Transformers UK: Issue #6
Story: Prisoner of War (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Machine Man
Cover date: 1st Dec, 1984
Script: Jim Salicrup
Artwork: Frank Springer
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Spider-man and Gears get off to a shaky start then decided to team-up to rescue Sparkplug.
The US military has gathered outside the Decepticon fortress and tries to open negotiations. But Megatron has no time for these distractions and orders Starscream to attack the humans and drive them back. They prove to be feeble opposition for the powerful Decepticon warriors. Meanwhile Spider-man sees the Autobot Gears arriving on the scene and transforming into robot mode. He thinks Gears is with the enemy camp until the cantankerous Autobot saves a group of humans from being squashed by a flying tank (propelled - in case you're wondering - by Skywarp). The pair get acquainted and Gears takes Spidey to meet Optimus Prime. He helps the Autobots to get past the military blockade and advance on the Decepticon castle, but no sooner have the Autobots transformed than they are attacked by the humans they seek to protect. The Decepticons certainly appreciate the irony of the situation as they swoop down to attack. Sunstreaker catches Skywarp with a missile, proving he's the better of the two, while Rumble shakes things up for Huffer and Cliffjumper. But the mighty Brawn is tougher opposition and punches the Decepticon out. Trouble is, Frenzy is nearby and launches a surprise retaliation for the attack on his 'brother'.
During the mayhem Spiderman and Gears infiltrate the fortress and make their way to Megatron's command centre, defeating an assortment of Decepticons along the way. They find Megatron supervising Sparkplug's fuel conversion and Spider-man does his best to bind the Decepticon leader with webbing. Megatron easily escapes an blasts a hold in the floor, sending Gears and Sparkplug plummeting! Spidey is able to catch Sparkplug with a line of webbing, but Gears is too heavy and falls to his apparent doom.
Sometime later, the battered Gears has been recovered and returned to the Ark under Ratchet's auspices. Spider-man departs, having heard the good news that Gears should recover, and shortly after the Autobot wakes up and stammers something... 'Megatron got what he wanted from the human'. Buster and the others are shocked: could Sparkplug really have betrayed the heroic forces?
The grumpy Gears and self-deprecating Spider-man really rub off well, ensuring lively humour throughout this issue. We have more battles between lesser seen Autobots and Decepticons and most importantly, a starring role for Gears. I don't think this ever happened again. Spidey fits in with the Transformers concept better than might be expected, but wouldn't feature in the book again, apart from in the back-up spot. A nice twist that after all that Sparkplug gave the Decepticons the fuel conversion that they wanted. Again it seems like the Autobots are on the back-foot against their unscrupulous adversaries and things are looking bleak. I don't know quite what they expected though, as it is unlikely that a human could stand up to the Decepticons for long. Optimus Prime doesn't have much of a role this issue as the spotlight is mostly on lesser-seen characters. Elsewhere in the comic the run of competitions continues. This time readers can 'spot the difference' to win a Bontempi game-playing musical keyboard (whatever that is!).