Transformers UK: Issue #103

Story: Resurrection (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: March 7th, 1987
Price: 32p
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Lord Straxus has hatched an insidious scheme to transfer himself to Megatron's body!

Octane was among the group of Decepticons overseeing an Energon shipment earlier when it happened. A surprise laser blast had purposely destroyed a stray Energon Cube and filled the area with a blinding light. Most of his comrades were rendered temporarily blind while Octane was lucky enough to shield his optics. After witnessing what followed he almost wished he hadn't - like seeing your own personal nightmare come to life, a full scale Autobot attack led by Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus!

Now standing before Lord Straxus, a bruised Octane explains in his own words what had happened next (great storytelling as we hear his less than accurate account alongside what really happened). Octane had been lucky enough to survive the initial attack, but unnerved threw himself into battle, fighting bravely only to be overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers. When he later recovered he found the Energon and the slaves missing, but luckily his ego was still intact. Lord Straxus is not fooled by Octane's apparent heroics, but with this raid being the fifth in as many days since Prime began leading the Autobots again, Straxus knows where to lay the blame - with Megatron!

While battling Prime on Earth, Megatron had summoned the Space Bridge in a desperate attempt to escape, resulting in both being transported to Cybertron. Megatron had thwarted Prime's initial attempts to meet up with the Cybertronian Autobots (see issue 98-100), but they eventually realised that he was the real Optimus and not a Decepticon spy. Now it is Lord Straxus who is left to deal with a revitalised Autobot resistance, and a Decepticon commander whose mental state is rapidly deteriorating. Ratbat confirms Straxus' fears, Megatron caught two guards betting on where Prime would strike next, and nearly tore them both apart. The legendary Megatron is soon becoming the more troublesome of the pair, and the main reason why Straxus must act now. Technicians have been working around the clock to install equipment above his life support bubble - now completed, but Straxus is warned of its unpredictable nature when used against a conscious subject. Straxus is undeterred, anything to escape the living prison he has endured since his body was destroyed - Summon Megatron!

In the region of Iacon, a noise that has not been heard for over 4 million years echoes from beneath the surface. The Resistance chant Prime's name in celebration of the recent victories. Prime warns them that the war is still far from over and soon he must return to Earth to contain the Decepticon threat there - if not then they would gained have access to a virtually unlimited fuel and Cybertron would surely fall too. Prime promises that the next time he returns it will be to lead them to ultimate victory over tyranny and oppression (not far wrong when you consider the events from issue #316, plus he finishes with a slightly altered way of saying Rodimus Prime's famous words from the move in the same sentence - "All will be one"). Later on, Emirate Xaaron begs Prime to stay, while Ultra Magnus instead wishes to join Prime on Earth, but both are disappointed. With all this talk of his adopted homeland, Prime can only wonder what has been happening there in his absence....

Back on Earth, Blaster and Perceptor's team finally meet up with the Ark after last issues events, where Ironhide is shocked to learn that they ran into Galvatron en-route. Ironhide was hoping they had seen the last of him, but Perceptor decides to educate him on the variables when traversing the time stream (nice to see Perceptor gaining his great Movie characterisation at last) - but Ironhide is none the wiser. Blaster jumps in to explain how he nearly totalled all seven of them, and only timely intervention from the Dinobots saved them (I thought it was more Shockwave's Decepticons that saved them - see #102). The Dinobots then gave directions to the Ark before departing, typically just when they are needed most adds Ironhide - because Optimus Prime is dead! The seven Autobots from Cybertron are stunned into silence!

Back on Cybertron, the fragile patience so long endured between Straxus and Megatron seems to have finally run out. Optimus Prime still lives, and Straxus wants to know what Megatron intends to do about it. Perhaps if he left then Prime would feel obliged to follow? Megatron tells Straxus that the only reason he wants that, is because he fears him not Optimus Prime - and rightly so, for it is only a matter of time before Megatron crushes what remains of his tormentor. Straxus is left with little choice and tells Megatron that he will destroy him here and now. As the equipment above Straxus begins to glow, Megatron can hardly contain his amusement at the threat. Suddenly a huge continuos blast engulfs Megatron's head, bringing the Decepticon to his knees. While troops stand and watch, Straxus explains that in mere moments the mind swap procedure will be completed, but not before Straxus has let Megatron endure the same living Prison he has had to. Only when the true horror has sunk in will Straxus tear him from it and crush him. Megatron screams in pain as Straxus insists there is no choice but to surrender his mind to him, but Megatron will never surrender! Suddenly Megatron rises and smashes through the life support bubble. As liquid gushes to the floor, the head that was once Lord Straxus' is crushed lifeless with a single fist. Turning to face the watching Decepticon, Octane asks the Decepticon's identity. His warriors need fear not, Megatron is dead, and Lord Straxus lives on in his place...(gasp!)

******

Comments:

Octane's account of the raid on the fuel depot is highly amusing, especially how he tries to tell Straxus how brave he had been while the pictures we see tell a very different story. Some top quality artwork as usual from Will Simpson, capturing Octane's terror, Megatron's insane confidence and the fury of Straxus (crackles escaping from his eyes etc). There a couple more extras invented for this issue, namely the technicians and energon slaves and both are well designed. Straxus' mind attack on Megatron is a hell of a risk on his part. True he has had enough of his 'living hell' and it seems like a good way to get rid of his tormentor, but he risks death if it doesn't work and he could increase the odds in his favour by transferring to an empty body and battling Megatron. For that matter why not have the technicians rebuild his body and stick his head back on it? That way there would be no need for elaborate schemes, though admittedly they are more entertaining! Back in issue #88 Magnus promised to fight side-by-side with Prime at some future date and what seemed like a throwaway line has come to pass. Optimus is making a real difference with the Autobot resistance and its a shame that we can't see more of his exploits. Finally, at last the Cybertron seven make contact with the Ark, more than 30 issues after arriving on Earth! Perceptor seems to be reverting to his movie character by coming out with a reel of inexplicable techno-babble.

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