Optimus Prime is Back! Well, he has been back in a virtual capacity for a few issues. But this time he his back with a kicking new body thanks to the help of the Nebulonions. The only question is will he live? I don’t want to give to much away so lets jump to the cover art and then the review!


Autobot Up With Wheeljack From 80sTees.com!

ugh… Why do so many covers have to be yellow? Sigh… Alright, Optimus prime is front and center on this yellow background cover. Though he looks a little different. This is because he has gone through the Powermaster upgrade. This is punctuated by the Nebulonion popping out of his front grill plate. Darkwing and Dreadwind are flying in and firing down upon the great prime as he fires back. Several other Autobot Powermasters rally behind him.


We open this book on the planet of Nebulos. The Gardens of Eternal Peace and Harmony Macrobiotic Restaurant (holy hell that was a mouth full), is under attack by a jet which splits into the Decepticons, Dreadwind and Darkwing. The two are arguing among themselves as  Transformable humanoids disengaged from the Decepticons. These two bio engineered Nebulans are Hi-Test and Throttle (not a very Nebulonion name if you ask me), and confront the maitre d’ of the restaurant and demand a large amount of food.


The Steelhaven arrives over Nebulos taking orbit. It’s crew travel to the surface to meet with the Nebulan Scientist, Hi-Q. The Scientist is very reluctant to aid the Autobots in their missions of constructing a body for Optimus Prime.


It is explained to the Autobots that Hi-Q’s partner, Hi-Test were tasked with coming up with a means of preventing the Transformers from ever returning. Under the direction of the scientists, a bomb was set off which resulted in the tainting of all the fuel sources on Nebulos. Any Transformer that consumes this energy will be poisoned. Hi-Q’s success in developing the poison resulted in Hi-Test quitting due to his jealousy.

In searching for Scorponok’s crew, Darkwing and Dreadwind become poisoned by the local fuel. Hi-Test teams up with Throttle to steal Hi-Q’s research of something called the Powermaster Process. This allows Nebulans themselves to provide the power to a Transformer. Hi-Test and Throttle undertake the process and partner up with Darkwing and Dreadwind.

In order for the Nebulans to power the Deceitpcons they require large amounts of food which means a lot of the Deceitpcon attacks are just so they can feed the Nebulons powering them.

With Hi-Q unable to stop the Decepticons, Goldbug believes they can. Hi-Q warns Goldbug that the Autobots will be poisoned is they consume the local fuel. Goldbug remains steadfast that they stay and complete their mission regardless of the dangers. Hi-Q offers his facility and services to aid their battle, but wont be sad if they fail in the end.


The Autobots next hear of an attack on the council of pears by the Deceitpcons looking to find out more about Scroponok and his crew. As the Autobots engage the Decepticons, they put up little of a resistance as the Powermaster Decepticons prove to superior.


The Autobots return to Hi-Q’s lab and finish work on Optimus Prime’s new body. Even though the Autobots are warned that Optimus Prime will only function for a short time due to the poison that will be running through his body, his mind is transferred from the computer disk and into the body.


Optimus Prime is activated and told of his new upgrade that allows his trailer to combine with his body granting him more power than ever before. But Optimus Prime still has not accepted he is more than a computer simulation.


Shortly after activation, Prime experiences incredible pain as the poisoned fuel used to activate him works his effects on his body. It is through this pain that Optimus Prime realizes that if he can feel, then he can potentially die and accepts that he must be a living being.

It is here that Hi-Q starts to understand that no only are the Autobots alive, but they are also noble. He offers himself to the Powermaster process to save Optimus Prime’s life. An additional three of his staff members agree to also help out the remaining Autobots, Joyride, Getaway, and Slapdash. Guldbug does not need any help as he uses less fuel than the other Autobots.

Later, Darkwing and Dreadwind attack Hi-Q’s lab. They are met by resistance from the Powermaster Autobots. The dueling bots seem evenly matched when Optimus Prime shows up and ends the fight quickly.


Hi-Q speak with Hi-Test and points out that his jealousy has caused Nebulos to return to a war state. The Nebulos Council sentenced Hi-Test and Throttle to exile. They join up with their Decepticon partners and take off to an unknown location.

Goldbug prepares to leave on the Steelhaven alone. Since the Powermaster process has tied Autobot and Nebulan together, he does not see them wanting to leave the planet. However, the Nebulans come to believe that since they are binary-bonded, they may not have a home on the planet anymore. The Autobots and their new partners say by to their planet and depart.

My Thoughts On This Issue

Picking up this issue and wanting to read about the return of Optimus Prime so badly, I originally over looked how different prime looked on the cover. When Prime is returned to life he looks the same until he is upgraded to Powermaster Prime to save his life. The kids want Optimus Prime back. Not something that resembles Optimus Prime. I would like to think in 1988 that there was still a healthy demand for the original toy and that Hasbro would have made a lot of money continuing selling it. But I guess they felt they had to alter it enough to sell it again. Really, it’s to bad.

Sadly, this story just feels like a rehash of so many other Transformers stories I have been reading recently. The Autobots or Decepticons get a new technology and their counterparts upgrade to the same technology.

Transmission Letters This Issue

Transformers_issue_42_TransmissionsDear Misguided Autobot Lovers,
I just gotta write this: In TRANSFORMERS issue #37, you made the Predacons look like a bunch of mis-wired clods. It just ain’t fair. Stop making the awesome Deceitpcons look like a meeting of Wimps Anonymous. Sure, They’re not exactly the friendliest guys in the world, and Ratbat may be a jerk, but please, show a little sympathy.
Another thing – are the Throttlebots gone forever? Their bodies don’t look so good. I spent most of my allowance collecting them and then you go and do this. Now I’ve got to find a car crusher that will smash such tiny cars!
Overall, you people are doing a wonderful job. I wanna see Octane meet up with Ratbat. That should show the Ratster how to conserve fuel! Keep up the great work, Oh yeah, I loved the HEADMASTERS!
Steve De Anda
El Paso, TX

Sympathy? You want sympathy for a giant robot who’s… unh… looking over my shoulder menacingly as I type this? Why, sure, Steve, no problem! Oh, and Ratbat has the address of that car crusher you wanted…

Dear Don,
I really love anything to do with the TRANSFORMERS, the comic, the toys, the cartoon, the movie, everything. I do have a few questions:
1) Now that there are a bunch of new Transformers (not to mention the Headmasters) are you going to be making a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE?
2) Will we see Metroplex and Trypticon?
3) Are you bringing back Willam Johnson? I love his pencils.
4) Are you going to change the name of the comic to TRANSFORMERS: MORE MUCH MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE?
Thanks, guys, and keep up the good work …I need my TRANSFORMERS!
Tim Shinsky
Lorain, OH

1) Yup, this summer we’ll give you four more issues of the tantalizing TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE, with a bunch of those Headmasters guys and all kinds of neat new stuff.
2) No plans right now, but you never know what Bob Budiansky’ll be up to next, so keep tuned.
3) We’re trying, we’re trying… but Ol’ William isn’t easy to convince. Maybe giving his address to Ratbat…?
4) Nope.
Hope we were able to answer all your questions, Tim… and, by the way, are you any relation to Smilin’ Sara Tuchinsky, our glamorous and scintillatin’ receptionist? (Hi Sara)

Dear Transmissions,
I recently read issue #38 of the TRANSFORMERS. The story was better than usual, and the Headmasters were O.K., but i agree with Shingo that the TRANSFORMERS had to be one of the worse comics in the world. The art has been stinky since the first issue. The only issue with decent art was issue #16, and it wasn’t really good, just decent. The stories are the same thing over and over, every time. The characters have no personalities. In each issue, each character gets two lines. First he’ll introduce himself, and then he’ll say, “Me Robot, kill you Robot.”
You guys can’t even get the facts straight in your own story. Buster and Spike can’t be in the same Comic: they are actually the same person. One’s from the comic book and one’s from the cartoon. Don’t expect us and one’s from the cartoon. Don’t expect us to believe that they are brothers. You also stupidly gave Spike brown hair, I can’t believe you guys.
Shannon Smith
St. Paul, VA

We can’t believe you either Shannon, and we’re trying really hard, too. Hey, why not take another look at the TRANSFORMERS? Read the stories carefully. Example the motives of the various characters. And if you still think we stink, write back and tell us! (For those of you out there who don’t believe that Marvel publishes critical mail… we’ve just been called stupid, stinky, and the worst comic in the world, all in one letter!)

Dear Transmissions,
So far, I’ve got three of the four HEADMASTER comics. Thought they were brill! By the way, when will Galvatron and Prime (Rodimus, that is) be entering the regular comic? And will there be an issue coming up with the Technobots? When will the Targetmasters make their entrance, and my favorite ‘Con Soundwave? By the way, does the word DECEPTICON mean Dumb, Evil, Creepy Electronic Pieces of Trash’ /n Cans Of Noodles?
Paul Nuernberg
Brisbane, Austrailia

Not Exactly, Paul, but certainly, er, brill. As for your questions, the Technobots and Targtmasters will return, but you won’t be seeing Galvatron and Rodimus Prime in the regular TRANSFORMERS until 2005. Soundwave has been in both issues #39 and 41, so get those back issues fast!

Dear Transmissions,
I just finished reading issue #38 and I loved it. Having Headmasters on Earth is really exciting. I can’t wait until the Headmasters meet up with the regular Transformers. Boy, talk about surprises! It will teach all those Decepts that humans aren’t as puny as they seem.
I was sorry to see Galen die, although you handled it well. It will also be neat to see Spike Witwicky become the leader of the HEadmasters.
My favorite Autobots are Fortress Maximus, Optimus Prime, and Jetfire. My favorite Decepticons are Scorponok, Weird Wolf and Starscream. I have a great idea: why not make a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE featuring the Headmasters, Targetmasters, and the other new Transformers?
Mike Smith
Wast Brookfield, MA

As you can see from Tim’s letter about a whole bunch of you want a new TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE, and who are we to say no!?! The Targetmasters will be in there, too, Mike. Meanwhile, you can use your old TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE to help you tell us which Transformers are your favorites and why. We’ll print those letters here in Transmissions, so watch for your name here.

New Ads This Issue


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

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. One word to describe my reaction when I read this comic for the first time in the 8th grade: yuck.

    Let’s get the positive stuff out of the way. Optimus Prime realizing he’s a living being was heartfelt and after almost two years of being out of commission – it was a great return to form.

    Now… the bad stuff.
    As you said – even in the 8th grade (the age where you’re supposed to care the least about the toys of your childhood) – I was excited to see Prime back in action. Then, I was treated to arguably one of the worst names for a character imaginable (Hi-Q) being forced to act as Prime’s ‘heartbeat’. In essence, you won’t just get Optimus, you have to get Optimus-plus Hi-Q.

    The second issue – as you said – is his body. Instead of the lean, unstoppable fighting machine, you get a clunky, awkward-looking Optimus with a ton of unnecessary accessories cheaply tacked on.

    This ends the saga of how Budianski/Marvel Comics handled Prime’s death, and they could have handled it so much better. Prime couldn’t have met his maker in a worse way (the well known video game suicide). Now, his resurrection was equally botched. When Prime was finally up and operational, as you said, you weren’t given the Prime of old, you were given one of his worst redesigns ever.

    For non-geeks, think of it this way. Your parents end up ruining your copy of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti,” your absolute favorite album of all time. You’re crushed. But to appease you, they give you a present that looks like an album/tape/CD. Overjoyed, you open the package and you see a copy of Great White’s “Twice Shy”. Your feeling over joy becomes a feeling of bewilderment. The people responsible for this try to put a positive spin:
    “It sure as heck SOUNDS like Led Zeppelin!”
    “It was recorded using state of the art equipment, not like that ancient equipment used to record that ol’ Physical Graffiti.”

    You try to put on a happy face, but deep inside, you’re pissed. You don’t want “new and improved”. The old worked just fine.

    Damnit, I don’t want “new and improved” Optimus. I want the old Prime. No add-ons. No human components. Just straight up Optimus. You made a mistake that took you nearly two years to fix, I want my Optimus!

  2. I remember seeing the commercial for this comic on television and getting all excited about the figure and the story. I was so hyped by the commercial that it was a glorious moment the first time I saw PMOP on the shelves. I think it was at a KMart. The boxart was awesome with all those guns on his arms and the trailer combining gimmick was fantastic. I was sold sold sold. I’d broken my ’84 Prime to bits by then and didn’t care enough about it to get another one through the mail away forms where the original was still available well into 1986. Then PMOP hit and I wanted the new hotness.

    This was the one where they printed my letter. Imagine being 14 and so stoked about the toy and this momentous occasion in my life but then knowing all the kids at school couldn’t appreciate the accomplishment because they thought toys and comics were dumb. Oh well. I’m lucky that Jose Delbo does lots of convention appearances down here where I live. This was the first issue I ever had him sign.

  3. This is going to sound odd, but the one thing about this issue that disappointed me was that the cute girl in Hi-Q’s office didn’t bond with Goldbug! I wasn’t buying many toys by this time (so i didn’t know who would be a Powermaster and who wouldn’t be), but I thought the girl in this issue was cute. Her and Joy Meadows (from the UK comic). Anyway, that was my disappointment. I didn’t mind seeing Op back (but again, I never had the toy of the Powermaster)

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