The Transformers: Headmasters
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|The Transformers: Headmasters|
|Publication date||July 1987–January 1988|
|Number of issues||4|
|Main character(s)||Headmasters, Targetmasters|
|Inker(s)||Ian Akin, Brian Garvey|
The Transformers: Headmasters was a four-issue comic book mini-series based in the fictional universe of the Transformers. The bi-monthly series was published by Marvel comics and was originally printed July 1987 through January 1988.
Written by Bob Budiansky, the miniseries was devised to introduce the characters from the 1986 Transformers movie and the 1987 toyline into the ongoing comic, which happened in issue #38.
Fortress Maximus, weary of the war on Cybertron, leads a group of Autobots to another world in search of peace. They decide to make their new home on the peaceful world of Nebulos; however their arrival is met with fear and mistrust. After a series of conflicts, several of the Autobots offer their weapons as an act of goodwill. Still not convincing the Nebulans, five Autobots make the ultimate sacrifice, offering their own heads to the Nebulans. This act allows them to live in peace for the time being.
Various groups of Nebulans are upset by the presence of the Autobots, and stage demonstrations of protest. Councilmember Galen looks for a solution to ease the tension, however rival councilmember Lord Zarak, wishes to discredit Galen and contacts the Decepticons to rid Nebulos of the Autobots.
The Decepticons, commanded by Scorponok arrive and demand the surrender of the Autobots. The Nebulans do not comply so the Decepticons begin to attack the city. The Nebulans are desperate, but refuse to grant control back to the headless autobots. Instead, a group of Nebulans undergo a binary-bonding process to transform into the Autobots' new heads. The Nebulans control the Autobots' bodies while, the original heads maintain radio contact, offering fighting skills and advice. The results are much-improved Autobot warriors, who efficiently repel their Decepticon rivals. However, the Nebulans begin to realize they are becoming violent warriors which they attempted to avoid by controlling the Autobots.
The Autobots and Decepticons stage continuous battles on Nebulos, though the Autobots' efforts are still mistrusted by the Nebulans. Scorponok captures a group of Nebulans led by Lord Zarak, and uses them as laboratory animals for experiments, by which they intend to dispose of the humanoid populace of the planet. Lord Zarak successfully bargains for his life and convinces the Decepticons to duplicate the Headmaster process.
Luring the Autobots into a trap, the newly enhanced Decepticons prove to be a match for the Headmaster Autobots. Further distracting the Autobots by attacking innocent Nebulans, the Decepticons are able to defeat the Headmaster Autobots and imprison their humanoid binary-partners.
With most of their opposition incapacitated, the Decepticons continue their conquest of Nebulos. Lord Zarak finds himself torn by his loyalties to the world he loves and his link to the Headmaster leader, Scorponok. As the Autobots further experiment with Nebulan binary-bonding by creating the Targetmasters, Galen pleads with Zarak to see what the Decepticons are doing to their world.
After being defeated in an attack by the Autobot Targetmasters, Zarak begins to see that Galen was right, and while the Decepticons escalate the conflict by creating their own Targetmasters, Zarak frees his prisoners, pleading with them to take the battle offworld to join Transformers already on the planet Earth. Zarak knows that if the Autobots leave Nebulos, the Decepticons will follow, and his world might yet be saved. The Autobots agree to this proposal, and abandon the planet, leaving a war-torn Nebulos to rebuild once the Transformers have left.
The Headmasters series was reprinted along with the 80-issue Marvel series in a series of 14 trade paperbacks in 2004–2005. The TPBs had new cover art Andrew Wildman, who illustrated several issues toward the end of the original ongoing series.