Transformers UK: Issue #51
Story: Shooting Star (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Robotix
Cover date: March 8th, 1986
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Joey Slick, Jake Lomax
Synopsis:By Adam Hogg
Small-time crook is shocked at the power of the gun he's found. With Megatron's help he is on the verge of hitting the big time!
Small time crook Joey Slick is about to pay the ultimate price for spending collection money belonging to local kingpin Jake Lomax. Two hitmen rough him up in a remote trash-strewn stream and prepare to finish the job. But falling face down in the water, Joey spots of all things - a gun! He turns it on his two assailants and pulls the trigger but nothing happens! The two hitmen laugh and goad the gun to fire at them, which it promptly does with an incredible burst of energy! Joey retreats to a barn and asks what's going on. At his command the weapon transforms into the ex-Decepticon leader Megatron, who reveals how a fall over a cliff disconnected his higher brain circuits. He can now now longer think for himself, just obey orders!
The hitmen hobble back to Lomax to report Slick's escape (how the hell did they survive a blast from Megatron??). The gangster is most unhappy and sends four of his best heavies to track down Joey and make him pay! Joey meanwhile returns home, receiving many kind comments from the locals who all know him. Inside his run down apartment he begins to wonder where he is going in life before hearing footsteps on the stairs, and seeing cars in the street that are definitely too classy for his neighbourhood! He picks-up Megatron and climbs onto the roof pursued by Lomax's men. Joey tells Megatron to blast a huge water tank, and succeeds in knocking all four unconscious!
Taking to the road, he looks for a motel as it begins to get late, but with just a few dollars he is turned away. The obvious alternative for a petty crook is to rob the local convenience, which nets him cash but brings the police after him. However a blast from Megatron opens up the road and puts paid to that chase. Joey begins to realise he is on to a good thing here.
I love a good gangster movie and I can only assume Bob Budiansky does too with this homage. There are a few things that don't add up though, such as why Megatron has no failsafe to prevent his higher brain functions disconnecting after a nasty jolt. In theory he could be used by his enemies or anyone in his complient state. I'll bet the Autobots wish they knew about this weakness. Given Megs' power it is odd that the gangsters whom Joey shoots don't die. I can only assume that grisily deaths are too much for a comic that might be read by youngsters.