The Transformers #48
Marvel Comics (January, 1989)“The Underbase Saga” part 2 “The Flames Of Boltax!” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: José Delbo INKER: Danny Bulanadi COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Bill Oakley EDITOR: Don Daley
Using a holographic reality machine, Ratbat and Starscream watch the information on the offline Autobots. They tell the tale of a younger, reckless Optimus Prime as he sought the knowledge of Boltax in the hopes of winning the war. He soon learns that knowledge comes from a database called the Underbase. Downloading all of its knowledge can lead to madness, even death, but Megatron has followed and doesn’t believe the junior commander. Optimus’s only option is to attempt to destroy the Underbase to keep it out of Megatron’s hands, but it ends up being launched into space. In the present the Underbase is heading to Earth and Ratbat isn’t happy Buster stumbled on that information.
What they got right: People who complain about how “perfect” Optimus is
never read issuej #24 forget that he became the warrior and leader he is after years of war. Here we see a young, foolish junior commander making a big mistake. I do like the alternate mode given to him.
What they got wrong: Except it’s not the Cybertronian alt mode we saw in the first issue, where he was more of a rolling gun emplacement. We also they chained Buster (somehow, since the room was too small for Blaster to transform) last issue but this issue they don’t? Did the chosen guards get lazy?
other notes: I don’t know if the All-Spark being launched into space in the movies is an homage to this, but considering how many other terms were tossed around willy-nilly (like the Matrix Of Leadership) I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m also guessing this is where Megatron’s obsession with destroying Optimus came from.
Recommendation: This is kind of a must-have for this story arc but it’s a good story of early Optimus Prime.