The name or term Prime refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Prime (disambiguation).

This article is about the Marvel Comics issue. For 2007 sliding storybook, see Transformers Prime Time.

Say hello to my little friend!

Marvel U.S. > Issue # 12
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Marvel UK > Issue #39–40
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The Autobots attempt to rescue Optimus Prime from the Decepticons.


Buster commands Jetfire to take him to the Decepticons, in hopes of rescuing Optimus Prime. Unfortunately, Buster is knocked unconscious during an encounter with human aircraft, and he becomes the Decepticons' prisoner as Jetfire reverts to his original mission of capturing him. Shockwave hooks Buster up to his machines with the intention of using the Creation Matrix inside the human to create his new army.

An oncoming Autobot convoy speeds its way to Shockwave's base of operations, also known as Blackrock Aerospace Assembly Plant Number One. They are bringing with them Optimus Prime's body with the intention of rescuing his head from the Decepticons. Jetfire appears above and drops what seems to be the head of Optimus Prime into the swamp near them. Once the head is reattached to the body, Prowl extends his hand to his leader, and Prime responds by shooting Prowl right in the chest. He then blasts through the rest of the assembled Autobots. Soundwave and the Cassettes arrive on scene and reveal that Prime is working with them now. The head was a fake!

At the plant, Buster is able to use the Creation Matrix to control Jetfire once more, who quickly overpowers Shockwave and returns to the swamp with the real head of Optimus Prime. When in range, Optimus yanks the fake head off his shoulders and reattaches his real head. The tables are quickly turned back in the Autobots' favor as Prime smashes apart Soundwave and his minions.

Recovered and seeing that Prime's real head is gone, Shockwave transforms and seeks out Prime in order to finish him off personally. They fight and Optimus throws Shockwave into the swamp where he sinks, helpless. The Autobots plead with Optimus to blast the Decepticon and finish him once and for all, but Prime, fearing for Buster's safety, rushes back to the plant.

Once there, he finds that Buster has been released by the human workers and the other Decepticons have fled. He takes back the Creation Matrix from Buster and mulls over the fact that innocent human lives are in danger because of their war.


Writer: Bob Budiansky
Pencils: Herb Trimpe
Inks: Al Gordon
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Janice Chiang
Editor: Mike Carlin

  • Originally published: January, 1986

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans


  • None yet identified

Items of note

  • Optimus Prime's head (both the real one and the impostor head) is apparently able to control his body before the head is actually attached. This may or may not be the case for the Autobots who would become Headmasters in the Headmasters limited series.
  • With the climactic battle of this issue, most of the 1984 Autobots are taken out of the picture for the next three years; only Mirage, Bluestreak, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Bumblebee and Prime remained active in the story's immediate aftermath. The UK storyline, however, treated the damage from the battle as minor, and shows all the 1984 Autobots as active long afterwards.


Covers (3)

  • U.S. cover: Prime attacks the Autobots by Herb Trimpe
  • UK issue 39 cover: reuse of art from U.S. cover
  • UK issue 40 cover: Prime vs Shockwave by Jeff Anderson

39 cover

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it.


  • None yet identified
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