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|Marvel U.S. > Issue #26|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #109–110|
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While most the Autobots pay their last respects to Optimus Prime, Ratchet is left alone to face a new human threat.
Ratchet's attempts to repair Optimus Prime are unsuccessful, and the Autobots arrange for a Cybertronian funeral service. Ratchet chooses to stay behind rather than face another of his failures, and decides to be proactive about repairing those Autobots still non-functional within the Ark by looking for spare parts in a used auto parts junkyard.
While there in ambulance mode, he is stolen by the head of a stolen car ring who calls himself "the Mechanic." Forced to aid the Mechanic lest he blow his cover, Ratchet is pursued by local police authorities, and in an effort to evade them, he uses some of his Autobot weaponry (namely, a cryogenic sprayer and a laser scalpel) on the pursing vehicles. The Mechanic sees the power of these weapons, and steals them for himself. When Ratchet attempts to retrieve his weapons, the Mechanic uses the cryogenic sprayer on Ratchet, freezing him solid.
When Ratchet thaws out, he returns to the Ark, only to be followed by the Mechanic and his assistant, Juan, who hope to follow Ratchet to the source of more Cybertronian weaponry. Before Ratchet realizes that he has led the humans right to the Ark, the Mechanic has stolen a remote-controlled power booster rod, in addition to Ratchet's weapons.
Using these devices, the Mechanic injures Ratchet and reactivates the Ark's automatic defenses so that the Autobots are prevented from offering assistance when they return from Optimus Prime's funeral. Although Ratchet is able to frighten the Mechanic away by partially repairing the Autobot Prowl (whose police car alt-mode is the thing the Mechanic fears most), the Mechanic escapes with the weaponry he has already stolen.
- Originally published: March, 1987
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The Mechanic removes Ratchet's weapons from his interior with a screwdriver. Did the Ark adapt the Transformers that much to Earth?
- The 'on' and 'off' positions for the Ark's defense systems are marked in English. That certainly makes it easier for the Mechanic to figure out how they work. Maybe Omega Supreme marked them that way because he was created on Earth?
Items of note
- It is presumed in US continuity that the Protectobots were recently granted life via the Creation Matrix, since the Autobots currently have no means of getting reinforcements from Cybertron). However, First Aid's words to Ratchet at the bottom of page 3 (and top of page 4) seem to be words of experience.
- Hoist drives Optimus Prime to his funeral on a special trailer.
- The Mechanic has delusions of grandeur. Not only does he call himself by a "supervillain" name even before he steals alien weaponry, but he consistently tells people not to call him a "thief."
- The Mechanic's fear of the police isn't the usual thief's fear of getting caught. He is positively terrified of police. He's reduced to a babbling wreck at the sight of them. It's no wonder he ran in terror from Prowl.
- When U.S. page 2 was printed in issue #109, Skids' appearance and caption were blacked out. This was because according to the UK comic's continuity, he'd been displaced to Limbo by a time-traveling Galvatron eight issues earlier.
- The order of U.S. pages 10 and 11 was reversed when they were printed in the UK comic to provide issue 109 with a more poignant cliffhanger — the beginning of the funeral of Optimus Prime.
- According to Grimlock (in the letters page for issue #110), Galvatron has a weakness for chocolate-covered oil drums.
- Given that UK continuity expressly shows the Protectobots being created via the Creation Matrix (in "Second Generation!"), the source of First Aid's "words of experience" (see Items of Note, above) is made even more confusing.
|Specifics: UK cover|
- U.S. cover: The Mechanic in front of dead Autobots by Herb Trimpe
- UK issue 109 cover: reuse of art from U.S. cover, slightly recolored with new captions
- UK issue 110 cover: Autobots attacked by the Ark by Jeff Anderson
- None yet identified.