icon_uk: Soundwave Matt Moylan Lilformers (Soundwave)
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You want romance? You got romance!

You want giant space conquering robots? You got giant space conquering robots!

You want snarky accountant based humour? You got snarky accountant based humour

You want a magnificently silly title? You got THE magnificently silly title...

From 1987's Transformers #31, I am proud to present;


If I'm entirely honest one of the main reasons I'm posting this is so that I could type that title! :)

Now Buster Witwicky was a long time friend of the Autobots on Earth, the first one they made on Earth in fact. He's a normal sort of kid, goes to school, has a girlfriend, his dad owns a garage and he helps out.

His time with the Autobots included a time when Optimus Prime downloaded the Creation Matrix into the poor kid's brain which made him temporarily technokinetic, and the time he fought (and defeated) Frenzy, and fought (and didn't defeat) Shockwave.

He had left it all behind though, following his father having a heart attack due to stress, and him needing to spend more time helping at the garage.

But we don't open with him, we open with the Dexepticons raiding an oil tanker - the Insecticons, Vortex of the Combaticons, Thurst and Ramjet of the Seekers all coordinate an effort to remove the puny fleshling crew and steer the tanker to where they want it to go.

And now Shockwave (Who was leading the Decepticons at the time) arrives, bringing what is even HIS idea of a nightmare... AN AUDITOR!

tf31 001

tf31 002

Not only an auditor, but a sarcastic auditor... I bet he's a hit at parties...

But Ratbat has a scheme of his own going on, rather than ignoring fleshlings the way Shockwave does (he finds them inefficient and emotional, things he HATES) Ratbat is going to use fleshlings to get him fuel..

And now we return, for the first time in a long time to Buster's life...

tf31 003

Jessie is, as you might surmise, Buster's girlfriend, well he'd like her to be, and she would seem to be entirely agreeable to the notion, but it's all a matter of timing...

tf31 004

That's a pretty sensible reason for giving up the life I suppose... Whilst he would like to go with her, he feels he should stay on and help his dad as there are a lot of cutomers for the new carwash.

And on that subject, we cut away to GB Blackrock, the Transformers answer to Tony Stark who has taken time away from his multinational concerns to hold a press conference to announce that following the huge success of his new "Wash and Roll" design...

tf31 005

But as the slightly unimpressed journalists leave, we discover that Blackrock is currently under Ratbat's control. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN!!!

Back in Oregon, Buster has a late evening visitor

tf31 006

Now before you youngun's read this, remember this was 1987, 27 years ago now... we had to make our own entertainment you know!

And we'll just note that Jessie's comment in the first panel here is ENTIRELY INNOCENT!

tf31 007

Yeah, Jessie that was a might... thoughtless... or WAS IT?!

tf31 008

I imagine that's not QUITE the reaction Buster expected to his kissing technique...

Slightly worried at her sudden change in demeanour and spaced out reaction Buster decides to follow her, just to make sure she stays out of trouble,

To his surprise, she heads towards a Blackrock oil storage facility, where she appears to fill up with petrol... which makes no sense. He blocks her in with his truck as she drives out, and flashes his headlights, which seems to release her from her trance, but he has already attracted some unexpected attention..

tf31 009

But it soon appears that Buster isn't being attacked per se, he's being herded into the queue of vehicles waiting to go into the facility. So he follws the routine, and realises that the gas pump he'd seen Jessie using isn't pumping petrol into the tank, it's siponing it out. And he sees his dad in the queue too.

He's joined by a now recovered Jessie, who wants to know what's going on. Luckily for them, Ratbat is also present and has Blackrock explain the whole plot to a crowd of entranced humans because... well, it's plot exposition, it has to go SOMEWHERE.

tf31 010

It would appear that the Wash and Roll isn't actually a living Transformer in and of itself, because what kind of self respecting Deception would choose THAT for an alt mode... besides all the vehicles driving right through it might be kinda... pervy, from a Cybertronian POV.

tf31 011

Ummm, yeah THAT'S the way to do it, instead of just, y'know, quietly taking control of the oil storage depot, or having Blackrock deliver oil to you directly, by redirecting tankers or the like....

The Wash and Roll Mk2 improves on the original design by making the brainwashing, which lasts a couple of hours with the Mk1, completely permanent. Also coincidentally, Buster's Dad is to be the first "lucky" recipient. Buster intervenes, but all that does is get Ratbat pissed at him (Honestly, what is it with this kid and Casseticons? Frenzy before, Laserbeak earlier this issue, and now Ratbat!).

Buster finds himself being forced into the Wash and Roll and followed by Ratbat, and his truck, sort of limited by the speed of the carwash, is now down to a crawling speed.

In fairness that last shot could have come from any 1980's 3D movie! :)

You have to admire the sort of courage that allows you to attack a flying alien attack robot with nothing more than a tyre iron!

tf31 013

It's a glimps of the mind control lightshow 2.0!

tf31 014

And luckily for our hero, our heroine Jessie, picks this point to ram her truck into Ratbat which knocks him off balance long enough for Buster to get in the truck

Between the two of them, they realise the only way to break the strobe-trance of the assembled humans is a very bright flash of light, which is achieved when Buster throws the tyre iron into the lights above the shiny new Wash and Roll Mk2. That means a lot of humans have their memories back and they are not very happy...

tf31 015

That's some impressive throwing techniques there guys... though you'd have thought it wouldn't have had THAT much affect on giant alien attack robots.

Still, we do get one more good accountant based line out of Ratbat.

tf31 016

And as the story draws to a close, Sparkplug is very proud of his son and, perhaps realising that his son HAS hormones, decides that he should probably be working less at the gas pumps, Buster at least has the decency to point out that since the Wash and Roll was bringing in half their income, they really need the work, but Sparkplug still intends to make the effort. And as for our hero and his lady, well, what sort of romantic adventure would it be if it ended any other way than this....

tf31 016a

Date: 2014-02-11 03:33 am (UTC)
sharky_chan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharky_chan
Wow, I think this may actually beat out (by a very narrow margin) that time Starscream opened an evil dance club XDXD. Although this kinda makes a weird sense! To this day, I have no idea what Screamer was trying to accomplish in that ep...

1) Open evil dance club
2) ??
3) Profit


Date: 2014-02-11 09:04 am (UTC)
abates: Tetrap from Doctor Who story "Time and the Rani" (Default)
From: [personal profile] abates
Partway through the episode, Tracks and Raoul randomly stumble on hypnotized humans working on a building site. It's not at all clear from the episode itself, but the script reveals that they're building a Decepticon base. So Starscream went to all that trouble just to get humans to do what the Constructicons could have done in probably a tenth of the time.

Date: 2014-02-15 03:39 pm (UTC)
sharky_chan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharky_chan
See, that makes even less sense! XDXDXD.

Date: 2014-02-11 06:00 pm (UTC)
thistleburr: Misfire has the munchies (misfire)
From: [personal profile] thistleburr
He just wanted people to think he was cool.

Date: 2014-02-15 03:39 pm (UTC)
sharky_chan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharky_chan
This is canonical.

Date: 2014-02-11 03:52 am (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
I remember this issue. I loved the idea of a Decepticon fuel auditor. This comic really did some interesting things.

Date: 2014-02-11 09:08 am (UTC)
abates: Tetrap from Doctor Who story "Time and the Rani" (Default)
From: [personal profile] abates
I love that the coldly logical Shockwave's first reaction when Ratbat sarcastically points out the failure of their mission is to turn to the other Decepticons and call them fools.

Date: 2014-02-12 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] aeopile
Long time lurker here.

I remember this issue from when I was a kid. One of my favorite parts of this run was the idea of Ratbat becoming the leader of a faction of Decepticons. I loved that a tape could rise up to that level!


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