For those of you who have been following along on my Transformers comic reviews, I have found something worth sharing before continuing. I have been saying on on my blog, and on the Transmissions podcast I cohost, that there was never a trade paperback of the Headmasters story line. You could not go out and pick up a book that had all the collected works of the Headmasters. At least that is what I honestly thought until I sat down to do a recent recording of Transmissions.


It turns out one of our knowledgeable listeners heard us speaking false truths about the lack of a collected headmasters book and set us straight. Joe Teanby, on Facebook pointed out to us all that Titan books had released a collected volume of headmaster comics under the name of Transformers, Book 7: Trial By Fire. The book is a little old, but you can still find it on and eBay. That might be an alternative to the actual comics for those of you following along with my Transformers Reviews. My next four reviews will be from the Transformers Headmasters limited series. Happy Hunting.

After my review of the four issue limited series of the Headmasters I will be going back into the Transformers comics as these books take place just before Transformers 38. Below is an expert from the Trail by Fire collected Headmasters book. Its a copy of Budiansky’s Headmasters’ story proposal.

Bob Budiansky
Proposal for 4-issue Limited Series:
On Sale Date: March, 1987

The purpose of this limited series is to introduce a major new storyline to the Transformers saga and new characters from the 1987 storyline: The Headmasters, The Targetmasters, The Terrorcons and the monster Autobots, among others. What follows is an approximate breakdown of the plots for the 4 issues:

#1–“The Price of Peace!”
A group of peace-loving Autobots, led by Fortress Maximus, escape their civil war-ravaged world, Cybertron, and come to the paradise planet of Nebulos. But the humanoid Nebulans mistake the Autobots’ arrival as an invasion, and so they attack. Eventually, the Autobots prove their good intentions when some of them offer their heads and others offer their weapons to the Nebulans to do with as they wish. In return, they ask that the rest of their contingent be allowed to live in peace, an offer the Nebulans accept.

#2–“Shado Across the Land!”
A rival group of Nebulans, led by Lard Zarak, become jealous and suspicious of the power of the Nebulans who control the weaponless and headless Autobots. Lord Zarak contacts Cybertron and summons a group of Deceptocons, led by Scorponok, to Nebulos to balance the power. Initionally, the Deceptocons turn on their hosts and attempt to destroy the Autobots and conquer Nebulos for themselves. This prompts the Autobot-controlling Nebulans to defend themselves by using their Autobot charges to counterattack. But this solution has cataclysmic results since the Nebulan-controlled Autobots are no match for the Decepticons. Finally, a bold and dramatic decision is reached: the Nebulans allow the minds of the headless Autobots to be grafted on to their own, and then allow themslves to be bio-engineered so they themselves can transform and assume control of the Autobots (since most Nebulans still don’t trust the Autobots on their own) and, at the same time, use the Autobots’ own minds to guarantee maximum fighting performance. Similarly, other Nebulans graft their minds on the specially manufactured weapons that Headmasters and the Targetmasters. The Nebulan-Autobot combination quickly proves to be a superior fighting force to the Decepticons and decisively beats them.

#3–“Two Heads are Deadlier than One!”
The Decepticons realize the only way to defeat the Autobots is to become Headmasters and Targetmasters like them, so they turn to their former allies, the Lord Zarak-led Nebulans. Now with the sides roughly even, globe-spanning battles ensue that bring Nebulos to the edge of destruction.

With the outcome of the war still in doubt, the Autobot-Nebulans look to the stars for help. They discover Earth, and a similar Autobot-Deceticon war raging there. They reject contacting the Earth Autobots for fear of making things on Earth even worse. But Lord Zarak finds out about the Autobot-Nebulans’ discovery. Looking about him and seeing that he’s brought the world he was trying to save, Nebulos, to the brink of destruction during a final battle in which he Autobot-Nebulans seem to have victory within their reach, Lord Zarak abandons Nebulos and leads his Decepticon-Nebulan group to Earth. He predicts that with their power added to their Earth cousins, the Deceticon-Nebulan axis will conquer Earth. Meanwhile, back on Nebulos, the Autobot Nebulans have won, at least for now, but it is a hollow victory–they’ve allowed the Decepticon-Nebulans to spread their infection to another world. The Autobot-Nebulans decide to follow.

Probablyaround July, 1987, a giant-sized Transformer comic will merge the two storylines in the regular Transformers comic and the limited series. all four factions will meet, take sides and eventually fight in a huge battle. depending on whether we plan to turn the limited series into a regular title, either the Headmasters and Targetmasters will stay on Earth or they will return to Nebulos.


The host of the YOSHICAST and TRANSMISSIONS Podcast. Transformers enthusiast and comic book collector.