The Transformers #6
Marvel Comics (July, 1985)WRITER: Bob Budiansky ARTIST: Alan Kupperberg LETTERER: Rick Parker COLORIST: Nel Yomtov EDITOR: Jim Owsley
Shockwave attacks Blackrock’s oil-drilling platform, and Josie is injured in the attack. Once he’s taken control, Shockwave orders the Decepticons who are repaired to join him. Meanwhile, Optimus convinces Buster to join in mindlink, which fries Buster. Buster does recover and leaves (without Optimus telling him what happened) and reports what he saw to Ratchet. Then Megatron, having had enough of Shockwave, attacks the new Decepticon commander and as you’ve seen in one of my Friday Night Fight entries gets his head handed to him.
What they got right: Not really what you’d call “light” moments (although not as heavy as the more recent comics), but I don’t think that would work here. The Shockwave versus Megatron fight, while short, was good as was Shockwave’s assault on the oil platform.
What they got wrong: I do wonder why GB thought having that kind of security was necessary when the robots hadn’t shown they were stepping up their goals at that time. Who was he defending against? Pirates? Also, I have wondered why Shockwave is a giant flying gun. I’m used to it now, but back then this confused me since shrinking Transformers existed. The big complaint are a number of art errors. One scene has jet exhaust coming from somewhere other than the thrusters. Another time Ratchet is shows with a Decepticon rather than an Autobot symbol. The biggest goof is when Shockwave is showing off the defeated Megatron to the Decepticons who didn’t go to the rig because they were still finishing repairs. The wrong characters are shown, including guys who left.
Other notes: This was my first purchased Transformers comic so I may be biased here. Still, anyone trying to shoehorn the comic into the cartoon universe (yes, people actually tried that at some point) would be hard pressed to explain Shockwave here. Also, out of all the Decepticon/Predacon/Vehicon/Destron commanders in the franchise, Marvel & Dreamwave’s Shockwave may actually have been the biggest threat. I’ll get into Dreamwave’s when I get there, but Marvel’s isn’t in it for power or glory. He honestly believes in Decepticon superiority and the only ego moment he has is when logic dictates he can better achieve that vision than Megatron, shown on the splash page for #5 when he notes that Megatron nearly killed the Decepticons while Shockwave all but killed the Autobots.
This issue also debuted the “hail Shockwave, Decepticon Commander Supreme” line I’ve used in my version of Shockwave when he comes up in the Friday Night Fights. Additionally, (spoiler) Buster just received the Creation Matrix and starting next issue the effects of that begin.
Recommendation: If people ask me where to start in the Marvel run, issue #s 5-12 (despite the terrible artwork of #10) would be the ones I’d point to. They really set the stage for how I view Transformers comic stories and Budiansky’s run as a whole. Not that he gets away with everything but there’s some good stuff here.