The Deadly Fuel Shortage

An image of the book's cover. Sideswipe and Bumblebee are shown on a blank background. Sideswipe is in his cartoon design, but colored almost entirely red. Bumblebee is badly drawn based on his toy. Both of their vehicle modes are on the ground in front of their robot forms.

Credits unknown!

This book was published by Marvel Books with a copyright of 1984. ISBN 0-87135-012-2.

The scans!

View the scans as... a single web page, a CBR archive, or a PDF.

These scans were made by me, Steve-o.


After a single page explaining merely that the Transformers come from space, the story opens in a strange manner: Sparkplug and Buster are hiding behind rocks, watching the Autobots as they stand around. They are grabbed by Decepticons, and then the Autobots take notice and demand the humans be released. A battle ensues, the Decepticons run low on fuel and retreat, and the Witwickys repair the damaged Autobots.

Prime sends out scouts to find the Decepticons again, and it's discovered that they are attacking Hoover Dam. Another battle ensues, and the Autobots drive the Decepticons off.

General observations:

This is the only 1984 coloring book without any credits given. The other three that year (and most from later years) were all written by Dwight J Zimmerman, so if I had to put money on it I would say he probably did this one as well.

A couple of small, generic-looking robots fire their weapons.
Some Autobots, apparently.

This is ALSO the only coloring book from all of G1 in which the cover lacks a full illustration with at least a little bit of scenery. Further, this cover is actually art taken from the interior of Bumblebee to the Rescue!. Sideswipe is a badly-drawn copy of his model sheet, as seen in the Transformers Universe comics, and Bumblebee is toy-based and missing his left arm. (BB's left arm is actually missing all through the interior of that other book as well!)

Artwork is a hodgepodge in this book. The usual characters whose models were developed early are MOSTLY in those models, although there are plenty of cases where the details and proportions are off. The rest of the art is mostly based on toys or box art as usual, but some robots aren't recognizable as any particular character.

Given that some pages were clearly drawn with a lot of care and close adherence to the models, while others were not, I wonder if more than one artist worked on it. Even the line weights and amount of detail within characters seems to fluctuate from page to page. This might also be related to the lack of credits in the front.

Lastly, it's not really clear what the "deadly fuel shortage" is... The Decepticons do mention that they're low on fuel, which is why they abandon the first battle. They then attack the dam, so I guess they might be trying to get powered-up there, making the Cons' fuel shortage deadly for the people at the dam? But they don't even seem to be trying to harness energy... they're just blowing the dam up... Oh well.

Specific story notes:

Art/production notes:

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Content last changed on 2023-December-19.