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Comic Book / GoBots

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Not your daddy's GoBots.
GoBots was a five-issue miniseries published by IDW Publishing in 2018 and written and illustrated by Tom Scioli of American Barbarian and Transformers vs. G.I. Joe fame. The comic book is a reimagining of Tonka's GoBots franchise that uses some characters from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but differs drastically from the established canon.

In this series, GoBots are reinterpreted as sentient robots built by humans to be their servants, with Cy-Kill leading an uprising towards humanity and opposition to his faction led by Leader-1.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Stretch is colored black in this comic when his depiction in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon and his original toy Tux were colored white.
  • Adaptation Species Change: The GoBots in this continuity are fully robotic rather than an organic race who had their brains inserted into robotic shells. Furthermore, they are man-made automatons rather than from outer space.
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Matt Hunter was a pilot while Nick Burns and A.J. Foster were cadets. In this comic, Matt Hunter is a racecar driver, Nick Burns is a pilot and A.J. Foster is an undergrad.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Owing to the GoBots being robots built on Earth in this continuity rather than alien cyborgs, the miniseries omits the Last Engineer and the Master Renegade.
    • Dr. Anya Turgenova and General Newcastle are the only human allies of the Guardians to not be featured in this continuity.
  • Anyone Can Die: A lot of notable characters die, the most prominent ones being Nick Burns, A.J. Foster, Cy-Kill and Leader-1.
  • Canon Foreigner: Stretch's owner T. Coriander Banks is a new character created for the comic who did not exist in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
  • Canon Welding: The end of the series implies that the GoBots are precursors to Transformers, in particular hinting that Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are respectively descended from Road Ranger and Bug Bite and that Starscream was constructed from the remains of Leader-1 and Cy-Kill.
  • Crossover Relatives: See Canon Welding.
  • Darker and Edgier: The comic is considerably darker than the Challenge of the GoBots cartoon, having more violence and the endangering of humanity being a central theme of the miniseries.
  • Disintegration Chamber: The "Go-Bot De-Materializer", which Turbo uses to "disintegrate" Loco. Except it's actually a time machine.
  • Foreshadowing: The Canon Wielding is hinted at through Road Ranger’s use of phrases such as “Transform and Roll Out” and “more than meets the eye”.
  • Gender Flip: Vamp and Spay-C are depicted as male GoBots, when the Challenge of the GoBots cartoon established that they were female.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Leader-1 leads opposition towards Cy-Kill's faction to defend humanity, but over time proves to be just as ruthless and callous, to the point that he's willing to reprogram his fellow GoBots to erase their memories.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Cy-Kill's many atrocities and reckless grabs for power are implied to be violent ways of compensating for the humiliation of being created as a vehicle for his fellow androids.
  • Moe Greene Special: Turbo ultimately kills Cy-Kill by blasting him in the eyes, resulting in his corpse falling over with huge holes where the eyes used to be.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: T. Coriander Banks' last words are lamenting the realization that his efforts in reprogramming GoBots so they'd be willing to fight one another has indirectly resulted in their uprising towards humanity.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Dark Angel Eno resembles the blue and white redeco of the Leader-1 toy.
    • Crasher is depicted sporting the white and blue color scheme of her original toy in the miniseries' first two issues, later switching to her more familiar black and orange color scheme when she resurfaces in the fourth issue.
    • The Lazer Lance required to defeat Zod is a nod to how the original Zod toy came with a special lance that could be used to activate or deactivate the electronic toy.
  • One-Word Title: The series has the title only being a single word.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: The fifth issue's cover depicts Leader-1 looking upward despairingly while holding Cy-Kill's body in his arms.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: Scooter’s more childish traits are reinterpreted as the result of brain damage from a botched memory wipe performed on him by Leader-1.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The end of the miniseries heavily implies that Autobots Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are the respective offspring of Guardian Road Ranger and Renegade Bug Bite.
  • Retraux: In a manner not dissimilar to Scioli's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comic, this comic is drawn as if it were decades older in spite of being published in the late 2010's.
  • Robot War: The series' premise is mainly about a faction of GoBots led by Cy-Kill going renegade and scheming to wipe out humanity, with a faction led by Leader-1 attempting to fend off Cy-Kill and his cronies to protect the human race.
  • Time Skip: Partway through the miniseries, the story cuts to centuries later, with the GoBot war almost wiping out humanity.
  • Your Size May Vary: As is typical of a transforming robot cartoon, the most notable example being Spay-C who goes from a full sized space shuttle able to comfortably accommodate a crew of four humans to a robot mode the same size as Turbo, who turns into a sports car.