I loved this issue back in the day because it had Blaster in it and any story with Blaster in it was immediately awesome plus the shock of seeing the Ark sore through space again was a genuinely shocking and massive event for my young mind to cope with.
Looking at it as an adult I think it deserves kudos for having a storyline where the leader of the good guys is going completely insane to the point of attempted muder of one of his troops (Wheeljack)! While the execution may seem off when exposed to analysis 20-odd years later by Fan Minds it's quite a ballsy concept for a kids comic when you stop to think about it.
Sorry for the delay in replying Ralph- it's not be a great week health wise for me (nothing serious, just that slight nergy that drags you down just enough to be irritating), but it's always great to hear a more positive spin on the issues that don't press my buttons and you may have seen by now you've gotten a shout out in the 144 piece as a result.
That cover has a wonderful double meaning. Using one of those claws you can never catch a decent toy! No wonder Blaster thinks they're safe.
I have my doubts as to how many stories Bob Budiansky could have gotten out of the adventures of the Headmasters and Targetmasters on Nebulos, as it seems like a pretty boring place—just your standard futuristic utopia with quasi-Roman clothing and government.
Then again maybe he had a whole civilisation in mind and just never got the chance to show it off. This would explain some of the background details of the Nebulan partners in the later “Transformers Universe” entries that appeared as backups in the regular series. These Nebulans’ back-stories were always my favourite part of those entries. There’s the guy who’s a carefree surfer who just wants to surf all the waves in the galaxy (and surprisingly, he’s bonded to a Decepticon!), the good-natured guy who ran the complaints department and could deal with anybody no matter how unpleasant they were, the guy who looked after the cleanliness of the water systems, the hammy actor, and the office manager! This suggests a whole 20th-century-Earth-like society that we never got to see, as mostly it seems like your standard futuristic utopia. The closest we get is that when we revisit Nebulos for the rebuilding of Optimus Prime, there are seedy bars where you can find professional theives, and guys who used to be hot-rodding teenagers. This isn’t just Krypton with the occasional giant robot menace.
I thought of another actor who could have played Zarak in the 1980s: Sam Wanamaker. Zarak looks a bit like him in the panel you scanned on the previous page.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe