Thursday, July 1, 2010

Best of Transformers UK: Prey TPB

As I've said, I LOVE reading about the Transformers, so finding this UK reprint at my library was a real find. This trade was packed with good stuff, and there are a lot of Simon Furman's regular beats throughout. Prime is awesomely heroic, Megatron is hated even by his own troops, the Dinobots and Predacons are tough guys, and the Wreckers show up (of course).

Probably the strongest piece in this trade deals with Swoop (the pterodactyl Dinobot). Back on Cybertron he went by Divebomb, until the bird Predacon defeated him and stole his name. Swoop fought Divebomb numerous times, with Divebomb always winning until Optimus Prime showed up to help Swoop get a win. Swoop never included Prime in his retelling of the fight though, as he was afraid to lose face with the prideful Dinobots. I love the idea that Swoop is actually kind of a loser. He obsesses on his defeat and can't get past it. Even better, when he gets a rematch in this trade, he loses again! If Swoop was your favorite, it might be upsetting, but as a character piece, it is fascinating. The best part is Grimlock's response to all this; when Divebomb tries to rat out Swoop, telling Grimlock about Prime's involvement back in the day, Grimlock laughs it off. Grimlock knew all about it and just didn't care, because Dinobots stick together. It's a great moment and it drives home how Furman loved to group the Transformers into their sub-teams. Great stuff.

A lot of the issue deals with Prime's visit to Cybertron, showing how both the Wreckers deal with his arrival and how the Earth bots deal with his absence. The story takes place around the US issue 19, I think.

The art is by the UK regulars Geoff Senior, Will Simpson, and Bryan Hitch comes in for the lettering. I love seeing these characters used.

As an aside, does anyone know about a complete list of UK reprints and where you can find them? Wikipedia has some, but that seems like a useful bit of info. I've started compiling it, but won't continue if the info is already out there.


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