The Great Car Rally

Written by Dwight J. Zimmerman
Illustrated by Earl Norem

This book was published by Kid Stuff with a copyright of 1984, 1985. It was originally published by Marvel Books.

Notes on this book:

This book was originally available as a Marvel Big Looker, which did not come with an audio recording. A recording was made for this book, however. I've never heard it -- I don't even know if it had the same production staff. I would love to get a copy, though. Hint, hint.

It's one of Earl Norem's painted Big Lookers, so the artwork is, first of all, beautiful, but more on-topic it's mostly on-model, although Mirage looks a little weird. Megatron has his early comic book model rather than the cartoon model (distinguised by his round, black helmet instead of the silver one). Sparkplug's son is depicted as Buster but given the name Spike. (This is also the case in Norem's "Battle for Cybertron".)

[ Megatron drives an evil convertible. ]Cliffjumper is referred to as Blow-Out once.

The really amusing parts of the book, though are Cliffjumper's car mode -- which features eyeballs in his headlights -- and Megatron's appearance as the driver of the black convertable near the end of the race. (Note that Megatron's car has eyeballs, too, but looks mean instead of scared like Cliffjumper. Which is really quite a feat artistically considering neither car has obvious eyebrows to convey emotion.) Much like Sunstreaker shooting the crap out of a tractor trailer in "Decepticon Hijack", the Megatron picture is forever burned into some fans' minds.

[ Prime, sans mouthplate. ]The other quirk is that Optimus Prime has a mouth instead of a faceplate. This is seen in some early Prime artwork, presumably due to an ambiguous model sheet. His art in Marvel's TF Universe is clear, so I'm not sure where I've seen it before, but there is a "standard" Prime portrait out there with a funny crooked line which is meant to be the top of his plate, but appears a bit like a mouth line instead.

The story itself involves the Autobots entering a race in order to win a year's supply of gas and oil. The Decepticons show up, naturally, and cause trouble. It was written by Dwight Zimmerman, who did several coloring books as well.

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Last updated on 2003-Oct-12.