It’s that time of year again! Hard to believe but the holiday season is upon us, with less than a week to go until the big day itself. So to get us all in the mood, we’re counting down 5 times the UK G1 comic went all festive and gave the robots in disguise a sense of Yuletide cheer. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, we hope you enjoy our list!
#5: Issue #41 (1985)
Artwork credit: Collins
The first Christmas issue of the comic’s eight-year-run remains one of the best! The main storyline involves Jazz realising the true spirit of the season, having initially doubted Buster’s explanation of what it means because of a recent experience with Circuit Breaker. Of course, he comes to realise what it’s all about when he encounters the powered human again, after she is convinced to spare his life by Buster in the spirit of Christmas. However the most memorable part of this issue is undoubtedly the outfit Optimus Prime is sporting as the Autobots attempt to construct a Christmas tree in the Ark to make their human ally feel at home. Bless him.
Artwork credit: Simpson / Hart
#4: Issue #93 (1986)
Artwork credit: Smith
For the second year of seasonal issues the UK storyline focussed on Jetfire. In this continuity he’d only recently been created as part of a new generation of Transformers on Earth, and spent this story lamenting that he felt like an outsider versus the rest of his comrades, having never even set foot on Cybertron. Buster takes time away from his studying to convince the Autobot that he should be proud of his heritage, reminding us all that it doesn’t matter if we’re a bit different.
Artwork credit: Griffiths / White
#3: Issue #145 (1987)
Artwork credit: Kitson / Bouttell
For the third year of December celebrations the comic put out what many people consider to be the absolute classic festive tale, as Starscream shows that maybe he has a heart after all. Well, kinda. He’s pining after his home planet of Cybertron when he encounters a young human who chats with him about the meaning of Christmas, charity and doing things for others, before the two end up going on a trip together and encountering a bus of senior citizens stuck in the snow. Despite a misunderstanding from the Autobot Streetwise, Starscream is convinced to do the right thing and free the bus… which doesn’t quite end with him having some major epiphany but it does at least convince him to wish the boy a “Merry Christmas”!
Artwork credit: Anderson / Peters
#2: Issue #198 (1988)
Artwork credit: Wildman
Optimus Prime was never a more fleshed-out character than in the original UK comic and the evidence for that is right here in this issue. The recently-resurrected Autobot leader is pondering how he ever felt a connection with Earth or the human race, and in particular why he risked his life so often for them. Through the process of introspection he comes to realise that he owes the people of Earth a great debt as it was his decision to crash the Ark on the planet to begin with, thus burdening the planet with the Autobots’ war against the Decepticons. He renews his vow to protect the planet against the many Decepticons who remain at large.
Artwork credit: Wildman / Peters
#1: Issue #250 (1989)
Artwork credit: Wildman
Issue #250 features one of the all-time classic covers from the UK run, with a wrap-around celebration featuring Autobots and Decepticons getting in the festive spirit together! The main story is a reprint of the US strip, but the B&W back-up strip is another quiet Optimus Prime moment as he finds himself with a difficult decision to make. He has a small piece of the Creation Matrix and can use it to bring back to life just one of the many deactivated troops from his ranks, but is struggling to decide which one. After he receives a computer report detailing the environmental damage to Earth that is being caused by the Autobots’ war with the Decepticons he decides instead to give the gift of life back to the planet that has become their adopted home.
Artwork credit: Staz
So, that’s our list! We hope that whatever you’re doing this December, whether you’re celebrating the holiday season or not, that you have a really lovely time. Merry Christmas to everyone!