Talk about seeing how the other half lives. Issue 17 focuses on the Autobot, Blaster and the Transformers home world of Cyberton. If you have already read issue 10 you will have a slightly better understanding who this story ties in with the rest of the Transformers’ story up to this point. Now lets check out this wicked cover.
The cover of issue 17 is pretty intense. Unknown transformers, possibly just random inhabitants of Cyberton are shown with horrific expressions on their faces as they fight to stay alive within the “Smelting Pool”. Prominently featured up front is Blaster, an Autobot we have not been introduced to before. He is shown upside down and falling into the smelting pool. A look of horror across his fast as it appears he is experiencing his very last moments of life. In the far upper background of the cover are buildings. One of which is displaying a Decepticon logo with what appears to be several Decepticons watching the Transformers melt down below them as Blaster is free falling. The cover is colored in with red, orange, yellow, purple and white to convey how hot things are in this pool. Underneath and to the right of the white Transformers logo in a bright hello box which reads “MEANWHILE, BACK ON CYBERTRON…” On the left side of the cover written in bold orange reads, “INTO THE SMELTING POOL!”
Opening up on the Transformers’ home planet of Cybertron, Blaster, is waiting for his fellow Autobot, Scrounge. While he waits, Blaster is attacked by a Decepticon sweeping the area. Blaster makes short work of him, establishing himself, officially, as a badass.
So, while Blaster is waiting around for Scrounge and fighting off Deceptcons, Scrounge is breaking into a Decepticon base, Fortress Darkmount. Using the sensors attached to his special arm, Scourge records a transmission received by Shrapnel and other Decepticons, who claim it is of great importance. With the information gathered, Scourge attempts to leave the base, acidently trips an alarm. Scourge is captured just out side the base.
Blaster goes back to Autobase without Scourge and tries to convince his follow Autobots to help out with a search party. Base Commander Perceptor, argues that Scourge is not very reliable and that it would be a waste of resources to go looking for him. Perceptor finally agrees to allow the Autobots to look for Scrounge because his most of his fellow Autobots feel its what they should be doing.
Captured, Shrapnel escorts Scrounge to Decepticon commander Straxus. During a short Interrogation, Straxus destroys Scrounge’s special arm and orders that he be thrown into the smelting pool. The smelting pool is used to to melt down raw materials and Transformers and then uses the byproduct to aid in the Decepticons’ war effort.
The Autobots start questioning the poor, fuel starved Empties, about scrounge’s disappearance. They learn of his capture by the Decepticons. All the Autobots, but blaster give up hope as he continues on alone with out their help. Blaster breaks into Darkmount, but is soon captured and brought before Straxus who orders his execution into the smelting pool.
In the hot pool, Blaster finds Scrounge, who is barely hanging on to life. Most of his body melted. Autobots arrive to save blaster, but Scrounge is to far gone to save. Before his death he is able to pass on the recording of the Decepticon message to Blaster just before he is pulled out of the smelting pool by a fellow Autobot.
After the escape, the Autobots listen to Scrounge’s recording and learn that Optimus Prime and the other Autobots are alive on Earth.
My Thoughts On Issue 17
Let me start with the cover art here. As cool as it is, I don’t know if I saw it on the news stand back in 1986 if I would be as captivated as the folks at Marvel hopped it would be.
This is the first appearance of Blaster in the comic books and he quickly establishes himself as a major Autobot badass when he takes out a Decepticon hunter in the first pages. If I where buying this comic as a kid in 1986 and had concerned of it sucking, my concerns would have been levitated with in the first few panels.
Nothing really jumped out at me art wise. The book is drawn well. Just, nothing jumped out at me as amazing. I did enjoy seeing several deceptions in the background that I recognized, but have not seen in the comic book before. The Insecticons would be a good example. Seeing Perceptor was also awesome. Though he comes off more like very direct and almost as cold and calculating as Soundwave.
A very solid story and our first real look at Cyberton since the first issue. Judging by some of the letters I read in the Transmission section of a few of the last comics, a story on Cyberton had been most requested. Its nice to see the powers at be over at Marvel listened to the fans.
Transmission Letters This Issue.
I thoroughly enjoyed TRANSFORMERS #12. I’m happy that Optimus Prime finally got his head back on his body. IO couldn’t wait until he started blasting some Decepticons again, especially Shockwave. I despise Shockwave!
I really like what Bob Budiansky is doing with this book. The characterizations of the Transformers, as well as the humans, are exceptionally good. I’m sorry to see Buster Witwicky give up the Creation Matrix, thought. I thought that he would have made a great Super Hero if he had kept his powers. I was thinking that maybe he could fight Circuit Breaker, or something.
Anyway, I’d also like to say that I think the art is really getting better on the book. Even though I have bought every issue of TRANSFORMERS, I was not too happy with the art at first. I must say, thought, that I really enjoy reading the book now knowing the art is finally in good hands.
I just can’t wait until next issue when I finally see what Megatron has been up to. He is my favorite Decepticon and I’ve wanted to see him again since he disappearance many months ago. I knew he wasn’t dead! When he returns, thought, please show him in more issues, OK?
For you, Steve – anything!
Dear TRANSFORMERS crew,
I have just finished reading TRANSFORMERS #12, and I would like to say that I think it was really great. I mean, it’s about time that Optimus Prime got back into action. I was beginning to worry that his bodily circuits would atrophy. I really loved the way he trashed those Decepti-Rats at the end. The Big Op has been in a position of helpless inactivity for far too long.
I would also like to say that I think Buster Witwicky and Jessie are two great characters in the book. their involvement in the story and their relationship with each other – and the Autobots – add a lot of humanity and warmth to this giant robot story. no matter what else you do, Bob, please keep them in the story.
There is one thing that bothers me thought. I don’t see why Optimus Prime didn’t blast Shockwave when he had the chance. It would have only taken a second, and he still would have had time to rescue Buster. In any case, don’t do any sneaky Shockwave comebacks. that would annoy me since he sank like a rock when he fell in the swamp. Also, when will we learn what has happened on Cybertron? I want to know. In any case, your comic is fantastic. Keep up the great work!
David B. Mitchell
Well, Dave, In this very issue you see what has become of Cybertron – and we’ll bet it’s not like anything you expected! As for Shockwave – did you think that we would ever bring shockwave back on the sly? Us? Would we do something like that? Davie – You cut us to the quick.
I have recently begun purchasing your TRANSFORMERS series. I began reading it with TRANSFORMERS #12 and I really enjoyed it. I collected the figures and watch the TV show also. I really want the first eleven issues, thought. I have to know how the story started. Is there any way that you can help me?
Sorry, Jeff, but Marvel Comics does not sell back issues. In order to get back ISSUES of a certain comic, like TRANSFORMERS, you can either order them from the stores which advertise within these comics, or you can consult your local yellow Pages for the comic shops in your area. We;re sure they would be happy to help you out.
I have been collecting TRANSFORMERS figures since they where created and I have also collected the comic since it began. I enjoy both of them greatly. TRANSFORMERS #12 is another great issue from you guys at Marvel. I’m glad to see Optimus with his head back, again! I think Bob is doing a great job on TRANSFORMERS, but I wish that I could see more of my favorite character, Jetfire. I figure now that Optimus Prime has the Creation Matrix again, he’ll be able to give Jetfire a mind of his own. That would really make me happy.
the only thing that would make me even happier would be to see a special comic devoted to all of the TRANSFORMERS individually, a TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE if you will. That would set me up for life. Well, goodbye and keep up the good work!
What, huh, did you say that a TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE book would really make you happy, Tony? Well, more than a few readers have shown interest in just that type of book. Read on…
I have been collecting TRANSFORMERS since the beginning and I was wondering if you planned to do a special issue describing the new Transformers. If not, I think it would be a great idea to make a special issue describing all new and old TRANSFORMERS in different categories. The Dinobots, Constructicons, and Decepticons should be in it, too.
I have been a TRANSFORMERS freak ever since I bought the first comic and figure. I personally think that they’re great and I hope they continue being made forever.
One question that I have been meaning to ask, though, is do you plan to release something which shows all of the TRANSFORMERS and their abilities? I would really like to see something like that in the near future.
Kamloops, BC Canada
… Hey, how about a comic like the MARVEL UNIVERSE except for TRANSFORMERS. That would really make my day, maybe even my year!
Many of you have written letters requesting that we create a book about TRANSFORMERS in the same format as our MARVEL UNIVERSE, so we decided that it would be a good idea to make an OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE. we drafted a top editor for the book; namely Bob Harras. He is a pretty big name around here right now. Not only does he edit the Marvel titles X-FACTOR and the INCREDIBLE HULK, he has also written critically acclaimed stories in the pages of THOR, IRON MAN ANNUAL #7 and he is now working on the SHIELD Limited Series.
The TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE isn’t scheduled to be on the stands for many months yet, but we’ve been getting so much mail suggesting it, we’ll be sure to be the first to announce its completion! (With any luck, we hope to preview some of the TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE art work on this letters page very soon.) What do you think? Let’s keep hearing from you!
THE OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE is not the only project being worked on for TRANSFORMERS, Though. We thought you might be interested in yet another project being worked on at the present time – a full length animated TRANSFORMERS film! Yes, for the first time you will be able to see all of your favorite characters on the big screen. We are all anxiously waiting the motion picture epic, and you’ll do well to watch this letter column in the future months for more information concerning the film.