Transformers UK: Issue #43
Story: Crisis of Command (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Iron Man
Cover date: 11th Jan, 1986
Script: Mike Collins
Artwork: Geoff Senior (story) John Ridgway (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Bumblebee has a shock in store as his pursuit of Ravage leads him into a deadly Decepticon trap!
Bumblebee skids to a halt on a desert plain and switches to infrared to scan for the fugitive Ravage. He sees him darting-out from behind a distant boulder and vows he won't let him escape this time! A flashback to the Ark a few hours ago sees Bumblebee discovering Ravage's escape and rushing to inform Optimus Prime. He found the Autobot leader troubled and indecisive, and it seemed like his more agressive number two, Prowl, was calling the shots. Bumblebee had been shocked to see Prime this way and thought he could lift his spirits by recapturing Ravage. He pursues the master-spy into a narrow ravine and emerges into a clearing.. and straight into a Decepticon trap!
Back at the Ark Prime realises something is wrong when he runs into Hound and Mirage, who were supposed to out looking for Ravage. Bumblebee never informed them and must have gone alone. The pieces fall into place as Prime works out that Ravage was captured too-easily and must have planned to escape and be followed, luring an unsuspecting Autobot to his doom! Sure enough Bumblebee is now face to face with a dozen heavily armoured Decepticons led by Soundwave. He turns and runs but Laserbeak pursues, firing three missiles at Bumblebee. Skywarp picks-up the 'pathetic mini-bot' and makes him eat dirt when he tries to throw a punch! The bullies gather around Bumblebee and taunt him with their plans for holding him random in exchange for Optimus Prime! This is something he cannot allow and transforms into car mode, scattering his assailants and racing off. Suddenly Starscream blocks his path and Bumblebee realises there is nowhere to run - he is captured!
Hours later the Autobots are really beginning to fear for their friend, when suddenly Ark sensors pick up an airborne distress signal - could it be Bumblebee? They rush outside and see Laserbeak drop something, possibly a bomb. The Autobots dive for cover but there is no explosion. Finally they approach the object and discover to their horror, the twisted and smoking arm of the missing Bumblebee!
The seeds that were planted last issue are coming to fruition now as the Decepticons succeed in their sinister aim to capture an Autobot hostage. And there we were thinking Ravage's purpose was solely to gather information. The Decepticons may be minus Shockwave and Megatron but they are still a force to be reckoned with, as is evident by the gathering on page 8. No Constructicons though - where could they be? The Deceps show off their capacity for evil as they attack the weakest of the Autobots using the strength of their numbers. They are not adverse to a bit of tortury or mutilation to make their point either, it would seem. Good shock value ending, building us up to believe Laserbeak was delivering a bomb, and finding out it is Bumblebee's arm.