The Transformers #62
Marvel (January, 1990)“Matrix Quest” part 1: “Bird Of Prey!” WRITER: Simon Furman ARTIST: Geoff Senior COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Jim Massara EDITOR: Don Daley
The search for the Creation Matrix begins as the funeral barge carrying Optimus Prime’s original body is tracked to one galaxy. On the planet Pz-zazz, the team of Nightbeat, Siren, and Hosehead get caught up in another mystery as mobsters are fighting over a bird statue. The three Autobots meet a woman named Fatale who takes them to the place where the statue used to rest, and that it’s actually an idol that keeps the world clean and pure. Although she tries to talk them into not replacing the statue and using the power to help the other Autobots on the Ark and let her keep it so she can be eternally young, Nightbeat does the right thing and uses it to restore the planet instead. Then they’re attacked by the “robot mob”, who are actually Decepticons!
What they got right: I like the idea of the “Matrix Quest” storyline. Furman takes ideas from other genres, in this case noir crime stories like The Maltese Falcon, and gives it a sci-fi twist with the Transformers involved.
What they got wrong: There are times I wonder if the only thing Furman remembers about Transformers is that they don’t have females, and only vaguely remembers they transform. Here Nightbeat is telling someone to read his lips when robots don’t have lips. Also, he knows who Peter Lorre is, despite no proof he’s ever been to Earth, right down to not having an Earth-based alternate mode. Also, the toys of these three Autobots are Headmasters, which you will never see in this comic outside of the character descriptions. I’m also going to assume Thunderwing was called in because we already saw him operating on Cybertron when he sent Bludgeon and his team after the Classic Pretender Autobots.
Recommendation: Whatever issues I have with Furman’s storytelling usually (especially in the case of Transformers tales) this was at least an entertaining read if only for the concept. Worth a read.