Transformers UK: Issue #39
Story: Prime Time (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Machine Man 2020
Cover date: December 14th, 1985
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Herb Trimpe
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Optimus Prime has outlived his usefulness and Shockwave has Jetfire dump him in a swamp - but is all it seems?
Six miles above the Oregon countryside the thin air vibrates with the crack of a sonic boom. Jetfire soars onward with Buster Witwicky in the cockpit, barely able to contain his excitement! Buster knows he has to stop enjoying himself and focus on the mission - which is none other than using Jetfire to infiltrate the enemy base and rescue Optimus Prime. As Buster considers recent events he fails to take note of a squadron of air force jets closing in on his position. Suddenly Jetfire takes evasive action, rolling and weaving at high speed - causing Buster to black out - as he shoots down the opposition one by one. With his human master unconscious Jetfire reverts to his earlier programming and continues on his way to rendezvous with Shockwave.
Back at the aerospace plant the Decepticon commander has decided on an appropriate punishment for Rumble. Since he seems to need guard practice, Shockwave now assigns him to watch over the human slave workers. Should even one escape - Rumble will share the fate of the half assembled jet Shockwave now crushes! Rumble (who is visibly sweating lubricant) is reduced to a stammering wreck!
Moments later Soundwave reports that he has discovered an evesdropping device located within one of the plant's telephones. Logically this is how the Autobots were able to know of the Decepticon's intention to apprehend Buster Witwicky. Shockwave decides that this can be turned to his advantage, and allows the Autobots to learn of his intention to dispose of Prime's head in a toxic swamp. The Autobots pinpoint the co-ordinates and with Optimus' body in tow - roll out. Meanwhile Jetfire returns with a gift for his creator - the unconscious Buster Witwicky. He is strapped to a table surrounded by machinery that will extract the Matrix from his mind. Prime can only watch helplessly and rue the day that he decided to involve Buster in all of this.
Elsewhere the Autobots arrive at the swamp and sure enough Jetfire zooms overhead and releases the head of Optimus. Prowl and the others form a chain (to avoid getting sucked under) and retrieve the head of their leader. After some 17 issues Prime's head is reunited with his body - or is it? No sooner is he reconnected then the silent Autobot turns and blasts an unsuspecting Prowl, followed by Trailbreaker, Windcharger and Cliffjumper. As he revives Cliffjumper can barely believe his eyes. The Decepticons have arrived and Soundwave advises him - "your leader obeys us now!"
An inspired start to the final instalment of what has been an excellent roller-coaster ride so far. The cover is one of best I've seen and I can't praise the twist in the tail highly enough! Prime is whole again and the first thing he does is turns on his own troops. That is something I never would have expected. We'll find out the reason why in next issues 'logical conclusion'. A teaser on the Transformations page gives lots of irresistable clues about stories that are in the pipeline for 1986 including the return of Megatron, five new Autobots, and the Dinobots on a rampage. We also learn that Transformers can sweat! Fuel, naturally.