(Linkara is studying the battery chamber of a Transformers toy, that of Soundwave. He then looks up to see he's on camera)
Linkara: Oh! Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Well, it's finally time for us to get into an issue from Marvel's regular "Transformers" series, and it's the one that everybody wants me to do: "The Car Wash of Doom"!
(Cut to a montage of shots of "Transformers" comics)
Linkara (v/o): Well, okay, if you count my live show a few weeks ago, this is the second Marvel "Transformers" comic I've reviewed, but I don't count the live shows as part of the actual series. There's really not much more I can say about "Transformers" that I haven't brought up in the Dreamwave] or "Generation 2" comics I've reviewed. The only thing left to say is, buy the Marvel series! Sure, it was goofy as all hell; the fact that this comic is called "The Car Wash of Doom" is evidence enough. But it honestly was really damn enjoyable, with twists and turns that never really happened on the cartoon.
(Cut to a closeup of "The Car Wash of Doom")
Linkara (v/o): For example, this robot on the cover? He's called Ratbat.
Linkara: Ratbat was a cassette tape Transformer that emerged from (points to Soundwave) this guy, Soundwave. Well, not exactly this guy. This is a Chinese knockoff that looks like him because I couldn't find the original at an affordable price, and while the MP3 player remodel is, um, um... Anyway, Ratbat, for a time in the comics, was the leader of the Decepticons!
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, the comics had constant power struggles on both sides, and the balance would often shift, as we'll see in this comic, too. But if it can get insane enough that a cassette tape Transformer got to have Megatron's job, isn't that incentive enough to find out how the hell that happened? Hell, if you haven't seen the live show review of "Transformers #24", Optimus Prime is not the leader of the Autobots right now. Dude got killed because of his own bottomless stupidity by playing a video game with Megatron! Seriously!
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Transformers #31" and see what makes "The Car Wash of Doom" so infamous.
(AT4W title theme plays, and title card has Rose Royce's "Car Wash" playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is pretty good, with a very eye-catching image of Ratbat attacking two people in the titular Car Wash of Doom, which seems to have all the car-washing action in the background. Hey, any of you familiar with the Tumblr, Escher Girls? It chronicles artwork, usually comics, that features malformed women, whose upper bodies are twisted around so the artist can show off both their chests and asses at the same time, despite how extremely uncomfortable that is and, in some case, improbable. Well, here, we have an odd case of the reverse: the woman is drawn from normal angles, but the guy seems to be twisting himself into uncomfortable poses, seeing as his torso is off to the side from where his legs are. I guess he just doesn't have the bone structure that women do to pull that off completely. Also, the Transformers logo has this odd striping pattern for it, almost as if this was the Barber Shop of Doom.
Text:It's wet! It's wild! It's...
Linkara:(dramatically) ..."Transformers on Spring Break"! Yes, see the hottest robots without their chassis!
Linkara (v/o): We open on an oil tanker under attack by Decepticons. Bizarrely enough, the title of the comic is done in faux Indiana Jones text as "Buster Witwicky and the Car Wash of Doom".
Linkara: I am so hoping that we see a Transformer rip a guy's heart out! (gives a thumbs-up)
Linkara (v/o): The all-white crew is panicking as the robots blow stuff up, which is naturally what you'd want to have happen when you're trying to harness energy and fuel: ignite the flammable liquids. We also see these tiny Insecticons attacking the crew of the tanker.
Linkara: The Decepticons are truly diabolical! They figured out how to weaponize the Transformers toys!
Linkara (v/o): Within a few minutes, all the humans have been cornered, and the Decepticons want information out of them. We also learn that the Insecticons have mind control technology that allows them to easily take over one of the humans to instruct them on how to move the ship. I never understood this: if you have mind control technology, especially when it's as simple as a tiny injection that we see here, how could you ever lose? Anyway, once they have the tanker, they very nicely dispose of the humans by letting them get on rafts. Seems to me they'd just have everyone jump overboard, but hey, credit where credit is due on the evil robots. They bring the tanker back to the Decepticon base, where Shockwave, another Decepticon who's in command of the group, claims to Ratbat that since the operation went successfully, the results speak volumes about his leadership skills. Ratbat, however, is skeptical.
Ratbat: As chief Decepticon fuel auditor of Cybertron, that is what I recently came to this planet to find out!
Linkara: Yes, even the Decepticons are crushed under the iron boot (clenches fist) of bureaucratic oversight!
Linkara (v/o): Aaaaand Ratbat proceeds to take a big bite out of an oil pipe. He even makes a chomp sound effect. I now have this image in my head of Ratbat going "Om nom nom!"
Ratbat: My mechafangs have sampled all types of fuel from many worlds, Shockwave... but this vessel carries fuel of a vintage yet to be distilled...
Linkara:(as Ratbat) We will call it Crystal Pepsi, and it will be an instant success!
Linkara (v/o): Actually, it seems that the pipes are empty. They ended up taking the tanker after it had delivered its cargo. Ratbat does the math and reveals that Shockwave's command is far too energy-wasteful for the troops, so instead, they should use the humans to obtain the fuel for them.
Shockwave: My experience with fleshlings reveals they are unpredictable, illogical. Don't use them.
Linkara:(as Shockwave) I mean, for crying out loud, they produced Transformers: Armada. Do you really think we can trust them?
Linkara (v/o): However, Ratbat reveals he's already using them, and we cut to Portland, Oregon, and the Witwicky Auto Shop. In the Marvel Comics continuity, Buster and Sparkplug Witwicky have already encountered the Transformers a few times before, and are currently trying to avoid any more encounters with them. Buster isn't really interested in the mechanic's life, but is trying to help out his dad's business anyway. And as it happens, business is busy for the shop, especially thanks to the giant car wash sign that now hangs over the place. Hell, I think the car wash sign is actually bigger and more impressive than the auto repair shop sign.