Thursday, November 02, 2023

Bite my shiny metal--ah! Oh, no!

I thought this was before Transformers: the Movie (it's not, but maybe in continuity?) so there probably wasn't a lot of contingency plans for Optimus Prime dying. Not saying it's old hat now, but the Autobots are going to be a bit more prepared. From 1987, the Transformers #27, "King of the Hill" Written by Bob Budiansky, pencils by Don Perlin, inks by Ian Akin and Brian Garvey.
Paleontology student Rachel Becker is excited to find dinosaur footprints in the Oregon forests, but they're quickly debunked as fakes: the edges were too smooth, obviously mechanically-made. They don't have a good explanation for the pterodactyl they see, though: it's Swoop, on a meal run for the Dinobots! He swipes a tanker trailer and brings it back for his crew, who were currently estranged from the Autobots: they didn't understand why the Autobots cared about humans, and thought they should go all-out against the Decepticons regardless of any people in their way. Still, word had reached them of Optimus Prime's death a few issues prior, and Grimlock thought it was time for them to return to the fold...and for him to be the new leader of the Autobots!
The Decepticons also had a new leader, with the coolly logical Shockwave now in charge; but he was getting pushback from Cybertron: fuel auditor Ratbat had crunched the numbers, and the mission on earth was a fuel suck. Shockwave argues, that was under the old boss, his regime would be more efficient; and Ratbat agrees to a final expenditure: sending the deadliest Decepticon, for a surprise attack on the Autobots' base, the Ark. (At scenic Mount St. Hilary, which I had to check if it was real or not!) It was a full house in the Ark, as the Autobot leadership on earth had gathered to try and decide who their new leader should be. While they debate what they're kind of looking for in a leader, Grimlock crashes in, to tell them the only characteristic that matters is strength! Max that out, forget about compassion or charisma!
Grimlock gets booed out of the room, but claims he'll take leadership, he doesn't have to wait for them to give it to him. Nearby, Rachel witnesses the arrival of the massive Trypticon, one of the largest of all Transformers. Rachel initially panics, but realizes it didn't seem to care about her, but she lost her flashlight and would have to wait until morning to get back to her camp. Trypticon takes his battle station mode and lays siege to the Ark, and starts wrecking the Autobots. Grimlock had been coming back to the Autobots, to kick their asses until they made him leader, if necessary; but is dismayed to see them getting hurt. The other Dinobots don't much care, watching the fight and laughing. Grimlock steps away to think, and is observed by Rachel, who works through her fear quickly to try and study him, which Grimlock finds impressive--more impressive than he had expected from humans. But Rachel is then captured and brought before Trypticon, and Grimlock finally leaps into action, even though he was many times smaller than his foe. His Dinobots won't let him fight alone, though; and they manage to fight Trypticon to a stand-still, until Ratbat recalls him to Cybertron for going over-budget.
While Rachel is left to ponder what she had seen, Grimlock returns to the Ark, but did not feel he deserved to be leader. The other Autobots disagree, and Grimlock is elected by acclaim. While his heart was...occasionally in the right place, Grimlock was also dumber than a box of rocks, so I'm not sure his reign went that great--in fact, he might've had himself a crown made like Starscream. That's not a good sign...

1 comment:

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

I'm kinda surprised Rachel didn't give the readers a 4th wall-breaking wink after agreeing w/ the professor that dinosaurs didn't exist in the woods.

I didn't know Grimlock was trying to be the leader of the Autobots as early as this, as I remember that's what he was wanting to be after Prime died the 2nd time (?) in #75 after the battle w/ Unicron. He'd finally get that wish fulfilled up to the final issue of the series (81) w/ the return of Prime.

He definitely was a hit first, maybeeeeee think later type of guy, but then that seemed to be due to how he was wired, although once he finally got said leadership gig, he definitely tried to change for the better of the group. In fact he was already showing this before the climatic battle w/ Unicron when he was gathering up the wrecked remains of his fellow Dinobots and a few other Autobots & revived them with the substance known as Nucleon.

God I loved Marvel's G1 continuity!