Here we are with the third issue of Transformers ’84, a strange situation given it’s actually #2 – which stemmed from the opening chapter being a #0 issue. Usually used to fill in unimportant backstory or give us a quick summary to prepare us for an upcoming series, the zero issue in the case of Transformers ’84 was actually the opening chapter of the story – readers who didn’t bother picking it up would have been ridiculously confused had they started with issue #1.

In any case, the third chapter gives us a quick rundown of the situation as it stands, with the Dynobots (not a typo) having been seemingly destroyed by Shockwave, giving us a shocking sequence of events – specially given that the series is a prequel to the original Generation One (or G1, as it’s commonly shortened to in Transformers lore) comics and animated series. Double agent Punch/Counterpunch, in his unique position on both sides of the conflict, continues relaying the saga – which features a lot of surprising betrayals and character developments.

Unsurprisingly, classic – and perennially popular amongst the fandom – Transformers writer Simon Furman shows great knowledge of the franchise’s lore and history, even though this is a ‘new’ tale, told in an old way. The Dynobot/Dinobot origin and other elements definitely seem to have been altered, however – and it’s odd to do this, given that the series is blatantly aimed at the die-hard G1 fan who’ll know this stuff inside and out. It’s clearer from this that it’s less of a ‘hidden’ story and more of a reimagining of the earlier Transformers lore.

Artist Guido Guidi and colourist John-Paul Bove turn in another brilliantly evocative, wonderfully nostalgic set of pencils and colours throughout the issue and even the hugely impactful cover demonstrates an 80s era-specific style of art and colouring; it’s very clear that the Transformers ’84 project has clearly been a labour of love – though despite this focus on creating a comic that feels very much part of a bygone era, the story itself is a little more complex and layered than us kids of the 80s would have been treated to back then. A writer’s commentary and cover gallery showcasing the gorgeous alternate covers, along with preview pages from Transformers/Terminator #1, complete the package.

Transformers ‘84: Secrets and Lies #2 (of 4)

Despite the ever-so-slight jump in moral complexity, there’s still crowd-pleasing, big scale battle scenes aplenty throughout this issue – as well as a very old-school style of fight sequences littered with quips and trash talking. It’s an awful lot of fun, though I wouldn’t be surprised if non-Transformers fans were left a bit nonplussed by the whole thing. Those of us who’ve been around since the beginning (showing my age there), will continue to find lots of appeal within the nostalgia-drenched pages of Transformers ’84, however.

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