The Transformers: Headmasters #2
Marvel Comics (September, 1987)“Broken Glass!” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: Frank Springer INKERS: Ian Akin & Brian Garvey COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Pat Brosseau EDITOR: Don Daley
Protests rage through the capital city against the Autobots…but they’re all staged by Zarak, who also wants to turn Llyra, his daughter and Galen’s girlfriend, against Galen by trying to convince her that he wants the Autobots’ power for himself. While Gort is finally able to defend himself and clears Highbrow, Zarak remains unconvinced and contacts Cybertron for help, which comes in the form of Scorponok and the Decepticons. They launch an attack on the city forcing Galen to use the Autobots by having himself and other Nebulans, including Gort, altered to be able to “binary-bond” with the robot bodies…becoming the Headmasters, and putting Galen on the outs with Llyra even while saving the city.
What they got right: Of all the various incarnations of the Headmasters (including the US show, the Japanese show, and the IDW version) this is my second favorite concept. The robots personality comes through but the human persona is still there, planning strategy.
What they got wrong: Someone needed to help the art team when it comes to the heads. Sometimes the Nebulan helmets looked like the corresponding Autobot while at one point Fortress Maximus’ head looked like Cerebros, the smaller robot that formed the head of the Cerebros toy, which wouldn’t be introduced until they moved to the main comic. Also, I don’t understand Zarak’s motivation. He’s so convinced the alien robots are a threat that he’s been manipulating everyone to believe him despite a total lack of evidence (now that Gort has told his side) and his solution is…more alien robots? At least on Earth I can understand Forsythe’s mistakes but Zarak confuses me.
Recommendation: Zarak’s actions make this a weaker story that it could have been but it’s still readable and important to later events. So it’s still worth a look.