After a shakeup in Autobot leadership, Bumblebee finds himself leading a group that believes him to be unprepared for the job. An opportunity to radically improve the Autobots reputation arises and he accepts despite his reservations, embarking on a clandestine mission for the human military to find and disable all remaining rogue robots.
Bumblebee #1 Covers and Images
Bumblebee #1 Release Info
|Series||Transformers Bumblebee Comics|
|Release Date||December 2009|
Bumblebee #1 Print Data
|Total # of Covers||3|
Bumblebee #1 Artists, Writers and More
|Cover A||(Artist: Guido Guidi) (Colorist: Josh Burcham)|
|Cover B||(Artist: Chee) (Colorist: Moose Baumann)|
|Cover RI (Retailer Incentive)||(Artist: Chee)|
Bumblebee #1 Synopsis
Synopsis Submitted By: Tim Formas
Following his election as the new Autobot leader (see Transformers Ongoing #2), the remaining Autobots cheer for Bumblebee and are calling on him to make a speech.
Days later, Bumblebee wonders if it is too late to turn down the job. He feels that there is not support, as Optimus Prime surrendered because he has no faith in himself, Hot Rod left because he has no faith in the humans, more Autobots left because they have no faith in him, and now Ultra Magnus is on Earth investigating the Autobots because he has no faith in anyone. Wheeljack overhears Bumblebee and tells him that he just said all of the reasons why no one else would want the leadership. Ratchet, meanwhile, tells Wheeljack that he has a job to do (setting up the communications array). Bumblebee thinks that Ratchet was a little harsh on Wheeljack, but Ratchet states that he did it because everyone on the Autobots need to know Bumblebee is the leader and act like Bumblebee is the leader. Bumblebee, however, still doesn’t feel like he is leadership material and just the little guy. Ratchet replies that, with the way things are, Bumblebee was the perfect choice because the humans would trust him at least a little because he’s like them in a lot of way. Bumblebee, somewhat annoyed, asks Ratchet in what ways he is similar to the humans. Ratchet tells Bumblebee that he is sympathetic to their fears and thoughtful about their feelings. Bumblebee, however, adds that he’s also similar because he’s weak, slow, and small. Ratchet replies that the Autobots are counting on Bumblebee to make good decisions because Optimus Prime made a decision that was too big and Hot Rod made one that was too fast.
At Allodyne Logic Systems, Skywarp has killed off the humans there, as they did not provide the location of an unspecific material. In narration, Skywarp talks about his hatred of the humans. He states that, although they have banished their leader into space and most resistance has disappeared, the Seekers do not abandon their leaders so easily. He believes the humans have made their biggest mistake by leaving him alone. Skywarp then teleports off of the property.
As Wheeljack continues to set up the communications array, he is still bitter that Ratchet berated him for not being respectful to Bumblebee. He is interrupted, however, when he receives a communication from Colonel Gordon Horiuchi of Skywatch, who is broadcasting to the Autobots on an unencrypted channel. The colonel states that Skywatch High Command has approximately located the Autobot hideout within a six-mile radius and that they plan to systematically search the entire radius until they locate the Autobot cave. As Wheeljack is about to disconnect the communication, Colonel Horiuchi then states that his opinion differs from that of Skywatch High Command. Rather than disconnecting, Wheeljack continues to listen. The colonel continues, saying that the victory of the Decepticons is not complete as there are still numerous Decepticons on the loose on Earth. He also believes that there is a war of opinion ongoing with the humans, with few trusting the Autobots. The colonel then suggests that he hopes to change the negative view of the Autobots. He then places the next choice in the control of the Autobots, suggesting that he is putting his career on the line by asking for an alliance.
Elsewhere in the Autobot base, Omega Supreme is huddled in the cave in robot mode and asking Bumblebee if he’s able to get out of the cramped cave. Bumblebee, however, states that he’s the easiest Autobot to locate (because of his size) and thus must be hidden. Omega Supreme then pleads for some Energon so that he can transform to vehicle mode so that he can feel less cramped. Bumblebee denies the request, suggesting that there is no spare after they used the Energon to transform him to robot mode to get him INTO the cave. Wheeljack then intervenes over a communication link, saying he has something to show Bumblebee.
At the Autobot communication center, Wheeljack tells Bumblebee that he believes Colonel Horiuchi is on the level and that the alliance is something the Autobots need to survive. Bumblebee does not understand Wheeljack’s rash decision, suggesting that answering the colonel could potentially expose the Autobots and that a path forward should have been discussion before a decision was made. Wheeljack, however, feels as if Bumblebee and Ratchet would have talked about the subject without action and thus he made the rash decision to move forward. Bumblebee, disagrees, believing that the Autobots are a team and must work together. Wheeljack exclaims that the Autobots are army and that a leader needs to decide and make progress. He adds that the lack of progress is why Autobots are deserting the cause and that everyone will desert Bumblebee if he does not talk to the Colonel.
Skywarp transports into a “U-Stor-It” storage complex. As he opens up a storage unit, he promises that Megatron will receive many riches when he returns. Inside the storage complex is an array of heavy-duty missiles and high-tech artillery.
Bumblebee, Ratchet, and Hound are staged outside the boundaries of the area in which Bumblebee will meet up with Colonel Horiuchi. Even though the colonel has told Wheeljack that they will cloak their own signal to keep this meeting secret from the rest of Skywatch, they are making sure that Skywatch reinforcements are not located in the area. Hound determines that there are no extra reinforcements in the area but that he is concerned about a crate located at the meeting area. The three try to determine what might be in the box, with ideas ranging from a present to the Autobots to a bomb to be used on a suicide mission to kill the leader of the Autobots. Bumblebee sees this meeting as an alternative to hiding in the cave and rusting away and understands that there are risks by agreeing to this meeting. Hound is still worried, however, believing there are things out in the area that his scanner can not pick up and that the humans would not agree to the meeting without a backup plan. Bumblebee, however, believes that these humans have realized that they are afraid of having the Autobots as enemies as opposed to friends. Ratchet then tells Bumblebee that he is starting to sound like a leader. As Bumblebee drives off to the meeting spot, he informs Ratchet that he stole it from Optimus Prime.
Colonel Horiuchi sees Bumblebee coming in the distance. One of his soldiers is worried and believes it might just be a missile coming at them. However, another soldier with binoculars reports that it is indeed and Autobot with the “call sign” Bumblebee. The colonel tells the soldiers that he’ll do the talking and determine if the intel they received was worth the cost. As Bumblebee transforms, the humans salute him. Colonel Horiuchi greets him and refers to as Bumblebee Prime. Bumblebee responds that his name is just Bumblebee. The colonel then informs Bumblebee that he needs an army. Bumblebee replies that Skywatch already has an army, but the colonel in turn replies that 3/4ths of the army is engaged in hunting down the Autobots. The colonel then informs Bumblebee that he would like to convince Skywatch to reallocate those resources to catching the Decepticons along with a strike force of “Legal” Autobots. Bumblebee asks for further explanation. The colonel proposes that Bumblebee’s team of Autobots work for his segment of Skywatch and help to track down the remaining Decepticons. In turn, helping the colonel would help to show humans that the Autobots are a friendly life form and not the threat they currently perceive them as. He then asks Lieutenant Klonowski to open the crate at the scene.
As the lieutenant opens the crate, Colonel Horiuchi informs Bumblebee that it took a month for major weapons manufacturers such as Allodyne, Dynomic, and Darkmatter Logic (the creator of the Skywatch crash suits) to come up with the technology in the crate. Before he reveals the technology to Bumblebee, the colonel informs him that, when out in the open, Skywatch can narrow an Autobot location down from a six-mile radius to 1000 yards. In turn, that means an Autobot would have at most 30 minutes before a Skywatch team is dispatched to that location. Bumblebee checks the timer on his arm and sees that over 21 minutes have elapsed. The colonel then shows Bumblebee a metal badge and explains that the badges scramble the wearer’s exact location so that their location is bumped back to the six-mile radius. The badge would make the Autobots harder to find, make Skywatch assume they are underground, and also identify them to the Skywatch system as a friendly. Bumblebee considers the colonel’s proposal but wonders why Skywatch just doesn’t agree to a truce that would free up the resources to hunt the Decepticons. Lieutenant Larsen with Skywatch then shows Bumblebee a gruesome photo, which the colonel informs him was taken at Dynomic. He adds that Skywarp was responsible for the Dynomic attack and a similar event at Allodyne, resulting in seventy confirmed human deaths. The colonel confirms that Skywatch’s inability to track him and capture him is a gap in their system and the reason why they need help from the Autobots. In turn, the capture of Skywarp will convince the public that there is no reason for fear and also allow Bumblebee to prove himself and the Autobots.
Off in the distance, Ratchet wonders what Bumblebee is doing. Hound reports that the colonel is giving him something that looks like a “human dinner plate”. Bumblebee then drives back to Ratchet and Hound, informing them that he’ll fill them in later. As he transforms to robot mode (with a visible Skywatch badge), Bumblebee states that they are back in business.
Days later, the Autobots are outfitted with the Skywatch badges. Cliffjumper and Hound are near a cow pasture scouting for another Decepticon capture. Hound reports that the damage to the fence in the area suggests the cows have been driven “half-crazy”. Meanwhile, Cliffjumper hopes that the Decepticon to be capture isn’t like the last few, whom he called a sorry bunch. Before he can reply, Hound receives a communication of a fresh kill nearby and the two set out for the capture.
Frenzy is walking through a field with blood on his hand drills, calling out for his “master”. Watching over the hill, Cliffjumper calls him creepy and wonders what is wrong with Frenzy. Hound, meanwhile, calls for the teams to initiate the capture of Frenzy. As the Autobots surround Frenzy and install the inhibitor on him, Frenzy pleads for them not to take him from his master. Hound reports back to base that Frenzy is in custody and asks for further instructions. Bumblebee replies that they should proceed to another location, why Colonel Horiuchi then interrupts and says that a Skywatch hard transport will pick Frenzy up. Cliffjumper becomes concerned, not knowing that the Skywatch badges had radios. Hound too is concerned, believing that was a big detail that the colonel left out. Cliffjumper believes it might only be a matter of time before Skywatch uses the transports to take them in as well.
Back at the Autobot base, Bumblebee reports that the week has been a success with six Decepticons captured and no injuries to humans or Autobots. Wheeljack, however, believes it to be easy because those Decepticons were half-crazy, out of energy, or scared. Bumblebee is appreciate of that, however, because is makes their job and chance of improving their reputation with the humans easier. Before the conservation can continue, the colonel calls for the Autobots. The colonel congratulates the Autobots on the great job they have done thus far and then states that they are ready to capture the next robot on Skywatch’s list. Bumblebee, having been previously provided the list, mentions that the next target would be Scavenger. However, the colonel says that Scavenger has not surfaced in some time and thus they have inserted another in his place. An image of Blurr then appears on the communication screen. Shocked, Bumblebee informs the colonel that Blurr is an Autobot. He adds that Blurr left the group but is a good guy nonetheless. The colonel, however, states that it should make it easier to convince Blurr to turn himself in. The colonel adds that it has to be established that any remaining robots must be on the side of law and order and any rogue members, whether they are good or bad, must be brought into Skywatch custody. Cliffjumper, angry, yells back that he will never capture an Autobot for him. Colonel Horiuchi then asks Lieutenant Klonowski for his name, which the lieutenant provides. With a push of a button, an impulse from the badge causes Cliffjumper to be stasis-locked in vehicle mode. The colonel tells Bumblebee that he’s just stuck in vehicle mode until his temper subsides. Bumblebee then realizes that there is an inhibitor in the Skywatch badges, which the colonel tells him is insurance to ensure Bumblebee’s crew cooperates. The colonel then tells Bumblebee to go get their next target….BLURR!
Bumblebee #1 Review
Review Submitted By: Tim Formas
Bumblebee #1, along with the rest of this mini-series, follows the events of Transformers #2. Following his election as the leader of the Autobots after the voluntary surrender of Optimus Prime to Skywatch, this mini-series provides the readers a look into Bumblebee’s first days as Autobot commander.
This series can be read as a self-contained story, meaning that one would not have to read the first two issues of the ongoing comic to understand it. However, the first half of Bumblebee #1 is primarily devoted to a recap and explanation of the events in the ongoing series. The writer, Zander Cannon, seems to provide a very word-heavy first half of the issue in order to allow this story to stand on its own for the remainder of the series. This will also be very beneficial when the mini-series is released as a trade paperback down the road.
While the mini-series is named after Bumblebee, he actually does not drive the events of the series. Rather, the events drive him. Given his insecurities (as evident in Transformers #2) over taking the commander role, this is likely a set up for Bumblebee to take the reigns and drive events rather than having the events drive him. Only a small amount of character development is present in the first issue, likely due to the recap nature. However, the framework is set. Wheeljack’s trust in Bumblebee’s leadership is questioned multiple times and the intentions of the humans involved in the story are debated many times. The main Decepticon in the series, Skywarp, looks like he’ll get his chance to shine instead of being caught in the shadow of fellow Seeker, Starscream.
Just as readers may be getting used to the new designs for the Transformers in the ongoing series, artist Chee provides another shock to the system. The art is very stylized, with a very washed out feel. However, the designs revert back to the traditional robots versions that long time fans are used to. As future issues of both on the ongoing series and this mini-series are released simultaneously, most comic fans should be able to bounce back and forth between the different art styles. However, the change may be jarring to some especially considering how drastic some of the changes are in the ongoing series.
The issue definitely provides hope for a great mini-series. With some of the larger, more popular characters such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Starscream, out of the way, it appears that some mid-card Generation 1 characters such as Bumblebee, Wheeljack, and Skywarp have time to come front and center and be the focus for once. Because part of the issue served as a recap of the first two issues of the ongoing series, the story is just started. The jury is still out until we see a more stand-alone story in Bumblebee #2.
Overall Rating: 3.5