The events of Earth-120185 occurred in the Marvel UK publications based on commercially licensed properties created by Hasbro Toys. Notably, the Transformers and Action Force (The UK version of G.I. Joe). The stories themselves were expansions of the Marvel US titles of the same commercial characters, whose universe has been designated Earth-91274.

Publication History

The Transformers ran for 332 issues, and a number of annuals, which featured stories that were reprints of the US material, and original content which built on or expanded the US run of the title.

Action Force itself as a title that was totally separate from it's US counterpart G.I. Joe (although the G.I. Joe stories would be reprinted in the Action Force comic, additionally the Action Force stories would see reprinting in a US title called G.I. Joe: European Missions) After 50 weekly issues, it changed to a monthly format which was canceled after 15 issues, and soon only G.I. Joe reprints (re-branded under the Action Force title) found themselves printed in issues of the Transformers UK comic book.

Reality Distinction

The reality encompassing the Marvel UK incarnation of the Transformers, Action Force and others. Notably, it is not the same reality featured in the Marvel US Transformers comic book series, but rather an expanded version of it. The first UK-originated story is printed in UK issue #9—this Earth's numerical designation is a reference to the date of publication of this issue, the 12th of January, 1985.

The US Comic book exists in Earth-91274, the series lasted 80 issues, and also ran one related three issue limited series based on the Headmasters characters. While the main plot was mostly the same (especially in later issues when writer Simon Furman from the Transformers UK title took over writing chores for the US book as well) there are some major deviations in terms of expanded histories and alternate takes of the characters including a very involved time-travel plot line that appeared in the UK series. Additionally, the US series further divorced itself from the UK continuity with the advent of Transformers: Generation 2 which was publication in the mid-90's following the attempted revival of the toy franchise.

A key difference between Earth-91274 and Earth-120185 is that on Earth-91274, the 1987 G.I. Joe and the Transformers miniseries is canonical, showing Bumblebee being destroyed by G.I. Joe[1] and being turned into Goldbug. The Transformers UK comic never published the crossover until much later[2], and instead had a different story--Death's Head destroyed Bumblebee, and Wreck-Gar repaired and upgraded the Autobot into Goldbug.[3] Additionally, the Transformers of Earth-91274 apparently had no encounter with Death's Head, whether from Earth-TRN234 or any other alternate Earths.

Transformers in the Marvel Universe

Like many early comic books based on commercial properties (IE: Godzilla and Rom the Spaceknight) the Transformers were originally intended to exist in the Marvel Universe (Earth-616). This became apparent when after three issues of the initial US run (Which was reprinted in the UK) featured a guest-appearance by Spider-Man, as well as appearances made by other Marvel Characters (notably Nick Fury who even made a comment about not wanting to fight Godzilla again in that very issue) the character Circuit Breaker would make an appearance in Secret Wars II #3.

This idea was later abandoned when it became apparent that to include the Transformers in the Marvel Universe would cause issues with both the Transformers title, and the other Marvel books (not to mention the rights issues that would later come up, like with ROM the Spaceknight.) How Spider-Man, Nick Fury, and others from the Marvel Universe could have appeared in the Transformers universe is yet unexplained or speculative.

However, when Action Force began to reprint Shang-Chi stories, Action Force #17 included a story titled "Meditations in Red" in which Quick Kick is shown to be familiar with Shang-Chi (and aware of other characters associated with him, such as Fu Manchu), Iron Fist, Elektra, and Batroc. This was unusual as G.I. Joe (which Action Force is based on) had no interaction with the Marvel Universe (with the exception of a cameo by J. Jonah Jameson).[4] Additionally, "Destiny of the Dinobots!", a story in the 1990 Transformers UK Annual[5] still confirmed the existence of the Savage Land on Earth-120185. Neither "Meditations in Red" nor "Destiny of the Dinobots" were ever printed in the Marvel US comics, so they may not be canonical to Earth-91274.

Earth-120185 was given its name in the 2006 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, in the profile for Marvel-owned character Death's Head, explaining his appearances in the Transformers UK series as a short stopover in that particular universe. Though they are Transformers characters, Rodimus Prime and Galvatron are both mentioned in the profile.

In 2007, Transformers from a completely different continuity appeared in Earth-7642 as part of the New Avengers/Transformers crossover series. In 2008, the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Volume 1 (Hardcover), retconned the meeting between the Beyonder and Circuit Breaker in Secret Wars II #3 occurred on Earth-616 and that the Circuit Breaker he encountered originated in that reality and was separate from Earth-120185.

Future Timeline

In the year 2006, events similar to those in Transformers: The Movie occurred, with the major variation being that in Earth-120185, Galvatron attained time travel capabilities during the time between scenes of the film and heads back to 1986 to hide a weapon that could destroy Unicron.[6] Ultimately the plan failed and he went back to 2006 to carry out the rest of the film's events. But after being thrown out of Unicron by Rodimus Prime, Galvatron time traveled to 1986 once more.[7] As a result, Rodimus, frustrated by his inability to find the Decepticon leader for over a year and distracted by other Decepticon army attacks, put a bounty on Galvatron. In turn, this attracted the attention of Death's Head,[8] who followed Galvatron back to 1986 to claim the reward.[9]

  • In the Transformers Multiverse, Earth-120185 is numbered as Primax 984.20 Gamma.[10]
  • After the cancellation of Transformers UK in 1992, there was a short-lived Transformers: Generation 2 comic book series two years later, published by Fleetway instead of Marvel UK (as the latter stopped publishing by 1994). This new series followed up on events of Transformers (UK) Vol 1 332 (which itself was a reprint of the US Transformers #80) but ignored the events of Marvel's G.I. Joe #138 to #142 and Transformers: Generation 2 #1 to #3 in favor of an all-new story, then reprinted Marvel's Transformers: Generation 2 #3 and #5 before being canceled. It is unknown for certain if these stories take place on Earth-120185, as lists the Fleetway Generation 2 series as its own universe[11] while treating the story "Another Time and Place" from the Transformers (UK) 1992 Annual as another alternate follow-up after Transformers (UK) #332. Both US and UK versions of the Generation 2 comics are incompatible with "Another Time and Place," as, among other things, the Annual's story implied Megatron died after the events of #332. Whether the Annual's story (published by Marvel UK) or the Generation 2 series (not published by Marvel UK, but reprinted a few Marvel US stories) is the canonical continuation of Earth-120185 is up for debate.
  • It's also possible that part of the Transformers UK run may not be canonical to Earth-120185--since the Earth was specifically named in Death's Head's profile in the 2006 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe mentioned above, Death's Head's adventures in the future are integral to this Earth. But those future stories crucially needed the events of the 1986 Transformers: The Movie occurring, which wouldn't be possible if Unicron was now known to Cybertronians and destroyed in the early 1990's, during the final storyarcs of the US and UK comic.
  • In Transformers: The Movie, the story takes place in 2005. However when the comic adaptation was published in the UK, it was edited to be 2006 to fit in with the first comic arc, Target: 2006, which specifically states the movie's events took place in 2006 on this world.