Bumblebee scours planet Earth for clues to the All Spark's location.
2003, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Bumblebee has arrived on Earth, and scanned a disguise form with his Robovision. He has one tenuous lead on the All Spark, sent into space eons before to keep it from the clutches of Megatron. From just outside a downtown insane asylum, he scans the records of one Archibald Witwicky, a man who found something in the planet's polar ice in 1897 which drove him insane. Two mysterious agents detect the scan, however, and realize that it must be N.B.E.-2. They alert Agent Simmons, who mobilizes vans and helicopters.
The Sector 7 team tracks Bumblebee as he heads toward Springfield, Missouri, where Archibald's son Clarence lived. The vans attack him en route, attempting to run him off the road and snare him with a grappling hook. With some regret, Bumblebee runs them off the road and rolls on, his mission too important to be delayed.
In Springfield, Bumblebee finds Clarence's house empty. But by scanning a real estate agent's portable computer, he finds a record of Clarence's son Herbert. The house sold in 1979, with the proceeds divided between Herbert's six children. Bumblebee heads off to track them down, starting with the oldest, Ben. A stop in Denver proves fruitless; en route to Tucson, Bumblebee comes under attack from another Sector 7 chopper. He blinds them with a flash of light and escapes. But his bad luck continues; in the desert, he comes under attack from Barricade. But as the words Optimus Prime ring in his head, he vows to prevail...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- If the movie is set contemporaneously with its 2007 release, Bumblebee spent a long time tracking down the remaining four descendants.
- Why exactly would anyone bother to store records of patient that (presumably) died some time prior to World War II, after spending the last years of his life in a hospital that was apparently abandoned decades ago, in digitalized form that can be accessed via the internet?
- Barricade's attack sure doesn't seem to serve much purpose. Neither does Bumblebee transforming before he's even aware of Barricade's presence.
Items of note
- This was one of two free prequel comics released by IDW in cooperation with Target (both books were originally titled "Transformers Movie Prequel"... as was IDW's full-length prequel mini-series). It was first made available online on Target's website. In printed form, it was given out as a freebie to attendees at BotCon 2007 and to people going to see the movie in theaters. The story was later reprinted by IDW as part of the Transformers Movie Prequel Special (together with the second Target-sponsored prequel comic), where it was titled Interlude.
- Chronologically, this book's events happen in the middle of issue 4 of the regular prequel mini-series, where Bumblebee first scanned files relating to Archibald Witwicky, leading him to Baton Rouge. The book ends with Barricade attacking Bumblebee in Colorado, presumably explaining why he's suddenly damaged and smoking when he stops by the Colorado roadside in Prime Directive #4.
- The book includes various computer readouts as seen through Bumblebee's "Robo-Vision", rendered as light blue lettering hidden among a field of random red and white. Using the same principle as the tech specs of Generation One, a clear red plastic Robo-Vision Decoder, when placed over these fields, reveals such secret words as "SECTOR 7" and "SENTIENT". Most of them are pretty random, actually ("ACTIVISION", "ENERGON".) These words were codes that unlocked content on Target's Transformers website as part of the Robo-Vision promotion. All these effects are missing in the IDW Movie Prequel Special reprint of this story.
- A badly photoshopped Target logo appears on the side of a passing truck on the highway. In the IDW Movie Prequel Special reprint of this story, it gets replaced by an ad for All Hail Megatron.
- A screenshot of the IDW discussion forums appears as a readout on Bumblebee's dashboard.
- Generation One Optimus Prime can be seen driving into Denver as Bumblebee is leaving.
- Some of this issue's plot points parallel the Infiltration and Escalation comic series, which Furman had recently completed at the time. Examples include Sector 7 tracking and attacking Bumblebee on the highway, and Bumblebee rocketing off across the desert at high speed to escape.
- Coupon for $3 off Transformers: The Game.
- Various movie toys and merchandise for sale at Target
- Giftcards in Disguise, from Target.