Transformers UK: Issue #27
Story: Repeat Performance (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Machine Man 2020
Cover date: September 21st, 1985
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: William Johnson
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Ratchet probes Slag's mind for images of the Dinobots' battle with Shockwave four million years ago.
Ratchet begins his search for the Dinobots by journeying to their last known whereabouts - the prehistoric region of Antarctica known as the Savage Land. Hovering above treacherous swamps aboard an M.A.R.B (Mobile Autobot Repair Bay), he contemplates his bargain with Megatron and the strong possibility of betrayal. Ratchet remembers the words Optimus Prime told him: that he must learn to think like a warrior. Perhaps there is a way he can turn the tables on Megatron? Soon enough he stumbles across a tar pit which appears to contain Transformer life signs. Ratchet gets to work.
Back in Oregon Shockwave takes a break from the newly-captured assembley plant, now serving as Decepticon HQ, to visit Megatron at the Ark. The former Decepticon leader has been assigned the task of preparing the head of Optimus Prime for transport, and Shockwave is pleased to see that Megatron is adjusting well to taking orders instead of giving them.
Ratchet, meanwhile, power hoses the tar pit and unearths the Dinobot known as Slag. He fences off the tar with a force field and patches a monitor into Slag's memory banks, in order to get an idea of what happened four million years ago. The images are displayed on a monitor - revealing five Autobots given the ability to change into dinosaurs who were then sent by shuttle craft to intercept Shockwave, who had followed the Ark's descent to Earth. They must all have been weak after the recent reactivation because they were no match for Shockwave. As they battled, Snarl eventually brought the entire cliff down, with the Dinobots falling into the tar pit and Shockwave disappearing under tons of rubble.
Suddenly Slag revives and sends Ratchet flying. He begins to charge down this 'attacker' until he spies Ratchet's Autobot insignia, and transforms to robot mode. Ratchet tells him that Shockwave lives again and Slag is eager to finish the work the Dinobots started.
It is often wondered why the Ark failed to recognise organic life during its initial scout of the Earth (during issue 2 organic life was said to be invisible to the Arks probe), and yet here we are told that the Ark created the Dinobots in the image of the dominant organic creatures of the day - Dinosaurs. I think the writer realised that this causes a problem, and he makes a deliberate attempt to explain it by telling us that the Ark was not feeling too well at the time! Time also for a price increase with the comic now costing 30p. The extra pennies are money well spent however as the comic is now weekly and published in full colour. The minor back-up strips have gone and strong Machine Man tale set in the year 2020 replaces them.