The final year of the original cell animated cartoon series consisted of a measily 3 episodes but brought to life some of the best Transformers toys of all time.  What a shame they didn't keep the series going at this point!   In this column, we'll provide a summary of the 4th season shows and comics which brought this year's toys to life!

94. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1 
95. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2

by Marf Wolfman, Cherie Wilderson & Michael Charles Hill;  The ending of Dark Awakening is completely re-done with Optims' lifeless body dragged out of the star cruiser by a couple of humans.  They also come in contact with a 'spore' which feeds on hatred.  The hate-spore spreads throughout the universe infecting all life, (humans, A's, D's, Q's...)  After a Quintesson brings Optimus back to life he proceeds on a mission to retrieve the Matrix from the infected Rodimus Prime and save the day.
                                   bad plot, good animation
96. The Rebirth, part 1, by David Wise
97. The Rebirth, part 2, by David Wise
98. The Rebirth, part 3, by David Wise

Decepticons lead an assault on Autobot City to steal the "Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber.  Many new TF's introduced including: Sixshot, A&D Clones, Punch/Counterpunch, Throttlebots & others...  D's travel to Cybertron and open the Plasm Energy Chamber.  A group of A's follo in a starship & a bolt of plasma energy blasts their ship all the way to the Planet "Nebulos."  D's follow and in conuunction w/ the planet's inhabitants, A's and D's create HeadMaster and TargetMaster TFs.  Many more new TF's are introduced including Fortress Maximus, Scoprponk...  Show ends with a very Beast Machines-esque transformation of the planet Cybertron.
                      okay plot, good animation  

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issue #28 cover 
MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES!  by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey;  Commander Grimlock orders Blaster and Golbug to retrieve the Mechanic and the As tools he stole. Blaster turns him over to the authorities. Blaster and Goldbug go on the run from Grimlock, who is letting leadership go to his head.
issue #29 cover 
CRATER CRITTERS by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
A space freighter crash-lands in the Southwest. Ratbat sends Astrotrain, Blitzwing, and Octane to Earth to investigate. The pilot is infected with Scraplets and the triple changers become infected as well. Scraplets are very tiny robots that transform into nuts and bolts and eat TFs. Blaster and Goldbug investigate and become infected. They enlist the aid of a scientist named Charlie Fong, but will it be too late?
issue #30 cover
THE CURE!  by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Ratbat sends the Throttlebots to Earth to destroy any TF infected with Scraplets. Can Charlie Fong find a cure in time? Will he be able to use it? And will the Scraplets fight back? In a side note, Fong also appeared in Sleepwalker written by Budiansky.
issue #31 cover
BUSTER WITWICKY AND THE CAR WASH OF DOOM by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Jim Fern
Buster and his girlfriend, Jessie fight Ratbat in a car wash (lousy issue).
issue #32 cover 
USED AUTOBOTS  by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Blaster and the Throttlebots, running from Grimlock, hide in a used car lot. But when the Rapid Anti-robot Assault Team (RAAT), the Combaticons, and the Protectobots come to retrieve them, you know theres going to be a battle. Continued in issue 35.
issue #33 cover
issue #34 cover
by: Steve Parkhouse, John Ridgway
Reprinting an early tale of the TFs comic in the UK. As track a signal to Stansham, where they befriend a boy named Sammy Harker. Sammy tells them a tale of a huge man of iron from 1017.
issue #35 cover
CHILDS PLAY  by: Bob Budiansky, Don Perlin, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
The Protectobots, with their prisoner Blaster, are ambushed by the Combaticons. Blaster is freed in the battle, and rescued by a group of children to be known as the Spacehikers. Blaster takes them into space as a reward for freeing him.
issue #36 cover
SPACEHIKERS!  by: Bob Budiansky, Jose Delbo, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Tired of Grimlocks leadership, Wheeljack calls an old friend Sky Lynx to come help. Grimlock finally gets the Ark back into space. The As capture the Spacehikers and Blaster surrenders to Grimlock.
issue #37 cover 
TOY SOLDIERS!  by: Bob Budiansky, Jose Delbo, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Back on Earth, Ratbats forces have their way without As to stop them. Also, the fate of the Throttlebots and a message is sent to Headmasters issue #4. 

Headmasters #1 cover
by: Bob Budiansky, Frank Springer, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Some As led by Fortress Maximus leave Cybertron looking for peace, but do not find it on Nebulos. To prove their peaceful intentions, the As lay down their arms... and heads.
Headmasters, #2 cover
BROKEN GLASS!  by: Bob Budiansky, Frank Springer, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey; Lord Zarak sends a secret message to Cybertron. Scorpinok and his Ds follow the As to Nebulos (of course). The Ds attack Nebulos, so Galen and some other Nebulans became the heads for the five As and turn back the Ds.
Headmasters, #3 cover
LOVE AND STEEL! by: Bob Budiansky, Frank Springer, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey  Its Terrorcons vs. Technobots, and the creation of the Decepticon Headmasters.
Headmasters, #4 cover
BROTHERS IN ARMOR!! by: Bob Budiansky, Frank Springer, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey;  The Targetmasters are created. The message from TF#37 is received, and the As leave Nebulos with the understanding that the Ds will follow and Nebulos will return to peace.

Transformers issue #38 cover
TRIAL BY FIRE! by: Bob Budiansky, Jose Delbo, Dave Hunt
Fortress Maximus is rebuilt bigger and Cerebros is included. Spike Witwicky arrives from college to visit his dad and brother Buster. When Scorpinok kills Galen, Spike takes over the role of Headmaster.
issue #39 cover
by: Bob Budiansky, Jose Delbo, Dave Hunt
The Ds leave Buster on a deserted island. When Fortress Maximus and his As come to rescue him, the island closes up and launches into space.

Japanese Headmasters cartoon

The year is 2011. With the events of "The Return of Optimus Prime" having occurred the previous year (2010), this series features favorites like Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod and Galvatron; while introducing new characters such as Sixshot, the Trainbots and the Headmasters. Also note that with the appearance of characters such as Sideswipe and Prowl, that the events of the animated movie did not occur in this continuity.

Note that all synopses use the western name for common characters and terms.

1. Four Warriors Come Out of the Sky - Galvatron leads some D's, including the D. Headmasters to Cybertron to take Vector Sigma for himself. Reinforcements are called from Athena and Earth to stop them. The Earth A's are being blocked by Sixshot and other D's. The A. Headmasters arrive at the end.

2. The Mystery of Planet Master - The story of the Transformers that left Cybertron for planet Master is told. Optimus Prime searches Cybertron for Vector Sigma and Hot Rod searches Earth for the matrix. Blaster and Soundwave destroy each other.

3. Birth of Double Convoy

4. Operation: Cassette

5. Rebellion on Planet Beast

6. Approach of the Demon Meteorite

7. The Four-Million Year Old Veil of Mystery

8. Terror of the Six Shadows

9. Seibertron is in Grave Danger, Pt. 1

10. Seibertron is in Grave Danger, Pt. 2

11. Scorponok, the Shallow Emperor

12. The Dormant Volcano Mysteriously Erupts

13. Head On, Fortress Maximus

14. Explosion on Mars!! Maximaus is in Danger

15. Explosion on Mars!! Megazarak Appears

16. The Return of the Immortal Emperor

17. SOS from Planet Sandra

18. The Most Important Thing in the World

19. Battle to the Death on the Beehive Planet

20. Tide-turning Battle on the False Planet

21. Find Megazarak's Weak Spot

22. Head Formation of Friendship

23. Mystery of the Space Pirate Ship

24. The Death of Ultra Magnus

25. The Emperor of Destruction Vanishes on an Iceberg

26. I Risk My Life for Earth

27. The Miracle Warriors - The Targetmasters, Pt. 1

28. The Miracle Warriors - The Targetmasters, Pt. 2

29. The Master Sword is in Danger

30. The Zarak Shield Turns the Tide

31. Operation: Destroy the Destrons

32. My Friend Sixshot!

33. Duel on the Asteroid

34. The Final Showdown on Earth, Pt.1

35. The Final Showdown on Earth, Pt. 2