Robots in Disguise comic issue 4 is the fourth installment in the Robots in Disguise comic book series.
Despite Strongarm's hope that they will be able to talk our their differences, Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus instead have a fierce argument, with Magnus furious that 'Bee disobeyed his orders and compromised his mission, and 'Bee angry that his old teammates did not trust him enough to let him in on the secret objective. Magnus defends himself by stating that he did not know if he could trust Bumblebee's unorthodox team, but then relents when he is forced to realize that because of his secrecy, all life on Earth is now in danger. Magnus apologizes, and the two teams makes plans to track down Overhead before she can complete her space bridge. With Clipshade having officially bowed out of any further activity in the field, the task of infiltrating her group falls to the one member of the team that she has not yet encountered—the one least suited to the task, Sideswipe!
In Bayou Dupras in the coastal wetlands, crocodilian Decepticons and Cybercomrade Sect members Skullcruncher and Razorgrille make their way back to Overhead's hideaway in the abandoned Petrosynthesis Chemical Plant with the stolen supplies necessary for her to complete her space bridge. The dull-witted Skullcruncher has trouble remembering the way, but they make it eventually, and once they have delivered the supplies, they begin talking about what they'll do upon their return to Cybertron. This prompts Overhead to correct them: they're not going back to their homeworld, they're going to use the bridge to transport the rest of the Cybercomrade Sect to Earth to help plunder the planet!
Clipshade tries to give Sideswipe an acting lesson (with a little input from amateur ad-libbers Denny and Russell), but his attempt at running through a "scene" with Grimlock goes pretty disastrously. Regardless, when Fixit uses the distress signal previously employed by Overhead to crack Cybercomrade's encryption key and tracks the Sect to the Petrosynthesis plant, Sideswipe is sent in first. Fortunately, he runs into Skullcruncher, who is easily taken in by the Autobot's claims of being a sect member, and immediately starts giving him details of their operation. Razorgrille silences him, suspecting that Sideswipe may belong to a rival syndicate, but having successfully obtained information they needed, Magnus, Arcee, and Bulkhead emerge from the bushes to keep the two Croctobots busy while the rest of the Bee Team enters the chemical plant.
Strongarm takes the lead, but when she is distracted by a rat, Overhead ambushes her. Strongarm is able to judo-flip the Buffaloid, but this only drives her into a rage, which she takes out on Grimlock when he tries to lash her with his tail. The Croctobots come running to help their boss, but Team Prime and Sideswipe are hot on their heels, and only Arcee makes it into the plant before Magnus, Bulkhead, Sideswipe, and the two Decepticons all get stuck in the doorway, Three Stooges-style. Overhead tries to attack the distracted Arcee, but Strongarm blasts the sect leader in the back. Realizing she is out of options, Overhead activates the space bridge; 'Bee thinks she is trying to escape to Cybertron, but in actuality, the bridge is not yet completed, and Overhead is triggering its self-destruct sequence, preferring to destroy herself along with the Autobots rather than let her enemies win. As the bridge collapses into a miniature black hole and all the Autobots fight against its powerful pull, Bumblebee grapples with Overhead and tries to shut it down, only to find that she has built it with specialized controls only she understands. That's Bumblebee's cue to take the direct route—grabbing Overhead, he slams her into the control panel, smashing it, and causing the bridge to explode.
The Autobots round up the defeated Decepticons and take them back to the scrapyard, where Overhead vows vengeance as she and her minions are locked up in stasis cells and loaded onto Magnus's ship. Magnus encourages Bumblebee to return to Cybertron with his team and clear his name with the High Council, but 'Bee tells him that he cannot just yet—there is more work to do on Earth, for reasons that he cannot share, and this time, Magnus is going to have to trust him. Before he departs, Magnus tells Bumblebee that he is well on his way to becoming an expert leader, and that the next time they meet, it will be as equals.
Continuity notes Edit
- Clipshade trained in acting at the Nuon City amphitheater—before Underbite ate the whole place, of course, as we learned in the first episode of the animated series.
- Razorgrille mentions rival syndicate leaders Thunderhoof, who we know is a crime boss from his appearances in the Robots in Disguise cartoon, and someone named Slipstream. This might be a reference to the female Seeker, who previously appeared in Aligned continuity in War for Cybertron and the Exiles novel; it seems unlikely to be the Autobot Mini-Con who will later join the Bee Team in the animated series, though just before the release of this issue, we did learn that the Mini-Con Slipstream had a criminal past in the animated short "The Tragedy of Slipstream".
Real-life references Edit
- Skullcruncher mentions Cybertronian TV show What Not to Alt-Mode, named after real-life show What Not to Wear.
- Clipshade compares Sideswipe's acting ability to a troubled performance of A Midsummer Night's Sleep Mode he was once in, a reference to the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Wonder who wrote it—William Shakespearecon?
- One of the problems with the play was that a tank had been cast in the role of a Light Cycle, referencing the famous vehicles from the Tron franchise.