Transformers: Armada (comics)
Transformers: Armada spawned at least three different comic book titles, the first being a mini-comic supplied with the toys, coming in various languages, that told small side stories relating to the premise, and eventually began leading into the Unicron Battles.
Optimus Prime in Transformers: Armada
|Publication date||July 10, 2002+|
|No. of issues||17|
|Main character(s)||Autobots, Decepticons|
|Written by||Chris Sarracini, Simon Furman|
|Inker(s)||Rob Armstrong, Erik Sander|
|Colorist(s)||Alan Wang, Gary Yeung, Ramil Sunga|
The second comic was a monthly publication produced by then-comics media giant Dreamwave. Unlike the animated series that shares its name, this story is an original US creation, not a dub of a Japanese story, with more mature tones.
After five issues by Chris Sarracini setting up the Autobots' arrival on Earth and first battles with the Decepticons, the title began being written by Simon Furman, the most prolific writer on the Transformers franchise. Furman's stories handled Armada with a maturity and direction that the animated series had yet to display and the comics were praised more so for the effort.
For the final few storylines, Furman introduced the world devouring Unicron as a dimension-crossing indestructible force who enlists familiar Decepticon characters from Generation One (versions of Thunderwing, Galvatron, Scourge, Dirge and Bludgeon), as "sentinels" to pave his way on Armada Earth. Fan reaction was divided over this story, some believing it to be mere fanwank and an excuse for Furman to write for some of his favorite TF characters (Bludgeon and Galvatron), but many also appreciated the opportunity to see epic collisions the animated series would not provide. The conclusion of this arc wrapped up the Armada plotlines as the Autobots and Decepticons returned to Cybertron with the Mini-Cons assembled to destroy Unicron. The Armada comic series would continue beyond issue 18, but under the title of Transformers: Energon.
List of characters
- Hot Shot - A young, emotional racer and soldier. Turns into a car.
- Optimus Prime - Leader of the Autobots. Turns into a semi-truck and trailer. Combines with Jetfire and Overload.
- Scavenger - Turns into a bulldozer.
- Smokescreen - Turns into a crane.
- Cyclonus - Turns into a helicopter.
- Demolishor - Turns into a tank.
- Megatron - Leader of the Decepticons. Turns into a tank.
- Dirt Boss - Turns into a car. Member of the Mini-Con Race Team who combine into the Skyboom Shield.
- Incinerator Partner to Blurr. Turns into a race car.
- Over-Run - A dimensional traveler who arrives from an alternate world already destroyed by Unicron. Turns into a jet or a handgun.
- Jolt - Partner to Hot Shot. Turns into a helicopter.
- Leader-1 - Partner to Megatron. Turns into a mobile gun.
- Longarm - Partner to Inferno. Turns into a crane.
- Rollbar - Partner to Scavenger. Turns into a truck.
- Sparkplug - Partner to Optimus Prime. Turns into a car.
The third comic was exclusive to the United Kingdom, and was published by Panini Comics (a company which had long since absorbed Marvel UK, which had launched Furman's career and success in the franchise). This title was also written by Furman, but was tailored towards much younger readers, with bright, block art and simplified stories - although traces of Furman's usual bold storytelling could still be found in it. Furman also included a side story strip called "Tales of the Mini-Cons" which followed the 'Cons on their own personal adventures, sometimes dipping into their past on Earth and spinning off plots that would even be resolved in the main strip. The Mini-Con Destruction Team that Furman had made the chief antagonists of his Moon base DW arc also showed signs of their ambitious hunger for power in one of the last issues, forging an alliance with Starscream.
Unfortunately, and much like the UK Generation 2 comic in the early 1990s', the title did not provide or generate the same success enjoyed by the G1 strips of the 1980s, and folded after nine issues. When Energon arrived in the UK, a comic was not distributed to tie in with the series or the toyline.
- Return of the Transformers, The Malay Mail, July 17, 2002, by Rizal Solomon
- Hasbro Charges Into Comic-Con With Leading Boys Toys Brands & Exciting New Products; G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, and STAR WARS Lead Star-Studded Lineup, Business Wire, August 1, 2002