SYNOPSIS FOR "THE LAST STAND"
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 35
"The Cybertronic life form was none other than the Decepticon known as Shockwave! I need not tell you that Shockwave's power is second only to Megatron's!"--Huffer, to Optimus Prime. I need not tell you that this sort of blatant exposition makes me want to vomit!
- What was the name of the bar managed by O's father?
- Which Autobots are shown in the donating end of the Tubes of Transference?
- It's not okay to refer to Entertainment Tonight (see issue #3), but it's all right to mention Nightline and People magazine? I don't get it.
- Unlike the cartoon, characters actually incur lasting damage in the comic. Skywarp is shown to need extensive reconstruction in this issue, which is consistent with the fact that Sunstreaker blew him up last issue.
- Yet another Marvel reference sneaks its way into this issue, but it's mentioned as an editorial comment, not by one of the characters. Shockwave and the Dinobots fought each other in the region of Antarctica known as the Savage Land, which by the time of this issue was ruled by Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land. Of course, since the Ark crashed only four million years ago and dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, the Savage Land was the only place in the Marvel universe where the Ark could have found dinosaurs to create the Dinobots' new Earth modes.
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (7)
- Near the beginning, Huffer notes that Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Brawn and Gears have been put out of commission since the Autobots awakened. Say what? The last time we saw Sideswipe, he was just a little low on fuel. He didn't incur any damages in issue #2.
- Uh, okay. I can understand that the writers sort of backed themselves into a corner with the end of the last issue--the Autobots must believe that Sparkplug gave Megatron the fuel he needed, and they won't find out differently until the battle with the Decepticons later on. For this to happen, Sparkplug basically had to be unconscious so that he couldn't defend himself from accusations, hence the heart attack. The Autobots' behavior immediately prior to this still bears scrutiny, though. What happened to, "How dare you endanger the lives of this world's people? This isn't their war!" Optimus doesn't seem to give a flying fignut that Jazz shoots at the humans with his flamethrower to keep them trapped inside the Ark! He just stands there stupidly and goes, "Gee, uh, hope he gets better soon." No apologies to Buster, no reprimands to Jazz... nothing. The guy deserved to get decapitated, if you ask me.
- So let me get this straight. Megatron fuels up, goes outside for the singular purpose of letting the humans shoot at him for fifteen minutes straight, and then it takes Starscream to suggest that they send out Ravage to spy on the Autobots because they may have obtained fuel themselves? Time's a-wasting, Meggie! This is no time to let the fleshies use you for target practice! What, did Sparkplug concoct a Stupid Fuel?
- In issue #1, we are told that as the Ark sends out its sensor drone to survey the Earth, "forests teeming with countless life forms appear utterly dead to the drone." How is it possible, then, that the Ark not only detected the dinosaurs of the Savage Land, but recognized them as the planet's dominant life form and created the Earth modes for the Dinobots to reflect that? For that matter, if the Ark was already awake so soon after the crash, why didn't it revive all the Autobots and Decepticons and turn them into dinosaurs? I sense some plot trickery.
- Apparently, Megatron's fusion cannon has an "air blast" setting. Megs shoots Starscream with enough force to knock him clear out of the Decepticon fortress, but he flies right back inside a few moments later, apparently with no lasting damage at all.
- Assuming there was only enough fuel to fully charge five Autobots, Prime sure made some odd choices for the four other Autobots who would fight with him in this most crucial battle. Ironhide makes good sense, and I suppose I can understand how Huffer's strength would come in handy. Is Optimus really that clueless about Mirage's uncertainty about the cause, though? Or Blue Streak's reluctance to fight? Why not Prowl with his computer precision or Trailbreaker's ability to create a defensive force field? Then again, this is consistent with Prime's selection of Autobots that he brought on board the Ark in the first place.
- Why is it that Mirage's weaponry was sufficiently powerful to knock Ravage out cold, but he appears with the other Decepticons during the battle a few moments later?
DIALOGUE AND NARRATION: (3)
- On page 3, Optimus Prime's dialogue is broken up into a tiny little word balloon, thusly:
THIS WAR HERE!
- The only problem here is that the hyphen shouldn't be there, since the name of the character in the comics is not Bluestreak, but Blue Streak.
- This isn't a mistake, just something I found interesting. The narrative box that reads, "A wall of fire from Jazz's flame-thrower blocks the humans' path" was written by a different person than the rest of the lettering on this page. I wonder if it wasn't a last-minute addition because it was sort of ambiguous what was happening if you just went by the artwork? (Jazz: "Burn, baby, burn!")
- Jessie's name is spelled "Jesse" again in this issue. I do wish they'd make up their minds. (And I'm not even going to mention the gratuitous scene of all those ballet class girls in skin-tight leotards...)
ART AND COLORING: (25)
- On the front cover, Mirage is favoring his left arm as though it were damaged. That's not quite right, since Mirage wasn't injured in this issue until Ravage bit his arm clean off. Also, Megatron is colored dark red with a blue helmet and fists. What, did somebody actually mistake him for Optimus Prime?
- As I alluded to earlier, several of the early TRANSFORMERS issues were reprinted in 1987 as TRANSFORMERS COMICS MAGAZINE, a digest version of the comic that was about 2/3 the original size and contained two stories per issue (so that TRANSFORMERS #1 and #2 became TFCM #1, etc,). The covers for both original issues made up the front and back cover of the digest version.
Well, it seems that somebody didn't like the idea of having the old TRANSFORMERS logo on the back cover, but apparently they didn't have access to the original art. What they did, then, was erase the logo and reconstruct the rest of the drawing from scratch.
Shown below are the original cover for issue #4 and the new version that appears on the back of TRANSFORMERS COMICS MAGAZINE #2. Note that Laserbeak ended up becoming one of Soundwave's wings (?!), and somebody decided that Megatron needed another cannon on his back once the box for the bar code was removed (the version I own is a reprint, which is why Spider-Man's face is there instead). Somebody did take the time to paint Mirage's Autobot symbol, though, but all the Decepticons are flat blue in the TFCM version.
TRANSFORMERS COMICS MAGAZINE #2
- On page 1, Brawn is colored like Cliffjumper. (I can almost see where this mistake came from, since the plate behind Brawn's head does sort of look like the plate behind the head on the Cliffjumper toy.)
- On page 2, panel 1, Windcharger is colored like Cliffjumper. A much bigger error, though, is the rogue Autobot who appears in this panel. I'd originally misidentified him as Swoop, but Liquid Velcro informs me that he is, in fact, Jetfire. Specifically, this is the early Jetfire design based on the toy, rather than the redesigned version created for the cartoon at Takara's request to avoid similarity to a Bandai-designed toy. My guess is that his design was part of the batch of models that Sunbow sent to Marvel Productions, and artist Frank Springer used him as a background character no realizing that Jetfire hadn't yet been officially introduced.
- I'm not sure whether to mention this here or not, but Gears looks remarkably intact in this issue (as well as the second-to-last panel in issue #3) for a guy who fell hundreds of feet to his supposed doom. What happened to "that's the last piece--we've collected all that's left of him"?
- On the fourth panel of page 2, the perspective is all screwy. Sunstreaker is positively huge as he towers in the foreground over Huffer and Ironhide. If they'd drawn Optimus there, this might almost make sense.
- In the TFCM version, on the last panel of page 2, one of Ironhide's knees is yellow and Huffer's Autobot symbol is purple like the rest of his body. These mistakes don't show up in my regular copy of issue #4.
- Also, they're not drawing Huffer's arms quite right in this panel and the one right before it. He's got some rather unconventional arms, which sort of stick out from his body and are each attached by a square block. Instead, somebody decided to make the blocks themselves the shoulders.
- On panel 2 of page 3, Mirage's head isn't colored in (it should be blue) and his arms are red instead of blue. Also, Jazz is colored like Blue Streak.
- Those news reports must have gotten some really good shots of Optimus. The Prime costume "O's" father is wearing is incredibly accurate (though it's missing the smokestacks on Prime's shoulders).
- On page 5, panel 8, as Prime loads Sparkplug into Ratchet's ambulance mode, Ratchet's rear window is colored green in the TFCM version. (Why all these minor differences? Printing errors? Editorial corrections? I have no idea.)
- Also, Ratchet's transformation sequence was reprinted in the TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE profile for Ratchet that was included in TRANSFORMERS COMICS MAGAZINE #2. They must have gone back to the original art, since all the dialogue balloons are missing in this version. Also, Ratchet's actually colored correctly in this version, instead of having a red face, boots, and headlights.
TRANSFORMERS COMICS MAGAZINE #2
- Here's one that's new and different. In this issue, there are four generic Decepticons that we've never seen before, attending to the warriors who were knocked out last issue. Where did these guys come from? Apparently, they don't exist at all, since Shockwave will mention later that there are only eleven Decepticons on Earth, which doesn't account for these guys. (I believe this is the first comics appearance of Reflector, a character who was never officially introduced in any Marvel comic and never got a TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE profile. However, just as with the above Jetfire appearance, the Marvel artists may have been working from Sunbow model sheets without realizing which characters they were drawing. More on Reflector's role in the comics in a moment.)
- On the bottom of page 9, Ravage's eyes are black like the rest of him in the TFCM version.
- On the first panel of page 11, Shockwave's wearing a weird symbol on his arm. It's sort of an amalgam of the Autobot and Decepticon insignias.
- When we first see the Dinobots on the second panel, every one of them except for Swoop is in his respective model sheet pose. Come on, guys, you could have at least tried to produce original drawings.
- On the first panel of page 13, Bumblebee is colored like Cliffjumper.
- On page 14, panel 1, as the Decepticons blast the volcano, we see Brawn and Windcharger among the Autobots who react. The only five Autobots who should be functional at this point are Prime, Ironhide, Huffer, Blue Streak, and Mirage.
- When Ravage bites off Mirage's arm on page 15, Ravage's snout is colored blue, like Mirage's arm, rather the dark blue that makes up the rest of Ravage. (This was corrected for the TFCM version.)
- Windcharger shows up again on the fifth panel on page 16.
- Here's an odd one. On the first panel of page 17, Megatron's helmet and fusion cannon are colored grey in the TFCM version (using a red-yellow-blue mechanical tint), but they're dark blue in the full-sized version.
- On panel 5, page 18, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe appear with the Autobots. There are seven Autobots in this scene, all told.
- Again, on the bottom of page 18, Rumble's weapon blast isn't colored in the TFCM printing, but it's yellow like the other Decepticons' blasts in the regular version. (I'm not even documenting all these, you know. Actually, I'll probably stop now.) Also, Cliffjumper's in this scene.
- On page 20, Sunstreaker and Windcharger show up again. Much more significant than that, though, is proof positive that Reflector is among the Decepticons on Earth. You can clearly see a robot identical to his design. Even though he's colored wrong (like Rumble), no other Transformer has that most distinctive camera lens on his chest.
- Windcharger's there again on page 21, but he's colored like Mirage this time.
- The phrase "take me to your leader" shows up again as "O's" father, in a Prime costume, plays a joke on his son. I still have no idea where it originated from, though.
- Mister O's.
- Bumblebee, Windcharger, Brawn, Sunstreaker, and Sideswipe.
BACK TO THE TOP
BACK TO TRANSFORMERS COMICS BLOOPERS
BACK TO THE ZMFTS
This Page Created 2/28/2001
Last Update: 2/7/2003