Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Science-Fiction Weekly – The Top 10 Transformers, Halo Mythos, And Comic-Con

by Andrew Reiner on Jul 05, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Before we dive into the meaty science-fiction fun this week, I have a handful of news tidbits for you to consume. Cameras stop rolling on Star Wars: Episode VIII on July 22. As exciting as this is, we still have 527 days to wait until the film opens on the silver screen. On the bright side, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just 163 days away. I'm guessing we'll start seeing merchandise and a second trailer for the film at Star Wars Celebration next week. Steven Spielberg's motion-picture adaptation of Earnest Cline's Ready Player One just wrapped its first week of filming, and according to script writer Zak Penn, it sounds like it went well, and many bird eggs were found? Ready Player One opens in theaters on March 30, 2018.

Sticking with the theme of movies, the last bit of news comes from Bryan Cranston, who is starring in the upcoming Power Rangers movie. In an interview with Nuke the Fridge, Cranston, who reprises his role as Zordon, says we can expect a much different take on this beloved television property. "I can tell you I would NOT have accepted the role if it was not for the script being so good," he says. "They have completely changed the tone. It is not the television series at all. It’s a fully realized, updated, re-imagined approach to telling this superhero story." The revamping even goes to the Power Rangers' suits (pictured below). Unlike most popular properties that get the reboot treatment, Power Rangers never stopped airing, which makes this film's timing a little odd. A 24th season of the television series, Power Rangers: Ninja Steel, will be running when the movie opens in theaters on March 24, 2017. More Power Rangers isn't a bad thing, per se, but fans will now have two timelines to follow.

Halo is one science-fiction timeline I've always been intrigued and invested in but never fully understood. I'm hoping that the upcoming Halo Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo book delivers a clean and easy-to-follow retelling of this long-running game's lore. The book incorporates all of Halo's canon for the first time. This book compiles all of the stories from the games, novels, comic books, animated series, and live-action shorts. It also features over 50 new paintings from a handful of artists, including some from 343 Industries. I've read a few entries of Halo Mythos, which is printed on thick, high-quality paper, and looks absolutely stunning. It streets on September 6 with a retail price of $35.

Comic-Con International: San Diego kicks off on July 20, and once again appears to be a hot bed for collectors, with a number of exclusive items sold only at the show. I have to beg Brian Shea, Game Informer's representative at the Comic Con, to pick up two items for me: Hasbro's six-inch Black Series figures of Obi-Wan and Kylo Ren. People often line up for hours to get hot items like these Star Wars exclusives, but I'm hoping Brian can work some magic for me. Another interesting development to keep an eye on is Tamashii Nations landing the Voltron license. This toy manufacturer has some of the coolest robot sculpts around, and I can only assume they'll knock Voltron out of the park. It'll be spendy, but probably well worth it.

And if you love giant combiner robots as much as me, I think you'll enjoy my roundup of the top 10 Transformers. While I would never include any character from Michael Bay's terrible Transformers films, I'm narrowing this list to just the original 1980s cartoon. That means Beast Wars' Dinobot and Cheetor are not included. I know you love them, but there are plenty of great characters from that cartoon, and it deserves its own list, which I'll tackle in a future edition of Science-Fiction Weekly. And that's not even mentioning all the other great iterations of characters that have shown up in other shows, comics, and toy lines.  A note: This is my personal list, but I did consult Game Informer's Matt Miller, a huge Transformers fan, for advice on the number 10 slot. I was torn between four different characters, and had a hard time picking one to make the list. He made a great argument for why one character should be there, which I dissect in entries below. Without further ado, here are 10 of the coolest robots around...

10. Bumblebee

This spot deservedly goes to Bumblebee, who was a huge part of the original cartoon, but could have easily gone to Ratchet, one of the wisest and coolest Autobots, Jazz, who is just a fun character, or Sixshot, a Deception with five transformations that he used to take down all of the Aerialbots in a battle on Cybertron. Bumblebee, while a little annoying at times, was the heart and soul of the Autobots in most of the episodes, and was a key part in some of the Autobots' biggest victories.

9. Shockwave

We didn't see much of Shockwave, but when we did, his intelligence and stature towered over most Decepticons, and he stole the viewers' attention with his calm and collected approach to all situations. Megatron constantly praised the purple steward of Cybertron, words that amusingly drew the ire of Starscream. 

8. Devastator

Seeing a bunch of robots come together to create the giant Decepticon named Devastator blew my young mind. That still may be one of my top 10 TV moments of all time. I thought it was the coolest thing, and I immediately wanted to run out to the store to buy all of the Constructicon toys. The arrival of the combiner robots completely changed the Transformer universe, giving way to a handful of different groups that could unite to create lumbering titans. Yes, that's a picture of Devastator lifting and tossing a Dinobot! Amazing! Simply amazing!

7. Cyclonus

When I went to see the Transformers movie, the last thing I expected was to walk out of the theater feeling both sad and defeated. Optimus Prime, Megatron, and pretty much every prominent Autobot and Decepticon is killed off in an epic war. A few lucky survivors are later devoured by the moon-sized robot, Unicron. It was a hard film to watch as a child, but it did give me my first look at one of my favorite characters in the series. Some of the fallen robots are resurrected as new robots. Megatron becomes Galvatron, and either Bombshell or Skywarp reemerges as Cyclonus. Who his DNA is born from is one of the biggest debates among Transformers fans. Cyclonus is a loyal trooper for Galvatron, and one of the coolest looking spacecraft in the series. Sorry Starscream, but Cyclonus ends up being that commanding second in command that Megatron always needed.

6. Omega Supreme

The Autobots always seemed to be outgunned by the Decepticons, relying more on wit and craftiness to win the wars. That changed when Omega Supreme joined their ranks. He's one of the tallest Autobots, who is armed to the teeth and can transform into a sprawling base complete with a rocketship and a track-bound tank. Omega Supreme was one of our first looks at the mysterious Guardian faction from Crystal City. He also showed us how long the Cybertronian wars had lasted, as he was hunting the Constructicons for millions of years.

5. Megatron

Megatron successfully delivered that menacing "everything must burn" aura, but wasn't the most strategic leader, often leading to moments where he had to yell "Decepticons, retreat!" I'll never understand why he shrunk when he transformed, but love the idea of him becoming a weapon for others to wield. He will likely sit higher on your lists, but his inability to properly handle Starscream knocks him down a few spots on my list.

4. Grimlock

The introduction of the Dinobots is my favorite Transformers episode. They were created to aid the depleted Autobot troops, but ended up being unpredictable, dangerous, and just as dense as their dinosaur inspirations. Grimlock ended up being their leader, and although he could transform into a robot, almost always remained in his dinosaur form. He added a little humor to the shows, but also kicked plenty of ass.

3. Starscream

One of the most interesting characters in cartoon history, Starscream is a villain obsessed with power. He has his sights set more on overthrowing Megatron to become the Decepticon leader than take down the Autobots. When he finally reaches the highest ranks of his order, he wears a crown, which looks silly, but is an awesome little touch for anyone who watched the show from the beginning. His voice is also iconic for all of the wrong reasons.

2. Soundwave

Just think, in our world of evolving technology, a character like Soundwave, who transforms into a cassette player, wouldn't exist today. And that's a shame as he's easily the coolest villain in the Transformers universe, capable of ejecting tapes that transform into dogs, birds, gorillas, bats, dinosaurs, and ground-shaking minions. He also has a chilling synthesized voice, and often hides himself in the Autobot bases to spy on their operations.

1. Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime is the complete package of a character – a brilliant leader skilled in all fields of warfare with a strong moral core for reading situations correctly. When he talks, you listen. Even as a viewer, I found myself getting emotional during his speeches, and worried whenever he came under attack. He made an impact on me, like few fictional characters have. Transformers is a cartoon ripe with fascinating characters, yet Prime stands tall above them all as the beating heart of its universe. "Let's roll out." I get chills every time I hear that.