Transformers UK: Issue #67
Story: The Smelting Pool (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Rocket Racoon
Cover date: June 28th, 1986
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) John Higgins (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Adam Hogg
Blaster mounts a daring rescue of his friend Scrounge from the Smelting Pool - but is he already too late?
The Autobots reach Cybertron's Dead End, a name perfectly in keeping with its sole inhabitants, the derelict Transformers known as empties. Perceptor creates a holographic image of the missing Autobot Scrounge, hoping to jog the decaying memory circuits in one of them, but when the empties are concerned everything has a price. One named Wheezel hints on information, and so a small beaker of the Transformers lifeblood is donated by Cosmos, but while it should keep him alive a little longer, Blaster is not impressed. Impatient to discover the fate of his friend Scrounge, he grabs the derelict demanding an answer - finally learning the sorry news that Scrounge was captured by the Decepticon Shrapnel and taken to Darkmount. His fellow Autobots try the cheer him up, but Blaster is determined to discover Scrounge's fate for himself, and departs in the direction of Darkmount - alone!
He soon arrives at the rim of the Smelting Pool in Darkmounts shadow - if Scrounge was captured then he must almost certainly be inside. Rather than waste any time Blaster goes about getting himself captured, but aiming to take out as many Decepticon guards as possible. He fights valiantly but is soon surrounded - but before being thrown inside, Shrapnel steps in! Lord Straxus might be interested to learn of the capture of an Autobot of his stature, and so Blaster is marched into Darkmount. They enter a giant chamber where Blaster can see a mass of activity as Decepticons assemble a huge structure unlike anything he has seen, and which Straxus himself is overseeing. Straxus is not impressed at this distraction, and although Shrapnel is suspicious of the sudden Autobot activity, Straxus lashes out at him. Nothing exists that can harm Straxus...NOTHING, and if Shrapnel doesn't stop wasting his time can expect to join him in the Smelting Pool. Blaster smiles as he is led off, perhaps this Straxus is not as bad as he thought!
Blaster is then thrown into the deep molten pit, scolding his metallic skin as he splashes into the hot liquid metal below. Iimmediately jumps against the wall and hangs against a small ledge, he is much stronger than most of the Transformers who are thrown in, but he must still act quickly. Making his way along the side, he carefully remains out of the guards view, but just when he starts to question this madness he spots Scrounge barely alive. Scrounge is distraught to see his friend sharing his fate, but Blaster insists that he is only here to rescue him. Scrounge doesn't want to be saved though, Blaster's must take the transmission he recorded last issue and save himself. Suddenly one of the gun turrets explodes above him, it's Powerglide, and he is lowering down a cable. Blaster grabs on and yanks Scrounge from the pool, but is shocked to see his friend already melted from the waist down! With Scrounge still refusing to go and Decepticon reinforcement arriving any minute, Blaster must think quick, and although he is not sure why, he lets go of Scrounge. Before he is gone though, Scrounge throws up the recording of the Decepticon transmission, and as a parting gesture asks that despite all his failures, he wants to be remembered as doing something right. He finally sinks below the surface as Blaster is pulled up by Powerglide, where he is greeted by all the other Autobots holding off the arriving Decepticons. They all insisted on helping, and with Blaster rescued they transform and escape - but within Darkmount six Decepticon warriors who have noticed the commotion transform and prepare to attack (Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet, and the Insecticons).
Relentless blasts rain down on the Autobots below, and the amount of firepower is heavily in the Decepticons favour, but Blaster has an idea. He asks Powerglide to drop him next to the huge pipes sucking molten metal from the smelting pool, where he grabs one under each arm. Pulling with all his strength, he rips out both pipes - raising them in the air and spraying molten metal like a fire hose. The Intense liquid metal is fired in the direction of the Decepticons, burning each one on contact. Bombshell and Dirge are immediately taken out, and with revenge still fresh in his memory he mercilessly attacks each one. As the Decepticons retreat injured, Powerglide soars down and picks up Blaster, its time to return to Autobase.
Perceptor inserts Scrounge's tape into the computer system, now they can discover why the Decepticons considered it so important. The voice of Soundwave is then heard as the video shows the strange planet of Earth. Rich in resources, this planet's dominant life form is the Human, a primitive organic creature, and inferior to Transformers in every way. A group of long thought dead Decepticons crash landed here millions of years ago, still led by the legendary Decepticon commander Megatron, they intend to conquer this planet and use its energy to refuel Cybertron. With the co-operation of Cybertron's Deceptions, Cybertron could become the most powerful and fearsome planet in the galaxy. There is only one problem, some Autobots also crash landed here, and are led by the great Optimus Prime. As the Transmission cuts off, the seven Autobots are stunned, Optimus Prime lives! This transmission is fantastic, and more than giving them facts, it gives them hope of which there is no greater. Blaster hopes that wherever he now is, Scrounge heard this... he did good!
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what Blaster set out to achieve when going after Scrounge. I know they were good friends, but how did he plan on rescuing Scrounge or even escaping if the other Autobots had not shown up? We could also talk about Scrounge throwing his head to Blaster, that way he could have survived in a similar way to Optimus Prime (but then we could go on forever). Regarding the transmission, It incorrectly states that Megatron leads the Decepticons, yet when the transmission was send by Soundwave in issue 36, Shockwave was leading the Decepticons, and Megatron was missing presumed dead.