The Transformers #7
Marvel Comics (August, 1985)WARRIOR SCHOOL WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER:William Johnson INKER: Kyle Baker LETTERER: Rick Parker COLORIST: Nel Yomtov EDITOR: Jim Oswley
Ratchet and Buster run across a group of college students who offer to take Buster home. Buster is having a side-effect to his “mindlink” with Optimus Prime, from headaches to making things float. Meanwhile, Soundwave takes over an aerospace plant owned by G.B. Blackrock, the guy who owns the oil platform Shockwave took over in issue #6. Another survivor, Josie Beller, may be paralyzed but she has a plan. Back at the Ark, Ratchet confronts Megatron and uses his knowledge of the Dinobots defeating Shockwave millions of years ago as a way to bargain for the lives of the other Autobots.
What they got right: Ratchet isn’t a warrior, he’s a medic, and how he handles Megatron makes sense for his character, a big difference from the way he’s been portrayed in the various animated series. I think I like this version better.
What they got wrong: There are some dialog/balloon errors. At one point, Ratchet offers to help “defend Shockwave” instead of defeAT Shockwave. Another has the placement of the balloons so that it looks like Ratchet is saying one of Megatron’s lines. That or Shockwave at one point actually told Ratchet off-panel about the Dinobots. (He did learn about their battle with Shockwave via the Ark’s memories back in issue #3.)
Recommendation: This issue and the next issue is my favorite story of the early Budiansky comics. I had to get the cover from the Transformers Wiki because I read this issue so much the cover fell apart. I also picked up the IDW reprint of this issue because the poor shape of issue #7. (Surprisingly, at the time #8 isn’t in too bad a condition.) Very much recommended.