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Robots in Disguise comic issue 5 is the fifth installment in the Robots in Disguise comic book series.

Excerpt: In the wake of the Bee Team's greatest victory yet, Steeljaw strikes back with the help of a squad of Vehicons.

Synopsis

Not long after the defeat of Megatronus, Optimus Prime receives a new command from the Primes to head east of the nearby Sierra Ridge mountains with Windblade, there to retrieve a hidden object that is key to Earth's safety. Bumblebee is disappointed that Optimus is leaving already, but Prime assures him that they will be back as soon as their mission is complete. As Prime and Windblade make their way through the forest, however, their passage is observed by Steeljaw, in disrepair following his recent defeat but hungry for revenge. Tumbling down a hillock after a feeble attempt at swiping a squirrel he believes is laughing at him, Steeljaw is surprised to catch the scent of energon, and follows the trail to a cave hidden behind a waterfall. There, he finds himself surrounded by a trio of Vehicons, and by pretending to a superior Decepticon officer, quickly learns that they were stationed there by Starscream years ago to watch over an energon mine and have remained at their post ever since with no idea that the war is over. Eager to plunder the mine's riches, Steeljaw takes the three Vehicons under his wing (one of whom has taken the name "Steve" from a billboard, after hitting his head and forgetting his unit designation) and formulates a plan to acquire some works to harvest the mine's riches.

While playing football with his friends, Russell tries to calm down an irate Hank, who is angry that she fouled up a play. Comparing herself to her hero Bronco Kowalski, Hank tells Russell that there is no way he could understand how she feels, as he doesn't have anyone to live up to. The words get to Russell, since he does have heroes... but they're all giant robots, and there's no way he can live up to that. He shares his concerns with Fixit, Jetstorm, and Slipstream, but as they talk, an alarm (or rather, a jazzy ringtone) alerts Fixit to the fact that the signal has been detected from a tracker he slipped on Steeljaw during their last encounter. Tracing him to the Fort Tucker army base, the Autobots prepare to roll out; as a show of responsibility, Russell announces that he will stay behind to help Fixit guard the command center, while Grimlock shows off his latest attempt at disguising himself, this time as a train.

The Autobots and Denny arrive at the base only to find its entire personnel unconscious thanks to knockout gas. Two of the Vehicons come streaking out of the sky and begin opening fire on the base, and the Autobots are forced to keep their missiles from hitting any of the base vehicles; if a large enough explosion is caused, it will ignite the knockout gas and turn the complex into an inferno. Grimlock is knocked out when he bravely hurls himself into the path of one of the missiles to keep it from hitting a humvee, and Bumblebee is wracked with indecision, stuck comparing himself to Optimus Prime once again. Drift urges him to think not what Optimus would do, but what Bumblebee would do—enough of a pep talk to snap the young Autobot leader of his daze and put a plan into action. 'Bee lures the Vehicons in close, and as they dive in for the kill, Sideswipe and Strongarm spring up and clothesline one of them with a rope, while Drift launches his Mini-Cons to grab onto the other. The Vehicons are forced into retreat, but Strongarm observes that their shots had all been specifically well-placed and that they could have blown the base at any time. Her fears that something else is going on prove well founded, as a hologram-projection of Steeljaw appears in the sky above the Autobots. Bumblebee calls up Fixit to get a fix on the projection's source, but there is no reply... and Strongarm wonders aloud where Steeljaw even got the tech to make such a projection. The answer to both conundrums is then made apparent, as Steeljaw steps aside and shows the Autobots that while they have been busy fighting the Vehicons, he and Steve have raided the scrapyard and captured Fixit and Denny!

Notes

Continuity notes

  • While the first four issues of the series take place somewhere between the episodes "Sideways" and "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing", this story jumps the comic forward to after the season one finale, "Battlegrounds, Part 2", with Drift, his Mini-Cons, Windblade, and Optimus Prime all having joined up with the Bee Team.
  • A frustrated Hank references Bronco Kowalski, a football player (American football, not association football) mentioned in the episodes "More than Meets the Eye" and "Battlegrounds, Part 1".
  • Russell reminds Drift of his promise to go easier on his Mini-Cons, made in the episode "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing."
  • Fixit slipped a tracker onto Steeljaw the last time he was in the scrapyard, which would have been in the episode "Lockout."
  • The Autobots revist the army base from "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing," here named "Fort Tucker," and Denny re-uses his "Major Thaddeus Q. Flieber" disguise from the same episode.
  • Sideswipe recalls Grimlock's attempt to disguise himself as a truck from the episode "Collect 'Em All."
  • Bumblebee uses the catchphrase he finally settled on in "Battlegrounds, Part 2"—"Rev up and roll out!"

Transformers references

  • On this issue's cover, easter eggs hidden around Fixit's workshop include his My First Blaster; a parody of the X-Files "I Want to Believe" poster featuring Cosmos; a Mystery of Convoy arcade game cabinet; a can of Kremzeek-brand drink; a sticker from Maccadam's Old Oil House; a Rodimus Star; the Matrix of Leadership; and poor old Scrounge.

Real-life references

  • Aside from all the Transformers stuff hidden on the cover, there's also a Ghostbusters proton pack.
  • The idea of a Vehicon named "Steve" is a Transformers fandom in-joke that ran pretty much the entire length of the Prime cartoon. It's usually used to refer to members of the Vehicon horde who distinguish themselves by being clumsy or unfortunate.
  • Fixit's "ringtone" is a spoof of the song "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Errors

  • On page 2, panel 4, Windblade and Strongarm's speech balloons are swapped.
  • Steeljaw's missing his tail on pages 4 and 5.
  • The three Vehicons have the robot modes of "Ground Vehicons" (the ones that turn into cars), but the alternate modes of "Air Vehicons" (the flying ones).
  • On page 10, Jetstorm is referred to as "Jetstream."
  • On page 11, "scrapyard" is misspelled "srapyard" in the leading caption.
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