Transformers: The Headmasters #4
Marvel Comics (January, 1988)“Brothers In Armor!!” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: Frank Springer INKERS: Akin & Garvey COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Jack Morelli EDITOR: Don Daley
With the Autobot Headmasters in custody, the Decepticons are running over the Autobots and some of the Nebulans are worried Zarak is taking over for the elite. Even the creation of the Targetmasters, where the Nebulans can become an Autobot’s gun, proves ineffective. With Galen’s prodding, Zarak is starting to realize that Scorponok is taking over his mind and with the last bit of his sanity frees the Autobots knowing they’ll all head away from Nebulos and to another planet that called for Autobots help….Earth! (This is the signal sent in issue #37 by Goldbug and Buster.)
Let me be honest: this is NOT Budiansky’s best work. Zarak’s plan was unfocused the whole time, the Targetmasters seemed to have no advantage in battle, and the only thing I bought was Zarak losing the fight against Scorponok changing him the way he insisted Fortress Maximus did to Galen. I never understood what he was thinking and I could understand what he was doing so I never really bought him as any form of villain, intentional or otherwise. Also, this is the second time the artist/colorist confused Stylor and Gort. Or maybe it’s the letterer’s fault. I’m not sure. At least this time they didn’t use Cerebros’ head for Fortress Maximus in the odd panel.
I usually love Budiansky’s version of Transformers but this story is hard to recommend. If #38 explains the backstory of the Nebulan Transformers well enough I would skip this entirely. The Targetmasters are not properly filled out and Nebulan side of the villains make no sense.