Transformers UK: Issue #48
Story: The Dinobot Hunt (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Iron Man
Cover date: February 15th, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Barry Kitson (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Joy Meadows
By Omega Steve
Madness has made Sludge docile and he is happy to enjoy the company of intrepid reporter Joy Meadows!
At a dwelling on the edge of a Californian swamp two elderly humans are discussing sightings of a huge monster. The story is of great interest to three unseen Transformers who demand to know more, and don't take no for an answer when the terrified people try to run for it. With ruthless efficency the information is extracted and the hunters move on. A flashback to the Ark sees Prowl briefing 'A-Team', Windcharger, Gears and Cliffjumper, on their mission to apprehend the Dinobot Sludge. And 32 hours later the trio are on the scene with Gears thoroughly irrited by the wet and unpredictable terrain. He falls foul of a strong current and has to be rescued by Windcharger and his magnetic abilities - with hilarious results as the hapless Gears careers into his saviour! Joking aside, they are having little success locating their quarry.
Little do they know that Sludge is nearby, quietly munching on vegetation and blissfully unaware of the technology in his body, that even now is identifying the organic material and zapping it. A human reporter named Joy Meadows has tracked him down and is busy filming the creature, who seems not to mind her being there in the slightest. Meanwhile the three mysterious hunters continue their search and leave a trail of destruction behind them. The authorities come to investigate, and spying Windcharger, Gears and Cliffjumper, they assume these robots are responsible. The Autobots are forced to flee, but Cliffjumper gives them an advantage by turning a police boat into glass courtesy of his gas gun.
A flash of weapons fire catches their attention and they rush into a clearing to see Sludge and Joy Meadows unconscious! This is followed by more furious firing that cuts down the three Autobots, and Soundwave, Skywarp, and Scavenger emerge from their hiding places. The Decepticons have joined the Dinobot Hunt and claimed their first blood!
It's good to see Scavenger on regular Decepticon duties after the strange absence of the Constructicons since issue 36. He has been drawn with a face on page 11, then appears with his usual 'gasmask' features on page 14. The Dinobots certainly seem to have spread out since departing Oregon but I am curious as to how Sludge could make it as far as Northern California without being noticed by anyone. Last time we were told about three mysterious hunters and it got my hopes up that we would be seeing the Insecticons (well at the time I first read the story anyway) but it was not to be. Shame. The issue features a Who's Who guide to the Decepticons that acts as a reminder of previous stories. Eg. we are told that Megatron and Shockwave are missing and Soundwave is in command.