Transformers UK: Issue #117
Story:Hunters (Part 1)
Back-up strip: The Inhumanoids
Cover date: June 13th, 1987
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) Senior/Burns (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Death's Head comes looking for information and Soundwave may find it very hard to say no!
To some this may look like a small uninhabited island off the Florida Keys, but Death's Head knows better. Below where he now stands, extending hundreds of feet to the ocean floor, lies the base of this era's Decepticons. The information he had gleaned from the history tapes had placed the base at a coal mine in eastern Wyoming - a costly error that wasted precious time - and Death's Head knows he will have to move quickly if he is to claim the bounty on Galvatron's head before a competitor.
He makes use of his unique ability to detach his right hand and replace it with an assortment of weaponry, but inserting an axe component. As the Decepticon Soundwave patrols the beach perimeter below, the bounty hunter launches himself and quickly slices the Decepticon's concussion blaster in two. The resulting fist fight sees Soundwave similarly outclassed and soon he is on his backside sporting a dented torso. A quick scan of the bounty hunter's mind reveals the nature of Death's Head's mission - and while Soundwave would welcome the demise of Galvatron, he has no intention of letting 'space scum' meddle in Decepticon affairs. The wounded Decepticon decides to switch to plan B and ejects Laserbeak into flight. Death's Head comes under aerial attack, but fires a splinter rocket at his assailant - who is swiftly neutralised. With Laserbeak out of the way Death's Head turns his attentions back to Soundwave. Using his axe component for leverage he suggests that they talk about Galvatron!
Elsewhere Rodimus Prime continues his surveillance of Death's Head's quarry. The rogue Decepticon is standing atop his gigantic siphon and appears to be gesturing animatedly at an injured Ultra Magnus. Meanwhile Magnus' human friend, Cindy, grows ever more impatient with Rodimus Prime's inaction. She feels responsible for leading Ultra Magnus into Galvatron's hands and wants something done to rescue him. Prime however is going over his recent bad decisions, firstly by not destroying Galvatron, then compounding the mistake by putting out a reward and inadvertently sending Death's Head back to Earth's past. Would his decision to follow be a third error? There is no time to consider that now as, gathering Kup and Blurr to his side, Prime decides it's time to make his move.
At the summit of Mount Verona, just feet from the tide of molten lava, Galvatron revels in his triumph. Soon he will use the siphon to harness the power of the volcano and transform himself into a living god. Entire galaxies will one day fall before him. Magnus thinks the Decepticon is insane, but Galvatron tells him that he has already tested the device (the tremors felt in issue 115) and augmented his already considerable power. A final pathetic attempt at a fightback by the weary Magnus is casually dismissed by Galvatron, who hauls his foe overhead and prepares to cast him into the lava below. He hears a familiar cry from the mountainside and turns to see Rodimus and his henchmen in full charge. This must be some trick he thinks - but acts quickly to knock down Kup and Blurr by throwing Ultra Magnus at them. Rodimus is left to confront his nemesis alone - but maybe that is as it should be. He soon discovers that things are about to get far more complicated, as appearing at the base of the volcano is Death's Head. The bounty hunter orders Prime to stand aside, because even though it was he who put the price on Galvatron's head, Death's still intends to collect.
A very promising instalment topped off by a first rate Geoff Senior/John Burns cover (the classic 'The good the mad and the ugly'). I very much enjoyed Death's Head's little battle with Soundwave, who even when beaten has a trick up his sleeve in the form of his spy cassettes. Not that they helped too much this issue. Death's Head's ability to attach weapons to his right arm is inspired - in fact the whole character is exceptionally well done! I'm a little puzzled about Galvatron's siphon and how he came by the materials to build it. Mt Verona seems to be in the middle of nowhere so I don't know where the metals came from. Also I didn't think he had the technical know-how to build something like this. It certainly wouldn't have been Megatron's style, so perhaps we are seeing the result of another Unicron enhancement? Again Magnus comes off worse in a battle with Galvatron, but at least he has a valid excuse this time, what with the Decepticon's recently-boosted strength.