Transformers UK: Issue #26

Story: Warrior School
Back-up strip: None
Cover date: September 7th, 1985
Price: 27p
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: William Johnson
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Ratchet, the last Autobot, must defeat Megatron if he is to save Prime and his fallen comrades!

Ratchet and Buster gatecrash a student camping trip and are invited to join, after Buster proves his giant robot friend is safe company. While Ratchet demonstrates cooking sausages with a laser scalpel, we get a brief incident where Buster is struck with a mysterious pain (obviously connected with his encounter with Optimus Prime). As quickly as it began - it is over, and after dismissing it as exhaustion, they agree it would be best if Buster returns to town with the students. Only after the short goodbye does Ratchet remember the severity of his mission: he is the last Autobot and must defeat the Decepticons!

The next morning, the first shift arrives for work at Blackrock Aerospace Plant Number One and one worker is carrying a suspicious looking cassette deck he found. He takes it past security and leaves it in his locker, moments before it transforms into the Decepticon Soundwave! Releasing Laserbeak to help to deal with resistance, the plant is quickly captured and its works enslaved to the Decepticon cause!

Blackrock fumes at the news that his plant has fallen, but he fills his obligation to visit the paralysed computer expert Josie Beller and deliver some equipment she asked for. The doctor has said she may never fully recover, but Josie is determined to use her expertise to gain revenge on the Transformers! A world away, Ratchet makes his way into the Ark unsure of what awaits him, but soon discovers the deactivated Autobots all hanging from the ceiling as Buster described. Moments later he finds the head of Optimus Prime who wakes-up and tells him to put aside grief 'now is time for valour'. Prime explains that the Decepticons plan to extract the Matrix from him and he has taken steps to thwart those plans. But Ratchet must find a way to defeat Megatron (who guards the Ark) and repair the fallen Autobots. Prime instructs Ratchet to learn to think as a warrior: his own survival will be his ultimate test. With these final words, Ratchet departs.

Meanwhile at the Witwicky Auto repair shop in a suburb of Portland, Buster is accompanied by his friends Jessie and 'O' as he prepares the garage for his fathers eventual return. He is under a lot of stress as he worries about his dad and the Autobots and blows up at his friends, ordering them to leave. No sooner have they gone when Buster feels the pains again, only worse this time, and he notices various tools around him levitating!

Back at the Ark, Ratchet cautiously stalks the huge corridors when a giant hand grasps him from behind! It is Megatron and he wants to add the medic to his collection of scrapped Autobots! Ratchet punches his foes with everything he's got but to no effect! Thankfully Shockwave appears on the video screen to order Megatron to prepare Prime's head for transport. Ratchet realises that he may have an opportunity here and suggests to Megatron that he could help him defeat Shockwave! Megatron finds the suggestion highly amusing, but is a little more interested when Ratchet gives scant details about the Dinobots defeating Shockwave millions of years ago. They agree that he will revive those missing warriors and complete the task, and in return Megatron's first act as commander will be to leave the Ark to the Autobots. The deal is bonded via a sacred Cybertronian ritual which involved both contributing fuel to a beaker and setting it alight. Whoever breaks the pact must forfeit their life according to Cybertronic law, says Megatron! Ratchet knows that whether he defeats Shockwave or not, or joins his fellow Autobots in oblivion, either way Megatron wins!

******

Comments:

One of my favourite stories is definitely the best so far, standing out well in the whole Transformers series too. The comic is a year old and to celebrate there is some great news for the fans: from here on it will be weekly - and full colour! Wow! The price will be going up by 3p but who cares about that when we are getting so much in return? The development just goes to show how successful the book is beoming at this point and it would remain weekly for just under six years before reverting back to fortnightly at the end of its run. This issue features "O's" last appearance in the comic. He wasn't written out, just disappeared. The dialog between Prime and Ratchet is great 'put aside your grief, now is the time for valour'. Love it! And Ratchet's confrontation with the powerful Megatron is true bravery. He knows he is fighting for his very survival and that of his comrades. It must be a tremendous burden. Finally the stage is set for a 'proper' Dinobot debut as the action shifts to Marvel's legendary Savage Land.

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