Transformers UK: Issue #110
Story: Funeral for a Friend! (Part 2)
Back-up strip: The Inhumanoids
Cover date: April 25th, 1987
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
The Mechanic has infiltrated the Ark on a mission to steal more Autobot tools. Can Ratchet stop him?
At the Mechanic's garage things are turning decidedly frosty for Chief Medical Officer Ratchet. The Autobot is under attack from his own cryogenic scalpel (courtesy of the Mechanic) and soon encased in a huge block of ice. The Mechanic's assistant Juan wants to make a run for it, but his boss tells him that this 'robot' is their ticket to the big time. All they have to do is wait until Ratchet thaws and then follow him to his base where there will be more Transformer weapons to steal. With these in their possession they need never fear the human authorities again!
Elsewhere, Perceptor delivers a short tribute to Optimus Prime, and the Autobots watch as their dead leader's funeral barge is blasted into space. With the solemn duty complete they begin the journey back to the Ark. Meanwhile Ratchet has defrosted and also sets off. Although he feels stupid for allowing the weapons to fall into enemy hands, he knows it's unwise to look for them while he is defenceless. As he reaches the Ark permiter he transmits a radio signal and deactivates the guns. The Mechanic's pick-up truck parks nearby and the wily criminal follows Ratchet on foot.
Inside the Ark Ratchet uses Omega Supreme's power booster rod to reactivate the Ark's gun turrets. The Mechanic eyes the tool and climbs up on to a console to retrieve it, but the Doc sees him and is surprised that a 'car thief' would have the audacity to infiltrate the Ark. The Mechanic tells him that he doesn't like the term 'thief' and uses one of his new lasers to blast a gaping hole in Ratchet's knee. The Autobot crashes to the floor, leaking fuel, and warns the Mechanic that he will soon be captured once the other Autobots return. Sure enough on the monitor screen images of the returning Autobot army start to appear, and Omega Supreme is seen deactivating the defences.
The Mechanic knows he is finished if they get into the Ark and uses the power booster rod to manually reactivate the Ark's weapons. He discovers that the power booster rod has made the giant on/off switch as light as a feather, this tool is useful indeed! As the Autobots fall under attack from their own base, Ratchet desperately tries to get to the controls and is blasted in the other leg. He is now badly wounded and failing fast, his only chance is to transform and put some distance between him and the Mechanic. As Ratchet speeds away his opponent follows the fuel trail and knows it will lead him to the Autobot sooner or later.
Soon, Ratchet arrives in his medical bay and props himself up against Prowl's life support capsule. It looks like he may never get the chance to repair his friend and for that he is sorry... but perhaps things are not yet lost? Ratchet quickly retrieves the parts he gathered earlier and sets to work trying to repair Prowl before the enemy arrives. Before long the Mechanic appears and uses the power booster rod to haul a hunk of machinery into the air. As he prepares to slam it down on the wounded Ratchet, he is startled by the wail of a police siren. The Mechanic's great paranoia about the police gets the better of him and he quickly flees. The squad car meanwhile transforms into Prowl who apologises to Ratchet that he is still too weak to pursue. Ratchet is not concerned, his priority is to save his fellow Autobots who are still under attack outside.
Having applied emergency plating to his wounds, Ratchet deactivates the guns and goes outside to check on his comrades. In all the excitement the Mechanic is able to get away in his pick-up, still in possession of the stolen Autobot technology. Ratchet and First Aid get to work patching up the latest casualties. First Aid is pleased to see his medical colleague in better spirits and asks if he has put the loss of Optimus Prime behind him. As the funeral barge streaks across the sky, Ratchet replies 'not yet', but he has been too busy to think about the dead. He's been concerned with helping the living.
Poor old Ratchet, I've always had a soft spot for him since the days when he was the last functioning Autobot and had to take on the Decepticons alone. This time he's not looking too clever getting slaughtered by a mere human! It was good to see Prowl operational again, even if he put paid to the Mechanic is a slightly silly way, but I'm not sure how Ratchet achieved this medical feat. If you recall last issue all he picked up at the scrap yard for Prowl was a second hand set of lights. Now, granted, we didn't see what put Prowl out of action in the first place but I'm positive he had more wrong with him than just busted headlights! Lots of newer Autobots featuring this issue such as the Cybertron seven and special teams, but not much sign of older characters.