Transformers UK: Issue #13

Story: The Enemy Within (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Machine Man
Cover date: 9th March, 1985
Price: 27p
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: John Ridgway
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Megatron is furious as Starscream questions his authority. He will use Ravage to beat the plotter at his own game.

Another new story but still no continuation of issue eight's shocking climax, but this is a significant story in many ways - and a far cry from the clever but slow moving "Man of Iron". The first story written by Simon Furman, who will go on to become the most prolific and celebrated writer for the rest of the comic.

Issue 22 places this between issues 6 and 7 (3 and 4 for US fans who are interested), which means that Spiderman has just left for good, and more significantly - the Autobots are still functioning properly. Furman has obviously seen enough of Starscream to realise what a traitor he is, but I wonder why he chose Brawn to be the Autobots "Enemy Within", but I'm not complaining though because Brawn is definately one of the lesser featured characters in the comic series. The art is very stylised compared to what has been shown before, with most characters drawn like their toy incarnations, and featuring a gold-coloured Megatron (don't ask me where this came from). Ironically, in this very issue there is a letter asking just exactly why does Megatron look different every week, with the reply being that none of the artists have been able to get close enough to him - which I guess is fair enough!

The story is fairly straight forward, Starscream tries to stir unrest by suggesting they all-out attack the Autobots, something that he knows the others will support him on. Megatron is shown to be a shrewd operator, and after putting Starscream in his place he asks Ravage to give him an excuse to destroy this traitor without disheartening his troops further! At the Ark, Brawn has an accident in which he is electrocuted, and after going on a rampage he leaves the Autobots - for good?

Back with the Decepticons we see Starscream secretly planning Megatrons downfall, but he soon notices Ravage spying on him. After chasing him into the desert, he takes out Ravage before putting his plan into action - attacking a human army base! He thinks that when the Autobots come to the humans' rescue, the Decepticons will come to his - proving that an all out battle with the Autobots is best - and his place as true Decepticon leader!

******

Comments:

By Omega Steve

An impressive debut from Simon Furman, although and in truth I wouldn't have expected any less. As Crespo says, the pace is cranked up several notches in this story with action from the word go. We've seen how Autobots and Decepticons deal with each other, but how will they react to a rebellion from within their own ranks? This entire story was to reappear twice more for UK readers, soon being completely featured in full colour during "Collected Comics 4", and eventually as a back-up strip filler in issues 308-318 (in 1991). Once again in the centre pages, young fans have been designing their own Transformers and a few of the better entries have been published. The one sent in by Christopher Monks aged nine bears more than a passing resemblance to Triggerhappy the Targetmaster! Could be that the Hasbro execs liked the design so much they wanted to create it. Did Christopher get a royalty? I bet he didn't!

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