Transformers UK: Issue #22
Story: The New Order (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Machine Man, The Chromobots, Planet Terry
Cover date: July 13th, 1985
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Alan Kupperberg
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Josie Beller, G.B. Blackrock
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
The defeated Autobots will serve the Decepticons as spare parts in the new era of Shockwave's rule!
The story opens in the most bizarre circumstances with a scene from the 80's sci-fi series V (where Mike Donavan learns that Earth's visitors are really reptiles with sinister intentions)! Shockwave is studying television to learn more about the world he plans to conquer and is flicking through channels. One news broadcast, featuring millionaire businessman G.B.Blackrock on his new state-of-the-art oil drilling platform, catches the Decepticon's lone eye. He makes a mental note that this could be a potential fuel source for the Decepticons, once they have recovered from the effects of the poisioned fuel (created by their former captive Sparkplug Witwicky). He strolls through a large room where the Autobots are now hanging deactivated from the ceiling like slabs of meat in a butcher's freezer, before arriving in a medical area where Thundercracker, Starscream, Ravage, Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are being re-energized. Megatron is nearby, and manacled to a wall while his internal injuries are healing.
Megs thanks the despised Shockwave for arriving when he did, and makes it clear that he expects to resume command immediately. Shockwave disagrees pointing out that his catastophic leadership nearly resulted in an Autobot victory. Worse still he allowed himself to be tricked by a lowly human! Logic dictates that new leadership is called for and Shockwave will provide it. Megatron is enraged but he knows he is too weak to argue in his current state and must bide his time. Shockwave warns him that he will have to get used to following orders or face destruction - and demonstrates the point by blowing a deactivated Autobot in two!
Issue 22 has been a long time coming but on first impressions it is well worth the wait. The comic has been revamped and a dedicated letters page 'Soundwaves' has been established, under the auspices of the Decepticon's communications officer. Out goes the chaotic free-flowing layout of Openers and in comes Trans Formation. Overall I prefer this new approach, and once the superfluous back-up strips got the elbow the book would be even better. Storywise this is a milestone, I can think of no time before or after when things have been so bleak for the Autobots, or the war so one-sided. It is hard to predict where the storyline is going and Shockwave's decision to assume leadership may caught some readers by surprise. One thing is for certain and that is that Megatron will not tolerate this situation for long! This issue also features the first of the infrequent Robot War updates, and tells us where the events of the past 13 issues fit in the overall continuity. For the first time ever the Transformers logo on the front features the Decepticon colours and insignia! A fitting time for it though!