What do you do with two beloved characters that all geeks love, and no reasonable geek hates? You pit them in a contest that ensures at least one of them will DIE!
This contest is all about hardware, and Iron Man’s got it (double entendre, though clever and original, not intended). Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, has called himself a playboy, a genius, and a heroic benefactor to all mankind. Of course, he’s also a recovered alcoholic, so there’s that to consider. The point is, whether inner demons, green gamma monster, or his own ego, this guy knows how to overcome adversity.
Bumblebee is no stranger to overcoming adversity either (let’s use the movie version of both characters. Not because they’re the best versions, but just to keep it apples to apples). And he’s all about the hardware. In fact, as a sentient machine, he is all hardware!
From Civil War on his home world of Cybertron thousands of years ago, to an intergalactic space battle on the original Ark spaceship, to sharing screen time with Shia LeBeouf, Bumblebee has also made a habit of overcoming adversity.
Since the movie version of Bumblebee has a damaged voice box and can only communicate by hobbling together radio broadcasts (which is not a cheap trick at all, and totally makes the Michael Bay version of Bumblebee more endearing and interesting than the animated versions), the mid-combat banter will be rather one sided. But that’s okay because Stark’s banter, although not at Spider-Man’s level, is pretty darn good.
“Bumble Bee? What, ‘Sting’ already has a copyright?” Asks Iron Man, throwing a punch at Bumblebee’s kneecap (Bumblebee’s height has never been officially determined, but I’ll guesstimate about 20 feet high). Bumblebee, accustomed to taking on adversaries bigger than him, can barely roll with the punch in time. Nursing a hyper extended kneecap, he follows up with a soccer kick to Iron Man’s chest.
Iron Man flies backwards, but engages his thrusters and soars above Bumblebee.
“Excellent recovery,” says Bumblebee by tapping into a mid-’90s sitcom broadcast, “but I’ll have a the last laugh.” With that, he shoots plasma rays from his wrist-mounted plasma cannon. Iron Man, not to be outdone, does the same from his hands, but is distracted by wondering how Bumblebee can scan the entire broadcasting spectra, edit what he needs, and play it back without letting it distract him from combat. The plasma rays knocked Iron Man sideways.
“Wait a second,” says Iron Man, “let’s call a time out.” Bumblebee shrugs to indicate he’s okay with a truce (and we have to face it: robot warriors are much more appealing when they communicate through charades).
“I have to clear up a few things,” states Iron Man. “first off, your name is Bumblebee, right?” Bumblebee nods in agreement. “Presumably, that’s because you’re a yellow car, and smaller than the other Transformers, so you’re kind of like a bee.” Again, Bumblebee motions in agreement. Iron Man does that neat little trick that you see a lot in the movie version where he opens the visor so you can see his face. This allows Bumblebee to see the expressions, the truly human concern that Iron Man has. It also fulfills Robert Downey Jr.’s contractually obligated minimum number of close-ups.
“But it’s more than that, right? I mean, if it was just that you’re yellow, your name could be ‘Yellow Demon,’ or ‘gold nugget,’ or something. What’s the thing I’m missing here?”
Bumblebee sees where this is going. He puts his hands on his hips.
“If you were a Volkswagen,” continues Iron Man, “that would make sense. VW bug, and a bumblebee is a yellow bug. That’s great. But a Dodge Charger? A charger is a horse, right? Can I call you Golden Pony?”
Bumblebee, realizing he’s being mocked, punches Iron Man. The face-plate is open, which makes him vulnerable, but he’s able to bring his hands up in time to parry the blow. The faceplate closes.
“Relax, I was just asking,” Iron Man adds, and flies into the air, kicking Bumblebee in the face as he ascends.
“It’s all Michael Bay’s fault,” explains Bumblebee, re-broadcasting Megan Fox’s rant about her former director. Before Iron Man can fly out of range, Bumblebee grabs him by the ankle and smashes him on the ground. Lying flat on his back, with the wind knocked out of him, Iron Man opens his faceplate again.
“Oh that smarts,” he declares. Bumblebee jumps on top of Iron Man MMA style and starts pummeling his adversary. But from overcoming addiction to out-partying chicks creepily younger than him, Stark is used to getting his way when the odds are against him. He grabs Bumbebee’s fist as it’s about to strike, and pulls Bumblebee close to him. He then places his free hand underneath Bumblebee’s exposed throat, and fires a pulse of energy.
Bumblebee’s throat has already been weakened by the damaged voice box. The energy pulse fatally penetrates Bumblebee’s robot windpipe and exits through the top of his artificially intelligent brain.
“Curse you Michael Bay. Curses!” declares Bumblebee, using a combination of old ’70s TV dramas and quotes of Megan Fox to broadcast his last thoughts.
The victory goes to Iron Man.