Transformers Primal Scream

Primal Scream is the first collection by Titan of Simon Furman’s run on the US The Transformers comic. It contains issues #56-62 of the Marvel Comics run, the first batch of stories Furman produced for the US version, having been a writer of the UK back-up stories. At the end of the article I will post links to my other site with reviews of these issues. Here we will discuss the trade itself as presented. I have the original four issues and Bob Budiansky’s run in the regular comic book form but the trade paperbacks were easier to find than the individual issues.

To summarize the story: Megatron is back, having supposedly died in issue #26. It is properly explained how he survived at least. He hatches a plan to get revenge on the Autobots and resume command of the Decepticons, but this is foiled by Ratchet, who forces them both into a transwarp portal along with explosive planned for the Autobot ship, the Ark. While this leads to a crisis of faith for Optimus, other Autobots become acquainted with the never before mentioned god of Transformers, Primus, and a warning of the coming of Unicron. This leads to a search for the Creation Matrix, in Optimus Prime’s old body, launched into space. (Long story.) The trade ends with part one of the “Matrix Quest” storyline, where they are searching for the artifact only to deal with the new Cybertronian Decepticon leader, Thunderwing.

I could complain that “Matrix Quest” begins here and not the next trade, which is actually entitled “Matrix Quest”, but I know they’re trying to balance the issue among the four books that fills Furman’s run so as much as that may annoy there’s nothing to be done there. One thing that does bother me, though, is that the covers do not appear with the comic. Instead it’s in a gallery at the end of the issue. I don’t mind that they aren’t just reprints of the cover, instead going for a certain visual look that posts the cover shrunken on the page but it would have been nice to see them divide the individual issues.

One thing I do like is that in addition to the forward where Furman and artist Geoff Senior discuss what it was like working on these issues there’s also a “Who’s Who” for people who haven’t followed Transformers in years and just happened to be nostalgic but didn’t remember who Scorponok was. Then there are other catch-up sessions if you didn’t follow the comic. The fate of Starscream in earlier issues as well as the introduction of Nebulans and Headmasters are all important information in order to follow certain events of this story so it’s good they were added. At the end of the book is a “behind the scenes” section, featuring a look into the design of the four Furman books that form a larger picture and script notes for issue #56, the first book in the collection. They’re nice additions as well.

If you read the reviews below you’ll learn that I wasn’t a fan of the issues themselves. I’m gone on recordĀ  as not being a fan of Simon Furman’s run on the US comic. There were things he did that I just don’t like, yet somehow he’s become the big one among fans. I guess you’d have to decide for yourself. As far as the presentation, I think Titan Books did a good job with the collection. When I finish reading the reviews of the next collection, “Matrix Quest”, we’ll be back to see if any changes were made. A reprint with a different cover (not one that forms a picture with the other three) is available through Amazon as of this writing, but that’s the only way I see to get it. (It may even be used, suggesting it’s out of print or Amazon doesn’t plan to restock.)

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