Bob Budiansky is another TF writer who doesn't seem to have done too much creative comics work elsewhere though he had a long stint in Marvel editorial. Other than one-off pieces his main other work was pencilling and coplotting the last year or so of the original Ghost Rider and writing the entire run of Sleepwalker.
"Back "Today" (would Spider-Man being in black costume give away this is from 1986 rather than '87?) "
Either would work. Spidey was in the cloth version of the black costume from late 1984 until early 1988, either exclusively or time sharing with his more traditional red and blue/black one. Of course since the regular UK Spidey reprints had stopped before that it could conceivably be any point before he returned to our newstands in 1990.
I get the feeling that by the time it ended being on Transformers for so long in a JN-T style "Persuaded to stay" way pretty much killed his enthusiasm for regular comic writing outside of his self created book.
So from a US point of view, this was Goldbug's first main comic appearance, right? Wasn't he rebuilt by Action Force or something? Have those issues ever been reprinted?
It must have felt weird from a UK perspective to have ended the last issue with a GOLDBUG IN TROUBLE! cliffhanger, only to see him alive and well in this issue...
@Chris - the G.I.Joe vs Transformers mini-series was eventually reprinted later in the UK title's run. The UK instead got the Death's Head origin for Goldbug (see issue 114 of this very blog! - that actually sounds confusing...) and the crossover with Action Force (which under Hasbro became the UK version of G.I.Joe).
The G.I.Joe vs Transformers crossover itself was also reprinted as a bumper special one-shot by Marvel US in 1993 just ahead of the start up of the Generation 2 lead in in G.I.Joe that same year, with an Andrew Wildman cover. It has subsequently been collected and reprinted by IDW in the recent run of classic G.I.Joe reprints.
As for this story, this does mark the less impressive 'middle years' of the US Transformers book. The worst excesses of this are the potentially interesting military angle with RAAT/III which surfaces again but gets curtailed rather abruptly around the time the Throttlebots are turned into toy cars which I always thought was a shame.
And yes, Grimlock being portrayed as an absolute tool is just dreadful. Despite his temper tantrums and nearly killing some children (a real low point), he is a rather effective Autobot leader. He gets the Ark repaired in no time at all and the Autobots are soon spacebound again. It's a shame Budiansky couldn't bring himself to make the best of his lot as there's some potentially interesting things going on, but they're buried under an avalanche of daft stories that'd make the cartoon blush.
None of this is helped by the rather functional artwork the US book helps either. This issue is one of Don Perlin's better efforts, but like a lot of US artists, there's no energy or sense of pace to the action and it all feels very static and slow.
The four issue American Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover (with the G2 lead in issues, though they make no sense unless you're reading the G.I. Joe issues around them. And also reading G2 for the pay off: http://www.amazon.co.uk/G-I-JOE-Transformers-Volume-1/dp/1613773528/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410049879&sr=8-2&keywords=transformers+g.i.+joe
[I'd go for some of the Marketplace sellers you can get it for less than a tenner even with the postage factored in]
I like Mr. Bigelow’s chin.
Grimlock being a bad leader (especially, as you mentioned, after supposedly learning his lesson in issue #27) was not ideal but preferable to his later portrayal as an unlikeable, badass hero who bullies his own followers and can never be wrong.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe