Transformers UK: Issue #137
Story: Ladies' Night (part 1)
Back-up strip: Headmasters: Broken Glass (Part 4)
Cover date: October 31st, 1987
Script: Simon Furman/Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Dan Reed/Frank Springer (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Archeologist Susan Hoffman has made an unexpected discovery!
Susan Hoffman (from the Ancient Relics story) is on the brink of the greatest find of her archeological career - fossilised Transformers! Her team is at the summit of Mount Verona in South Oregon to discover why the long dormant volcano recently erupted, and why the area is strewn with metal wreckage. She begins her descent into the volcano interior as her crew prepares massive spotlights to track her progress. Incredibly Hoffman's feet land on solid ground within moments, which is strange as the volcano bottom should be at least 600 foot below. She orders the spotlights to reveal what she's landed on and the entire party is shocked to see two giant robots embedded into the mountainside, Ultra Magnus and Galvatron!
A week later, some two hundred miles from the Volcano, Goldbug is helping Rollbar to get acquainted with life on Earth. The two vehicles are parked outside an electronics store that has closed for the night, and are watching something the humans call "tee vee". Blaster notes that it's "sorta inconsiderate" of the shopkeepers to turn the sound down on the sets, but luckily he's on hand to pick up the signal at the source and relay it through each Autobot's internal monitors. Suddenly a TV news broadcast catches Goldbug's attention - it is Joy Meadows reporting from Mount Verona where the remains of two Transformers have been discovered. Goldbug is shocked - it's Ultra Magnus - could he still be alive?
Elsewhere Cindy Newell sleeps and experiences a recurring nightmare in which a monstrous Decepticon known as Galvatron murders her friend Ultra Magnus. She awakes suddenly from her dream and sees the face of Galvatron on her TV screen! While in Florida, the broadcast is also being monitored by Soundwave - who brings the matter to the attention of his commander. Shockwave feels that immediate action is called for and orders his deputy to assemble a squadron of Decepticons to go to Mount Verona. "To free Galvatron?" inquires Soundwave. "Free him? Oh no Soundwave... I want you to destroy him!"
Back at Mount Verona the US military has gathered in force, with several tanks, jeeps and personnel, securing the scene. As Susan Hoffman and Joy Meadows talk they here the sounds of a scuffle close by, as a soldier apprehends a young woman who has tried to sneak past the cordon. It is Cindy and she tries to persuade the others that they have to do something to help Ultra Magnus. Suddenly an explosion rocks the area, signaling an attack from the Combaticons - Vortex, Swindle, Brawl, Blast Off and their leader Onslaught. Brawl particularly enjoys pitting his own tank mode against the real thing, while Swindle also has fun at the human's expense. Pretty soon military and civilians alike have fled the area leaving the Combaticons, and Soundwave (who emerges from Vortex), to plan. As Goldbug and Rollbar observe from a safe distance, Soundwave orders the deployment of explosives with the purpose of destroying Galvatron. Cindy remembers Goldbug and asks him to help Magnus, but the Autobot can only say that if the Decepticons are planning to destroy Galvatron he cannot intervene. If he did then Magnus' original sacrifice would be for nothing. As the Autobots depart to monitor the situation from close by Goldbug advises Cindy to go home, adding, "it's over". But a determined look comes over Cindy's face and she replies: "You're wrong Goldbug. It's only just begun."
After bonding with Nebulans these five Autobots are more powerful than ever!
The Decepticon assault on Koraja continues unabated, while inside the Nebulan capital the five Autobot Headmasters prepare for battle. Duros' troops have fought valiantly to hold off the invaders for this long - but now the defenses are broken and the army of menacing Decepticons breaks through the perimeter walls. Skullcruncher can't wait to start stomping organic creatures and hopes to be "knee deep in pink slime". Scorponok, seeing the iron doors open to reveal their Autobot quarry, doesn't think further hostilities will be necessary. He announces his acceptance of Fortress Maximus' surrender - but the Autobot tells him he is mistaken and they are in fact here to fight!
Suddenly the five warriors unleash a barrage of fire, picking off Decepticons with surprising accuracy. They are also faster and more agile than before - clearly one of the many enhancements of the binary-bonding process. Before long Scorponok's army is in ruins and the baffled Decepticon has no choice but to sound a general retreat. As the Nebulans cheer Fortress Maximus and the Autobots transform into their robot modes and stroll into the centre of Koraja. Despite the jubilation there are many Nebulans who are fearful of the newcomers, and aren't sure whether they have simply traded one set of conquerors for another. So to ease their fears, each Autobot head disconnects and transforms back into its Nebulan component.
Supporters of Gort, Arcana, Duros and Stylor rush to congratulate them. But Galen's reception from Llyra is distinctly frosty. She is disappointed that he went through with the Headmaster process despite her objections - and is not swayed by Galen's assurance that the power of the Autobots is theirs to control for the good of Nebulos. All she sees is that the once peaceful man she fell in love with is gone, and in his place, a warmonger hiding behind a suit of armour. As she walks away Galen knows that the battle with the Decepticons is the only victory he has won this day.
Frank Springer, the artist, seems to alternate between drawing Fortress Maximus' head correctly and drawing it as Cerebros. I suspect he's confused by the specs of the toy Fort Max - whose head transforms into Cerebros whose head in turn becomes Galen/later Spike. Galen really has some crummy luck where his girlfriend is concerned. Having saved Nebulos from Decepticon conquest she has a go at him for becoming a power seeker! What is the poor guy to do? Other than that a good conclusion to this Headmasters instalment that sees the pieces falling into place and some great kick-ass action. I'm not sure why becoming a headmaster should enhance the Autobot's abilities but it seems to. I suppose there had to be an advantage or the Decepticons couldn't be pursuaded to do it.
Ladies Night had me worried to start with because I was expecting some kind of 'sisters a doing it' storyline and probably not very good. But in the event it is nice to see support characters returning from time to time and this story manages to include three in one hit. I liked the idea of having Magnus and Galvatron buried in the Volcano, although amazingly they weren't blown apart by the explosion that destroyed Galvatron's siphon, or at least partially melted. Dan Reed has used a bit of artist license where the Autobot insignias are concerned and created his own, but I'm not too keen on it. Liked Cindy's dream sequence and the rest of it though. Notably, this is Brawl's first appearance since Megatron crushed his head in UK#107 proving that he suffered no lasting damage. Who fixes up damaged Decepticons? We never find out, although the word among fans is that the Constructicon Hook does it.