The Transformers #63
Marvel Comics (February, 1990)“Matrix Quest” part 2: “Kings Of The Wild Frontier.” (Yes, with the period) WRITER: Simon Furman PENCILER: José Delbo INKER: Dave Hunt COLORIST: Nel Yomtov LETTERER: Jim Massara EDITOR: Don Daley
The planet Cheyne, where the Triggerbots Dogfight, Override, and Backstreet, continue the search for the Matrix. They stop to rescue a small boy from murderers and his parents welcome them in, and even get them to abandon their quest and work on the farm. That is until Thunderwing’s group, having mentally probed the information out of the other Autobots from last issue, comes demanding the Matrix. This breaks the hold the farmers had on his as the “murderers” fill him in. They are psychic vampires, hoping to feed on the Autobots’ emotions and perhaps the Matrix energy that powers them. Instead they end up dead and the Autobot return to the war and the search.
What they got right: Furman is mixing other genres with sci-fi elements and they do blend well. In this case (and it should be obvious if you look at the cover) a western theme. The psychic vampires prey on even Dogfight’s deeply buried desire to exit the war, and they make for the worst kind of threat…the kind that doesn’t want to stop being an unknowing victim.
What they got wrong: I wouldn’t have noticed this had I not had to hit the Transformers Wiki to get the cover date for this comic. Bumblebee says that they almost forgot about their god. Now we also have an altar Optimus can use to have visions in the Ark. They try to explain it by saying that he never liked the mystical side of the Matrix. I don’t like the mystical side of the Matrix either, but now they’re just tossing stuff together to fit Furman’s retcon of the Matrix.
Recommendation: Probably the best of the “Matrix Quest” tales, but it doesn’t really feel like Transformers except for the bits with Thunderwing. A decent curiosity but not a must-read.