This book was published by Marvel Books with a copyright of 1984.
Generally odd artwork. Dery models as the base, but with many liberties taken and very off colors. Lots of generic background characters. All the faction insignia are pasted on after the fact. Pretty slopily, too.
A lot of things happen "suddenly" in this book.
On page 5, Prime's right foot is... really weird and huge. Also, he is carrying his gun around with him on his morning stroll.
Based on all the references to their last battle, I wonder if this book is set immediately following another book in the series.
A 1985 book, it makes mention of Red Alert... but the character who is apparently supposed to be him looks nothing like him. (As seen to the right.) Blitzwing is featured, and is also pretty far off model, but nowhere near as badly. He's recognizable, while Red Alert is purely generic.
Page 9: More giant feet! Prime and Ratchet, both!
"Shooting Star" is fascinating to me... It's artwork is cribbed directly from p11, panel 2 of the first issue of the comic series, depicting the sensor drone which scanned new altmodes for the characters slumbering in the Ark. This drone serves the same purpose as the cartoon's "Sky Spy", although it looks different and is never given a name in the comics. Still, Shooting Star is clearly not merely Sky Spy or the sensor drone: it's a sentient entity with emotions. Its characterization is vaguely Cosmos-like, enough that personally I have trouble accepting it as a coincidence. I wonder if Shooting Star was perhaps a very early name for the Cosmos toy / character. Blitzwing is in this book, after all, and he's a Season Two guy, too.
The master plan of the Decepticons in this book is to steal a single oil truck. This is such a big operation that they need to send all three Skyraiders along with Laserbeak and Buzzsaw to distract the Autobots from intervening. And somehow this will lead to a net gain in fuel.
Page 14 says the men don't see Blitzwing "lurking" behind their truck because he had changed to his robot mode. He seems pretty conspicuous in the art on the previous page, though, as do the other Decepticons on page 15. In fact, three more Decepticons land next to or walk up to the truck and have a conversation, all without the men noticing anything. (Maybe they're using the same sneakiness techniques employed by Devastator in the big Marvel storybook, "The Autobots' Secret Weapon".) I almost get the impression that the author didn't realize these are giant robots. If they were human-sized, this sequence would almost make sense. The artist, however, makes them absolutely enormous. Far larger than they are normally depicted.
Page 17: I'm curious about how Sunstreaker managed to get close enough to straddle the truck and fire at it before the Decepticons - who were hiding behind it themselves - noticed and tried to stop him. The bizarre image of him firing at the truck is one of the most distinct in the book, almost as memorable for me as Megatron popping out of his car in "The Great Car Rally".
Pages 18 and 19 are so wonderful... for one thing, we get to see that Swoop's dino mode has hair. Then there's this classic excerpt: "Megatron fired but missed. This enraged the mild-mannered Swoop. Swoop dropped an air-to-air missile launcher with the power of 5000 pounds of TNT." Why would he drop an air-to-air anything? Much less a missile launcher? And what's the point of bringing up the TNT equivalence?
Prime can detect human life signs with his hands, and apparently he can smile. Oh, and fainting humans are funny to the Autobots.
(Steve-o's TF Mainpage)