Transformers UK: Issue #138
Story: Ladies' Night (part 2)
Back-up strip: Headmasters: Love and Steel (Part 1)
Cover date: November 7th, 1987
Script: Simon Furman/Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Geoff Senior/Frank Springer (story) Barry Kitson and Robin Bouttell (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Hun-grr, Cutthroat, Sinnertwin, Rippersnapper, Blot, Abominus, Nosecone, Afterburner, Lightspeed, Strafe, Computron, Peer Soriza
By Omega Steve
If the Autobots won't stop the Combaticons then the ladies will!
Swindle had scoffed when Soundwave told him to be alert for danger. After all the human soldiers had been put to flight and there were no Autobots in the area - so what could possibly threaten him? As a flaming jeep thunders down the side of Mount Verona and smashes into him, Swindle is fast learning that 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'!
Picking himself up, he sees a lone tank approaching, and a single shot from it is enough to put him down. The three human females Susan Hoffman, Joy Meadows and Cindy Newell emerge, to claim victory. Each has a stake in preventing the Decepticons from destroying the fossilised remains of Ultra Magnus and Galvatron within the Volcano's inner sanctum. For the archaeologist Hoffman, the find represents the greatest of her career, while Newell is a personal friend of Ultra Magnus, and the reporter Meadows just thinks the whole thing makes for a great story.
Nearby Soundwave completes his work priming the detonator, while the Combaticons wonder where Swindle has got too. Soundwave authorises them to take a look, while he remains to guard the explosives. Elsewhere, the Throttlebots and Blaster are concerned that their human friends might try to take matters into their own hands. Equally, Goldbug's earlier decision to abandon Ultra Magnus hasn't sat well with any of them, and they decide to return to the volcano scene to help... Finding Swindle unconscious, the Combaticons look around for signs of the perpetrator. Suddenly an empty jeep rolls down the mountainside towards them. Only when it is near do they notice that it is packed with explosives! Onslaught gives the order to scatter - as Cindy and Joy fire a tank shell at the powderkeg, catapulting the Decepticons into the air.
Debris from the explosion lands in the volcano, cracking the solidified lava around Galvatron. The blast is also enough to turn the tank on to its side and both women crawl out dazed. Onslaught approaches, holding the unconscious Susan Hoffman in his palm. Strangely it doesn't take much to convince him to release her, and turning to look behind her, Meadows sees that the reason is that the Autobots have arrived and are now aiming their guns at the Decepticon. Onslaught transforms and turns tail - but not before warning the Throttlebots that their protection of these humans has made them priority targets.
Shortly, Soundwave prepares to wipe out all of their enemies in one swoop by detonating the explosives still remaining around Mount Verona. He transmits the signal but nothing happens! The Autobots could not have defused the bombs in time - but as the focus switches back to the volcano we see Blaster in radio mode jamming the signal. Later, the Autobots disarm the charges and Goldbug chastises their human friends for risking themselves by trying to take on the Decepticons. That said, he notes they "did pretty well for mere"... "Women?" interrupts Meadows, "well for your information we mere women did more than pretty well". Goldbug is baffled - he was going to say 'mere humans' - and if he lives to be another four million he may never fully understand this lot! Meanwhile inside the volcano the solidified lava that entombs Galvatron begins to crack... the Decepticon is slowly coming back to life!
Nebulos takes another pounding as Abombinus rampages in Splendora!
The Nebulan city of Splendora, a place of prosperity and beauty, until a few hours ago when the Decepticons arrived! Now panic and destruction reigns as citizens run for their lives ahead of the rampaging Horrorcons, Apeface and Snapdragon, and Terrorcons, Cutthroat, Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Blott and Hun-grr, rampage! Fortunately help is at hand as the Autobot Headmasters, Hardhead and Brainstorm, and the Technobots - Scattershot, Nosecone, Afterburner, Lightspeed and Strafe - arrive. Apeface and Snapdragon are busy hurling debris at the fleeing Nebulans and fail to take notice of the Autobot threat. But the Terrorcons respond by combining into the awesome giant robot Abominus - who demonstrates he is able to destroy an entire building with a single swing of his powerful arm. The Technobots merge into Computron and batter Abominus with a huge metal girder - shattering him into his component Terrorcons.
With the Decepticons in retreat the people of Splendora wearily emerge from their hiding places. The Autobots reassure them that the city is safe, but only find that they are regarded with the same degree of suspicion. The heads of Brainstorm and Hardhead detach and transform into the Nebulans Arcana and Duros to calm things down. Soriza, a council peer, speaks with them but shows little gratitude. Rather she is concerned that Galen and his followers should see fit to involve 'robots' in Nebulan affairs. Meanwhile at the Decepticon base, Lord Zarak and his followers find themselves prisoners of the beings they wished to ally themselves with. Scorponok has little pity for these treacherous creatures but he has a purpose in mind for them - as raw materials for Mindwipe's latest experiment.
My expectations for the main story were not high because I expected it would degenerate into cliche: three women are underestimated but prove everyone wrong by defeating the Decepticons better than the Autobots could. The idea that humans could achieve much at all against such powerful opponents was unlikely. But actually this issue is better than you would think and doesn't stretch the boundaries of belief too far. The tricks that Joy, Susan and Cindy play on the Combaticons are simple but effective. Such as rolling a blazing jeep down the mountain at Swindle, packing another with explosives and firing a tank missile at it. Inspired. Meanwhile Goldbug would appear to have become the defacto leader of the Throttlebots, it certainly seems like he is calling the shots this issue, even with Blaster! Onslaught declares that, after their intervention, the Throttlebots will become their primary targets which ties in nicely to the US story arc that starts in the next issue.
Elsewhere its special teams in action on Nebulos with the Technobots and Terrorcons introducing themselves to the readers. There are a few size issues going on, firstly with Abombinus being massively bigger than Scattershot, then when Duros and Arcana transform they look about nine foot compared to the regular Nebulans. Once again Autobot efforts are greeted with cynicism and mistrust. Sometimes you have to wonder why they bother in the face of such ingratitude!