Transformers UK: Issue #44
Story: Crisis of Command (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Iron Man
Cover date: 18th Jan, 1986
Script: Mike Collins
Artwork: John Stokes (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
The Decepticons throw down the guantlet to Prime - if you want Bumblebee come alone!
The Autobots are reeling after learning the shocking fate of Bumblebee! Laserbeak has just dropped off a severed arm and now challenges Prime to come for the hostage alone, or face the consequences! Prowl fires a shot across the Decepticon's bow, as Prime resolves to accept the challenge. The other Autobots think its madness but Optimus has made up his mind. This is music to the ears of acting Decepticon commander Soundwave, as Laserbeak reports in. Prime has taken the bait and it is time to set up a welcoming committee!
Hours later Prime is sighted driving across the desert and Rumble creates a small earthquake for him. Optimus is shaken loose from his trailer and transforms as he hits the ground. He fakes injury and decks the overconfident Rumble, as he moves in. Suddenly Thundercracker swoops down and deafens his prey with a sonic boom, while Skywarp teleports in and blasts Prime in the shoulder! Starscream, the self-proclaimed 'leader killer' arrives to finish the job. Then something happens, hearing the boasts of his attackers, Prime remembers the greater purpose he serves and is lifted out of the pity that has dogged him lately. Eons ago Emirate Xaaron entrusted him with command of the Autobot army and a responsibility to stop the Decepticon evil, and he will not fail now! Prime gets to his feets and punches out Skywarp and Thundercracker. He lets Starscream take his best shot before sending him sprawling with a mighty right hook.
At the Decepticon headquarters, Soundwave is taunting Bumblebee with the news that Optimus was last seen at the mercy of the jets. 'Where is Bumblebee's saviour now?' he says, and the answer is 'right here' as the embattled Prime walks in. Soundwave and Laserbeak launch a hasty attack but are easily dispatched. Bumblebee is jubilent and tells Prime to finish off the Decepticons once and for all, but the noble leader's top priority is to get his fallen comrade back to the Ark for life-saving repairs. Later as the Autobots gather, Prime tells them that he has considered the argument for creating super soldiers and has rejected the plan. The Matrix will not be perverted in this way. This time there is no dissent, their leader the great Optimus has spoken, and there is no questioning anymore.
Prime is on top form and takes out all the of the Decepticons on his own! They really should have brought in Devastator to strengthen their hand. Bumblebee sums up the differences between the two sides as he responds to Soundwave's taunts, telling him 'you could never lead like Optimus'. It is true. The Autobots follow Prime because they admire and respect him and know he would lay down his life for any of them, whereas Decepticon membership seems more about ambition, deciet and lust for power, conquest, and most importantly.. watching your back! As things stand it is hard to see how they could repel a full scale assualt along the lines Prowl was suggesting, or even against the existing Autobot forces. It is the first time Laserbeak has spoken since issue #8 and he does it throughout the issue! Laserbeak also seems to be everywhere, but no sign of Buzzsaw though. It is the first time Emirate Xaaron has been mentioned, although he will feature in the 1986 Annual story 'And There Shall Come a Leader'.