What are your Transformers comics worth? Find out in this article.
Without insulting the series, it's fair to mention that the art is not breathtaking. The main characters are robots, and robots are quite boxy; therefore, the art is more "cool" than innovative.
A lot of the value for these comics resides in the very last of the series, which were printed in very low numbers.
For children in the mid-1980s, Transformers were nearly inescapable. If they missed the comic, it would have been unlikely to bypass the cool, hefty action figures, or the accompanying animated series.
There was also a big-screen movie, with Orson Welles and Scatman Crothers each making their final film appearances.
More recently, there have been a host of permutations of the animated series as well as the comic. The comic currently resides at IDW. And of course, there are the ongoing Michael Bay Transformers movies.
The Transformers Movie 2007
Animated Transformers Movie 1986
Certainly, these movies raise interest in the Transformers. But many have claimed that the action so overwhelms story, and plot that the latter aspects are totally indecipherable. Is Michael Bay really doing true Transformers fans any favors?
Like the contemporaneous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers was launched in 1984. Unlike TMNT, it was never an indie production.
However, it did begin as a limited, four-issue series. But the popularity of the series snowballed, turning into the huge franchise we know today.
The fact is that the Transformers is one of the most inventive and original series out there, especially for its time. Of course, you have the usual battle between good and evil.
But the concept of sentient robots who crash-land on Earth, and are forced continue an ancient battle in the guise of terrestrial machines, is extremely fascinating.
The concept isn't without its flaws. After all, fighter jets (Starscream), a huge boombox (Soundwave), and a GIANT GUN!! (Megatron) seem like undesirable forms if the purpose is to blend in.
However, this is all part of the fun, and we could even rationalize this problem by noting that civilian forms are prevalent among the Autobots, who are the only ones really concerned about what the welfare or sentiment of the human race.
The Autobots take forms like a tractor-trailer (Optimus Prime) or an ambulance (Ratchet).
Billed as part 1 of 4.
This one sets up the concept, with a war raging on the planet of Cybertron between good and evil clans of sentient machines: the Autobots and Decepticons. The opportunistic Decepticons ambush a group of Autobots who've set out to clear an asteroid field that threatens the entire planet.
In the resulting fray, the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, crashes the ship (which happens to be named the Ark) on a planet that his sensors indicate to be completely uninhabited.
The Ark's repair function rebuilds the incapacitated robots, completing the Decepticons first and allowing them time to escape before resurrecting the Autobots. The Ark scans the planet and uses the forms it finds to acclimate the marooned combatants to their new territory.
Issue two finds both side desperately in need of fuel. It is also the issue in which the Autobots and Decepticons first encounter humans.
While the Autobots ponder trading advanced technology to the humans in return for fuel, the Decepticons take the direct route by attacking a partially built nuclear plant.
The Autobots meet Sparkplug, a future ally who promises to help them find fuel. But the Decepticons kidnap him, and the Autobots are increasingly fatigued.
Issue three debuts the More Than Meets the Eye subtitle that has been inseparable from the Transformers ever since.
The long-standing rivalry between Starscream (a cowardly, scheming lieutenant in the form of a fighter jet) and Megatron is already brewing in this issue.
Most importantly, this issue has an appearance by Spider-Man. Peter Parker is among the media who show up to report on the Autobot-Decepticon fracas, and predictably Spider-Man enters the battle. He helps the embattled Autobots to achieve a temporary stalemate.
Meanwhile, it appears that Sparkplug, the human hostage, has provided the Decepticons with the upper hand by giving them fuel.
The Autobots learn about the relative physical delicacy of humans. They accuse Sparkplug of helping the Deceptions, causing him to have a heart attack.
Transformers #4 The Autobots' Last Stand
The final installment of the original four part series, although readers tell that the story has been retailored for greater duration.
This issue introduces the Dinobots, a set of dim witted but incredibly tough and loyal robots that the Ark created before the Autobots revived. Unfortunately the Dinobots, built to help the Autobots, have departed to the Savage Land, a primordial jungle in Antarctica.
In a gamble, the Autobots give their remaining fuel to their leader, Optimus Prime, and a small contingent of fighters.
The Decepticons begin to overrun them, but it turns out that Sparkplug didn't betray the Autobots: the Decepticons' fuel is tainted, and they begin to collapse. But there's another twist: the uninjured Decepticon Shockwave arrives, and blasts the Autobots!
As you can imagine, the limited series is now To Be Continued...
Shockwave takes advantage of an opportunity to wrest control of the Decepticons from Megatron.
This is one of many moments when power amongst the Decepticons changes hands.
The Dinobots enter the fray. Along with Ratchet, they're the only Autobots still in action.
This issue introduces Circuit Breaker, aka Josie Beller, who's angry after being injured during a Decepticon assault on an oil platform.
Her powers give her great strength against robots, and unfortunately she can't differentiate between Autobot and Decepticon.
Also of note is the fact that this is the last issue to go into a 2nd printing.
Introduces the Constructicons, created by Shockwave to consolidate his power. The Contructicons are counterparts to the Dinobots, and can perform a Voltron-like combination to become a being called Devestator.
This one finds the Decepticons on Cybertron attempting to develop a way to travel between their planet and Earth. This does seem a bit silly, as they previously arrived there by taking a spaceship.
From this issue forward, we see a slight uptick in value.
One thing notable from the start of the Transformers is a constant influx of new characters and technology.
It can feel too busy at times, but it's nice that the writers keep things fresh and make them increasingly intricate.
By this issue, nearly the halfway point in the series, we've had a brother for Buster, Spike, appear as if out of nowhere, and we've been introduced to a new technology called Targetmasters, where robots have guns that are themselves autonomous robots.
Some of this is simply to integrate toys and merchandise, but it also adds to the Transformers mythos.
An obvious milestone.
Despite all of the new Autobots and Decepticons, and the various allies and foes of both, most of the founding robots are still with us by this point.
In this issue, the treacherous Starscream has become empowered and is mowing down Autobots and Decepticons alike. But of course he goes too far...
This issue sees the series move to a lower printing count.
It also sees the action taking place millions of years in the past, in a parallel to present events, in which Prime is forced to surrender to the Decepticon lord Scorponok.
Prime has surrendered, and Decepticon in-fighting rages.
This issue introduces the Neo-Knights, a human team including Circuit Breaker and four allies, created to combat the Decepticon menace.
This and the next two were printed in very low numbers, enhancing their value.
Decepticon lords Megatron and Galvatron decide to join together in order to combat Starscream.
This final installment wryly reads: #80 in a Four-Issue Limited Series.
We meet the Last Autobot, who was discovered and revived on Cybertron by the Neo-Knights in order to play a decisive role in the ongoing, high-casualty battle.
Not only does the Last Autobot revive many of the downed Autobots, his super power also brings Cybertron itself back to life.
Not surprisingly, the overrun Decepticons choose to evacuate in order to live to fight another day.
The Transformers adventures continue. Of course, there are the highly publicized Michael Bay movies.
But Transformers comics are also alive and well, though now published at IDW. This is one franchise that shows no signs of slowing down.
Marvel Comics Characters in Transformers Comics
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