The Transformers #6
Marvel Comics (June, 1985)WRITER: Bob Budiansky ARTIST: Alan Kupperberg LETTERER: Rick Parker COLORIST: Nel Yomtov EDITOR: Jim Owsley
With Megatron and the other Decepticons recovering from Sparkplug’s poisoned fuel, Shockwave assumes command of the Decepticons. He plans to use the Autobots as spare parts, but Optimus Prime holds the Creation Matrix, a legendary program that can create new Transformer life. What neither Con knows is that one Autobot remains, Ratchet. Although Sparkplug makes Buster promise to say his goodbyes and stay out of the Transformers’ war, the young human convinces Ratchet to let him sneak into the Ark and check things out. There he finds the Autobots hanging from the celing, and Optimus’ head disconnected from his body and linked to a machine.
This is a comic that starts with Shockwave watching The Honeymooners, Let’s Make A Deal, and some soap opera. That alone is pretty awesome. While fun moments like this and the scene where Ratchet and Buster have a conversation while paramedics try to figure out where the tape deck is, and later when Ratchet “talks” a traffic light into changing green, highlights the culture clash I mentioned in last night’s article. The best part is that it doesn’t take away from the drama of Shockwave as the conquering villain or Sparkplug’s recovery, Buster making the decision to stand with his father despite saying goodbye to his new friends, or Buster learning the fate of those friends, but makes the world feel a bit more alive and realish if not realistic, or at least believable.
There’s not much else to say as this is a transition comic not only with writing and art staff but between storylines. Jim Owsley takes over as editor as Bob Budiansky moves to the writing position and the comic is better off for it. Characters are already more alive. Among the shows Shockwave’s watching is an interview with G.B. Blackrock and Josie Beller, two characters who will have a huge impact on the Transformers throughout the original Marvel run. (Neither show up during Generation Two.) This issue also introduces the Creation Matrix, which plays a big role in the Budiansky run, and an altered role in the Furman run. Much of the important stuff starts here, with Shockwave and the Dinobots introduced last issue.
Speaking of Shockwave, if you’re used to the cartoon portrayal where his loyalty to Megatron is practically cultish, here is the complete opposite. Shockwave decides he did the good thing and Megatron did the stupid thing, and so he should be in charge even though in this version Megatron created the Decepticon movement. It’s interesting to compare the differences, especially for anyone who tried to shoehorn the comic and cartoon into the same universe.
This is the first Transformers comic book I came across as a kid and while I admit there’s some biased there it’s still an important comic and worth getting.