Back in early 2005, the company that brought Transformers back to comic shelves for the first time in more than a decade (giving Optimus Prime breasts in the meantime) went out of business. The collapse of Dreamwave due to the questionable (at best!) business practices of founder, Pat Lee, caused much grief and angst in the Transformer community, and left a lot of good people working at the company at the time out of a lot of money.
It also left us with a mystery. What was going to happen to the various Transformers storylines underway?
After their amazing-at-the-time-but-lackluster-in-hindsight reboot of Transformers in the form of two six part mini-series, Dreamwave’s writers had managed to stabilize the main title into an ongoing run that offered fans something to look forward to each month, until the last issue #10 hit the stands. The company crash also took down the third installment of “life on Cybertron before the war spread to Earth” War Within series (with the Age of Wrath ending halfway through with #3), as well as the new GIJoe/Transformers crossover, Divided Front (ended after #1), and stopped in its tracks the company’s attempts (under Simon Furman) to create a Beast Wars title (Shell Game).
But the big hole left behind had to be the ongoing Energon title. Energon was the second part of what came to be known as the Unicron trilogy. Given it was the current toy push by Hasbro at the time, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Hasbro would want Dreamwave to put out some form of four-colour story for the comic racks.
Energon was unique for two reasons. One, rather that serving as a chance to reboot a comic line with a new #1, it picked up the storyline and number left behind by the previous eighteen issue Armada storyline. Two, it was, at the time of Dreamwaves’ demise and owing to the company’s decision to package the G1 books initially as six-part miniseries, its longest running regular Transformers series. With 30 issues in stores, it actually outpaced its G1 counterpart by a full eight issues.
The link with Armada went beyond catalog numbers. It also brought Simon Furman along as lead writer. Furman, who took the mediocity of the first half dozen issues of Armada and turned into an interest story, one culminating in a neo-G1 crossover, really hit his stride with Energon.
And then it was over. On the verge of a five issue resolution, the comic was no more.
In the last few weeks, Furman has begun to provided the story outlines that would have served as the basis of the comic to issue #36. It’s not the same as reading the finished project mind you, but it does help to finally take some of the edge off of not knowing the outcome of the story line. So thank you Simon Furman for this effort! We continue to read on…