Transformers UK: Issue #40
Story: Prime Time (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Machine Man 2020
Cover date: December 21st, 1985
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Herb Trimpe (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
It's the showdown we've all been waiting for - Optimus Prime vs Shockwave: the logical conclusion!
At the aerospace plant Buster awakens to find himself surrounded by all manner of sinister machinery. Just a few yards away Shockwave taunts the head of Optimus Prime (the real one) with details of his latest devious scheme. It seems Shockwave had anticipated the Autobot's desire to reunite their leader's with his body, and had provided a fake head programmed to comandeer Prime's body and use it to attack. Truly things look desperate, but sees an opportunity when Jetfire returns from his mission.
Buster summons the power of the Matrix and orders Jetfire to smash Shockwave! The Decepticon is unprepared for the punch and is sent crashing through a wall unconscious. Rumble trembles as he sees his leader hit the deck - and seems to go to pieces when the human workers swarm around him in a break for freedom. With Shockwave out of the way Buster orders Jetfire to transform and fly the head of Optimus to the battlefield. At the scene the Autobots have been badly caught out by the sudden attack and the shock defection of their leader. One by one they fall until only the Decepticons and the Optimus Prime puppet are left standing. As Jetfire zooms into view Prime commands his body to wrench the fake head from its shoulders and cast it into the swamp. Jetfire then drops Prime's head on to the headless form and at last he is whole again. Optimus wastes no time in turning his fire on the Decepticons and easily beats them.
Meanwhile Shockwave rises and looks in dismay at the space where Optimus Prime's head once was. How could the situation have turned so quickly? A cowering Rumble begs forgiveness for allowing the humans to escape, but Shockwave is oblivious. He has only one thing on his mind - the destruction of Optimus Prime - and now he sees it was always logical that he should attend to it personally. Transforming into space gun mode Shockwave rockets to the battlefield where he finds Prime the only one left standing. The fight that every Transformers fan has been waiting for begins... Shockwave unleashes a mighty blast but Prime avoids it and throws his adversary to the ground. The Decepticon transforms and comes back at him - it is only a matter of time before his gun arm is in position to disintergrate Optimus. But the Autobot gains the upper hand and hurls his opponent into the swamp where he starts to sink. Time is something Shockwave just ran out of! The recovering Autobots encourage their leader to finish off Shockwave - but Prime is reminded that Buster's life is still in danger and he rushes back to the aerospace plant.
When he gets there he finds that Buster has been freed by the workers, and Optimus takes him aside to express his gratitude, and apologies for endangering him in this way. Prime opens a link between his mind and Buster and takes back the Matrix, telling him that he couldn't have found a better being - human or Autobot - to transfer it to. Prime's belief that one human life endangered by the conflict is one too many, has been strengthened this day.
Wow! What an issue 5/5 all round! It is incredible how the desperate situation inherited from the last issue could turns around so fast, but if anyone can make such a difference it is Optimus Prime. Budiansky has been on top form all the way since issue 22 when he embarked on this story and it is no surprise that so much can change in this issue and yet the story doesn't feel contrived or rushed. The fight between Prime and Shockwave is what fans have been waiting for and who thought for a minute the outcome would be in doubt? My only nitpick is that, while I can understand Prime's reasons for not finishing Shockwave (he has more important concens), I don't see why the other Autobots couldn't have given him a few blasts as he sank into the swamp! The fact they didn't indicates that the Decepticon will be back.