Transformers UK: Issue #112
Story: King of the Hill! (Part 2)
Back-up strip: The Inhumanoids
Cover date: May 9th, 1987
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) Herb Trimpe/Tim Perkins (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Wipe Out
By Omega Steve
It's a dinosaur war as Trypticon attacks the Ark, putting him head-to-head with the Dinobots!
The palaeontology student Rachel Becker flees in panic at the terrible sight of Trypticon. But as she stumbles over fallen branches it becomes apparent that the giant dinosaur has not even noticed her. Fresh from his transfer from Cybertron at the end of last issue, Trypticon quickly makes his way to the Ark and sets about the task in hand. After dispatching his servant Wipe-Out to scout the area, he transforms into battle station mode and fires "sonic scrambler" missiles at the Ark entrance. The deadly devices land and begin to disorientate the Autobots inside. A group led by Perceptor, staggers outside to find out what is going on, and before long comes under deadly attack from Trypticon.
On a nearby hill the Dinobots are enjoying watching the fight - once this giant Decepticon has finished softening up the Autobots it will be that much easier for them to go down there and take over. Grimlock though takes no enjoyment from the carnage below, he had wanted to lead the Autobots and was prepared to throw his weight around, but he never wanted to see them slaughtered. As he takes a short walk in the forest he comes face to face with Rachel. This time the human tries to maintain her professionalism and stay calm, and Grimlock is surprised and impressed that she does not fear him. Perhaps he underestimated humans? As Grimlock departs, Rachel can't wait to get back to the others and tell them of her encounter, but before she can Wipe-Out sneaks up on her.
As more Autobots fall, Grimlock sees Rachel being offered as a snack to Trypticon. The Dinobot decides that it is time he thought of someone other than himself and is spurred on to leap on to Trypticon's back and attack. With the boss in the thick of the action, the other Dinobots aren't far behind. Snarl's tail breaks up Wipe-Out but Trypticon's size and raw power means that he is a formidable adversary for all five Dinobots at once. The battle rages with each side scoring points until finally the Space Bridge appears and Ratbat commands Trypticon to retreat. It seems that he has exceeded his energy budget for this mission, and with the fuel crisis on Cybertron critical, he must go.
While Rachel rejoins her fellow humans, the battered Autobots regroup within the Ark. They are extremely grateful for the Dinobots' timely intervention and impressed by Grimlock's performance on the battlefield. Jetfire tells him that he has earned the position of Autobot leader if he still wants it. Grimlock for once is humbled and respectfully declines. He had thought that being the strongest was enough, but now he realises that it takes more than that to command the Autobots, because of his selfishness many of his comrades were unnecessarily hurt. Ratchet enters telling Grimlock that his patients (Blaster and Perceptor) wish to disagree - Grimlock has displayed courage, compassion, military skill and charisma in the battle - in short, exactly what the Autobots could hope for in a great leader. Perceptor tells the others that their search is over, and the all hail Grimlock - Leader of the Autobots.
It is not unusual in a Transformers story for characters to perform a 180 degree about-turn by the end of an issue. This is what happens here as Grimlock's most fierce critics decide he's worthy command material after all. True they have just been roughed up by Trypticon and Grimlock saved them, making his point about strength being all-important, but they must still have doubts? For a start what is Grimlock's leadership style, how will he take-on the Decepticons, and what is his view towards the Earthlings caught in the crossfire. These are all pressing questions that are never asked, and are put aside in favour of a hasty decision. Trypticon's sidekick Wipe-Out didn't last long against Snarl, but it might not be the last we see of him. On the cover to issue #169 Trypticon has a car chest plate which on the toy version is Wipe-Out. Some final points: What is going on with Omega Supreme and his diminishing hardness? When introduced he was 10 times bigger than your average Autobot and destroyed Megatron's Decepticons as easily as looking at them. Now he's small enough to fit in the Ark and gets taken down by automated defences (see UK#110) and Trypticon's rockets! Why didn't Ratbat send some reinforcements over the space bridge to guarantee Trypticon's success? Calling him back just renders the whole exercise a waste of time!