Transformers UK: Issue #142

Story: Child's Play (part 2)
Back-up strip: Brothers in Armour (Part 1)
Cover date: December 5th, 1987
Price: 32p
Script: Simon Furman/Ian Rimmer
Artwork: Jeff Anderson (story) Barry Kitson/Robin Bouttell (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Peacemaker, Pinpointer, Firebolt, Recoil, Haywire, Spoilsport


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Defensor gives new meaning to taking the train after this hit from Bruticus!

Inside the Ark, Grimlock carefully oversees the completion of his now infamous "Variable Voltage Harness" (or the V.V.H as it's more commonly known). Beachcomber questions whether this rather medieval looking torture device is a little extreme, but Grimlock insists that Blaster will pay for his crimes - and this device will certainly see to that. With Blaster successfully apprehended by the Protectobots (see UK#140), Grimlock turns his attention to Wheeljack who is still tracking their progress back to the Ark, but which now seems to have been halted. Grimlock has only one solution, if they wont come to him then... prepare the Ark for launch!!!

A few hundred miles south, the four children introduced last issue have made their way towards the explosions that drew their attention last issue (not a clever thing to do, but I guess neither is playing in a rail yard!). They watch in shock as ahead of them the two giant behemoths, Defensor and Bruticus tear up the area, crushing trains as if they where toys. The young Girl called Robin still holds Blaster, who was placed aside while the Protectobots battled, but seemingly had no way of escaping as he is mode-locked. The three boys are impressed at the sheer Firepower at Bruticus' disposal, although it seems to have little impact against Defensor's formidable forcefield. Blaster speaks to them again, insisting that they are all in serious danger, but he will protect them if only they remove the "Mode Lock" attached to him. Allen decides to take the risk, and as the simple device is removed, Blaster immediately transforms - and grows into his 30 foot robot mode!! The four children were not prepared for the awesome sight, but Blaster gets onto his knees and reaches down to thank them - by the Prime Matrix itself, he swears that no harm shall befall any of them...

Suddenly a huge blast deflects from Defensor's forcefield and crashes into an electricity pylon, forcing Blaster to dive towards it to prevent it crushing his unlikely saviours. The kids are grateful for the save, but Jed alerts Blaster to even more danger - Bruticus hauling up a nearby locomotive which is still attached to many cars, and with all his might swings it into Defensor. The huge Autobot is toppled and out for the count, leaving Bruticus to turn and spot Blaster - just another Autobot ready for the scrap heap is all the monstrous Decepticon can deduce. Blaster though uses his previous situation to his advantage, being the Protectobot's prisoner it doesn't take him long to convince Bruticus that he cares little for the Autobots. Bruticus pauses briefly before insisting Blaster destroy one of the four children nearby to prove his words - but Blaster quickly comes up with an idea as he raises his Electro Scrambler (what effect would this have on a human anyway you wonder?).

Blaster pulls the trigger, which fizzles before Sammy jumps into the air spectacularly and land on his back. The three other children seem to be in tears as Bruticus leans over to inspect the surprising result - he certainly wasn't expecting the Autobot to.... Suddenly Blaster lifts up the downed pylon and crashes it over Bruticus, who crackles from thousands of volt's before collapsing into his component Combaticons and defeat. Sammy sits up from his 'as ever' impressive play acting and realises that, for Bruticus anyway, this game is over!

Later after the Protectobots have recovered, Hotspot is grateful for the save, although he realises that it cannot change his assignment. Blaster accepts this, and will come quietly as long as he can see these four children to the safety he promised. Hotspot notes Blaster's noble actions, and Blaster points out that should they ever fail to protect the weakest among this planet's natives then they are no better than the Decepticons - his only crime was helping humans. The giant warriors pause as the four children spot the space shuttle form of Blast Off, and wish they could go into space. Blaster isn't so sure that Blast Off would co-operate when he revives, but Allen places the Mode Lock onto the Combaticon's side - he wont have any choice now. Hot Spot finally speaks up, telling Blaster that he is free to take them if he wants - they have no further use for the Mode Lock anyway. Hotspot would rather turn in his engine than arrest any Autobot who does a better job of protecting than he does...

As the Protectobots watch from ground, Blast Off soars into the distance with his unlikely passengers, where inside the four excited children are strapped into the cockpit. When they achieve orbit, they all enjoy the experience of weightlessness, but it is strictly once around the Earth before returning home. The excitement is cut short as Jed peers out of the windows, revealing that they are now being pursued by another ship - a very big ship, and which is now shooting - the Ark!!!

******




Synopsis 2:


Having conquered Galen and Fortress Maximus, the unstoppable Decepticons target the rest including the Monsterbots.

The mercury gardens of Melanossus are among the most outstanding natural beauties on the planet Nebulos. But today they face destruction as they become the latest battleground in Scorponok's ongoing obsession to destroy those who oppose him. The Monsterbots - Grotusque, Doublecross and Repugnus, along with a host of Autobots non-entities are lured to the scene under the pretext of protecting the beauty spot. But they soon find themselves under heavy attack from the Decepticon Headmasters, and are hopelessly overwhelmed. The trio of Monsterbots are the only survivors after they swallow their pride and beat a retreat under a hail of enemy fire. With the battle won, the heads of the Decepticons detach and transform into their Nebulan components. It is clear that they are all drunk on their new found power and are elated by thoughts of petty gains. Lord Zarak, now binary bonded to the Decepticon commander Scorponok, silences his short sighted men. He rants that their alliance with the Decepticons means there are now no limits to what they can achieve. No force on Nebulos can stop them and soon the remaining Autobots will join their leader Galen in utter defeat.

Zarak's bluster is interrupted as two hover planes arrive carrying members of the Nebulan News Network. The reporters question Zarak's claim that Galen is a traitor - revealing that many people still regard him as a hero. Zarak spews a tirade of propaganda for the benefit of the viewing public and seems genuinely convinced by his own biased version of events. Galen was the worst traitor Nebulos has ever known. and he and his allies had bonded with the Autobots in order to conquer Nebulos - but it is thanks to he and the Decepticons that this scheme has been halted. The reporters ask whether today's battle can be seen as a victory for Nebulos - and Zarak has no hesitation in replying "yes"! Even though, as the frame pans out, we see the beautiful gardens of Melanossus now charred and ruined.

Later at the Autobot's base camp, the weary Monsterbots return with news of the latest defeat. Kup is enraged and wants an all out battle, but it is clear that the Autobots must rely on cunning if they are to regain the advantage. To this effect Pointblank announces that they have recruited six more Nebulans and given them the ability to transform into the weapons of six Autobots, himself and Kup included. Thus a new fighting group has been created - the Targetmasters! Hotrod tells everyone that he has intercepted a communication bound for Cybertron which reveals that there are Autobots and Decepticons fighting a war on a faraway planet called Earth. From the readings he has, it would seem to be an organic world much the same as Nebulos. Crosshairs is encouraged by this and proposes that they abandon Nebulos altogether and go to Earth. Blurr disagrees, first they must rescue their captive brethren and complete their mission. With that, the Targetmasters depart to protect the latest sanctuary under threat - the Nursery.

******

Comments:

Again the production team seems to have got its wires crossed coping with all of the new characters that feature in this mini series. On page 19, top panel, the heads of the Decepticons detach and introduce one another, but the names are all mixed up. The worst example is Krunk referring to Lord Zarak as Spasma, while he himself is called Monzo! Hotrod's Targetmaster companion is referred to as Sparks, when his Hasbro given name is Firebolt. While the message that Hotrod intercepts is the one sent by Goldbug in the future story "Toy Soldiers" (UK#155)

The idea that Nebulos has a media (the NNN) interests me. But I would have expected the reporters who question Zarak to be more critical. After all these people are involved with powerful destructive machines and appear to be systematically destroying the planet as they pursue their vendetta. Not to mention that Zarak himself seems as nutty as a fruitcake! It's also weird how the TV news organisation is called the Nebulan News Network - that would like Earth having the Human News Network!

It is unclear what happens to the Protectobots after this issue's main story, because it first appears as if they where left behind on Earth now that the Ark has left. But a few of them do show up in the background during Spacehikers, so I assume that Grimlock picked them up in the meantime. Lucky thing they did anyway, because the regular Autobots will not return to Earth until issue #198.

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