Transformers UK: Issue #4
Story: Power Play (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Machine Man
Cover date: 1st November, 1984
Script: Jim Salicrup
Artwork: Frank Springer
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Optimus Prime and Megatron battle for custody of Sparkplug Witwicky - the human who will convert Earth fuels for Transformer use.
The Decepticons are truly master constructors and have already fashioned a huge fortress from the metals they stole from the Harrison Nuclear Plant last issue. Within that mountain base Megatron receives word from Ravage that the Autobots are about to make contact with a human who will help them make fuel. The enemy cannot be allowed to gain such an advantage so Megatron orders his warriors to head for the Witwicky garage and abduct Sparkplug. He will serve their cause or die!
Meanwhile, the street outside the auto workshop and scrap yard has suddenly become very busy, but neighbours notice that there is no-one driving the fleet of vehicles who now arrive! The truck leading the convoy transforms into the gigantic Optimus Prime, who dwarfs Bumblebee (the scout the Witwickys helped in issue 3). Prime brings greetings from Cybertron but has no no time for more pleasantries as the jets suddenly attack. Bumblebee is asigned to guard Buster and Sparkplug while the Autobots rout this attack. Brothers, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker relish the action with Sideswipe even strapping on a jet pack and taking on the Decepticons in the air. Cops arrive at the war zone and start shooting, to no avail, while Jessie and O watch with trepidation and fear for the safety of their friend Buster. Megatron sweeps Bumblebee aside and steals Sparkplug, but Optimus engages him in battle and allows the human to get clear. The opportunist Starscream grabs Sparkplug and takes to the air, and with the mission accomplished, the other Decepticons follow suit. Buster begs the Autobots to go after them and save his father, but they slump to the ground exhausted and critically low on fuel!
Only nine pages of story this issue compared to the usual 11 and most of it in black and white sadly. But it is an action-packed instalment with some cool scraps between the likes of Sideswipe and the Decepticon jets, and Brawn saving the wimpy Mirage from Ravage. Prime and Megatron meet in battle for the first time on Earth with Optimus vowing 'the humans will not be taken'. They use the raw materials of the junkyard to great effect - Megatron using a car wreck for a shield, and Prime bouncing an engine off his opponent's face! Starscream gets his chance to show off in front of the other Decepticons (more of that to come) and you can't beat a cliffhanger to leave the readers gasping for more. In this case the Autobots are knackered and out of fuel while their enemies are holding all the aces. It seems the war is going badly for the heroic forces at this stage. There's a factfile on Gears this issue and a letter on the Openers page calling for Machine Man to be scrapped.