The Transformers: Headmasters #1
Marvel Comics (July, 1987)“Ring Of Hate!” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: Frank Springer INKERS: Ian Akin & Brain Garvey COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Diane Albers EDITOR: Don Daley
Around this time Hasbro tried to breathe new life into the Transformers franchise by introducing Headmasters and Targetmasters, where the heads and guns respectively would turn into smaller robots, or rather humans from the planet Nebulos. So Marvel did a four-part story introducing them outside of the regular comic.
In this first issue, Fortress Maximus leads a group of Autobots from Cybertron to the planet Nebulos in hopes of escaping the war. However, the boisterous councilman, Zarak, is looking to to cause a war between the Autobots and Nebulans at the cost of years of peace. Standing in his way and schemes is Galen, who accepts the offer of Fortress Maximus and some of his fellow Autobots…their heads!
What they got right: I like how this time the Autobots actually go to the local government to try to form an alliance, something Optimus Prime and Grimlock should have thought of. Galen and Zarak play well off of each other.
What they got wrong: I have three minor gripes. The first is Yomtov’s “blue shortcuts” in rare form, and annoyingly so. Secondly, why is Kup here when he obviously doesn’t want peace. If he wanted to fight so bad, why not stay on Cybertron and just find a new unit to join up with? Third is my personal disappointment that we have another story where the Autobots are on the outs with humans. This won’t completely change in later issues.
Recommendation: A good start but it will be how the entire miniseries works that will affect the final recommendation. Still, it’s a good introduction to our lead Autobots and humans, plus some of the Decepticons we’ll meet later.