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John Henry

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John Henry is a human in the Hearts of Steel portion of the Generation One continuity family.
Johnhenry grrr

Oh no you di'nt!

For the man that invented that steam drill

Thought he was mighty fine;

John Henry sunk a fo'teen foot,

The steam drill only made nine,

The steam drill only made nine.

—Traditional

John Henry was a steel-driving man in the 19th century, noted for being one of the best in the country (if not the world). He was highly respected by his fellow railmen. Not to mention the Autobots.

FictionEdit

IDW Hearts of Steel continuityEdit

Johnhenry hammer

Hammer's 19th Century altmode was a bit lackluster.

Around the year 1867, John Henry's hammering awoke Bumblebee from millennia of stasis lock, and Bumblebee was inspired by him to take the form of a steel-driving locomotive. Hearts of Steel issue 1 Henry initially resented the automated "steam drill" as a piece of job-stealing automation. Bumblebee then approached him in robot mode, and explained that he merely wanted to perform a useful function. Now that Henry saw Bumblebee as a person, he respected his work ethic, and they became close friends. Hearts of Steel issue 2 When Bumblebee announced that he and the Autobots were leaving to battle the Decepticons, Henry promptly insisted on coming along, too. Hearts of Steel issue 3 He participated in the high-speed battle against the New York-bound Astrotrain, playing a key role in the Autobots' victory. Hearts of Steel issue 4

The John Henry mythEdit

The John Henry of real-world folklore did not have the good fortune to encounter intelligent, friendly machinery. He competed with a mechanical steam drill, and though he won the contest, he fell dead of a heart attack afterwards. His story is considered a cautionary tale about the implacability of uncaring mechanical progress. The contrast of the myth with the Hearts of Steel story of his bonding with Bumblebee (The steam driver in question) is thus high irony, though not unwelcome.

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