James Gunn may be wrapping up his time at Marvel, but he left the MCU with one tremendous Easter egg that ‘80s kids are sure to recognize. SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY HOLIDAY SPECIAL.
As James Gunn confirmed in his Mastodon post, the Go-Bots are official MCU canon. In the Holiday Special, Drax and Mantis run across plenty of cosplayers outside the famous Chinese Theater. There’s a Captain America costume so accurate that Mantis is convinced it’s Steve Rogers in the flesh.
The real gem of this bit is when Drax spots a spot-on Cy-Kill. In true James Gunn fashion, we learn that Drax’s cousin was killed by a Go-Bot, thus confirming that the planet Gobotron and all the Go-Bots exist in the MCU.
For those who weren’t raised on gloriously cheesy ‘80s cartoons, who or what is a Go-Bot? Hailing from the aforementioned Gobotron, most of us see them as the Sam’s Choice Transformers, but they had a significant following at one point.
In the early 1980s, they were actually introduced first, and they even had their own cartoon show and a movie, 1986’s Go-Bots: Battle of the Rock Lords. While Hasbro had the Transformers with Marvel Comics creating the backstories, Tonka had the chief rival, the Go-Bots.
In the end, kids chose the Autobots and Decepticons, and Hasbro won the robot toy war. Now thanks to the GOTG Holiday Special, the Go-Bots could very well make a comeback. That could have implications for their first comic appearance.
Despite having predated the Transformers in toy form and having a cartoon series in 1984, the Go-Bots’ first comic didn’t arrive until 2018. From its early days, IDW has made itself famous for securing the publishing rights to classic franchises, particularly cartoons and toy lines from the ‘80s. They’ve been printing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, and Transformers comics for decades. Four years ago, they added the Go-Bots to the ranks, which didn’t exactly turn heads at the time. Now that the Transformers doppelgangers have arrived in the MCU, this issue should get much more intriguing.
To this point, there has been little to no interest in Go-Bots #1. There are no recorded online sales for any grades. In fact, CGC has just one (that’s right—one) graded copy on its census, and it’s a 9.4. Aside from that, the only other graded Go-Bots #1s are three signed variant covers (although there’s no indication which variant this is), all of which scored 9.8s. In total, that makes only four total graded copies.
Head over to eBay, and you can find the standard cover for about $5 to $10. While you’re cruising the auction sites, you might as well add the two variants to your shopping cart for around $5 each.
What does the future have to hold for the Go-Bots? That remains to be seen, but we can cross our fingers that we’ll see them again in the MCU, but don’t expect them to have their own franchise. However, I can see the Go-Bots being a running joke on the cosmic side of things, which would be fun in itself.
Of course, it does beg the question, are there any other Hasbro franchises linked to the MCU? Who wouldn’t want to see a live-action Marvel/Transformers crossover? We can only hope for more.