Not everyone wants to see Tracks back!
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Marvel UK issue #281
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
In the Body Shop in Autobot Earthbase Wheeljack explains to Optimus Prime and Grimlock that Tracks's resurrection has been hit by sabotage attempts, but he will still be ready on schedule. Prime notes that other accidents have occurred, including Tracks's name being deleted from the revival computer program and his body going missing. Unless the massive surveillance equipment has failed, the culprit has to be one of the Earthforce. Grimlock says he has no idea who it could be. Prime leaves as the operation enters the final, critical stage.
Grimlock expresses his frustration to Wheeljack that he has to oversee Tracks being revived. Wheeljack replies that Tracks may not be everyone's favourite Autobot but the Ark doesn't have a Body Shop like the Earthforce's and an Autobot is an Autobot. Grimlock stomps off, still angry and then comments that as the final stage of the reactivation isn't complete it would be a pity if the saboteur got to Tracks!
Later Wheeljack has placed Tracks on a conveyor belt to go into the ACU (Automated Construction Unit) and starts the machine, then as it will take ten minutes he decides to go for a rest. The moment he has left the room Grimlock sneaks in with a hammer. He approaches the machine and is about to attack Tracks's body when the machine suddenly grabs him and pulls him inside. There numerous lasers and scapels attack his body.
Tracks comes out of the machine in pristine condition, bar a scar on his chest, followed by Grimlock in a rather worse state. Grimlock tells the now returned Wheeljack to say not a word and privately thinks that at least Prime will take Tracks with him. But Tracks announces how happy he is that Prime wants him to serve with Grimlock! He asks Grimlock to help with the scar.
This is all Grimlock wants to hear and he chases Tracks out of the base with his sword. Tracks doesn't know what he said to cause this!
- Tracks's scar only appears on one panel.
- In the last panel Grimlock's chest has healed all the holes punched in it by the ACU machine.
Items of note
- When last seen prior to this story, Tracks had fallen victim to an acid bath from Blot (Yuck!). Of course given the high death count due to the Underbase - thanks a lot Starscream - we won't rule out Underbase as a cause of death.
- The remains of Hound can be seen in Wheeljack's Body Shop.
- This story seeks to explain why so many previously deceased Autobots are alive and well during the Earthforce stories, and potentially detach the explanation from Nucleon and the upcoming US strips. It's yet another clue to add to the mystery of when the Earthforce stories take place.
- Grimlock's reasons for hating Tracks are never fully explained. He mentions that Tracks is vain - but already has Sunstreaker on his force - and a pain - but again this feature is not unique. The two characters have shared very few panels before, but Grimlock may have developed his hatred off panel between the events of "King of the Hill!" and "Dark Star!" One issue can be ruled out and that is the fan rumours that Tracks is gay, because in the comics the Transformers have no concept of gender and thus no sexualities (and the only Female Transformer, Arcee, was explicitly created to mimic humans in an alternate future) so this is not possible.
- This story was reprinted in the Titan Books trade paperback "Earthforce".
- * According to the letter page of Marvel UK issue #292