The Transformers #51
Marvel (April, 1989)“The Man In The Machine!” WRITER: Bob Budiansky PENCILER: José Delbo INKER: Dave Hunt COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Bill Oakley EDITOR: Don Daley
Spike thought he left the Autobots and Fortress Maximus on the Ark to resume his ordinary life, like going skiing with his friend Cliff. That’s not the case, and even tossing away the Headmaster helmet Optimus insisted he keep doesn’t stop the nightmares he’s been having, because they’re actually a message that binary-bonding isn’t that easy ignored. Which is a good thing when two Decepticon beast Pretenders are hunting you down. Spike is able to retrieve his helmet, which the Decepticons were using to track them, and call Fortress Maximus to save the day.
What they got right: It’s good to see that the binary-bonding process isn’t that easy to shake off, that there’s more to it. It’s also a good showing for Carnivac and Snarler, the beast Decepticon Pretenders.
What they got wrong: One thing the “Yesterday’s” reviews brings is hindsight. Nothing really comes of this story. Fortress Maximus and Spike won’t be back until well into Furman’s run. Maybe Budiansky had some plan but we’re nearing the end of his run and this is the last time we even deal with Headmasters (because Furman seemed to ignore the Masters gimmick save for one scene acknowledging the Targetmasters that didn’t really matter in the story). It’s a goodbye for Spike that wasn’t needed.
Recommendation: It’s worth a look because it is a good story but it doesn’t have anything you really need to follow the whole saga of this version of the Transformers. I still liked it, though.