I have a convention to prepare for, so let’s make this quick. You’ve seen my Bumblebee shelf and I’ve reviewed some of my newest acquisitions. If you’re at all curious as to why I like the little guy so much, here’s a review of the comic that got me into him, straight from my other site.
The Transformers #16
Marvel Comics (May, 1986)
also republished by IDW in Transformers: Generations #4 (June, 2006)“Plight of the Bumblebee” WRITER: Len Kaminski PENCILER: Graham Nolan INKER: Tom Morgan LETTERER: Bill Oakley COLORIST: Nelson Yomtov EDITOR: Mike Carlin COVER ART: Herbe Timpe (credited in the IDW version which doesn’t use that cover) SELECTED IDW COVER (see end of article): Nick Roche SPLASH PAGE: Eliot Brown
Feeling like he’s a burden on the Autobots, Bumblebee decides to run off. However, Shockwave believes the little Autobot is perfect for his plans and his group of Decepticon rushes to attack him while he’s vulnerable. Hiding in a car lot, Bumblebee is stolen by a pair of joyriders who are in for one interesting experience as Transformers and humans alike pursue the little yellow guy who realizes that his friends still want and need him.
What they got right: Len Kaminski subs in this filler story and he does a good job with the characters. The art work is some of the best of the period and I do love a good human/Transformer interaction story. The end is just plain silly, but still works. You have the Decepticons chasing Bumblebee, you have the cops chasing Bumblebee (for speeding before seeing the Cons), and the Air Force chasing the Decepticons. Great moment.
What they got wrong: In addition to some spelling errors, Laserbeak is colored like Buzzsaw and somehow Mt. St. Hilary (the name given to the volcano the Autobots’ ship crashed into in the comics), usually depicted as being in Oregon, moved to Wisconsin. That or Bumblebee traveled quite a distance. Also, and this may be the “fault” of being a filler story, Bumblebee talks about being no help in their last battle, which was issue #15 where none of the Autobots were able to do anything thanks to trigger-happy military types. Optimus couldn’t even do anything. By the way, Wheeljack and Prowl are being attended to after the battle, but unless there was another battle between #15 and #16, which Mr. Caption Box say there wasn’t, they weren’t even there.
Other Notes: This was the comic that solidified Bumblebee as my favorite Autobot. You have to remember that as a kid I struggled with my own self-worth issues so seeing an Autobot that had the same problem I did endeared him to me. It helped that he was the one who got along best with humans. If only I had improved as much as Bumblebee/Goldbug had. Took me a lot longer, but still made him something of a role model.
Recommendation: I’m biased as heck towards this comic but there’s still a decent story and I wish Kaminski had taken over for Budiansky years later instead of Simon Furman. Give this one a look.
I mainly picked up the reprint so I wouldn’t do any damage to my original copy. Well, any more than I already have.