I am a co-host on a Transformers podcast called ‘TransMissions‘. Recently we pulled out our webcams and reviewed the latest Transformers 4 Trailer and posted it to youtube. You should check it out if you like to laugh.
Optimus Prime is Back! Well, he has been back in a virtual capacity for a few issues. But this time he his back with a kicking new body thanks to the help of the Nebulonions. The only question is will he live? I don’t want to give to much away so lets jump to the cover art and then the review!
ugh… Why do so many covers have to be yellow? Sigh… Alright, Optimus prime is front and center on this yellow background cover. Though he looks a little different. This is because he has gone through the Powermaster upgrade. This is punctuated by the Nebulonion popping out of his front grill plate. Darkwing and Dreadwind are flying in and firing down upon the great prime as he fires back. Several other Autobot Powermasters rally behind him.
We open this book on the planet of Nebulos. The Gardens of Eternal Peace and Harmony Macrobiotic Restaurant (holy hell that was a mouth full), is under attack by a jet which splits into the Decepticons, Dreadwind and Darkwing. The two are arguing among themselves as Transformable humanoids disengaged from the Decepticons. These two bio engineered Nebulans are Hi-Test and Throttle (not a very Nebulonion name if you ask me), and confront the maitre d’ of the restaurant and demand a large amount of food.
The Steelhaven arrives over Nebulos taking orbit. It’s crew travel to the surface to meet with the Nebulan Scientist, Hi-Q. The Scientist is very reluctant to aid the Autobots in their missions of constructing a body for Optimus Prime.
It is explained to the Autobots that Hi-Q’s partner, Hi-Test were tasked with coming up with a means of preventing the Transformers from ever returning. Under the direction of the scientists, a bomb was set off which resulted in the tainting of all the fuel sources on Nebulos. Any Transformer that consumes this energy will be poisoned. Hi-Q’s success in developing the poison resulted in Hi-Test quitting due to his jealousy.
In searching for Scorponok’s crew, Darkwing and Dreadwind become poisoned by the local fuel. Hi-Test teams up with Throttle to steal Hi-Q’s research of something called the Powermaster Process. This allows Nebulans themselves to provide the power to a Transformer. Hi-Test and Throttle undertake the process and partner up with Darkwing and Dreadwind.
In order for the Nebulans to power the Deceitpcons they require large amounts of food which means a lot of the Deceitpcon attacks are just so they can feed the Nebulons powering them.
With Hi-Q unable to stop the Decepticons, Goldbug believes they can. Hi-Q warns Goldbug that the Autobots will be poisoned is they consume the local fuel. Goldbug remains steadfast that they stay and complete their mission regardless of the dangers. Hi-Q offers his facility and services to aid their battle, but wont be sad if they fail in the end.
The Autobots next hear of an attack on the council of pears by the Deceitpcons looking to find out more about Scroponok and his crew. As the Autobots engage the Decepticons, they put up little of a resistance as the Powermaster Decepticons prove to superior.
The Autobots return to Hi-Q’s lab and finish work on Optimus Prime’s new body. Even though the Autobots are warned that Optimus Prime will only function for a short time due to the poison that will be running through his body, his mind is transferred from the computer disk and into the body.
Optimus Prime is activated and told of his new upgrade that allows his trailer to combine with his body granting him more power than ever before. But Optimus Prime still has not accepted he is more than a computer simulation.
Shortly after activation, Prime experiences incredible pain as the poisoned fuel used to activate him works his effects on his body. It is through this pain that Optimus Prime realizes that if he can feel, then he can potentially die and accepts that he must be a living being.
It is here that Hi-Q starts to understand that no only are the Autobots alive, but they are also noble. He offers himself to the Powermaster process to save Optimus Prime’s life. An additional three of his staff members agree to also help out the remaining Autobots, Joyride, Getaway, and Slapdash. Guldbug does not need any help as he uses less fuel than the other Autobots.
Later, Darkwing and Dreadwind attack Hi-Q’s lab. They are met by resistance from the Powermaster Autobots. The dueling bots seem evenly matched when Optimus Prime shows up and ends the fight quickly.
Hi-Q speak with Hi-Test and points out that his jealousy has caused Nebulos to return to a war state. The Nebulos Council sentenced Hi-Test and Throttle to exile. They join up with their Decepticon partners and take off to an unknown location.
Goldbug prepares to leave on the Steelhaven alone. Since the Powermaster process has tied Autobot and Nebulan together, he does not see them wanting to leave the planet. However, the Nebulans come to believe that since they are binary-bonded, they may not have a home on the planet anymore. The Autobots and their new partners say by to their planet and depart.
My Thoughts On This Issue
Picking up this issue and wanting to read about the return of Optimus Prime so badly, I originally over looked how different prime looked on the cover. When Prime is returned to life he looks the same until he is upgraded to Powermaster Prime to save his life. The kids want Optimus Prime back. Not something that resembles Optimus Prime. I would like to think in 1988 that there was still a healthy demand for the original toy and that Hasbro would have made a lot of money continuing selling it. But I guess they felt they had to alter it enough to sell it again. Really, it’s to bad.
Sadly, this story just feels like a rehash of so many other Transformers stories I have been reading recently. The Autobots or Decepticons get a new technology and their counterparts upgrade to the same technology.
Transmission Letters This Issue
Dear Misguided Autobot Lovers,
I just gotta write this: In TRANSFORMERS issue #37, you made the Predacons look like a bunch of mis-wired clods. It just ain’t fair. Stop making the awesome Deceitpcons look like a meeting of Wimps Anonymous. Sure, They’re not exactly the friendliest guys in the world, and Ratbat may be a jerk, but please, show a little sympathy.
Another thing – are the Throttlebots gone forever? Their bodies don’t look so good. I spent most of my allowance collecting them and then you go and do this. Now I’ve got to find a car crusher that will smash such tiny cars!
Overall, you people are doing a wonderful job. I wanna see Octane meet up with Ratbat. That should show the Ratster how to conserve fuel! Keep up the great work, Oh yeah, I loved the HEADMASTERS!
Steve De Anda
El Paso, TX
Sympathy? You want sympathy for a giant robot who’s… unh… looking over my shoulder menacingly as I type this? Why, sure, Steve, no problem! Oh, and Ratbat has the address of that car crusher you wanted…
I really love anything to do with the TRANSFORMERS, the comic, the toys, the cartoon, the movie, everything. I do have a few questions:
1) Now that there are a bunch of new Transformers (not to mention the Headmasters) are you going to be making a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE?
2) Will we see Metroplex and Trypticon?
3) Are you bringing back Willam Johnson? I love his pencils.
4) Are you going to change the name of the comic to TRANSFORMERS: MORE MUCH MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE?
Thanks, guys, and keep up the good work …I need my TRANSFORMERS!
1) Yup, this summer we’ll give you four more issues of the tantalizing TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE, with a bunch of those Headmasters guys and all kinds of neat new stuff.
2) No plans right now, but you never know what Bob Budiansky’ll be up to next, so keep tuned.
3) We’re trying, we’re trying… but Ol’ William isn’t easy to convince. Maybe giving his address to Ratbat…?
Hope we were able to answer all your questions, Tim… and, by the way, are you any relation to Smilin’ Sara Tuchinsky, our glamorous and scintillatin’ receptionist? (Hi Sara)
I recently read issue #38 of the TRANSFORMERS. The story was better than usual, and the Headmasters were O.K., but i agree with Shingo that the TRANSFORMERS had to be one of the worse comics in the world. The art has been stinky since the first issue. The only issue with decent art was issue #16, and it wasn’t really good, just decent. The stories are the same thing over and over, every time. The characters have no personalities. In each issue, each character gets two lines. First he’ll introduce himself, and then he’ll say, “Me Robot, kill you Robot.”
You guys can’t even get the facts straight in your own story. Buster and Spike can’t be in the same Comic: they are actually the same person. One’s from the comic book and one’s from the cartoon. Don’t expect us and one’s from the cartoon. Don’t expect us to believe that they are brothers. You also stupidly gave Spike brown hair, I can’t believe you guys.
St. Paul, VA
We can’t believe you either Shannon, and we’re trying really hard, too. Hey, why not take another look at the TRANSFORMERS? Read the stories carefully. Example the motives of the various characters. And if you still think we stink, write back and tell us! (For those of you out there who don’t believe that Marvel publishes critical mail… we’ve just been called stupid, stinky, and the worst comic in the world, all in one letter!)
So far, I’ve got three of the four HEADMASTER comics. Thought they were brill! By the way, when will Galvatron and Prime (Rodimus, that is) be entering the regular comic? And will there be an issue coming up with the Technobots? When will the Targetmasters make their entrance, and my favorite ‘Con Soundwave? By the way, does the word DECEPTICON mean Dumb, Evil, Creepy Electronic Pieces of Trash’ /n Cans Of Noodles?
Not Exactly, Paul, but certainly, er, brill. As for your questions, the Technobots and Targtmasters will return, but you won’t be seeing Galvatron and Rodimus Prime in the regular TRANSFORMERS until 2005. Soundwave has been in both issues #39 and 41, so get those back issues fast!
I just finished reading issue #38 and I loved it. Having Headmasters on Earth is really exciting. I can’t wait until the Headmasters meet up with the regular Transformers. Boy, talk about surprises! It will teach all those Decepts that humans aren’t as puny as they seem.
I was sorry to see Galen die, although you handled it well. It will also be neat to see Spike Witwicky become the leader of the HEadmasters.
My favorite Autobots are Fortress Maximus, Optimus Prime, and Jetfire. My favorite Decepticons are Scorponok, Weird Wolf and Starscream. I have a great idea: why not make a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE featuring the Headmasters, Targetmasters, and the other new Transformers?
Wast Brookfield, MA
As you can see from Tim’s letter about a whole bunch of you want a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE, and who are we to say no!?! The Targetmasters will be in there, too, Mike. Meanwhile, you can use your old TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE to help you tell us which Transformers are your favorites and why. We’ll print those letters here in Transmissions, so watch for your name here.
New Ads This Issue
Issue 41 I’m hopping will see Optimus Prime with his body back. Thought I am sure it can’t be that easy. So before we dive in and see what happens lets check out this fantastic cover art!
Holy crap! Just look at this cover! I don’t think you could fit any more Transformers on a single cover if you tried! The cover is set in space with Autobots on one side and Decepticons on the other getting ready to battle it out on the surface of the moon. In the background of the stary space sky you can make out the planet Earth and what I think is the Milky Way.
The first panel of the first page is a dramatic scene with Autobot Leader, Optimus Prime exploding into peaces. The crew aboard the Steelhaven have been trying to build their leader a new body. All attempts thus far have failed. This is not helped by the fact that the resources available to the Autobots on the ship are extremely limited. Thanks to Hotrod’s efforts the Ark has been located and Fortress Maximus decides to approach Grimlock and the Autobots from Earth for help.
Upon their encounter, Grimlock wants no part of helping Fortress Maximus and he demands that crew of the Steelhaven handover Goldbug who is a fugitive. Fortress Maximus refuses, but to prevent a fight, Goldbug ends up surrendering. Grimlock believes there can be only one Autobot leader and so challenges Fortress Maximus to a battle for control of the Autobots. He sights an archaic ‘Code of Combat’.
Inside the Ark’s brig, Goldbug discovers Blaster, who is strapped to a energy-sucking chair. Blaster’s spirit is broken from having been jailed and wasting away. Goldbug talks him into fighting in place of an injured Fortress Maximus.
In another location, Soundwave has been tracking the Steelhaven. Ratbat sees this as a chance to take out the Autobots of earth and the Steelhaven all at once. A very energy efficient mission.
Both the Ark and the Steelhaven land on the move and the crews from both ships step out to watch the historic fight between Grimlock and Blaster.
As the two Autobots fight, they whined up far away from the rest of the Autobots. It is during their battle that the Decepticons attack. During the assault on the Autobots, Bonecrusher and the rest of the Constructicons infiltrate the Ark and retrieve several Decepticon Prisoners.
Due to a lack of any real commander, the Autobots are losing the fight. Fortress Maximus orders Goldbug to take the small crew aboard the Steelhaven and leave.
As Grimlock and Blaster are still fighting off some distance, it is Blaster who notices the epic battle going on back at the moon’s landing location. Grimlock and Blaster settle their differences and the two Autobots join the battle going on. As the two work together they manage to force the Decepticons to retreat.
Grimlock because more accepting of the idea of working as a team as a result of how effective he and Blaster were working together. With all the damage taking by the Autobots and the Ark, repair work is very important. Fortress Maximus states that the Steelhaven will be unable to help. Siting the need for a great leader he tells everyone that he sent the ship to Nebulos. It’s the one place with the technology to rebuild Optimus Prime.
My Thoughts On This Issue
I am going to save the best part for last because I think it is so cool. But for now, lets talk about the problems this issue has in my eyes.
Out of nowhere several of the characters start acting like their cartoon counter parts. Most notably is Grimlock and how he starts talking like an idiot. Granted, Grimlock is not a favorite character with comic book fans so far in the run. He has been cruel and unworthy of the leadership roll he was given. In this issue however, he is colossally one sided and it’s almost comical the change in his personality to mimic is cartoon counterpart. This change, along with other Transformers that start speaking like their cartoon alternatives, it’s an eye soar to the reader and one that really pulled me out of the story.
The best part about this issue was the epic battle that took place on the moon. Something strange was going on that I could not put my finger on. At first it seem ridiculous how the Transformers where ignoring near by battles and even the Deceitpcon invasion of the Ark. It was not till the end of the battle that I came to realize/remember that sound does not travel in space. So there was no way Transformers could hear battles going on directly behind them. It’s why it took Grimlock and Blaster so long to observe the attacking going on back at the landing site. It was a pinch of realism that I thought was amazing!
Transmission Letters This Issue
I have only one question. How many times are you going to kill poor Bumble-eh-Goldbug? Don’t you think he ever gets tired? Think about it: you mess him up real bad in issue #1, then all the Autobots take a powder in issue #5-8. You knock him silly again in issue #16, have him scrapped by the Joes in G.I. JOE VS. THE TRNASFOMERS #1, and then overhauled in GIJ VS TF #4. You give him the Scraplets in issue #29, and now in issue #37 his body is crushed to a pulp and his mind is squeezed into a tiny battyer-powered toy car. Come on, guys! Leave Goldbug/Bumblebee/any-other-names-he’s-got alone!
By the way, I spoke with Shingo a few months ago, He wanted me to tell you that he thinks Transformers are cool.
Green Belt MD
Eddie, with all the other things the TRANSFORMERS will be going through in the next few months, there won’t be any time to trash Goldbug much. You can let Shingo know that we will soon be sending out a search party of Deceitpcons to find out why he hasn’t written back yet. With Shockwave and the other ‘Cons a bit upset lately. . . well, we’re not responsible for the consequences.
I’m a big fan of the TRANSFORMERS (and have been for five – no, six months), and i’ve bought nearly every issue. I’m glad you dumped Grimlock as leader of the Autobots, although he was an interesting change of pace, and I’m also happy to see more of Blaster.
I;ve just finished issue #37, and it’s nice to see that there are some humans with brains enough to realize that there are two different Transformer Armies – now how about some more humans who can actually tell the difference between the Autobots and the Decepticons?
Enough of the usual blab. I have one single complaint: aren’t there any female Transformers? I especially want to see some female Autobots. Until Grimlock learns the meaning of the word “grammer,” Make Mine Marvel!
Fort Worth, TX
Emily, You’re not alone! We receive hundreds of letters every month asking for female Transformers. Of course, you and most people who write us assume two things: first, that Transformers are either male or female, and second, that unless a Transformer is explicitly female, the Transformer is male. And hey, what about Arcee? She’s a female Transformer from the year 2005. You can read more about her in the TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE comic book, and in the TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE. Also, Grimlock knows perfectly well what “Grammer” means, “Grammer is a fleshling wife to Grandfather.” Unh, yeah, Grimlock, sure.
New Ads This Issue
A while back, I was driving home from downtown Juneau, when I heard about a short story contest on the radio. The 3 Minute Futures – Flash Fiction Contest is being put on by the radio show To The Best Of Our Knowledge. The rules of which sounded simple.
Your story must be set in the near future and draw on the tradition of “hard” science fiction, science fiction that is scientifically plausible.
Possible story themes include: communication, energy, computing, robotics, biomedicine, drones, spaceflight, nanotechnology, ecological concerns, food production, reproduction, end-of-life, surveillance.
It should be 500-600 words, short enough to be read aloud in three minutes. It must be suitable to air on public radio. You can submit only one story to this competition.
Since I enjoy writing and lately short stories, I figured it was worth a shot to enter the contest and see what happens.
Now, I have never written a story this short before and it posed some unique challenges. All if which I found to be enjoyable to the process of creative writing.
I have now submitted my story and will learn if I am a winner on April 9th. The neatest part of winning the contest to me is that the story will read by Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation), on the air.
Below is the story I have submitted to the contest. Hope you all enjoy it.
Intelligence House Inc.
By: Youseph Tanha
Joseph was the last to leave the cemetery. His suit was drenched as he got in his car. He’d just laid his mother to rest. She hadn’t passed from disease, but from old age. This was a surprise as Joseph’s mother smoked.
The funeral was well attended and Joseph gave all the guests the opportunity to visit and share personal stories about his mother with him. Stories that brought tears to the one’s telling them. Joseph, himself didn’t cry. He couldn’t. Throughout the whole funeral his mind was blank, save for one thought. He was going to see his mother again.
As Joseph pulled away from the curb his thoughts shifted from nothingness to what he’d do once he arrived home. For the last eight years, Joseph’s mother had lived with him in his new house. She was supposed to stay just long enough to help him put his belongings away and decorate. But it was clear that his mother was the happiest she’d been in years helping her son. So Joseph asked her to move in and she accepted.
Joseph’s house was state of the art. How social media of the 20th century let people document and share everything, Joseph’s house documented and recorded everything. No longer would families have to take photos of birthdays and Christmases. The house would do it all for you. You were now free to give your full attention to the moment.
Everything that occurred in the house was recorded 24 hours a day. The house’s software automatically organized and stored everything. The house’s residents could access this recorded data from any television or computer plugged into the house’s network. This data was also backed up to the online data storage center provided by the home’s manufacturer, Intelligence Homes Inc. This protected the homeowner from losing their data in a disaster and allowed them to access that data from anywhere in the world.
The house could also project 3D holograms anywhere inside. Want to experience an intimate concert with your favorite performer? Not a problem with the Intelligence House. Purchasing performances and playing them in full stereophonic and visual 3D right in the livingroom was possible. Entertainment had forever changed.
In recent years Intelligent House Inc., could recreate people. Using information gathered from house recordings, blog and social media posts, the Intelligent House Operating System, or HouseOS, could compile data to create an interactive 3D projected representation of anyone. It allowed people to interact with realistic representations of celebrities over breakfast or at dinner parties. It was on that thought that Joseph’s mind settled as he arrived home.
For eight years his mother had lived with him in his state of the art home. Her every action recorded and documented within the House’s software. That, coupled with every social media entry she ever made had been recorded onto the data drives of the HouseOS.
Before leaving for the funeral, Joseph asked the HouseOS to compile all of his mother’s data and create a 3D representation of her. Joseph never expect the HouseOS to be able to recreate a 100% perfect copy of his mother, but he believe it would come close.
Still wet from the rain, Joseph knew he had to change his clothes before he caught cold. As he unlocked the front door and stepped inside he saw his mother standing before him. Her familiar gray hair and the warmth of her smile hit him at his core. She put her hands together and said, “Hello Joseph.”
Joseph fell to his knees and wept.
The long awaited return of Optimus Prime is in this story. As well as the Pretenders. So much goes on and every page is turned to try and figure what is going to happen with Optimus Prime and if his return is peppermint. But before we get into the review and my thoughts on this issue lets check out the this cover art.
The cover background is Yellow. My least favorite color. It’s only saving quality is that they really tried to make the background look high tech. Which they pull of with some nice line art. We have three Pretenders gracing the cover. Two of them I believe to be Decepticons and the humanish looking one I believe to be an Autobot. On a monitor in the background we see the face image of Optimus Prime. “AT LAST – THE RETURN OF OPTIMUS TIME!” is written next to his image in bright red. All in all it’s a lack luster cover for the return of the heroic Autobot leader.
We return to Ethan Zachary who we have not seen in some time. He has been working with the copy of Optimus Prime’s mind, he had saved to floppy disk in an earlier issue, inside of a video game simulation. Optimus Prime appears to be sentient and is able to hold conversations with Ethan Zachary, but he is not able to comprehend himself more than a computer game character.
Zachary continues to try and convince Optimus Prime that he is more than a computer gaming program. He resorts to calling Buster Witwicky, only to reach his father. Sparkplug is angry over recent events regarding his children and hangs up on Zachary.
Good news for Zachary is that Spike Witwicky bugged his fathers hotel and heard the conversation. On board the Steelhaven, it is decided that Goldbug will travel to Earth to investigate the clams that Optimus Prime may still be alive. Goldbug arrives at Alternate Reality, Inc., home of Zachary’s computer gaming company.
After Zachary and Goldbug meet, the two come up with the plan that allowing Optimus Prime to undertake a mission might help him evolve into more than a just a gaming program that he thinks he is. Optimus Prime is sent on a mission, through a computer network, to a genetics lab that has been taken over by Decepticons. While there, Optimus Prime discovers that that the Decepticon Headmaster leader Scorponok, has created Pretenders. He copies the all the data he can find from the experiment and returns back to Zachary and Goldbug. unfortunately, the Deceptions be come aware of the Autobot intrusion.
The newly acquired data is transmitted to the Autobot spacecraft high above in Earth’s orbit. The data is used to create Autobot versions of Pretenders. The Decepticon Pretenders locate Zachary’s software company and attack. Optimus Prime, still a computer program, organizes the Autobot Pretenders’ defense of Zachary’s company. The Decepticons retreat and Optimus Prime still thinks he is nothing more than a computer program.
My Thoughts On This Issue
I was eager to read this issue to learn how Optimus Prime would return. Thought he has come back, he is not officially back in a physical form. I enjoy this issue and how they navigated the computers, networking and all the associated vocabulary that goes along with it.
The stars of this issue where supposed to be the Pretenders. But I feel that their story was over shadowed by the presence of Optimus Prime. It also didn’t help that the last few issues have been kind of a repeat as far as introducing new characters. The Decepticons create a new kind of Transformers, the Autobots get their hands on the tech and build their counter parts. Or, the Autobots create some new Transformers, the Decepticons get their hands on the tech and build their own. It’s a formula that works when you are forced to introduce characters to sell toys. But started feeling like a broken record a long time ago.
Hopefully in the next issue we can have a solid story where we see Optimus Prime get his own body and return as Autobot leader.
Transmission Letters This Issue
I just bought and read issue #33 and #34 of the TRANSFORMERS and I’m confused! At the end of issue #32 you wrote that the next issue would be about Blaster’s fate and the battle between Bruticus and Defensor, but in issue #33 there was nothing like that. Also, how can Optimus Prime be alive again in issue #34? In issue #32, he was still dead and floating around in space somewhere, and Grimlock was Autobot leader.
It’s not like I don’t want Prime back, but at least you could tell the readers how he got back! When you made Grimlock leader, I was frustrated and mad. He’s a terrible leader! if Op’s not around I think Jetfire would make the best Autobot Leader.
Confused and Mad
If you look carefully at the first page of issue #33, at the top, in the intro to the story, you’ll see that the events of issue #33 took place before Optimus Prime’s death. You could say that this British story acts as a falshback from your regular storyline. Hope this alleviates your confusion and madness…
Dear Don and Daryl,
Please Answer these questions:
1) What is a No-Prize, what is the prize, and how do you earn it?
2) What is a Shingo and what do you hafta do to earn it?
(no address given)
A No-Prize is exactly that: NO Prize. It was originally given to readers who found a major mistake in a Marvel book and provided a solid, rational explanation which proved that the mistake was actually not a mistake at all. In other words, an excuse that makes us look good! Since the mistake must be a major, and the explanation logical, we don’t give out very many.
A Shingo, on the other hand, is not a thing, but a who. Shingo wrote us a letter many issues ago, and we are still waiting with bated breath for his next. Bating your breath for almost two years can be very painful, by the way. We don’t think you can earn a Shingo, and anyway, where would you put him?
I think I have a No-Prize coming. in issue #21 of the TRANSFORMERS, Jetfire dropped ol’ Danny Finkelberg about ^,000 ft. up and then caught him at about a hight of 10ft. Of course there’s a considerable amount of distance between those two points and ‘Finky’ must have gained a lot of speed in the time he fell. Now, the mistake: Since Finky was falling at a tremendous rate of speed, how could he fall into supposedly metal hands without breaking every bone in his body? The explaination? Easy; Wheeljack considered the possibility of the Autobots handling humans often, so he designed a special material which feels soft no matter how hard it is hit. Prime made sure every Autobot had hands coated with this material, so humans would be safe when touched or held by and Autobot.
I hope I have met the qualifications of a No-Prize, which are: to point out a mistake and then provide an explanation that “saves your dignity.”
Make Mine Marvel!
To be frank, Pete (or is that Pete Frank?), you haven’t won a No-Prize. It was a good try, But how could the Autobots fight the Decepticons if their hands were always soft? Talk about not packing much of a punch! We3 can’t have the ‘Cons smashing up the ‘Bots! You are thinking along the right lines – it’s all in the hands!
The TRANSFORMERS are really neat! I’ve just finished reading #34 (good, of course), and in glancing through the letters I saw an attempt for a no-Prize. He was trying to explain the whole Bumblbee/Goldbug thing; “Right now in 1987, Bumblebee has become Goldbug. How could he be Bumblee again in 2005 (as seen in the movie)? Well, I have a simple explanation. These are Transformer Comic books, that was the Transformer movie. Who says the comic book has to do everything the movie does.
You have a point there, Abe. Also consider that the Transformer movie doesn’t take place for another eighteen years. Eighteen years ago, we’d barely put a man on the moon. Nixon was President, Marvel was only eight years old, and no one had ever heard of Transformers. Wait a bit and see if things don’t change as much in another eighteen!
That’s enough! Not only have you not responded to the eight letters I’ve sent, but I can’t take it anymore! You people think having Grimlock (Captain Caveman) as Autobot leader is funny, but a whole bunch of other Autobots (and ‘Con) fans and I don’t. He is a big, primitive dweeb, and a lousy leader. Go ahead and tell him I said so. Maybe if he were to fire on a human, the other Autobots would realize what a jerk he is and impeach him. I would rather see Optimus Prime (Whom you brutally killed off! What happened to Zachary, anyway?) as head of the Autobots or Blaster, if you won’t bring Prime back.
O.K., you’ve printed a few letters from girls, but not very many. Also, how come you never answered any of my letters? I included my return address right on the letter and not just on the envelope. I really want a letter or even a postcard!
One other thing… How do the Transformers get away without having license plates?
We’re really sorry, Dawn, but we just can’t answer all the thousands and thousands of letters the Transformers receive. We’d spend all our time answering letters instead of making your favorite comic book. We do read every letter and we answer what we can in Transmissions. Most of the questions in these letters have been asked by many different people, so even if your letter doesn’t get printed, you may see the answer to one of your questions anyway.
As for the license plates, would you give a Decepticons a traffic ticket? Didn’t think so!
No New Ads This Issue
Can Marvel keep up the momentum of the last issue? Even if Shingo, (and rightfully so in my opinion) criticized Marvel’s U.S. efforts compared to their U.K. counterpart. I think they can. So lets see how they do. But first, Check out this cover art!
For me this is a fantastically detailed cover. I would say this is the first time we have seen a cover with this kind of detail since the series started. A tropical island encased within the nose cone of a large rocket has launched from Earth and into space. A missal launched from the center of the rocket through a retractable opening hits Fortress Maximus in space slicing through his body. “FORT MAX GETS THE SHAFT!” is written in yellow right next to him. The damage to Fortress Maximus does not look survivable. Shockwave is flying at him from a distance.
We open up with Buster Witwicky waking up on a tropical island surrounded by Decepticons. Ratbat engages Shockwave in a fuel debate over what it is costing them to keep Buster alive. Shockwave easily wins the conversation over Ratbat after pointing out that the near by human naval armada wont bomb them as long as Buster appears alive. Forrest Forsyth and Walter Barnett of the Triple I group find themselves at a standstill on the naval fleet. Barnett contact Sparkplug Witwicky and updates him on his son. All be it curt.
Spike Witwicky appears at his dad’s Motel room and he tells his dad that he is going out to find Buster. Spike then surprises his dad by tracing the phone call from Barnett by holding the phone line in his hands. Spike is then somewhat forced to show his dad that he is now an Autobot Headmaster and he introduces his dad to the Targetmasters and Fortress Maximus. During the introduction the Autobots question Spikes abilities as a leader fearing he may be to emotional and sentimental.
As the Autobots approach the tropical island, Kup insists that Fortress Maximus remain aboard to provide cover fire for the Targetmasters because he is worried that feelings will interfere with Maximus effectiveness and endanger the team.
As Kup and team approach the island, the island itself unleashes an assault on the Autobots with Blasters and canons. The assault pushes the Autobots back allowing for a clear dome to form around the island into a cone shape. Then the island blasts off into space reveling that it is in fact a rocket ship.
Fortress Maximus leaps onto rocket as it is flying up into the atmosphere. Inside the ship the Decepticons detect Maximus’ presents. Shockwave engages some interesting defensive systems cocks Fortress Maximus free of the rocket and puts him inline with the nose cone of the ship. The tip panel slides away allowing for a rocket to be fired from a palm tree that shoots through Maximus midsection.
With Fortress Maximus severely damaged, Cerebros splits off only to engage in combat with Shockwave in space. Shockwave blasts Cerebros and is crippled. Spike is then forced to separate himself from Cerebros and manages to remotely line up Fortress Maximus’ guns and blasts Shcokwave back to Earth. Shockwave appears to burn up on reentry.
At this point Spike and Buster share a quick visit through the nose cone casing before Ratbat Fires rockets and ship out of Spikes range. The Targetmasters arrive and pick up spike and all of his Autobot parts. Even though he has lost his brother, his fellow Autobots welcome Spike officially to the team after having seen how Shockwave was dealt with.
My Thoughts On This Issue
It was hard for me not to enjoy this issue. I felt like the writing and the art was very tight. I have said this before, but this is one of those issues that is just a fun ride.
I find myself really feeling for Sparkplug. Poor guy has lost his business, his home and is living in a motel. He has no idea if his only sons are coming back. This man has sacrificed a lot for the Autobot cause with out fully understanding it. He was a pretty depressing sight this issue. I hope his luck turns around soon.
This was also the first issue of Transformers that I have ever seen anything that might be considered swearing. I was a little taken back by this, but I found it did add a level or realism to the story.
Transmission Letters This Issue
Dear ‘bots and Deceptis,
You guys (and gals) TRASHED Optimus Prime! AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Why? Why?! WHY!?! Optimus was the strongest, kindes, wisest, noblest, etc. robot and you trashed him?!? Shocked, I rushed to the nearest comic shop and got issue #27. The truth was revealed. (Shudder). Grimlock, why Grimlocki? In the cartoon he’s a pretty OK dude (for a Dinobot) but in the comic he’s a puffed-up, egotistical, blundering, bit-brained moron!!! And you made HIM leader! Uh-uh, no way, this ain’t gonna work. either Grimlock or the entire series has to go. Get someone to lead who’s got a cerebro-center (human equivalent is “brain”) larger than a walnut!!!
Grimlock leader? Trash Optimus? i fail to see your logic. How long will Grimlock command? How much more damage will Grimlock do to the Autobot casue? When will you get that goffy-looking crown off Grimlock’s head? When will Trypticon return? Where are the Triple-changers? Will we have to wait till the year 2005 to see the movie robots? When will you stage a gigantic one-on-one battle between Metroplex and Tryption? I recall reading in issue #32′s Transmissions that some guy said that Omega Supreme could trash Trypticon. You’ve GOT to be kidding! trypticon can trash ANYONE except Metroplex. Omega Supreme would be history if he tried to fight Trypticon!
Seapking of good personas, however, The Transformers: The Movie limited series was AWESOME!!! I lack the words to express how MUCH i thought of it. I’ve seen the movie myself (about 9 times) and I LOVED that too. It’s sad that history repeats inself. Comics are obviously no exception. There’s this big battle (again), Optimus gets trashed (again), and dies (again). I liked his “movie” death better than his “Series” death. His “series” death simply lacked Hero Syndrome #2 potency. (I shall explain later the nature of the Hero Syndrome.) But then a point became obvious to me. The “Movie” characters are just way, Way, WAy, WAY too MARVELOUS, STUPENDOUS, OUT OF THIS WORLD, SUPERIOR, etc. to be used once in a limited series and then forgotten.
Hero Syndrome #1 is based on the fact that although people love the good guys, they’re all morbidly facinated with the sight of heroes suffering. People LOVE to see their favorite hero physically suffer. It’s ironic since they want the hero to win but nothing inspires greater compassion for the hero and greater loathing of the enemy than Hero Syndrome #1.
In Hero Syndrome #2, the hero actually dies. If he calmly passes away in sleep it’s not nearly as stirring as if he chooses to brutally throw his life away for the sake of others like in The Transformers: The Movie when Optimus Prime turned the tide in favor of the Autobots and saved them at the cost of his own life. That definitely was an emotional moment as he lay there dying! Despite the greater emotions inspired by the Hero Syndrome, It’s also absolute. When the hero dies, you can no longer use hime/her/it. an exception was the cartoon episode entitled “The Return of Optimus Prime” When Optimus was revived. But this is the only case I know of in TRANSFORMERS when a dead hero returned after Hero Syndrome #2, and it’s not a wise practice.
In Hereo Syndrome #3, a hero has to fight close friends. The reason varies. For example, two best friends must fight and destroy each other. The loser loses his life but the winner must suffer the agonizing death of a friend, and live with the guilt. They care for each other too much to let the other suffer a pain like that, so each desperately tries to kill the other. Another example is when the leader of a band of heroes is captured and some sort of device is implanted or put on. Whenever the hero sees the friends unbearable pain shoots through his/her/its head(s) and in a mindless rage the hero attacks, intent on destroying these friends. The ending is up to you. H.S.3 is also a great time to use HS 1 as well. People LOVE to see the Hero Syndrome in action! But it’s got to be good. You’ve got to show REAL details. You’ve got to make the reader REALLY believe what the hero is going through. Details, details, more details. A little bit of exaggeration is good to use in the case of the Hero Syndromes. You’ve got to really get INTO it. Don’t lay it on TOO think when it comes to captions and verbal responses, however. Use more of the HS’s if you want my opionion (but don’t over do it) but only if they’re EXCEPTIONAL. No weak, washed out excuses with the HS’s or they can backfire on you. Well that’s all for now (for NOW, that is, be assured that you’ll hear from me in the future. By the way, does energon come in assorted flavors? Does it have flavor at all? Is energon served warm, hot, cold, or what? Can robots “Taste” certain things like oil, coal, or similar?
Yes, as my name indicates, I am female. In less than a month I shall be a freshman, I personally see nothing wrong with a femeal member of our species liking robots. It’s my belief that the Transformers are not just for boys any more. They’re for people with innovative and imaginative minds who have the creativity to appreciate the true significance of The Transformers. It is also my belief that The Transformers is an adult fantasy.
Like somebody said, ‘Till Grimlock’s teeth rustm MAIKE MINE MARVEL!
Baton Rouge, LA
Wow, Yvette, your letter is enough to convince us to Make Ours Marvel, too! You’ll have to stick it out with the rest of us to see what happens with Op, but we’ll keep your “syndrome” ideas in mind. And remeber, if you have a problem with Grimlock’s leadershp, YOU figure out a way to tell him about it…
I just read issue #33 and thought it was great. I noticed, though, that the robot on the cover looked a lot like Megatron. I wish you would bring him back, bacause he is one of my favorite characters. I have one question: What kind of learder is Grimlock!?
Why, any kind he wants to be, Matthew. Actually, as the letters above yours indicated, most fleshlings think he’s a bad leader, and wish he where an ex-leader!
WHO WILL LEAD THE AUTOBOTS? BE HERE NEXT ISSUE AS WE PLUNGE INTO A STORYLINE WHICH MANY ARE CALLED, BUT ONLY ONE MAY BE CHOSEN!
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Marvel Comics’ Transformers issue 38 brings us from Headmasters miniseries and back into the main storyline of the franchise. What of Blaster or Buster? How will the Headmasters affect the adventure that been unfolding in the last few issues? Will soon find out, but first lets check out the cover to issue 38!
The cover to issue 38 features Scorponok and Fortress Maximus in a battle over a nature bridge. Lord Zarak is on top of Scorponok firing on Fortress Maximus while Spike (yup, it’s him) Spike Witwicky looks on below. Their appears to be some kind of liquid underneath the bridge. Lava I presume.
As we return to the main Transformers comic from the last issue of the Headmasters miniseries we are presented with a full page spread. The Autobot Headmasters are on the ship, Steelhaven on their way to Earth. During their journey they have been hard at work at rebuilding Fortress Maximus into a larger more powerful Autobot. He is a lot bigger and a lot stronger now. Fortress Maximus and Galen are binary-bonded to each other through a middle man of sorts with Cerebros who takes the place of Fortress Maximus’ head. Galen is being questioned by his Nebulon partners who are concerned about his war preparations.
We cut to Earth and to the Witwicky’s where Spike has just returned home from Collage. He discovers his dad’s auto garage demolished. Spike is scared and starts searching out for his dad believing he may be buried underneath all the wreckage. Its only when his father, Sparkplug, comes up behind his son and hugs him that Spike relaxes a little.
Spike his brought up to date by his father on his family’s recent involvement with the Transformers which causes him to get back in his car and drive to MT. St. Hilary and check on his Brother Buster.
When the Nebulans arrive in Earth’s orbit they are surprised by how beautiful it appears. There is some talk about the possible war they may bring to the planet it and all who live on it, but is laser focused on the Autobot Distress call that brought them here. Locate the source of the signal and the Headmasters head down to the Ark’s crash site in Oregon. It is here that they locate the Transceiver as well as Goldbug as a toy race car.
From a safe distance Spike observes Chromedome accessing Goldbug’s brain module and starts holographically replaying his recent events. This scene includes Buster’s kidnapping by Ratbat. Brainstorm suggests that they rescue this earthling, but Fortress Maximus says no at that finding the Ark’s Crew is their goal. At this Spike comes out of hiding engages the Headmasters. He asks how they can just leave his bother in the hands of the Decepticons. Gallen is unsympathetic toward Spike. A rock fuel trace is discovered buy Brainstorm and the Autobots leave tracking the signature.
Now the Decepticon Headmasters arrive within Earth’s Solar System and transport down to the Ark’s location on Earth. Seeing their arrive Spike hides, but accidentally triggers the Autobot’s distress call. This action causes the Autobot Headmasters to return to the Ark. But this action also reveals Spike to the Decepticons. He is saved from Scorponok by the arrival of Fortress Maximus and the rest of the Autobots.
During the fright that breaks out between the two groups of Transformers, Spike retreats by running deeper into the volcano. Scorponok follows after Spike because he can’t take on Fortress Maximus’ new size and power. Fortress Maximus follows. As they all go deeper into the ever shrinking tunnel of the volcano, Cerebros is forced to disengage from Fortress Maximus to continue the chase. As the tunnel gets to risky for Scorponok to follow Loard Zarak has to remove himself from his Decepticon body to continue following Spike. Predictably, Galen has to remove himself from Cerebros to also continue his pursuit. Galen eventually brings Zarak to the ground who triggers Scorponok to fire his guns at the ceiling which collapses on top of Spike. Galen is able to get on top of Spike, protecting him from the falling debris. The act wounds Galen. Zarak is dead from the collapse and Scorponok retreats.
Spike can not save Galen who is accepting of his impending death. Galen asks spike for his forgiveness for how he treated him earlier and also asks the boy to take his control helmet so that Fortress Maximus will survive.
Wearing the helmet, Spike controls Fortress Maximus back into the Battle to drive off the Decepticons.
My Thoughts On This Issue
The first page. The full first page i thought was very well detailed. I really liked it. It was pretty clear from that fist page this was going to be a pretty good story.
Spike! Spike makes his first appearance in this issue. Yes he is the main human character in the cartoon series but this is the first time he was been introduced in the comic book. Writing him into the story has Busters older brother from college.
This issue is a great example of why I love reading Transformers comic books. After the whole Headmasters Miniseries it’s nice to come home to a well written story with action and excitement. I honestly had no clue what was going to happen next. This is not an issue I had read before, so the whole thing was not only entertaining for me.
Also, near the end of the book there is a really decent looking, almost double page spread. Check it out if you have a copy. Pages 22 and 23.
Transmission Letters This Issue
You guys (and gals) are great! I just finished TRANSFORMERS # 33 and I couldn’t be happier. I always suspected there was a British version of the TRANSFORMERS, but I wasn’t sure. It was pretty refreshing to find something completely different, culture-wise, and you’re always-terrific comic, although it was kind of tough getting used to Optimus Prime still being in auto baud leader (personally, I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of Ol’ Op, or Megatron, for that matter.). Otherwise, I have absolutely no complaints. The color and the art were great, as usual, and so far the story is, too. I’m looking forward to the next issue with anticipation. Keep up the good work!
Oh, there’s something else I’ve been meaning to ask you. Recently, I’ve been picking up rumors about a TRANSFORMERS hardbound U.K. Annual, and a whole collection of British TRANSFORMERS stuff. If these rumors are true, please let me know, I’m a die-hard collector and fan.
One more little item and I’ll be signing off. MORE STARSCREAM, PLEASE!! I love that guy! Oh, don’t get me wrong, I wish Megatron (if he returns as deceptive con leader, which I hope he will!) All the best of luck, but this rebellious Decepticon happens to be my personal hero. I mean, the guy’s got guts! How many of us would be willing to pick a fight with a guy who can flatten the town with a single blast from his cannon, when the best you can do is nullify somebody’s circuitry for two minutes? Huh? That’s what I thought. I rest my case.
Well, that’s all from this loyal Decepticon ally, and, as ever, Make Mine Marvel! By the way, don’t bother trying to send an Autobot to slap some sense into me – I’ll have a d Decepticon squadron waiting for him.
Hazel Crest, IL 60429
Hey, Linda, no question about it… We’d never try to find a guy who can flatten the town, even if it took into canon blasts to do it.
As for the British TRANSFORMERS, check with your local comic shop about these books. Some of them may be available in the U.S., and a good dealer should have the info you need.
I just read TRANSFORMERS #35 and loved it! I read 27 of marvel’s titles each month and I love them all. I received TRANSFORMERS via a subscription, which really works out well. Instead of going to the comic store, taking a chance that the copy won’t be there, and waiting forever in line, I just walked to my mailbox and pick up my copy (in perfect condition) and plop down to read it. Other TRANSFORMERS readers should think about a subscription. It’s a whole lot easier!
Springfield, MO 65804
Aw, Greg, we were supposed to say that. Now how’re we going to fill all that blank space under your letter? Oh, yeah… turn the page for more subscription info and a handy order form. Don’t forget: send all your letters about subscriptions to the Marvel subscription department, not to Transmissions!
Let me start off by saying that HEAD-MASTERS was terrific, and you have my vote to make it a monthly comic book. As for the regular book, I can understand the death of Optimus Prime, but Grimlock as Autobot leader just doesn’t cut it. He doesn’t even understand the Autobots’ cause. Issue #35, with the great battle between Bruticus and Defensor, was awesome. The two seem to be an even match, but one always games advantage. Blaster’s role in the fight was unexpected (and lucky, too!).
I agree with the letter writer in issue #35 who asked for a TRANSFORMERS Annual. It’s a great idea, and I think you should pursue it.
One last thought: in the upper box on the cover, you still have Grenloch under the marble logo. Please dump him and put Optimus Prime back on the cover, as a memorial.
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Hope you’re satisfied, Charlie, now that Grimlock is back to his ordinary Dinobot-Leader self. As for the HEADMASTERS regular series and the TRANSFORMERS annual, we’re still tallying up the votes. Keep watching to see what happens.
I think the TRANSFORMERS is just terrific. The stories are exciting and well drawn. Issue #35 was no exception. I’m just so terribly tired of the old fossil-based a illogical Dino-Deuce, Grimlock. The Decepticons must think he’s a ‘Con in disguise, because he does so little to help the Autobots or the humans. That’s the only reason I can see why Ratbat and Shockwave haven’t launched a full-scale assault against the good guys from Cybertron. By allowing Grimlock to remain is Autobotn leader, the Autobots were making themselves look dumb. I think we all agree that Grimlock just doesn’t have it.
Blaster, having only a rank technical specification of 7, might not be the best Autobot leader in the galaxy, but at least he’s reasonable! Maybe he has other (as yet) unknown attributes as well. Besides, any auto baud that would enslave the Combatacon Blastoff just to give some neat kids a ride around the earth is alright by me! The reason I’m so down on Grimlock is that I just know he’s about to do something terrible to Blaster, if not to all the Autobots. Don’t enough Autobots already die to satisfy you writers and editors? What are you trying to start here, civil war? If you really have to kill off yet another character, please let it be the Dino-dolt leader, Grimloch. You could even make it look like an accident, sort of. He could eat a case of armed grenades, or have his batteries repossessed. Just think of the possibilities!
Now with all my frustration aside, about all I can say is “keep up the good work.” Even under the shadow of Grimloch, the TRANSFORMERS and the HEADMASTERS are still the best stories on the comic rack today.
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Repossess Grimloch’s batteries, Huh? Boy, I sure wouldn’t want to be the poor human you had to face that job on a Monday morning. Autobots have this slight size advantage over people…
Dear Don and Darrell,
I hate to admit it, but we don’t hold proverbial candle to our neighbors across the Atlantic. Why, you ask? Why do you ask? Isn’t it obvious? Alright, comparison time. On one hand, we have the American TRANSFORMERS, with the plot usually revolves around who can shoot the other guy the most, and where we get such intellect intelligent dialogs as, :don’t worry, I’ll blow out his optic sensors with my electrogiomatithermalasermyxptlk gun!” Of course, an exaggeration, but it’s close. Where also famous for having those infamous pronoun tags at the end of every other sentence. Could it be that we have so many new TRANSFORMERS, old TRANSFORMERS, and TRANSFORMERS in between that we can’t keep track of them all? Or are we American youth just presumed to be ignorant?
On the other hand, we have the British TRANSFORMERS book. This comic has genuine substance, unbelievable realism that we American TRANSFORMERS enthusiasts have yet to see in our own book. The plot in the British version was relatively simple, but it made sense and it had a dramatic human touch to it instead of a trivia’s “shoot ‘em up with a null ray” routine playback over and over again.
Now, I don’t think it would be proper to speak for other readers, but personally I would like to see A great deal more concentration on the character personalities in the book. Granted, you have two bands of beings fighting for their respective causes, but each one of those beings has emotions other than hate, anger, and deceit for his enemies. It would be to the benefit of everyone involved with the comic if these other emotions were more predominately featured. I would like to see some intense drama! Remember, action alone will not immortalize a comic, but create an unforgettable dramatic scene and people will remember it forever.
The suggestion I have made if put to use, would be refreshing. Thank you – sincerely,
So, The legendary Shingo (or a descendant?) finally shows up, and what do we get? Criticism. A lot of people will have a lot to say about this letter. So, lyle American TRANSFORMERS fans, what do you think?