|Specifics: TPB covers|
Transformers: Generation 2 is a series published by Marvel Comics from 1993 to 1994, in support of the Generation 2 toyline re-launch. Set in the same continuity as the original G1 book, it directly continues that book's story, introducing a new generation of Cybertronians that threaten the Autobots and Decepticons alike.
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When Hasbro brought back the Transformers toy line in 1993, they turned to Marvel Comics to once again produce a comic tie-in. This time, Marvel chose to build interest in the book by introducing the new storyline as part of its existing G.I. Joe comic. Over the course of 5 issues, Megatron, last seen crashing into Earth in issue #78 of the original U.S. series, returned, and was upgraded into his "G2" form, a tank, by Cobra. Several Autobots were sent to deal with the returned Decepticon leader, which led into the ongoing Transformers: Generation 2 series.
However, this was only the tip of the iceberg. An entirely separate race of Transformers, descended from the Decepticons, who preferred to think of themselves as Cybertronians, were soon discovered in the far reaches of known space. The Autobots found themselves attempting to deal with this new threat, while also struggling to protect the Earth from the danger posed by the "original" Decepticons. Amidst these threats, Optimus Prime had troubling premonitions that hinted at the coming of yet another threat.
In the end, the Autobots and Decepticons had to unite against the Cybertronian Empire and its deadly off-shoot, the Swarm.
Items of note
- The series made a very deliberate change of direction for the franchise, bringing it into the 1990s with extreme violence and carnage, huge guns, gritty plot lines, and a fair amount of gratuitous character death.
- This series came about at the time of great volatility in the comics industry, and was only guaranteed a 12-issue run. It was canceled after the series did not sell as well as expected, but was allowed to finish out the promised 12 issues. Amusingly enough, those low numbers that Generation 2 sold back then would be a comic a mega-blockbuster hit nowadays.
- Furman named the character Jhiaxus (as in "Gee, axe us!") in "anticipation" of Marvel's unrealistic goals for the book leading to an almost assured cancellation.
- Earth and human civilization are severely damaged over the course of the series, first by the Decepticons, and then by the Cybertronian Empire and the Swarm. This devastation led the Beast Wars cartoon's story editors to consider making the Vok aliens descendants of the Swarm, now attempting to make amends for the devastation (and/or possible extinction) humanity suffers.
The series was written by Simon Furman, picking up where he'd left off at the end of the G1 book. Derek Yaniger initially did the pencils, but as he reportedly missed deadlines, Manny Galan picked up much of his slack. Yaniger did do most of the covers however.