon in the History of Cybertron.
(*I also asked Jon Barber about why we haven't seen anything more from the Movie Universe from IDW, like we did after the first two movies - he said that they are currently focusing on the MTMTE, RID & RG1 comics, so won't be looking into doing any more Movie comics until closer to the 4th one. We also had an "off-the-record" talk about the challenges of making sense of Bay's TF3 in comic form and having to explain a lot of plot & character elements with his (Barber's) prequel comics, to such an extent, that he made watching the movie a lot easier)
The cover to the Free Comic Book Day issue (80.5).
Pencils of a double-page spread.
Then the inks...
And finally, the fully coloured and lettered page.
Cover to #81 (or one of several covers expected)... and a frame which he said "isn't what it seems".
Or - Return to Sunday 29th April page
Or - Return to main index page
OZFORMERS - The Australian
(and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way
back in 1996 - try to find a Transfan community that's older)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au