Transformers UK: Issue #17
Story: The Enemy Within (Part 5)
Back-up strip: Machine Man, The Chromobots, Planet Terry
Cover date: May 4th, 1985
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Mike Collins/Jeff Anderson
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Adam Hogg
Prime explains how Brawn was able to survive his apparent 'death' at Starscream's hands.
With the trial by combat between the treacherous Starscream and the shamed Autobot Brawn drawing to a conclusion, we see the shocked Autobots witness Brawn being blown to pieces! The dialog reports that no emotion registered on Optimus Prime's face (how many emotions can a guy without a face show anyway?), and we start to realise that things might not all be as they seem. The jubilent Starscream begins his triumphant flight to the Decepticons camp, knowing that not only is he cleared of his crimes but he got to destroy an Autobot too. Suddenly a huge blast hits him and sends him plummetting to the ground on fire. Ravage with a huge cannon mounted on his back has claimed his revenge and now it is time to blame the attack on the Autobots. As the Decepticons gather around the battered Starscream, Ravage tells them that the Autobot observer did this to avenge Brawn and the Decepticons bay for blood (or should that be oil). Megatron tells them to assemble in the war room and await his orders.
At the Ark, Mirage arrives with a surprise - Brawn, perfectly alive and operational! It appears that the electric charge that sent Brawn mad also enhanced Mirage's holographic ability, allowing him to project an image of Brawn's death while he helped the real one to safety, after proving his loyalty. Things seem to have resolved nicely in the Autobot base, and at the Decepticon fortress too. Megatron is pleased that the secret attack on Starscream had the desired effect on his warriors. Now it will be he, not Starscream, who will earn the credit for giving the troops the all-out assault on the Autobots that they crave. What's more Starscream has been put in his place, a hated enemy is destroyed, and with the time now right the Decepticons will move in to obliterate their foes!
This has been an excellent, action-packed story and an impressive debut for Simon Furman in the writer's chair. It is just a shame that it had to be dragged out to five parts, which is a long time for a fortnightly comic. The Decepticon camp is shown to be full of treachery and back-stabbing which is fascinating to follow. Starscream wants rid of Megatron, but Megs is always one step ahead and ready to manipulate any situation to his advantage. Meanwhile we have the loyalty of the Autobots for their comrades, hence Brawn's guilt when he realises the extent to which he has betrayed their principles. The battle between Brawn and Starscream is somewhat missmatched because the airborne Decepticon clearly has superior abilities and firepower. But Brawn is fighting for honour while Starscream's very life is at stake - he has more to lose by failure.