Transformers UK: Issue #118
Story: Hunters (Part 2)
Back-up strip: The Inhumanoids
Cover date: June 20th, 1987
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jeff Anderson (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Thanks to Wreck-Gar Bumblebee is back better than ever... as Goldbug!
"What B is unlikely to survive a direct hit from a neutron accelerator rifle? Answer: Bumblebee! ...And that's Blockbusters!"
The story opens as the Junkion leader Wreck Gar kneels over a pile of debris that was once the Autobot Bumblebee. For the reader's benefit he reviews recent events and how he came to be here. It had started when the Autobot leader of 2007, Rodimus Prime, realised that Galvatron and Death's Head were loose in Earth's past. He felt responsible and decided to timejump (along with Kup and Blurr) in order to put things right. Wreck Gar had wanted to tag along, and to everyone's surprise had launched himself at the Autobots as they timejumped, and was also transported. Now, starting to reweld the broken pieces of Bumblebee, he poses the question again - what is he doing here? The answer (in Wreck Gar's TV speak)? "Jim'll fix it."
Meanwhile at the summit of Mount Verona, a bizarre struggle ensues between Rodimus and Death's Head for the right to bring down Galvatron. The bounty hunter demands that Prime step aside and allow him the opportunity to collect the contract - while Prime maintains he will do it himself! All the while Galvatron's eyes burn, and finally he acts - blasting Death's Head in the shoulder and wounding him. He next opens fire at Prime's feet, sending the Autobot leader flat on his back on the mountainside. Galvatron leaps on him and the pair begin to scrap. The human, Cindy Newell scurries for safety under the unconscious Ultra Magnus as Death's Head sweeps past on his way to make repairs. Cindy wonders what she has gotten into this time, and tries to wake Magnus - it looks like Rodimus could use his help.
Nearby the fight does not go well for Prime. Though he beat Galvatron once, the Decepticon has recently augmented himself courtesy of his siphon, and now the tables are turned. When Ultra Magnus finally revives he sees Kup and Blurr (who he remembers from Target:2006) and decides to help the future Autobots. The best way seems to be to blow a few holes in Galvatron's siphon - that is likely to provide the distraction Rodimus needs. Sure enough the plan works and Prime is able to use the diversion to transform and escape. He must now gather the Autobots to his side and plan for round two. Meanwhile, Wreck Gar has completed his repair work. Gone is the Autobot Bumblebee and in his place stands the shiny and improved Goldbug!
Neat introduction from Goldbug. Incidentally his origins were somewhat different across the Atlantic. In the US version, the Transformers encountered GI Joe and Bumblebee was blown apart. Ratchet later recreated him as Goldbug in time for Mechanical Difficulties (UK#121). There were a couple of reasons why the two comics had to take different roads, not least because the future characters (Rodimus, Galvatron, Wreck Gar, Magnus etc) are not part of US continuity at this time, and GI Joe is marketed in the UK (or was) as Action Force. I guess they thought the GI part might be off-putting to UK kids (like we hadn't grown up on US TV and culture anyway!). Meanwhile back to this issue. Aside from the Goldbug aspect, I found it largely inconsequential. The battle between Galvatron and Rodimus is hardly earth shattering and for the most part, not much happens this issue. I felt it could have been merged with the following story and maintained the tension better. Just my opinion of course.