It's a hazy memory, but a fond one; walking down to the corner store, clutching a dollar in my little hand, to buy the latest issue of Marvel's Transformers comic. From 1984 to 1991, the Transformers comic told the best, most creative, most far-reaching stories on the comic racks, as far as I was concerned. And they had giant robots, too!
So, why am I less than excited by Transformers: Regeneration One?
Released for Free Comic Book Day, Transformers: Regeneration One #80.5 marks the relaunch of the two-decades-dead Marvel Transformers line (no, I don't count G2 as a continuation, too much was radically different without explanation). The comic is mostly background on the Marvel run, hitting a truly tremendous number of nostalgic highlights unique to the comics; King Grimlock, alternate future Galvatron fighting Megatron, 'The Car Wash of Doom', fused Ratchet and Megatron, Primus and Unicron as gods, Shockwave's infamous victory over the Ark Autobots, Underbase Starscream, the Matrix Quest, Prime's melty, melty death (here slightly less melty), the rising of the the Last Autobot, and finally, Prime dropkicking Bludgeon in the face. Ahh, it takes me back, it does.
Which, to me, is the problem. I mean, look, I love nostalgia as much as the next twenty-something; the fact that I still hold considerable affection for the Transformers franchise (despite the best efforts of Michael Bay) should attest to that. But the Marvel comics run ended over two decades ago. And it's not as though it's being relaunched to fill a hole in the landscape of the Transformers; IDW already has its own, fully-realized Transformers universe, begun in 2005, which is currently supporting not one but two ongoing monthly series. I've yet to start collecting them myself, being an inveterate trade-waiter, but from all reports the quality remains high and the stories solid. It's entirely possible Regeneration One would offer the same quality, but... what's the point? It's picking up after a two-decades long hiatus, from a comic that, quite frankly, ended. The Marvel Transformers line wasn't cancelled mid-storyline, unlike the later G2 line. To borrow a hoary old Transformers cliche, it was over, finished.
It's not that I won't read these comics. I'm an unrepentant, unreconstructed Transfan, after all. Heck, not only did I recognize all those nostalgic moments in Regeneration One #80.5, I actually remember that the shot of Optimus dying after Unicron's explosion is wrong, because originally his faceplate was melted away revealing a speaker-grille underneath; don't try to tell me I don't love me some Transformers. I'm just wondering, with both Robots in Disguise and More Than Meets the Eye running now, well... why do need to go back?