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Rock and Roll-Out!

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The name or term Rollout refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Rollout (disambiguation).
MarvelUS-14

Special Olympians are the real heroes. I'm gonna give 'em everything I've got.
But who's gonna help me??

Marvel U.S. > Issue # 14
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Marvel UK > Issue #53–54
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A new group of Autobots are born in the USA, and must thwart the Decepticons' attempts to steal sound energy from a rock concert.


SynopsisEdit

Jetfire has been brought to life by Optimus Prime, and with the Rite of the Autobrand is made a full member of the Autobots. Optimus gives him a tour of his new home. In the medical bay, Ratchet is struggling to repair a large group of warriors recently damaged in battle. Elsewhere, Wheeljack has constructed five new Transformer bodies. He installs within them the minds of five Autobot warriors, which were encoded in crystals before the Autobots left Cybertron. Prime welcomes the new arrivals, all of whom now "live for a second time."

While holding Grapple back for a special project, Prime sends the other four out on the street with Bumblebee to acclimate them to their home town. Wheeljack has equipped the Autobots with a brilliant disguise — they now have facsimile circuitry which covers up their Autobot symbols and provides them with mannequin dummy drivers.

Meanwhile, Shockwave has finally returned, arriving at the Decepticons' oil platform base just in time to squelch the mewlings of Starscream. He demonstrates the energy converter he's just built, turning some of the oil into energon cubes. The Decepticons leave, taking the converter and a stash of cubes with them. To evade a human naval fleet that has been surrounding them, Shockwave detonates a cube in mid-air, and the humans are temporarily blinded by the light.

The humans, however, had rigged the oil platform's supports with bugs and overheard the Decepticons' plans to steal "a large release of sonic energy." G.B. Blackrock is also on the fleet and relays the information to the Autobots.

While fueling up at a Blackrock gas station, Skids learns about an upcoming rock concert. The 'bots put two and two together and go to reconnoiter the concert, while Prime heads that way with reinforcements.

Before Prime can arrive, the Autobots observe a sonic disruption of the show. The Autobots are under orders from Prime not to take any action until he arrives, but it's hard to be a saint in the city, and so they disrupt the device that's causing the problem. The sound goes back to normal — and Decepticon jets burst out of the ground.

The Autobots have little choice but to make a stand; Bumblebee gives the order to fire. The newcomers fend off the jets, while Bumblebee discovers Shockwave's ruined energy converter. Out of arbitrary vengeance, Shockwave decides to incinerate the audience of humans. To stop him from creating a city of ruins full of humans screaming "I'm on fire", Bumblebee tosses an energon cube into his barrel just as he fires. The cube detonates with a huge thundercrack, sending him flying helplessly away. The audience is awestruck by the resulting fireworks hailing over them, while the battered Decepticon jets flee like spirits in the night. The battle won, the Autobots quickly go back to hiding on the back streets.

Heading home, Bumblebee's team has a meeting across the river with Prime's reinforcements. Bumblebee is prepared to accept a reprimand, but Prime is impressed with his team's performance and trusts that Bumblebee did what he felt was best. Bumblebee affirms that he did, having learned that "the show must go on!"

CreditsEdit

Script: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Don Perlin
Inks: Al Gordon
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Janice Chiang
Editor: Michael Carlin

  • Originally published: March, 1986

Major charactersEdit

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans
Regulars

Guests

ErrorsEdit

  • If Ratchet is having so much trouble fixing the existing warriors, how come Wheeljack can build new bodies from scratch for the new Autobots so easily?
  • The lead singer is alternatively called "Brick Springhorn" and "Brick Springstern."

Items of noteEdit

  • References to other Transformers continuities/issues: Although Jetfire has been featured since US issue #10, this is the first time in the US comic he is seen as an Autobot with sentience. (In the UK comics, he was previously shown with sentience in the UK-exclusive story Dinobot Hunt!)
  • The Autobots in the repair bay include Hound, Cliffjumper, Prowl, Gears, Huffer, Jazz and Sideswipe. In the US storyline, their injuries were sustained during the events of "Prime Time!". The UK storyline is less clear; some of those shown were injured during the "Dinobot Hunt!" storyline (Cliffjumper, Gears, Huffer, Jazz and Sideswipe), but others were not (Hound and Prowl). Most appear in subsequent UK stories, long after they'd disappeared from the US stories.
    • There does, however, seem to be an interesting piece of UK/ US collaboration here and in subsequent US stories: Bluestreak is shown among the active Autobots but is never named and drawn in such a way that he might be Prowl. The UK storyline had shown Bluestreak injured during "Dinobot Hunt" while Prowl remained active.
  • So... does this mean the original Tracks, Skids, etc. could still be running around on Cybertron or somewhere?
  • Although this issue introduces most of the second wave of Autobot cars, Inferno and Red Alert are conspicuously missing from it.
  • This is the first appearance of energon cubes in the comics—an example of convergence between the comic and cartoon.
  • The special project Optimus commissions Grapple to work on is none other than Omega Supreme, the Autobot defense platform. He is introduced (in front of a full audience, no less) in US issue #19.
  • Songs by Mr. "Springstern" include "Dancing in the Night", "Born to Ride", "Born in America", and "Margarita (Jump a Little Lighter)".

Covers (3)Edit

MarvelUK-53

And you thought that shooting into their faces kills people.

  • U.S. cover: Hoist repairing Brick's scaffolding by Bob Budiansky
  • UK issue 53 cover: The new Autobots receiving life by Robin Smith
  • UK issue 54 cover: reuse of art from U.S. cover


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