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!
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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?
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