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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE

Marvel US nav: US Intro | Story List | US #1-10 | US #11-20 | US #21-30 | US #31-40 | US #41-50 | US #51-60
US #61-70 | US #71-80 | Comics Magazine | Transformers Universe | Transformers the Movie | Headmasters
G.I. Joe and the TFs | US G2 Intro | G.I. Joe #138-142 | G2 Special | US G2 #1-6 | US G2 #7-12 | Cover Images

US #21 - #30

| #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 | #25 | #26 | #27 | #28 | #29 | #30 |

#21 - "Aerialbots Over America!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: October 1986

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #89 -90 [UK], Titan Books: Showdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: At Megatron's behest, Bombshell takes over a human worker at a hydroelectric dam via a Cerebro-Shell. Meanwhile, Skids introduces Donny to Optimus. He tells of the arrivals from Cybertron, and Optimus despatches Jetfire with him to check out his claim. Then Prime hears of the hold-up at the dam, and dispatches the Aerialbots - despite the fact only Silverbolt has a fully-developed personality. The Decepticons, meanwhile, summon up reinforcements and an energy-drill via the Spacebridge. Jetfire and Donny only find Autobot fuel where the "Cybertron seven" arrived, and continue their search. The Aerialbots, meanwhile, arrive at the dam and begin to battle the Decepticon jets. After chasing them off, they form Superion to stop the energy drill. Megatron tries to force Ricky to shoot Superion, and the giant decides to kill him. However, Silverbolt forces the Aerialbots to split up, while Ricky's daughter is able to help him overcome Bombshell's control. He then shoots the Spacebridge. Elsewhere, Circuit Breaker has captured and disassembled the Cybertron seven.

Notes: Skids was left for dead by the Autobots in #19. The Insecticons arrived three days before the story starts. The Cybertronian Autobots [Perceptor, Blaster, Beachcomber, Powerglide, Cosmos, Seaspray and Warpath] were last seen in #18. Circuit Breaker was last seen in #9. Megatron can't fire himself in gun mode. RAAT, Circuit Breaker's new project, stands for Rapid Anti-Robot Assault Team.

Errors: Ricky walks past the security guard holding a bloody gun. Why do the Decepticons even need him if security is so lax? The Insecticons could easily sneak by. Heck, the four could just clobber their way in... It seems astonishing that Megatron can't fire himself, and that he also doesn't transform and just use the ol' fusion cannon. Idiot. Far from being powerful, it appears Bombshell's control is pretty damn useless, seeing as Ricky, hardly a superman, is gaining control throughout. On page 16, the white parts of Ramjet are coloured red. On page 17, Slingshot is coloured like Air Raid. On the last page, Blaster's head is blue.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Bombshell, Kickback, Megatron, Shrapnel, Jetfire, Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Skids, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, Silverbolt [first appearance], Air Raid [first appearance], Fireflight [first appearance], Slingshot [first appearance], Skydive [first appearance], Ramjet, Dirge, Thrust, Superion [first appearance]. Blaster's body and head, and the heads of Perceptor, Powerglide, Seaspray, Beachcomber, Cosmos and Warpath are seen.

Notable Others: Donny Finkelberg, Circuit Breaker

Review: Fairly diverting, though very much a kids' story. Ricky's wildly clichéd, and the Insecticons are given rather heavy-handed characterisations, but it's readable. However, the denouement is terrible, between Megatron's dumbfounding disability, and the horribly saccharine sequence with Ricky and his daughter, undermining the ever-improving art of Perlin, and some incredibly cool stuff from Air Raid.

[*][*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0]

#22 - "Heavy Traffic!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: November 1986

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters: Hans Iv
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted In: Transformers #91 -92 [UK], Titan Books: Showdown [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Circuit Breaker explains to capture of the Cybertron seven by RAAT to an unimpressed Barnett. Bombshell, meanwhile, has fired a Cerebro-Shell at Optimus, but can only monitor his thoughts, rather than control them. Skids sets out to search for the seven, accompanied by a reluctant Donny. Meanwhile, the Decepticons piggyback the Matrixing of the Aerialbots, allowing the Stunticons to be brought to life too. Megatron sends them out to destroy Skids. Prime sends the Aerialbots to assist him. Circuit Breaker and RAAT arrive and battle the Stunticons, while Donny, having fled to safety, is caught by Barnett. The Aerialbots arrive, but the Stunticons decide to discredit the Autobots by "protecting" Skids from them. Both teams form their combined modes, and battle, but Circuit Breaker attacks out Superion, leaving him an easy target for Menasor. Skids and Donny flee, but at a motel later that night, Donny contacts Barnett, planning to sell Skids out.

Notes: Bombshell stowed away via Silverbolt in last issue. Prime is immune to Bombshell's Cerebro-Shells. Skids has an off switch.

Errors: Skids has an off switch... Perceptor's face is blue. As he's attacked, Blaster's is red, then pale blue. As he molests Donny, and rescues that woman, Skids' arms go mental. Skydive's got too much red and black on him. Neither Donny nor Skids notice that a Tyrrell P34's parked outside the motel... Jetfire recalls Ballobots on Cybertron, when he was created on Earth. The red is missing from Dead End's arms. As Circuit Breaker zaps him, there's too much blue on Dragstrip's head. As the Stunticons form Menasor, Breakdown's colour scheme is reversed. As Menasor shoots Superion, the latter's jaw is white.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Perceptor [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Powerglide [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Seaspray [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Beachcomber [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Warpath [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Cosmos [flashback, deactivated by Circuit Breaker], Bombshell, Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Skids, Megatron, Soundwave, Silverbolt, Fireflight, Air Raid, Slingshot, Skydive, Dragstrip [first appearance], Dead End [first appearance], Breakdown [first appearance], Wildrider [first appearance], Motormaster [first appearance], Menasor [first appearance], Superion.

Notable Others: Walter Barnett, Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg.

Review: Pretty dismal. Circuit Breaker's ongoing ability to tell black from white [and her constant choice of attacking white in 50-50 situations] is getting distinctly trying now, and the character's credibility is steadily diminishing. Add to that some uninspired art, Barnett's sudden super-hero leap and the stupidity of the off-switch, and you've got a bit of a mess. Mind, Donny's line about the entrance ramp is classic.

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#23 - "Decepticon Graffiti!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: December 1986

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Bob Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #94 -95 [UK], Titan Books: Showdown [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Circuit Breaker has added Skids and the Aerialbots to RAAT's collection. Meanwhile, Megatron has summoned Runabout and Runamuck from Cybertron, and dispatches them to challenge Optimus Prime to a duel on his behalf. However, instead they follow a graffiti-ing kid across the country, attracting the attention of RAAT. They attack Runabout and Runamuck, but Circuit Breaker is knocked out. However, she gets the captured Autobots to agree to let her use their bodies to make herself a giant robot suit as a conduit. Circuit Breaker then attacks the Battlechargers at their next target, the Statue of Liberty. She shoots them both down, and lets the Autobots go free, only to be fired by RAAT along with Donny. Donny himself decides to give his RAAT paycheque towards renovations of the Statue.

Notes: Runabout and Runamuck have arrived on Earth at some point since #22.

Errors: Once again Skids has no elbows. On page 4, Megatron's cannon is tiny, and Laserbeak looks really odd. On page 20, Runamuck has a red head.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Runabout, Runamuck. The bodies and/or heads of Skids, Blaster, Silverbolt, Powerglide, Slingshot, Cosmos, Blaster, Beachcomber, Warpath, Perceptor, Air Raid, Fireflight and Skydive are seen, or are all in the Autobot composite robot somewhere.

Notable Others: Circuit Breaker, Donny Finkelberg, Walter Barnett.

Review: Surprisingly great. The Battlechargers are a fun double act, and even though the kid's annoying, he's meant to be. It's nicely rendered, by and large, snappily written - and for once Josie's after the Decepticons. It's a shame the Battlechargers are written out as they're really good fun - it's great to have the stakes so small, there's no superweapon, just a pair of goons trying to draw on the Statue of Liberty

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#24 - "Afterdeath!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: January 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Bob Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #105 -106 [UK], Titan Books: Showdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Generations #7 [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Megatron takes the Combaticons to attack a powerplant, but Optimus Prime intercepts him with the Protectobots. After a brief stand-off, the plant's computer whizz, Ethan Zachary, persuades both sides to have their battle via the plant's computer system, with Megatron stipulating that the leader of the losing side is destroyed. The combatants then enter the computer landscape of Multiworld. In the game, the Protectobots help the game's inhabitants, and thus easily beat the Combaticons. Megatron is defeated, but cheats. Prime still beats him, but kills some of the game's inhabitants while doing so. Aggrieved at the thought of harming innocents, Prime requests he be destroyed instead. Ethan reluctantly complies. However, he has his character backed up on disk.

Notes: Bombshell's Cerebro-Shell [from #21] is removed from Optimus. It was presumably via this that Megatron created the Combaticons, piggybacking the creation of the Protectobots. Both Streetwise and First Aid have the extra vehicle-mode cannons that came with the toys. This issue takes place after GI Joe and the Transformers #1.

Errors: When Brawl questions why Autobots are never called cheats, Prime replies to... Blades? Streetwise has no red on him in the last frame, and Groove has a red face. You have to ask, seeing as it's blatant who's the evil guy and who's the good guy, why Ethan doesn't just blow Megatron up anyway.

Okay, the suicide. Surely Op wouldn't throw the whole war on a matter of principle? Surely he'd weigh up the amount of real innocents who'd die as a result of the leaderless Autobots not being quite on the ball? Oh well, it was kinda going that way... Oh, and Op's personality fits on a 5¼ floppy disk. Again, it's that kind of story.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Vortex [first appearance], Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Onslaught [first appearance], Swindle [first appearance], Brawl [first appearance], Megatron, Hotspot [first appearance], Streetwise [first appearance], Groove [first appearance], First Aid [first appearance], Blades [first appearance], Blast Off [first appearance], Defensor [first appearance], Bruticus [first appearance].

Notable Others: Ethan Zachary [first appearance].

Review: If you excised the "boy look at these shiny new toys" stand-off, this'd be quite fun in a Plan 9 from Outer Space kinda way. It's totally barmy - Megatron has the most bizarre characterisation he's received yet, and there's some gloriously prosaic lines throughout - my personal favourite has to be the Optimus/Wheeljack exchange as they overhear Megatron. Then you've got Janet and Ethan telling each other the purpose of the plant, the bizarre Groove/Brawl argument and Op and Megs playing Top Trumps. The game's inhabitants are hilarious, the idea of Vortex and Blast Off being brought down by a cloud, Megatron beating up the Combaticons for being rubbish and computer games - it all reaches a kind of kitsch grandeur. There's also a few great bad lines - First Aid's "Maybe you're just strange" to Streetwise, and Blades' "I'm a warrior, not a safety net" are just two examples of great random scripting. It's madness... yet strangely readable. Even with the silly suicide [which, incidentally, is quite dynamically drawn], I really can't find it in myself to hate this thing. It's just too damn funny. It's a poor exit for Optimus, though, especially considering his bit-part role in the past dozen-or-so issues.

[*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#25 - "Gone But Not Forgotten!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: February 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Bob Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #107 -108 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Generations #8 [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Shockwave is planning a move to a new island base, while Megatron is sinking into a stupor, paranoid that Optimus isn't dead. He even smashes Brawl up, and Shockwave decides he's a liability, and begins to push him further over the edge, raising the possibility that Prime's death was faked. Megatron leads the remaining Combaticons and the Stunticons to attack Optimus. Shockwave, meanwhile, calls on the Predacons, who arrive from Cybertron, and attack Megatron, masquerading as Autobots. Even when they combine as Predaking, though, he defeats them, and finds the disk with Shockwave's orders. Just as he is about to execute him, the possibility of Prime being saved to disk hits him. He staggers onto the Spacebridge, enraged, and a random blast from his cannon causes the bridge to disappear, taking him with it, and leaving Shockwave in command.

Notes: Megatron appears to actually kill Brawl - he's carefully not shown for the rest of the story. He's not seen again for a while, so it's possible he gets repaired. The Decepticons acquired the hydrothermocline from Cobra, having formed an alliance with them in GIJoe and the Transformers #2, which happens just before this issue. Megatron can use his cannon like a standard gun [i.e. there's a conventional trigger on it somewhere].

Errors: Laserbeak's power of speech [which has been diminishing pretty steadily for about a year] has now disappeared altogether... In the flashbacks to "Afterdeath", Ethan's trousers have changed colour, from green to brown. On page 13, Dead End's head is uncoloured. Wildrider's totally miscoloured on page 17.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Megatron, Onslaught, Swindle, Blast Off, Brawl, Optimus Prime [flashback], Wildrider, Dead End, Breakdown, Motormaster, Dragstrip, Vortex, Razorclaw [first appearance], Tantrum [first appearance], Rampage [first appearance], Headstrong [first appearance], Divebomb [first appearance], Predaking [first appearance].

Notable Others: Walter Barnett, Ethan Zachary [flashback].

Review: It's quite engaging, and Perlin does well with the heavy battle-damage to Megatron. Megatron's insanity is actually well portrayed by Budiansky also, although why's Shockwave so scared of Megatron lately? The only real problem is the army's attack on the Decepticons, which feels like padding, and the way they get scared off by some random firing from Megs is pretty poor - just planning to talk to them sternly lads? The fight scene between Megatron and the Predacons is nicely done, and despite being waaay off the scale in the nutcase stakes, Megs actually gets a decent send-off.

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#26 - "Funeral for a Friend!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: March 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Brett Breeding
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #109 -110 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Ratchet is unable to revive Optimus Prime. Omega Supreme then reveals his new security system for the Ark, and the Autobots set out for Prime's memorial service. Ratchet doesn't go, depressed at his failure. He sets out to scavenge some spare parts to repair other Autobots from a scrapyard. From there, circumstances force him to help a criminal named The Mechanic, and his sidekick Juan, escape from the local police. Ratchet reveals himself to the thieves when they plan to use his technology to commit more crime. The Mechanic freezes Ratchet with the cryogenic sprayer and plans to head to the Ark to loot it. Meanwhile, the Autobots finish the ceremony and head home. Juan, meanwhile, follows the thawed Ratchet into the Ark. He then shoots Ratchet, and turns the Ark's defences on the returning Autobots. Ratchet escapes and repairs Prowl, who scares the Mechanic off. He then deactivates the defences, and greets the Autobots with renewed confidence.

Notes: Prime's body is sent into space as per Cybertronian tradition. This issue takes place alongside GI Joe and the Transformers #3.

Errors: On page 2, Warpath's missing his cannon, and Groove's head is white. In the bottom-left frame of page 3, Ratchet's head is yellow. Ratchet takes some police lights for Prowl... erm, completism maybe? Why does Ratchet go along with the Mechanic's escape? Why not stall his engine? What'd be so bad about driving away? The cops aren't likely to care... Why not let the cops catch him? Ratchet's missing the red stripe on his ambulance mode throughout. Why don't the Autobots move out of the range of the guns?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Omega Supreme, Jetfire, Hotspot, Slingshot, Silverbolt, Skydive, Perceptor, Blaster, Beachcomber, Powerglide, Warpath, Cosmos, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Skids, Tracks, Smokescreen, First Aid, Groove, Streetwise, Blades, Air Raid, Hoist, Grapple, Fireflight, Seaspray, Prowl [Revived by Ratchet]. The body of Optimus Prime is seen.

Notable Others: The Mechanic [first appearance], Juan [first appearance].

Review: Very cheesy. There's a fair atmosphere early on, totally ruined by the Mechanic, and Ratchet's bizarre behaviour. Some fine scenes [Perceptor's eulogy, Prowl's brief appearance, the ending] are totally undermined by the sheer inaneness of the Mechanic. The weakest part of Budiansky's loose four-part arc marking the passing of the original Transformer leaders.

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#27 - "King of the Hill!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: April 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #111 -112 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Generations #9 [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Dinobots resolve to return to the Ark, with Grimlock intent on taking leadership after hearing of Prime's death. Meanwhile, Shockwave persuades Ratbat to send reinforcements over the Spacebridge to help capture the Ark. The Autobots discuss a replacement for Prime, but turn Grimlock down as unsuitable. That night, the Decepticon reinforcements arrive - Trypticon. The Decepticon fires a beacon that disorientates the Autobots, and begins his attack. The Dinobots watch on as the Autobots are pounded. Grimlock then joins the fray to save a human girl, and the rest of the Dinobots follow. Midway through the battle, though, Ratbat recalls Trypticon to conserve fuel. The Autobots then make the redeemed Grimlock leader.

Notes: The Dinobots struck out on their own in #20. Ratbat has taken over the Decepticons on Cybertron following Straxus' death in #18. The Earth Decepticons' fuel turnover isn't matching the use of resources on the Spacebridge.

Errors: Slag has a grey dino head, and Swoop a red one. In the bottom-left frame of page, Sludge's dino head is uncoloured. In the middle-top frame of page 6, Shockwave's head is a different tone of purple to his body. What exactly happens with the sonic-scrambler mines isn't explained.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Swoop, Sludge, Grimlock, Snarl, Slag, Shockwave, Soundwave, Dead End, Ratbat [first appearance], Jetfire, Perceptor, Blaster, Hotspot, Ratchet, Silverbolt, Trypticon [first appearance], Wipe-Out [first appearance, smashed apart by Snarl], Powerglide, Warpath, Beachcomber, Cosmos, Seaspray, Omega Supreme, Wheeljack, Streetwise, Jetfire, Hotspot.

Letters Page: The backlash about Optimus' death filters in. Most of the [printed] complaints only cover the idea of losing Optimus, rather than the manner of his death.

Review: Pretty good stuff. Grimlock's bullish, but still believable, and Ratbat's anal tendencies are nicely illustrated. Shockwave's beginning his fade, but Perceptor standing up to Grimlock is wonderful. However, Trypticon's withdrawal is a big anticlimax, the Autobots' about-turn with Grimlock doesn't feel right, and the Dinobots are implausibly callous. This masks a nicely-written Grimlock, some good fight scenes and the genuine menace of Trypticon.

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#28 - "Mechanical Difficulties!"

[cover]
Cover: Ian Akin
Cover Date: May 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #121 -122 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Goldbug and Blaster are staking out the Mechanic's HQ, but are forced to leave when their cover is blown. Grimlock isn't very happy. They manage to track him again, but get involved in a confrontation with police who are also tailing the Mechanic. He escapes, but Goldbug and Blaster track him to his new HQ, where he's built a fleet of armed cars to sell to fellow criminals. Goldbug is captured, but Blaster teams up with the police. Juan is arrested, but the Mechanic escapes. Blaster saves Goldbug, and the pair decide to desert rather than face Grimlock.

Notes: The Mechanic's real name is Nestor Forbes. He took Ratchet's guns and the power booster rod in #26. Grimlock takes to wearing a crown from this issue on.

Errors: As Grimlock models his crown for the viewscreen, how is the camera above it picking up that image? It should be a view of his other side...

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Goldbug, Blaster, Grimlock, Ratchet [flashback], Wheeljack.

Notable Others: The Mechanic, Juan.

Production Notes: The cover price goes up to $1.00.

Review: Argh. Grimlock's suddenly waaay off in the deep end, and there's much too much Mechanic, who's behind only Bomber Bill and Joey Slick on the "Characters You Really Shouldn't Bloody Bring Back, Bob" list. I mean, c'mon, even Josie. Just not the Mechanic... it would have been nice for Blaster to have a red mist moment and disembowel him with a thumb. What's really bad is that from now on, under Budiansky, lots of characters will get some short treatment with regard to story time, when there's rubbish like this taking up space. You've got to also really wonder if Grimlock's so wrong being angry at Blaster and Goldbug when they can't handle a buffoon like Nestor.

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#29 - "Crater Critters"

[cover]
Cover: Bob Budiansky
Cover Date: June 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Breakdowns: Don Perlin
Finishes: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #123 -124 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Generations #10 [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: A Decepticon shuttle crashes into America. Meanwhile, Goldbug and Blaster enlist the help of GB Blackrock. He refuels them, and tells them of a reported meteor in Arizona. They set off to check it out. On Cybertron, Ratbat sends Astrotrain, Blitzwing and Octane to find the missing shuttle, which carries vital fuel for the Earth operation. They fit it, but mysterious metal from the wreck begins attaching itself to them. Blaster and Goldbug arrive, and enlist the help of a young man named Charlie to get them to the crater, past the army cordon. After a brief battle with the Decepticons, Blaster and Goldbug find the pilot of the ship, who claims to have been attacked by creatures, but before he can elaborate his head falls off. All five Transformers are then infected by the creatures, known as Scraplets. Goldbug then sets off for a cure with Charlie, leaving Blaster to fight the Decepticons. The latter swears vengeance. Goldbug heads off for help, but the disease is weakening him all the time.

Notes: Scraplets tend to float around in space like clouds of space dust. There was an outbreak on Cybertron thousands of Vorns ago, but the cure is long forgotten.

Errors: Grimlock's crown is a different colour in the flashback. Low-energy cost freighter? Is that like Cyber Second Class Post? Cartoonesque. Enlisting Charlie is a bit dicey, seeing as Goldbug could probably just speed past the army cordon, like Autobots have done with just about every army cordon they've ever seen. Still, it's probably a narrative device to distract us from the idiot who believes Charlie's story. The pilot's head doesn't fall off, as if decayed - it jumps off. Charlie gets to like Goldbug pretty quickly. In the middle-top frame of page 19, Goldbug's chest is totally flush.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Goldbug, Blaster, Grimlock [flashback], Scrounge [flashback], Ratbat, Astrotrain [first appearance], Blitzwing [first appearance], Octane [first appearance].

Notable Others: GB Blackrock.

Review: A fair upturn, though it probably feels a lot better than it really is coming off the previous story. Ratbat's still quite good, and Blitzwing's pigheaded cruelty is well portrayed. But Blaster's mentally off the scale, and the bullying of Blackrock and moral blackmail of Charlie ["I could force you, but I'm going to let you decide whether to let a whole load of people die"] really don't feel right. Goldbug must be about ready to lick Grimlock's feet. Once you stop thinking of this as a serious story, there's more than a little fun to be had here. The Scraplets are really cute, and the idea of Goldbug cowering, Tom & Jerry style, while Charlie kicks them around is pretty damn funny. Blaster's fight with the Triplechangers is well drawn, for Don Perlin, but again his psychotic personality really lets the thing down [Blaster's, not Don's].

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#30 - "The Cure!"

[cover]
Cover: Herb Trimpe
Cover Date: July 1987

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: [Ian] Akin & [Brian] Garvey
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Later Reprinted By: Transformers #126 -127 [UK], Titan Books: Breakdown [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Generations #11 [Worldwide], IDW Publishing: Classic Transformers Volume 2 [Worldwide].

Synopsis: On Cybertron, the Throttlebots are captured by Ratbat. Astrotrain is threatening to destroy the shuttle's cargo unless a cure for the Scraplets is send, so Ratbat tells the Throttlebots to go, destroy the infected and deploy the cargo. If they fail to comply, Ratbat will kill all life on Earth. Meanwhile, Charlie realises water is the cure for Scraplets, but Goldbug is being tracked by Wideload and Rollbar. Charlie, in desperation, infects Wideload so he'll have to listen. Charlie proves there's a cure, using it on Wideload and then Goldbug. Goldbug calls Blackrock, requesting water, and GB brings a pair of trucks. Goldbug then debates with Blaster whether to save him, and thus the Decepticons, or kill the lot of them, when the Scraplets form a huge creature and attack the Throttlebots. Out of options, Goldbug cures all the Transformers in the crater, and the Decepticons and Blaster destroy the monster. However, the Decepticons not only escape with the cargo, but are able to gain control over Blackrock.

Notes: Ratbat gives the Throttlebots Earth modes. Wideload appears to be taller than the other Throttlebots. Rollbar is in command of the team.

Errors: Nel "Capability" Yomtov gets off to a cracking start, colouring Chase like Searchlight, Freeway like Chase and Searchlight like Freeway all on the first page. How did this fool get work? In the bottom frame of page 4, Rollbar has a green head. In the bottom-left panel of page 8, Chase is coloured like Searchlight. Ratbat goes to some considerable effort here - capturing the Throttlebots, converting them to Earth modes, and then Spacebridging them to Earth... is that really worth the cargo on that shuttle? Oh, and I'm not going to mention the water thing. Sure, it's cheesy in a "What's normal to us is bizarre to them" sort of way, but Rob Jung's statement "Anyone with a basic knowledge of chemistry knows that water is one of the most common molecules in the universe" is a bit off - surely it's one of the most common molecules in the known universe, which doesn't include Cybertron? There's definitely none on Cybertron for starters, and it's no less believable than Ratchet having not heard of wood in #7. For a comparison, how common are giant sentient robots? Not very, but there are at least three sets we know of from the comic alone [Transformers, Junkions, Quintessons]... Now, to your average human, seeing a giant sentient robot would be pretty gosh-wow, but actually they're about as common as humans within the context of the comic. What's normal to them is bizarre to us, what's wrong with that working both ways? There's also the fact people would tear Budiansky apart if the cure was something like lukewarm Cyberyak urine or something.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Freeway [first appearance], Chase [first appearance], Searchlight [first appearance], Wideload [first appearance], Rollbar [first appearance], Ratbat, Astrotrain, Octane, Blitzwing, Blaster, Goldbug.

Notable Others: GB Blackrock.

Review: Quite good fun. Rollbar's a good character, even if he seems to be enjoying his work a bit too much at the end. Astrotrain and co. trying to hold Ratbat to ransom is a nice idea, as is Ratbat's solution to their demands. Perlin's art is also a bit better than of late, and overall the Scraplet mini-arc is a fun, readable pair of stories - far from perfect, but a lot more interesting than many stories. The only gripe is the increasingly malicious Blaster - someone who isn't psychotic would provide a much better contrast with Grimlock. It's not perfect, and is rather hokey in places, but there are much worse Transformers comics.

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