The Transformers #23
Marvel Comics (December, 1986)“Decepticon Graffiti” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: Don Perlin INKERS: Ian Akins & Brian Garvey LETTERER: Janice Chiang COLORIST: Nel Yomtov EDITOR: Don Daley
Donny’s having second thought about turning Skids in after seeing what Circuit Breaker has done to them and the other Autobots captured by RATT. Josie and Barnett, however, are more interested in a pair of robots on the move…and for once they’re pursuing Decepticons–namely the Battlechargers, Runabout and Runamack, sent by Megatron to deliver a message to Optimus Prime but instead strike out on their own, influenced after seeing a brat drawing graffiti to the annoyance of his father. Circuit Breaker nearly gets that boy hurt in a battle with the Battlechargers, and Barnett grounds her due to her obsessive behavior. Donny suggests using the Autobots, whom she jury-rigged to battle the Decepticons…but not before they’ve damaged the Statue of Liberty. Feeling guilty and even though he was fired, he uses his gains to pay for the statue’s repair.
What they got right: RATT finally pursues a group of Decepticons. The Battlechargers, whom I would like to think was the template for Beavis and Butthead although that probably isn’t the case, are an interesting bunch and the fights are well done. We also get character development for Donny and Circuit Breaker learning nothing. The Battlechargers just arrived on Earth, so having them write in Cybertronian makes a lot more sense than if they learned to write in English already. They don’t seem to be that bright.
What they got wrong: It really took less time to build the jury-rigged Autobot parts that it would to reconnect their brains and restore their faces? I don’t understand that.
Other Notes: In the story the Statue of Liberty had already undergone a pricey renovation, as it did in the real world. This would be Donny Finkleberg’s last appearance, while Circuit Breaker would make one last appearance in Budiansky’s run. The next arc will be taking place during the crossover with the first G.I. Joe team-up and will be reviewed in what I think is the proper chronological order, or as close as I can get it.The Battlechargers were, like the Autobot Jumpstarters, toys that self-transformed, but didn’t look as good to me.
Recommendation: A decent story that closes out the third arc. It’s not a strong recommendation outside of the end of Circuit Breaker’s tie with RATT. Worth a read, though.