Written by: Simon Furman
Art by: Casey Coller, Jeff Anderson, Jose Delbo, Nick Roche, Stephen Baskerville and GEOFF SENIOR!!!!
Color by: John Paul Bove
Published by: IDW Publishing
Expectations have been high since Simon Furman announced the Regeneration One zero issue on a panel at this year’s 2D Festival. The idea of combining Furman’s writing with the return of many of the properties original artists (including the return of “the Jack Kirby of Transformers Comics” TM 2013 Nick Roche) had many fans fairly chomping at the bit in anticipation of an all time classic. So does it live up to the hype?
To be frank: Yes it does. Story wise this issue seems to exist solely to make long-time fans squeal with delight. Furman’s intention with RG1 was to tie up loose ends from the original G1 run and he does that here with aplomb as Hot Rod takes a “Five Faces of Darkness” style trip through history, with nods to long missing characters and events that up to this point only hinted at. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise in the extreme long term might find themselves scratching their heads, but for the faithful this issue is like the return of an old friend. It’s not particularly sophisticated but it does its job in a workman like fashion. The real star of the issue is not the writing, but the artwork, which delivers in spades.
Single issues with multiple artists can sometimes be jarring to read, with the change in style disrupting the flow of the narrative. Two factors prevent this from happening here: firstly the nature of the time travel/dimension jumping storyline makes these shifts not only acceptable but entirely appropriate. Secondly is the work of colourist John Paul Bove who renders each segment differently, paying homage to the classic Marvel style (Ben-Day dots and all), the painted style of the UK G-1 comic and the original animated series at the same time as rendering the main character in the contemporary fashion. It would be difficult to imagine a scenario where the return of Geoff Senior (who has not lost a single bloody step in the 20 plus years away from the franchise) is only the SECOND best thing in comic, and yet, here we find ourselves. Take a bow mister Bove. Also in fine fettle by jingo, is Nick Roche who has the privilege of working alongside the long absent regulars from the venerable UK Transformers comic, which was his inspiration, the jammy bastard.
Regeneration 1 as a whole is a refreshing antidote to the insane pace of the modern Transformers titles. Furman is a man who knows exactly how to build a story in the long term. So while the action deliberately paced it is never boring, and seems to be building towards a (no doubt sense shattering) conclusion to the story that started nearly thirty years ago. I shall miss it terribly when it’s gone.
4 out of 5 nerds