by: Austin Welch source: TFW2005
Oh, Primus, please let this happen!
Everybody knows I like talking about Transformers. But anybody that spends any amount of time with me knows that sooner or later, I’ll mention that one of the main reasons I’m so loyal to the toy, comic, and cartoon franchise is due to Simon Furman‘s run as writer on the last 20-plus issues of the original late 80s/early 90s Marvel Comics book.
I will admit that I’m not a big comics reader in general, and I don’t claim to be any sort of authority. However, as far as I’m concerned, those final story arcs, before the book was sadly discontinued due to low readership, represents some of the finest science fiction ever committed to print. As a 15 or 16-yr-old kid, I would ride my bike great distances to either of my local comic shops in order to purchase each new issue on release day, and each of those issues would leave me breathlessly awaiting the next one. Those were torturous thirty-day periods, my friends.
Nobody – and I mean nobody – writes Transformers stories and characters better than Furman. His style is unique, to say the least, and he had a knack for making even the most low-profile, background characters memorable. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the witty Brit multiple times, usually at BotCon (the official Transformers convention), but once at 2009′s San Diego Comic-Con. I even had the pleasure of buying him a beer at the hotel bar at a particularly memorable BotCon.
Thankfully, both Dreamwave Productions and IDW Publishing have brought Furman back to write Transformers books (The War Within, anyone?), albeit on a limited basis, usually penned six-issue limited series or short-term arcs. These instances were much appreciated, but there’s only so much you can do in such a short time, and it left me wondering where another ongoing series penned by Furman would go. Could it be as epic as the vintage material?
So imagine my reaction when, in a recent interview reported by fansite TFW2005, Furman admitted that he’d like to return to the original Marvel continuity of books, perhaps picking up with issue #81. The final Marvel issue #80 was printed in the spring of 1991 – twenty years ago. The question was asked in response to IDW’s decision to revive the original “A Real American Hero” Marvel continuity for Transformers’ brother property G.I. Joe, written by Larry Hama, who originated, and wrote virtually every issue of, Joe’s Marvel run. It makes sense, as Furman is essentially the Transformers’ equivalent of Hama. Here’s what Furman had to say:
I actually would like to pick up the baton from Marvel issue #80 and run with it again. There was a lot we never got to do, that I’d like to revisit or just to take the next big steps with all that we’d set up in the previous 20 or so issues. I’d certainly rather do G1 #81 than G2 #13, as, strangely, and for no good reason I can formulate into words, I think the time has passed for G2. It was very, well… 90s.
I say, why the hell not? The current IDW books are…spotty at best. Some good, but a lot of bad. Many feel that sales of Transformers books would be boosted by the nostalgia factor alone – at least in the short term – but given Furman’s reputation, there’s no reason he won’t continue to wow the fan base, and keep those sales up. Hasbro clearly has no interest in giving the long-term, adult fans an animated series worthy of their attention (despite having an entire channel’s worth of programming time to fill), so why not approve a return to the classic continuity, as they’ve clearly done with G.I. Joe?
If you want to show your support, please head over to the IDW forums, where some gung-ho fans have started a request thread, and express your interest in quality Transformers comics. ‘Til all are one!