What a weird comic. It took me quite some time to work up the nerve to buy this trade, mostly because I was so lost after reading the free comic book day issue a few years ago.
Listen, I’m clearly a Transformers fan, and I read the 80’s series all the way through the last issue. I’ve actually read a bunch of the Transformers UK material. And yet I had absolutely no idea what was happening when this book started.
Let me break it down for you. Transformers Regeneration One takes place 20 years after the end of the 80’s Marvel title. Optimus Prime and his Autobots won the war. Prime is mentoring Hot Rod as a future leader. Many of the Autobots seem to have faded into the background of the story, leaving the focus on the Wreckers, the Autobots’ special strike team. Springer, Kup, Topspin, Broadside, RacknRuin, Whirl, and Roadbuster make up most of the team. Grimlock is trapped in robot form after ingesting a substance called Nucleon that has affected Inferno, Blaster, Huffer, and the other Dinobots. Maybe more! I can confirm a few other survivors like Smokescreen, Red Alert, Wheeljack, Trailbreaker, Cosmos, and Tracks.
On the Decepticon side, Soundwave now leads the Cybertron based villains. I must confess I didn’t recognize most of them, other than the 2nd generation Insecticons. Most of the baddies I do recognize are basically zombies working for Megatron on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
Fortunately, reading these issues in order and all together kept things a lot clearer. Simon Furman does a nice job focusing on his new starring cast. While there are fewer “classic” Decepticons getting panel time in favor of guys like Bludgeon, the conflict is clear and satisfying when the metal fists start flying.
Andrew Wildman’s art is as enchanting to me now as it was when I was a kid. We are blessed with a plethora of talented Transformers artists these days, but Wildman’s art has nostalgia going for it in addition to everything else. Megatron in particular looks like he walked out of a book 20 years ago. I do lament the lack of backgrounds, but I suppose on a post-apocalyptic Earth and a monochrome robot planet, backgrounds are gonna be sparse.
This isn’t quite as excellent as IDW’s modern TF books, but it is still a GOOD comic for fans of the Transformers.