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Headmasters (comic)

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The Transformers: Headmasters is a four-part mini-series published in 1987 by Marvel Comics, and set in the same continuity as the regular US Marvel comic. It tells the story of two groups of Transformers led by Fortress Maximus and Scorponok, and their adventures on the planet Nebulos; in the process, it introduces the Headmaster and Targetmaster gimmicks to the storyline. In the Marvel UK Transformers series it was run as a back-up strip alongside the regular stories.

The Headmasters plot merged with the ongoing Marvel storyline in Transformers issue #38.

Headmasters issues:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4

Overview

A group of Autobots, led by Fortress Maximus, leaves Cybertron for the planet Nebulos hoping to forge a new, peaceful existence for themselves. But their arch foes, under the command of Scorponok, follow them, forcing the Autobots to join forces with the natives of that world in the most literal of ways. Soon Nebulos is being devastated by the Transformers' war, the Decepticons have found their own team of native allies, and the Autobots must leave the planet to keep from destroying it completely.

The mini-series was used to introduce the bulk of the 1987 toyline to the comics continuity. Many of those toys did not have Earthen altmodes, and thus required a different origin than the predominantly Earth-centric forms of the previous three years. The series also introduced the year's primary toy gimmicks of Headmasters and Targetmasters, whose heads and weapons transformed to armored humanoids.

Notes

  • Series artist Frank Springer had the unenviable task of drawing 62 new characters in this series. With 74 character models between them. Factoring in transformations that's 132 pieces of reference art to juggle. There were occasional frequent times when a character was accidentally illustrated looking like someone else. Perfectly understandable! Slightly less understandable was why Fortress Maximus, the starring character, would change head designs between panels on the same page. The recreational use of Benadryl has not been ruled out.
  • Series colorist Nel Yomtov experienced a similar identical problem. The two problems combined can make Headmasters a mildly confusing read . . . but it's really not that bad.

Creative Team

Bob Budiansky, writer for the main Transformers book, also penned Headmasters. Frank Springer, the artist of the 4-issue miniseries that began Transformers, did pencils.

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