Transformers UK: Issue #50
Story: The Dinobot Hunt (Part 4)
Back-up strip: Iron Man
Cover date: March 1st, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Barry Kitson (story) John Higgins (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Two crazed Dinobots meet up and all hell breaks loose, with the Autobots in the middle!
Transformers arrives at its landmark 50th edition and to mark the occasion readers are treated to a clash of titans! A human settlement called Doonstown in Canada is in ruins after the rampaging Dinobots Grimlock and Sludge tore through it! In their wake lays Bluestreak and Huffer who had attempted to get in the way! Nearby a heavily damaged Sideswipe radios for reinforcements, which is on the way in the form of Bumblebee, Ratchet and Optimus Prime himself!
The Dinobot war continues: Grimlock fueled by a savage fury brought on by his malfunction, and Sludge who is being driven by other force. The pair tumble down an icy rockface and into a frozen lake, as the Decepticons Scavenger and Soundwave look on with satisfaction. The reason for Sludge's agression is revealed as a sonic device, which Scavenger has rigged up in the shuttle formerly belonging to A-Team, Cliffjumper, Gears and Windcharger, who incidentally are still unconscious inside. Skywarp transforms and reports the presence of an oil platform nearby which can be plundered for fuel - this is turning out to be Soundwave's finest day in charge to date!
Prime arrives, ordering Ratchet to tend to the injured and Bumblebee to investigate how Sludge came to be here in the first place! Bumblebee uses a PET (portable energy tracer) to find the missing shuttle and retrieve his unconscious team mates, then discovers Scavenger's device. He surmises that this is responsible for spurring the formerly-docile Sludge to violence, but isn't sure how to deactivate it without triggering a booby-trap. Meanwhile Prime is holding off the Dinobots as best he can, until his gun overloads and explodes in his hands! They resume fighting each other just as Prowl appears on the horrizon in another shuttle. At the last moment he bails out sending the craft crashing into the lake and blowing-up spectacularly! This renders Grimlock unconscious but Sludge is still functioning and starts going for Optimus! At the last moment Bumblebee destroys the stolen shuttle, and with it Scavenger's device, causing Sludge to shutdown.
The Autobots gather their injured and hear Soundwave proclaim his victory. Mayhem, destruction and Autobot casualties have been achieved, and they have the stolen fuel as an added bonus! Prime hears the words and is choked by a rage he can barely stiffle. He knows there can be no question of reprisals until the injured are repaired, and in the meantime this day belongs to the Decepticons!
And so concludes the Dinobot Hunt... and Soundwave's tenure as Decepticon leader, pretty successfully you might say. Next time we see the Decepticons (in issue 53) they'll have Shockwave back. We aren't really told how he got out of the swamp and personally I wouldn't have minded seeing more Soundwave for a while. Sludge seems to hold his own quite well against Grimlock this issue, which is surprising because Grims is supposed to be a lot more powerful. After this the Dinobots will be inactive for quite a few issues now, and luckily they don't feature in any up-coming US stories for a while. The 1986 Annual story 'Victory' deals with their dreams while recovering in Ratchet's medical bay though. On the Transformations page we hear the buzz-word for the next 50 issues - 'Special Teams'.