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Spotlight: Wheelie

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SpotlightWheelie coverA

It could've been more surprising still - it might have been Spotlight: Cy-Kill!

The Transformers: Spotlight > Issue # 15
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Wheelie is here, cower in fear!


Synopsis

Eager to aid the Autobot war effort but constantly overlooked due to his stature, Wheelie is ecstatic when he is finally asked to help with the search for habitable worlds. Shortly after leaving, though, his ship hits a radiation belt that shorts out his systems, and he is forced to make a crash-landing on the world of LV-117, a planet which turns out to be populated with giant monsters. Wheelie does what he can to survive and fends off the denizens. After attempting to use the universal greeting on a chaosteros, Wheelie loses one of his arms. He subsequently retrieves it from the beast's... dung ...but thereafter his arm does not properly transform, causing him excruciating pain whenever he enters vehicle mode.

Eventually, he sights another ship crashing to the surface. When he tracks it down, he finds Decepticons Spectro and Spyglass preparing to torture an alien they have captured. Wheelie frees him, and sneaks aboard the ship amidst the confusion. Unfortunately, the crash has damaged the ship beyond repair, dashing his plans to use it to escape. Suddenly remembering the third member of Spectro and Spyglass's trio, Wheelie turns around to find Viewfinder, impaled in his command chair by a large piece of the shattered canopy. Pausing to wonder whether Viewfinder or he himself was the lucky one, he goes off in search of the alien he set free, eventually finding and befriending him.

The alien, named Varta, speaks entirely (through a universal translator chip) in rhyme and reveals that he has a spaceworthy ship. The only thing it lacks as a power source, and Wheelie happily volunteers the energon converter he's been lugging around. They work together for a time to patch up the ship and get it ready to fly, with Wheelie adopting Varta's strange, rhyming speech in the process. As they prepare to launch the ship, they are ambushed by Spectro and Spyglass. The Decepticons shoot Varta in the back and threaten to finish him off if Wheelie doesn't climb out of the ship and let them have it. Though he initially considers taking off and leaving Varta, he realizes that if he does so, he would be turning his back on what it means to be an Autobot. He solemnly descends the ladder while the pair absconds in the rocket, congratulating themselves on their bluff—they had used the last charge in their laser to stun Varta. Varta is surprised that Wheelie would give up his freedom for his sake, but Wheelie says it really all came down to faction...that, and he removed the safety catch from the energon converter used to power the ship, causing it to explode in midair.

A year later, Varta and Wheelie have salvaged what they could from the wreckage of both their ship and the Decepticon cruiser and made a new home for themselves. No longer depressed, Wheelie feels renewed hope for the future and gazes up at the massive Autobot emblem adorning the top of their makeshift home. Meanwhile, in the nearby ruins of an ancient temple, a wall painting of a Quintesson begins to crack, the eyes glowing through the rock...

Credits

Writer(s): Simon Furman and Klaus Scherwinski
Art: Klaus Scherwinski
Colors: Klaus Scherwinski with Josh Burcham
Letters: Comicraft's Jimmy Betancount
Editor(s): Denton J. Tipton
  • Originally published: June 18, 2008


Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others

Errors

  • This issue does not feature a brief character bio on the inside cover. However, a big empty block of space where the bio is supposed to be remains.

Items of note

  • Cameos: Springer, Perceptor
  • Includes 5 pages of sketches by Klaus Scherwinski
  • Also includes two Lil Formers strips featuring Wheelie, one of which indicates his Spotlight wouldn't have been released until after Roller and before Kranix. In the other, Alpha Trion tells Wheelie he was in the #7659 position to become Prime, after Twin Twist and Roller. Some candidates that Wheelie beats out are Erector, Chip Chase, GoBots Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter and Small Foot, and #7666Starscream!
  • This issue includes a similar joke to the above: Wheelie's choice as an explorer comes after Hubcap, Bumper, Scrounge and Roller. Why does Roller get no love? Also, if we are to take the list literally, either there is another character named Bumper, as Bumper was killed in the events of Megatron Origin, which is clearly set before this issue.
  • Wheelie's distress call in this issue is received by Optimus Prime, as seen in Spotlight: Optimus Prime.

Covers

— all by Klaus Scherwinski

  • Cover A: Wheelie with slingshot in the Chaosteros's shadow
  • Cover B: Retro-style cover with the issue's major players
  • Cover RI: B&W sketch of cover B, without the additional lettering or spotlights
SpotlightWheelie coverB

Wheelie's kickin' it old skool. Aww yeah...

SpotlightWheelie coverRI

Oh no, oh no, oh no! Where did Reflector and Varta go?

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