Transformers UK: Issue #54
Story: Rock and Roll-Out (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Robotix
Cover date: March 29th, 1986
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Forrest Forsythe, Brick Springhorn!
Synopsis:By Adam Hogg
Rock star Brick Springhorn has a new roadie making sure things run smooth at his concert! Perhaps he can also prevent Shockwave blasting the crowd.
Optimus Prime contacts Bumblebee, who is showing new recruits Hoist, Smokescreen, Skids, and Tracks around. G.B. Blackrock has been in touch warning that the Decepticons are planning to steal sonic energy from somewhere nearby. Both agree that it is likely to be from the upcoming Posh Spice concert (sorry... Brick Springhorn!) and Bumblebee is told to investigate, but not to engage the enemy. Meanwhile in the Washington offices of Triple I (Intelligence and Information Institute), Walter Barnet calls on his boss Forrest Forsythe with some bad news. The agency still has no idea what these robots are or what they want, and steps must be taken to contain the growing public hysteria. Barnett is told to come up with a plan.
Later at the concert, 80,000 fans excitedly cheer while the show begins. Outside the five Autobots are curious by the event, especially when the noise seems to be drained away. Bumblebee spots a tube hanging from the stage lighting, and when Hoist cuts it the three Decepticon jets break through the ground to attack. Bumblebee falls in the hole and the four rookie warriors are left to fight the Decepticons unguided. Luckily the fans all think its part of the show (so much for hysteria eh?), even when Hoist steps up to the stage to weild a piece of rigging that threatens to collapse on the band. He tells them to continue playing so no-one suspects anything.
Meanwhile Bumblebee discovers the Decepticon power siphon under the stadium, generating Energon Cubes - well it was until Hoist cut the cable. Shockwave decides to take his revenge by soaring into the air and preparing to incinerate the 80,000 strong crowd. Bumblebee throws an Energon Cube at him and the blasts lights up the sky, sending Shockwave spinning off. The Autobots flee the scene and bump into Optimus Prime and the reinforcements coming to their aid. Far from being angry that Bumblebee disobeyed orders, Prime is pleased at the way everyone aquitted themselves, including the newcomers who have now proved themselves. Bumblebee insists they had no choice in the matter, after learning an important motto from the day: that the show must go on!
I can only assume the writer didn't want to get in trouble with Bruce Springsteen by using his name, and it was too much hassle to ask, so settled on the laughable alternative Brick Springhorn! It is a strange debut story for the new Autobots, to attend a concert and stop the Decepticons harvesting Energon from the sound. I would have credited Shockwave with better plans than this, and sitting in a cave under a stadium car park operating his siphon just seems beneath him somehow. The first mentions of Triple I are starting to reach these pages, and the agency will feature on and off for the next 200 or so issues. Their current dilemma is how they can explain away the presence of Transformers in a way that causes the least panic to the public. However back in issue #5 the United States military were advancing on Megatron's castle, with a platoon of reporters in tow. So the time to keep the story in check ought to be well past, or so you would think. Free with this issue is a pull-out mini comic featuring the new combining teams - or Special Teams as the comic calls them. Stunticons, Aerialbots, Combaticons and Protectobots, at a stroke expanding the number of Transformers around drastically. The story on this pull out forms the basis for issue 64's tale. I no longer have the comic but if anyone has scans I'd appreciate a look. If I remember rightly it unfolded into a poster displaying all the new toys.