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The Transformers Universe comic series was produced under the auspices of the then-Official Transformers Collectors' Club. It was released at each year's BotCon convention, and later at the Official Transformers Collectors Convention.
It encompassed three storylines:
- The Wreckers, rebranded Universe Featuring the Wreckers after issue #1
- Primeval Dawn, a back-up story behind Wreckers
- Universe, a separate book built around the Universe franchise.
After an erratic publication schedule, the series came to an end when the license for both the club and convention was taken away from 3H Productions. All three storylines were left hanging and unfinished... though a few years later, Fun Publications would wrap up both "Wreckers" and "Universe", the former directly, the other in a flashback in another story.
Transformers Universe: Featuring The Wreckers
|The Wreckers issues:|
|#1 | #2 | #3 | #4/Finale Part I | Finale Part II|
The first Universe book overlays its story onto that of Beast Machines, bringing in several new teams based on then-current toylines as well as various convention exclusive characters. In addition to the titular Wreckers (an ad hoc team of all-new members), the Dinobots and Mutants are featured.
These varied teams are summoned by the Oracle to carry out a series of mysterious missions off-world. En route they encounter Optimus Primal and Nightscream, in the midst of their struggle with Megatron. The story primarily follows the Wreckers as they leave Cybertron and travel first to the 9th planet of the Archa system, where a mysterious artifact awaits, as does betrayal from within their ranks. Recovering, the group moves on to another world where they take on a Quintesson passenger.
The other teams, meanwhile, have walked into traps, as their Oracle-given missions turn out to be false messages sent by the Quintessons. Eventually the Dinobots and Wreckers return to Cybertron, to join the population there in defending it against an all-out Quintesson invasion.
Originally titled The Wreckers when the first issue debuted at BotCon 2001, the series was later rebranded to fit with the Universe franchise.
The demise of 3H left the story unfinished until 2007. The first four pages of issue #4, the only ones that had been completed, were colored and printed in Fun Publications' Official Transformers Collectors' Club Magazine as "Wreckers: Finale Part I", while a new creative team completed the story in text form with "Wreckers: Finale Part II" on the club web site.
The series was rather heavily criticized by fans, in large part for starting off with an unmanageably huge cast, then solving that problem by brutally killing much of that cast off. The series also seemed to contain implicit criticism of the then-recent Beast Machines story, working hard to "undo" some of its events and concepts, as well as overt fanwanking.
The series also suffered heavy interference from Hasbro, who reportedly required multiple changes to fit their ever-shifting toy plans.
|Part 1 | Flash cartooon | Part 2 | Part 3|
Primeval Dawn was a backup story published in parts behind the main Wreckers story. Like Wreckers, Primeval Dawn was never completed as intended, with only the first three of four parts released.
Primeval Dawn's script was begun by Bob Forward, and continued by Simon Furman; the story was illustrated by Dan Khanna and Makoto Ono.
|#1 | 03 Script Reading | #2 | #3 | 04 Script Reading|
As if 3H didn't have enough to do, this short-lived series introduced a third storyline alongside "Primeval Dawn" and "Wreckers". Universe existed largely at the behest of Hasbro, who reportedly pressured 3H to drop the two previous storylines completely in favor of stories based on the then-current Universe toyline.
Transformers: Universe tells the story of the struggle against Unicron, who is renewing himself by feeding on the Sparks of consumed Transformers. The story is set shortly after the conclusion of Beast Machines (and, presumably, after the conclusion of the Wreckers storyline). On a united and peaceful Cybertron, a group of Autobots and Maximals is abducted by mysterious energy beams. They soon find themselves trapped in a sinister arena deep within Unicron, forced by powerful overseers to fight one another to the death. On Cybertron, Alpha Trion conspires with Primus to counter Unicron's plans by bringing back to life a series of Cybertronian heroes, starting with Optimus Primal.
The story's cast relied largely on the first few waves of Transformers Universe toyline product, as well as convention exclusives and characters from the Beast Machines toyline.
Like its two sister storylines, Universe was released in erratic fits and starts, only to be left unfinished when 3H lost the Transformers license. Though the story remains unfinished, a brief glimpse of its conclusion later appeared in the Fan Club comic issue "Revelations, Part 2".
Stories were conceived by Glen Hallit, Dan Khanna and Simon Furman, with scripting by Furman. Pencils were largely by Dan Khanna, with additional work by several others.