#17 (The Smelting Pool, his kidnap is investigated by Scrounge.)
#18 (The Bridge to Nowhere, robot mode appearance)
The Space Bridge appeared, or was used, in several later issues. According to Bob Budiansky, however, Spanner might have been so injured during his initial appearance that he was no longer a sentient being in subsequent appearances of the Space Bridge. Despite that, here's the list of Space Bridge appearances/uses:
#21 (Aerialbots Over America, the Bridge is badly damaged.)
#23 (American Graffiti, the Battlechargers come to Earth.)
#25 (Gone But Not Forgotten, Megatron blows up the Space Bridge, seemingly killing himself.)
#27 (King of the Hill, Trypticon comes to Earth.)
#31 (Buster Witwicky and the Carwash of Doom, Ratbat comes to Earth.)
#56 - 58 (Back From the Dead to All the Familiar Faces, the bridge is mentioned in flashbacks and in comparison to the new Space-Time Transdimensional Portal, that was its replacement.)
#98 (The Harder They Die, Megatron and Optimus are transported to Cybertron.
#104 (Resurrection, pt 2, Megatron, Optimus and Ultra Magnus are transported to Earth.)
The Autobots on Cybertron also acquired a prototype Space Bridge built by Spanner in UK issue #78 (Target: 2006, Prologue) which was used in various issues.
"Please... grant me this one last favour... KILL ME!"
Would you believe, the Space Bridge? What his original alt mode may have been is unknown.
Spanner is a very important character. Not because of anything he did by choice, but because of what the Decepticons did to HIM. Spanner was a neutral scientist who was not only the builder of the Space Bridge, but who was built INTO the Space Bridge.
Remember that the Space Bridge, in the comic-book was actually a giant BRIDGE, and not just a gateway through space. This is very important to the descriptions which follow.
Spanner only had one appearance in robot mode. This is the only appearance of Spanner which can truly be said to definitely be HIM. During the other appearances of the Space Bridge, while it was clearly Spanner's body, Spanner's mind may have been dead. So basically the Decepticons were transporting themselves across the universe via a giant corpse. Freaky..
When the Space Bridge stopped being useful as a plot device it became obsolete and disappeared from the comics. Spanner (or his dead body), also disappeared along with the Space Bridge.
Spanner was a neutral scientist kidnapped by Lord Straxus when Straxus received Soundwave's communication from earth. He was kidnapped to build a device to transport the vast Decepticons armies to earth, with the express purpose of conquering that planet. However, in building the Space Bridge, the Decepticons had Spanner built INTO the Space Bridge. Spanner not only created the bridge, he WAS the bridge.
This was probably done so that the scientist could more easily monitor every facet of such a delicate and vast creation. The Space Bridge was clearly designed to transport vast numbers of Transformers because it was HUGE. The bridge easily accommodated a battle between the Autobot and Decepticon armies, showing just how huge it was.
When the Autobot Blaster was sent to destroy the newly created Bridge, Spanner opened himself up and tried to talk Blaster into killing him. Blaster, being a good little Autobot, refused.
The Decepticons then arrived, bringing their battle with the Autobots to the Space Bridge. Blaster managed to make the bridge malfunction and shut it down, for the moment. This damage may have also been enough to 'kill' Spanner, though it didn't completely destroy the Space Bridge.
Later appearances of the Space Bridge (and therefore Spanner, or at least his dead body) include issue #21 of the US comic. In that issue the Space Bridge was used to transport a massive drill to earth, and was damaged when the drill was destroyed.
In issue #25 Megatron blew himself, and the Space Bridge up. Megatron survived, and enough of the Space Bridge did as well, for it to be repaired for later use. If Spanner wasn't dead before issue #25, there can be little doubt that Megatron's suicidal blasting of the bridge would have killed him. Not that the Decepticons would care. Once the bridge was up and running, Spanner was no longer important to them.
The last actual appearance of the Space Bridge was in issue #27 when it was used to transport Trypticon to Earth. It was used a couple of times after that, but not actually seen.
The Space Bridge also appeared in the UK comic. Perhaps the most significant appearance was in issue 104 of the UK comic where the Space Bridge was used to transport a suicidal Megatron back to earth, before he could destroy half of Cybertron.
Spanner was mentioned extensively in the UK comic story "Target: 2006". In this story the Autobots used Spanner's prototype Space Bridge to transport Ultra Magnus to earth. Ultra Magnus was barely able to stay conscious, it's hard to say what the prototype bridge would have done to a weaker Autobot.
Later on the Prototype was used by the Wreckers and the Sparkler Minibots (Sparkabots). It hurt them badly too, but not as badly as it hurt Ultra Magnus. It's possible that since its first use (by Magnus, in fact) the prototype bridge was refined somewhat more so it caused less systems shake-up. It's also possible that the prototype caused damage in direct proportion to the power of the Transformer who used it.
The Space Bridge became completely obsolete as a tool with the introduction of Transdimensional portals (Trans-time portals, as they are often called). The portals allowed much easier and quicker Transport. However it's possible they didn't completely scrap the Space Bridge as it seemed able to Transport a lot MORE Transformers than the portals could. It's also important to note that while only the Decepticons had a fully operational Space Bridge, both Autobots and Decepticons had Trans-time dimensional portals.
Spanner never had a Transformers: Universe entry. He also never had a toy, so no tech specs. I would suppose that if he had any stats 'N/A' would come up a lot in them. Only endurance (probably high, due to his size) and intelligence (incredibly high, he did, after all, invent the Space Bridge) would have any meaning to him. If he HAD to have a speed Stat it would probably be a ten. What other Transformer can travel from planet to planet instantly?
I don't really think this would be possible. Still a massive "Space Bridge" play set would be really cool. You could open up and twist some things to make a sort-of-robot mode (see the below picture) for Spanner!
Not much of a character, but a very important plot device.
Friends of mine, watching me edit the big picture of Spanner (the full-body picture), were very impressed by it. I was forced to tell them about a little of the back-story which went with the character. Forced? Okay, I love spouting the back-story of these sorts of characters, to everyone and anyone!
My friends actually quite liked the picture of Spanner, which is rather gratifying, as they're not actually TF fans. The big guy was drawn in an interesting enough fashion to just CAPTURE attention. Congratulations must go out to Don Perlin, the long-time marvel artist who did the art on the issue in which Spanner appeared.
I think the last word on Spanner should go to Transformers writer Bob Budiansky. After reading this page, which originally ended, "The one thing that really annoys me is that Budiansky seemed to forget that Spanner was the Space Bridge. No more attempts to save Spanner were ever made." Budiansky had this to say:
"And sorry I annoyed you about the way I supposedly forgot that the Space Bridge was Spanner in later appearances. I wrote those stories a long time ago, and am not sure what I was thinking back then, or if I was thinking. I have a vague idea that my thoughts at the time were that the Space Bridge continued to work as a trans-dimensional portal, but Spanner was so damaged in his initial appearance that he was no longer a sentient character in later appearances. But I'd have to go back and dig up those issues, and even then, I probably wouldn't be sure what I was thinking."
(Thanks to Bob Budiansky for his input!)
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