This is a fun little relic of the history of Transformers Comics. “Ghost in the Machine” was a free Halloween comic released to advertise the Upcoming Generation 2 comic series in October of 1993. This seven page preview served as the first look at the style of the new series that would launch two months later, and at least in my opinion, it pulled it off nicely. Simon Furman throws you into the action, and Geoff Senior’s art creates dramatic movement from cover to last page.
The entire plot of this issue is that there is a cache of weapons the Autobots and Decepticons are attempting to each claim it, with the Autobots being completely outnumbered. Hot rod tries to set up a distraction to turn the tide, and a monster begins to attack. Once the Decepticons flee, it is revealed that Hot Rod failed, and the Autobots quickly retreat since they realize they too are in mortal danger. A lot happens to have neither side win. But that’s ok, because the ride was worth it.
Its nice to see the Decepticon Pretenders featured as the main antagonists, and the generic Decepticons feature enough variation in design where while dying, they are unique, which is refreshing. Bludgeon continues to be a force to be reckoned with, and its nice to see him do fairly well, considering what happens to him in issue #5 of Generation 2. The use if the old accidental distraction trope added just enough humor to the end of the issue to break the otherwise tense feel of the plot. The design of the monster is creepy enough to be cool, but still very much the 90’s generic monster. In an interesting decision, both Grimlock and Sideswipe appear in their toy colors unlike the rest of the Generation 2 Comic series, a nice nod to the toyline.
Overall it is an enjoyable little issue. The Story itself is featured in Issue #2 of the main series, so it is relatively easy to find, but as the Halloween edition, because of the thin quality of the paper, and the age, it is not the easiest to find.