Transformers UK: Issue #31
Story: The Wrath of Guardian
Back-up strip: Machine Man 2020
Cover date: October 19th, 1985
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Barry Kitson
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Guardian cradles the battered body of Swoop! In moments he'll have to face the fury of the other Dinobots.
A five ton powerhouse known as Guardian, who was once an Autobot battle droid, has been reprogrammed to destroy any non-Decepticons who try to enter the Ark! Swoop got in his way and found himself on the receiving end of those huge fists. Now the other Dinobots have arrived and sparks are gonna fly! Grimlock leads the all out attack, but this opponent is one tough customer! Ratchet knows brute force can't stop him, but an access port on the back of his neck is a weak spot. The doc jumps on Grimlock's back and blasts Guardian with a precision blast from his laser scalpel. Guardian screams as his circuits begin to overload, and quickly retreats into the Ark for repairs. With hardly a pause for thanks Grimlock wants Ratchet to patch-up Swoop, but the medic refuses, pointing out that there is a ship full of deactivated Autobots and Swoop is somewhere down the list. The Dinobot leader doesn't like that but agrees to do something useful like hunting down Guardian.
Ratchet enters Ark, which is now deserted after the Decepticons relocated to the aerospace plant, and he bumps into none other than Optimus Prime in the hallway. Then he remembers it is just his body and his head is still a prisoner of the Decepticons. Speaking of which, at the plant at this very moment Shockwave is taunting his captive with six new brain modules that he has created and infused with life using the Creation Matrix programme in Prime's mind. Soon the group will have bodies and become the first of a new generation of warriors to conquer Earth. Prime knows that it only a matter of time before Shockwave realises that he has managed to transfer the Matrix elsewhere, and now that these vestiges have been used up there is none left. The Matrix is now residing within the mind of Buster Witwicky, with the result that the youth is starting to manifest strange powers over machines, such as repairing a broken stereo with a single thought.
Meanwhile Ratchet has succeeded in repairing Prowl and Wheeljack and is working on Jazz. Wheeljack, monitoring for Guardian, has discovered some disturbing news! The battle droid has been booby-trapped full of explosives and could detonate at any moment. Worse still the Dinobots appear on the monitor laying into the mechanoid with their energo swords. Guardian ends up on his knees with Grimlock's blaster to his head. One well placed shot will take out Guardian and blow Mount St Hillary off the face of the Earth!
The US market had the better deal when it came to the Transformer toy releases, but the Brits made up for that with all the extra comic stories. A case in point is this issue, crammed with action, suspence and a cliffhanger to leave readers gasping! Great to see Prowl and Wheeljack functional again, but let's not forget that they were rendered inactive because they transferred all their fuel to five Autobots who fought the last stand (issue 8). It is never revealed where Ratchet got the means to fuel them, so I am guessing that some Decepticon supplies were left in the Ark after their occupation. The ship was after all being used as a storage facility. There are some size issues going on in the first few pages, with Grimlock's head being drawn massively bigger than Ratchet's. Prime's body has two intact arms again, which is most strange as one was disintergrated by Megatron in the last stand (again issue 8). I can't imagine why the Decepticons have been charitable enough to replace the missing limb!