Forest Rescue Mission

Story by Dwight Jon Zimmerman
Art by Brad Joyce

This book was published by Marvel Books with a copyright of 1985. ISBN 0-87135-037-8.

The scans live here: http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/tf/books/coloring/forest/. Browse them at your leisure. "FC" is the front cover. You can use the forest-all.html file to load all the pictures on one page (may be slow). These scans were contributed by Derik Smith.

Artwork notes:
[ Combat deck. ] Brad Joyce also drew The Battle At Oil Valley, which featured a lot of blobby-looking characters. This book has a huge amount of artwork lifted from other coloring books -- mainly Decepticon Patrol. The pictures aren't exactly the same -- they've been redrawn by Joyce, but are clear copies of other coloring book pages. Much of the copied art comes from Decepticon Patrol. Some of these pages show the strange D.P. models (especially on the skyraider heads), but most have been updated. Bumblebee appears in this book with the "cute" head-on-a-cube look he sports in Summertime Coloring Book (drawn by Carlos Garzon). For example, page 4 of this book is the same as page 3 of Decepticon Patrol. Compare the two and you will see a lot of these pages. I'm not even going to bother listing them.

Some other interesting art notes... Page 14 shows some generic Decepticons, as well as a Rumble/Frenzy type robot with a visor instead of a pair of eyes. On page 36, Prime uses his combat deck, but... it's drawn just like his Cybertronian altmode from the first issue of the old Marvel comic. On page 29, I think that's Sunstreaker on the right, charging along with his fellow Decepticons. Lastly, Sparkplug's son is, as usual, drawn to look like Buster rather than Spike. However, his name is given as "Butch" -- quite a rarity, but not unheard of.

As far as the other character models go, it's a little shakey. It looks like up to date models were on hand for the artist, but a lot of liberties have been taken. The art in Decepticon Patrol was significantly better, despite the odd models that book used.

Story notes:
[ Prime feeds a rabbit. ] Like many Zimmerman TF coloring books, Megatron's plan here is centered on building an army of Decepticons with a factory. The plan is unusually thin, though, even for one of these coloring books. The entire extent is this: tear up the forest so they can build a factory. The Autobots stop them from tearing up the forest, and Megatron shouts, "The Autobots stopped my plans, but they won't stop me from getting away!" His plan was tearing up the forest. ::sigh::

Also as noted above, Sparkplug's son is referred to as "Butch" in this book. Hound uses something like a hologram, as he does in the cartoon series, except he calls it a "Trick Light" and describes it in a way that makes it sound a little like the tech spec description of Mirage's ability (ie. making things appear where they aren't).

And, to go along with the repeated artwork from Decepticon Patrol, there is also a very conspicuous repeated story element: Bumblebee catches Laserbeak in an electrified net. This was a strange enough thing to happen even once, but twice? Either Zimmerman's source material about these characters stated that Bumblebee uses an electrified net (unlikely) or he intentionally dropped that into the story to help save time or something, knowing that much of the artwork was coming from that previous book anyway. This makes me very curious, as LiquidVelcro! tells me that he remembers a coloring book in which the Decepticon Patrol picture of Huffer holding two skyraiders on his shoulders was repeated, but -- like in this book -- with the correct character models. I initially thought he was probably mistaken, but, now I'm not so sure...

[ Cleaning up the forest. ] Summary:
This book starts out with a few pages of character introductions, and then jumps into the story. The Decepticons are walking through a forest when suddenly Megatron declares it to be "the day of the Decepticons". He orders his troops to patrol the Earth and find a spot they can use to make a new army. As soon as they've flown off, he decides the forest they are already standing in will be perfect, so his remaining troops start shooting and uprooting trees. At the same time, the Autobots are on vacation in the same forest. While driving around, Hound finds the Decepticons and alerts Optimus, who leads his men off to stop the Decepticons from ruining the woodland. There's a big fight. Bumblebee uses his net. Hound uses his Trick Light to make Megatron think he is about to catch the Witwickys. Once the gag has been revealed, though, and he's unable to pick up the humans, Megatron declares that his plans have been foiled and calls for retreat. Afterwards, the Autobots "fix" the blasted and charred forest, making it just like new again.

The good bits:
[ Perspective is out of whack. ] [ Megatron appears to be throwing a tantrum. ] On Bumblebee's introductory page, standing next to Hound, the little guy appears significantly taller than usual.

"Look at this beautiful wilderness!" says Megatron. "It's a great place to build a Decepticon factory! Get rid of all these stupid trees!"

On pages 23 and 24, Optimus is admiring the forest and... holding an enormous carrot, which he then gives to a very out-of-place, cartoony bunny rabbit.

Page 25 defies many laws of perspective.

Megatron is an idiot, and a big baby.


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Last updated on 2005-Feb-14.