Arise, Bumblebee Prime? The tiny yellow Volkswagen that cost like $3 back in 1984 finally nabs a show-runner spot, as The Hub Network announces he'll lead a fresh team of Autobots in a new Transformers animated series, in production for 2015.
Picking up years after the Transformers: Prime series and the special Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising movie (which explains why Optimus Prime is not reporting for duty -- yet), the next Transformers animated series stars Bumblebee as the Autobot leader.
Of course this version of Bumblebee never got the Volkswagen treatment, instead maintaining the sports car look from the live-action films. At least he finally got his voice back towards the end of the series, or voice actor Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) would have nothing to do but sit around looking sullen.
Friedle will be joined by Darren Criss ("Glee"), Constance Zimmer ("House of Cards") and Ted McGinley ("Married with Children") as voices for the series, which The Hub Network says will be a mix of 3D animation with hand-painted backgrounds. That explains why the first image of Bumblebee has no background. Painting takes a long time.
It will be neat to see how Bumblebee handles his new role in the Prime continuity. I've seen the character in a leadership position in the comics before, but never in an animated series.
As for the whereabouts of Optimus Prime, fans of the previous animated series know what happened to him. Could he still return in this new series? Of course he can. He always returns. It's be death, taxes, and Optimus Prime, if two of those didn't contradict each other.