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Mechanical Difficulties!

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MarvelUS-28

I think that I shall never see/A weapon as deadly as a tree.

Marvel U.S. > Issue #28
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Marvel UK > Issue #121–122
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Blaster and Goldbug are ordered to catch the Mechanic, at any cost!


Synopsis

Aided by stolen Autobot technology, the Mechanic launches a crime wave, stealing high technology equipment and extorting huge payments from the Portland underworld. Grimlock sends Blaster and Goldbug to find the Mechanic and retrieve their stolen technology, even at the cost of human lives. Meanwhile, members of the Portland police are also attempting to bring the Mechanic to justice. Believing the Mechanic's super-tools to be of Transformer origin, the police have been instructed to deal aggressively with any Transformers they encounter. In one attempt to trap the Mechanic, the police and the Autobots hinder each other's progress, and the Mechanic escapes.

The Mechanic calls a meeting of all the crime bosses of the Pacific Northwest, during which he displays modifications to their cars that equip them with heavy weaponry. The police and the Autobots, having come to an agreement to work together, invade this meeting, capturing the crime bosses and the Mechanic's henchman, Juan, but the Mechanic himself escapes once again.

Believing Grimlock to be an unfit commander, and knowing that Grimlock will see their mission to recover the Mechanic as a failure, Blaster and Goldbug decide to head out on their own.

Credits

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Ian Akin and Brian Garvey
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Janice Chiang
Editor: Don Daley

  • Originally published: May, 1987

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans

Guests

Errors

  • On page 2, Ratchet's cryogenic sprayer's beam is colored like a laser, though it's drawn like a frost beam.
  • In this issue, Goldbug is drawn consistently as Bumblebee's body with Goldbug's head and colored in Bumblebee's color scheme.
  • The Mechanic's crippling fear of police officers, so important in his previous appearance, seems to have completely disappeared here.
  • At one point Goldbug asks, "About what, Commander Grimlock?" From context, it's clear Grimlock just asked him something like, "Me want your opinion, Goldbug," but no such dialog balloon exists.

Items of note

Human

Seriously, what is going on?

  • This is the first Marvel US issue to be sold for $1.00.
  • Grimlock speaks in the manner of his cartoon counterpart for the first time in this issue ("Why you not destroy humans?"), and will do so for the rest of his appearances in the comic along with (at least until his demise in "Dark Star!") a much more "buffoonish" and self-centered personality as well. Later, in Marvel UK's 1989 booklet "Transformers: The Facts", the writer claims that Grimlock's varying speech pattern is a deliberate ruse on his part, because he considers intellectuals weak, though this is never specifically stated in any story.
  • Blaster's plan is kind of ridiculous. Detective Greco carries Blaster (in altmode) into the hangar full of gangsters, singing scat and dancing to music. He pulls out his badge and turns off the music, which is the signal for the police outside to rush in. It's unclear what any of that accomplished, apart from getting Blaster into the hangar so he could deal with the Mechanic's refitted cars before the police invade.
  • References to other Transformers continuities/issues: the Mechanic acquired his Autobot technology in "Funeral for a Friend".

UK printing

  • This issue marked the beginning of a trend to only use UK covers. From this point on very few U.S. covers would be reprinted for UK issues — and only one by a U.S. artist.
  • In issue #121's letter column, Grimlock seems to think that there are toys available of individual Junkions in the U.S.!
  • Issue #122 included a bonus 6-page Action Force strip by Geoff Senior.


Covers (3)

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Specifics: UK cover
  • U.S. cover: Trypticon vs the Dinobots by Ian Akin
  • UK issue 121 cover: Goldbug, Blaster and the Mechanic by Jeff Anderson
  • UK issue 122 cover: Goldbug, about to be disassembled by Jeff Anderson

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