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Introducing the dorkiest terrorist the world has ever known.
Megatron, not yet having rejoined his fellow Decepticons, is rendered immobile in a coal mine when he runs out of fuel. Meanwhile, I.I.I. scrambles for a way to explain the presence of giant robots to the public that will calm panic. Despite the efforts of G.B. Blackrock to convince I.I.I. that the Autobots can be Earth's allies, I.I.I. decides to go with a cover story, inspired by the Robot Master comic book, that all Transformers are controlled by a terrorist supervillain with an army of robots under his control. The first broadcast to the public of "Robot Master's" exploits takes advantage of the inert Megatron, whose presence bolsters the government's claims. This broadcast gains the attention of both the Autobots and the Decepticon Soundwave, who undertakes to free Megatron. The Autobots, knowing the presence of Megatron to be a threat, attempt to collect him, but are met with resistance from the human military, which does not recognize the Autobots as anything other than a threat. Soundwave frees Megatron and the Autobots are forced to retreat. Although Megatron wishes to kill "Robot Master" Donny Finkleberg for claiming to control him, Finkleberg is able to appeal to the Decepticons that, by continuing to convince the humans that the Autobots are as much a threat to them as the Decepticons, the Autobots' efforts might continue to be thwarted. Finkleberg is spared, for now...
- Originally published: April, 1986
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The reader is required to assume that the media never notices that Finkleberg's assumed persona is identical to a comic book, that the creator of that comic book is missing, and that he bears a strong resemblance to this "real" Robot-Master. Apparently the comic is absurdly unpopular.
- On page 8, Wheeljack has Hoist's color scheme.
Items of note
- References to other Transformers continuities/issues: I.I.I. has been looking for a way to deal with the issue of the Transformers since last issue.
- The title is presumably an homage to the classic SF collection I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.
- The title of Finkleberg's proposed Potato Salad Man graphic novel, "This Man, This Mayonnaise," is a reference to the famous Fantastic Four story, "This Man, This Monster." It could also (theoretically) be taken as a reference to Hasbro's Mr. Potato Head.
- In the battle at the coal mine, Optimus Prime transforms and his trailer does not disappear but instead is visible in several panels whilst his robot mode is in action.
- U.S. cover: Robot-Master comic by Herb Trimpe
- UK issue 55 cover: reuse of art from U.S. cover, with the top left hand corner box for Robot Master changed to fit the Marvel UK style and price.
- UK issue 56 cover: Megatron blasting coal mine equipment by Robin Smith
- None yet identified