Way back when I first discovered Transformers comic books, issue 33 was one of my very first purchases. I remember loving this book. I remember searching for years looking for issue 34 to finish the story. The funny thing is, I can’t remember anything about this comic other then how much I remembered loving it and it being my favorites. Ever since I started doing these Transformers reviews, I have been looking forward to the time I would get to revisit issue 33 and 34. I hope you like this story as much as I do. It’s a one off story written by Marvel UK. I will have a lot to say about this story arc when I am done reading it. Lets check out this cover!

Transformers-issue-33-Youseph

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I love this cover. It has a mythical and historical feel to it. The art is well done and detailed. These are the reasons why this was one of the first Transformers comic books I bought when I was flipping through the Transformers section of a comic long box at Stamp and Coin. The cover depicts a towering red and blue Deception. I have read on other sites that this Transformer is a miss colored Megatron. Personally, I don’t see it that way. I prefer to see it as my younger self saw it so many years ago. Just a nondescript Decepticon from medieval times surrounded by knights on horse back along a rocky hillside on an other wise beautiful day. Written just below the Transformers logo reads: You won’t believe it! Your eyes will bug out!! An explosive saga from the house of ideas!!! Because this is a story written by Marvel UK, the Royal Union Flag is represented behind Grimlock inside the box on the top left of the issue. If you bought this issue from a comic book store you got a bonus image of Shakespeare where the bar code would have been.

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Chapter One: First encounter

Stansham Castle in England falls under a seemingly random and quick attack from several Decepticon Jets. The attack allows the Decepticons to plant an underground probe.

Transformers-issue-33-Castle-Attack

Within the nearby woods of the Castle, Sammy Harker, son of Stansham Castle’s curator, is playing around. He soon encounters the towering Autobot, Jazz. Scared out of his wits, Sammy runs home without stopping. Jazz stealthily follows him in his car alt mode.

Transformers-issue-33-Jazz-and-boy

When Sammy arrives at home in complete shock, he tells his father what happened. Mr. Harker, is reminded of an old legend about Man of Iron. A tale of a large metal man that was seen near Stansham Castle on three separate occasions. The legend goes that the Man of Iron battled with attacking forces using his “javelin of flame” before disappearing.

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Sammy is shown a 900 year old drawing of the Man of Iron. Sammy thinks that it’s a pretty good representation of the Robot he saw earlier that day.

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Chapter Two: Kidnapped!

During that evening, Sammy experiences some disturbing dreams of larger-than-life robots and jet fighters. His dreams show Mirage visiting his house and stealing the picture of the Man of Iron. These dreams turn out to be more then just dreams.

Transformers-issue-33-jazz-take

The next day, Sammy discovers a white Porsche parked outside of his house and discovers the Man of Iron picture on the backseat. The Autobot, Jazz starts to talk with Sammy. Unable to resist the fine looking automobile, Sammy gets inside.

Transformers-issue-33-back-seat

Sammy’s mother, who is looking for her son, steps outside to find him inside the white Porsche. Before Sammy can get out of the car, or his mother can get to him, Jazz closes his Porsche doors and speeds away with Sammy inside.

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My Thoughts On This Issue

The ‘Man of Iron’ story line is a one off, a side story when read. Which I am perfectly happy with because the story and the art work are so damn good! The ‘Man of Iron’, does not feel like a normal Transformers story. It a lot of ways its far better. It’s more detailed. An example of this detail is when Jazz is surveillancing Sammy’s home.

Transformers-issue-33-Jazz-watching

With this issue, I don’t feel like I am being talked down to, which I guess looking back, I kind of felt that way from early issues. From page one the this story, with its top notch writing and fantastic art work, swept me away from reality and brought me inside the Transformers fantasy world effortlessly. Its reminded me exactly how I felt as a kid when I first read the story and the effects still hold true today for me as an adult.

I am really looking forward to sharing all my thoughts with you at the conclusion of the story line in the next comic. Until then, please share your thoughts about this issue in the comments below. Did you think it was as great as I do?

Transmission Letters This Issue

Dear Marvel,
Well, I recently read TRANSFORMERS #28, andI think we all now know what we can expect from Grimlock in the future – a reign of terror! I personally think he’s a little too heartless to be the leaser of the Autobots, and I think everyone else out there feels the same way. Boy, Grimlock’s savage dictatorial qualities are very different from the benevolence of Optimus Prime. I’m wondering how many of the other Autobots can take him! If I were Blaster or Goldbug, I would have done the exact same thing they did in the issue: run away! Oh, well, Maybe he’ll do better after a little experience at the job. I sure hope so, because right now I think the Autobots would do better with someone like Perceptor or Blaster in charge. At least they would spend less time worry about which crown to wear and more worrying about future attacks from the Decepticons!
Jeanne Griswald
Louisville, KY

Sorry you feel that way about Grimlock, Jeanne. So far thought, all of the Autobots are giving him a chance to prove himself. Who knows how long it took Optimus Prime to become the great leader he was? But hey, none of us would want to be seen by Shockwave in any ugly crown. That would be sooo embarrassing…

Dear Bob,
After I read TRANSFORMERS #26 and saw the Mechanic, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Autobots hadn’t see the last of that menace. Boy, I didn’t think that he’d be back as soon as TRANSFORMERS #28. He came back all right – with a vengeance. He’s pretty much unstoppable with the awesome power booster and the cryogenic sprayer. He handled Goldbug and Blaster like they were just little, annoying bugs! Of course, he also had a little help from the police department… It’s pretty frightening to think of what a two-bit car thief can do when he gets his hands on something sophisticated equipment. Just think, he was able to get loads of money from organized crime leaders who wouldn’t have ordinarily listened to him. Right now it looks like he could take on the whole U.S. Army with the weapons he has, if he wanted. And to top it off, he’s still on the loose! I wonder what his next plan will be? Maybe he’ll take over the White House and appoint himself president! But, for now, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what the Mechanic has in store for the free world. I know he’ll be back again, Bob, and I for one am looking forward to it. thanks to all of you guys for making TRANSFORMERS the best comic around.
Alan Shushan
Vally Forge, PA

Dear Transmissions,
I just picked up a copy of TRANSFORMERs #26 and it was incredible. the evil Mechanic was baek (Ink is smudged so I am not sure if that is correct) in all his fury. Grimlock demonstrated his leadership, and the humans interfered with everything again. bob Budiansky’s characterizations were very realistic, and I was totally absorbed in the story. I’m really growing to dislike the Mechanic. he is a true villain in his quest for personal gain, and, like all great villains, he always seems to escape just as the heroes are about to get him,, I hope that someday some Transformer gets his hands on the guy so justice can finally be served. Where’s the Scourge of the Underworld when you need him?!
The art by Don Perlin and Akin & Garvey was great. I especially liked the combat sequences in the story. I also think that the team has gotten much better at drawing humans since the beginning of their tenure as regular artists. the Transofrmers themselves always looked really good (I guess Akin & Garvey got a lot of practice with metal stuff when they were inking those great IRONMAN comics) but I felt their humans were a little lacking in quality. Well, it’s been a long time now, and I think the team has really improved over the years. I personally don’t think the art can get much better than it is now and that’s a big compliment!
All in all, the whole book seems to be flowing very smoothly now, the entire team, including Janice Chiang and Nel Yomtev, has really gotten into the groove. I realistically can see this team lasting forever on this book!
Oh, one more thing, I also loved the cover which was drawn by Ian akin. I never saw his full artwork before, and I really liked it. Even though I enjoy Herb Trimpe’s usual covers, it was good to see another quality artist doing it. Oh, well, I guess that’s all the compliments I can dish out for the month but I don’t mind since the work is so impressive. Keep up the great work, and thank you in advance for printing this letter.
Phil Dickler
Plattekill, NY

How can we not print sentiments like those, Phil? Thank you for writing such a complimentary letter. Aww, we’re all blushing red! We’re glad you enjoy the book so much. We;re darn proud of the whole TRANSFORMERS team ourselves. You’re right that it’s too bad Scourge (from another great book – CAPTAIN AMERICA) isn’t around to take care of the Mechanic. It seems that no one else can!

Dear Don,
What’s the deal with the humans in TRANSFORERS? I’ve only counted about six in all twenty-eight issues who support the Autobot’s actions. Buster and Sarkplug Witwicky haven’t been seen for quite some time; G.B. Blackrock was last seen in the G.I. JOE vs. TRANSOFRMERS Limited Series (I personally don’t trust him, thought. I think his businessman-like mind has ulterior motives for the Autobots. But, alas, that remains to be seen.); Ethan Zachary, who seemed to have strong feelings for the Autobot cause but is now hiding out in his lab with a program of Optimus Prime on his computer disk; and of course, the man everyone loves to hate, Mister Personality himself, Denny Finkelburg. Meanwhile, every other human either fears or hates the Transformers. One would figure that since the Transformers have been around for so long, the Autobots would live in harmony with the humans by now, and both would jointly crush the Decepticon threat. But noooo! People’s hatreds or fears always seem to mess up the best-laid Autobot plans. If it’s not that super-menace, Circuit Breaker, it’s the police department or the army. These Autobots hardly ever get a break from the humans.
Well, I’m hoping that this will soon change. Hey, Bob, make the humans more compassionate. I think there’d be a few more people out there who would listen to the eloquent Autobots, This anti-robot hysteria you guys have in TRANSFORMERS is just a rampant as the anti-mutant hysteria found in the X-MEN books. come on, Guys, I think it’s time for a change.
Jeff Schneiderman
Skokie, IL

Whoa, wait a sec, Jeff. you mean to tell us that if you where just casually strolling down Dozer Ave., and a fifty foot robot with a very big gun started walking toward you, you would have a pleasant conversation with him? Right. We don’t think so, either. They would have some good stories to tell, thought…

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Youseph

The host of the YOSHICAST and TRANSMISSIONS Podcast. Transformers enthusiast and comic book collector.

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. I agree with you that the artwork is great but thats it. This comic does not belong in the US continuity. The series has actually been building to something and then this issue comes out. If I had been subscribing to this series when it was coming out new, it would have been very upsetting. I have been buying the collected versions of Transformers UK and it fits so much better within that version. I know they used these issues as fill in due to the US being behind but they could have picked a better story from the UK. If you haven’t read the UK strip yet, you absolutely need to. It actually weaves through the US version and in most aspects is better than the US. Plus, it has artwork by Geoff Senior.

    1. You bring up some interesting points Casey. I guess I don’t feel upset about having to wait for the US story line to continue because I have all the comics. I am not waiting for Marvel or anyone to publish the next story. Its all a matter of how fast I choose to read them. But. I can imagine it being very frustrating in the 80s waiting to find out what happens next.

  2. I was actually very glad that the US comic reprinted this issue! You see this issue actually contains two of the weekly UK comics of Transformers (the format is quite different on the UK side). Anyway, long story short, I was up to some naughtiness at the time this came out, and my mom said I could either have a spanking or wait a whole 2 months before buying the latest TF comics (which was this issue, and maybe one of the US issues) I chose the latter punishment, and by the time my sentence was over, the comic was sold out! So I never read the first chapter until the US reprinted it

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