Transformers UK: Issue #68
Story: Bridge to Nowhere (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Rocket Racoon
Cover date: July 5th, 1986
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) Phil Gascoine (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Adam Hogg
The Space Bridge could spread the Decepticon threat to countless worlds, unless Perceptor's Autobot resistance can do something about it!
The Columbia river gorge in northern Oregon is home to some of the most spectacular scenery around, and its no surprise that visitors are often drawn to its tranquil serenity. As one such couple drive the rugged track overlooked by mountains and pine, they spot something ahead that's in stark contrast to its surroundings - a gigantic metal bridge miles from anywhere. They drive their Jeep onto the bridge to try and reach the other side of the gorge, but this bridge has NO other side, the bridge to nowhere stops halfway - and completely unsuspended it eerily floats above the gorge. The couple make a hasty U-turn as they reach the edge, when suddenly a gigantic robot appears from nowhere, and without explanation disintegrates spectacularly!! Driving away the pair realise that whatever type of bridge this is, they are not going hang around long enough to find out - and neither is the bridge as it slowly begins to vanish.....
Several light years away on the planet Cybertron, this same bridge materialises in the shadow of Darkmount - reconnecting to its Cybertron half counterpart - the Space Bridge! Nearby, Decepticon ruler Lord Straxus is far from happy - the new intergalactic portal has malfunctioned! He orders one of his warriors onto the bridge to find out what happened, but with the remains of his comrade still on the bridge, the small Decepticon is reluctant. Straxus though is not one to be questioned, and while Shrapnel contacts the designer Spanner (see issue 66), the unnamed Decepticon slowly walks across the unstable space bridge. High above all this, the strange Cybertronian form of the Autobot Blaster watches as the leadership of Lord Straxus causes the death of yet another warrior, with the second Decepticon predictably exploding next to his fallen comrade just as he attempted to cross the void. Shrapnel is next in line to walk across the bridge, but he quickly informs Straxus that Spanner has identified the problem - the bridge must be shut down right away for a few repairs. Lord Straxus trudges off while high above, the Autobot Powerglide soars down and picks up Blaster - the pair are soon back at Autobase. With the initial mission still to recover the missing scientist Spanner, the news that the bridge is almost operational is very bad indeed for unit commander Perceptor. The Autobots must destroy it without fail, the Decepticons must not be allowed to reach those on Earth!
Back on the planet of Earth, Ravage brings some much needed fuel for their human captive Donny Finkleberg (see issue 56) - candy bars!!! Donny aka Robot Master has just finished another Autobot bashing broadcast to the American people, but as he moans about a lack of appreciation, Megatron warns him not to overate his importance. Suddenly joint commander Shockwave appears along with the other flying Decepticons. The two square up briefly before Soundwave receives a holographic message from Cybertron. Lord Straxus appears in the hologram to finally acknowledge Soundwave's message sent back in issue 36, and says that he is prepared to do all he can to help the Decepticons conquer Earth. With the immanent completion of the space bridge, allowing instantaneous travel between the two distant worlds, Shockwave realises that he and Megatron must put their differences aside for the moment. Soundwave is then ordered to give Straxus all the necessary information, and as the Decepticons make preparations for contact, Donny realises that he must warn the Autobots for Earth's sake!
Later back on Cybertron, the Autobot resistance are making their way towards Darkmount by tunnelling below the ground, while high above the surface, Blaster watches the Decepticons hard at work on the bridge below - there is no turning back now...
The US continuity did not include the story Second Generation (UK#65) in which Megatron and Shockwave agreed on a joint leadership, so when the pair meet in this story it is their first contact since Repeat Performance (issue #27). Because of this, several UK speech boxes have had to be altered on pages 11 and 12. In the US version Megatron and Shockwave prepare to battle for leadership until Straxus contacts them and they agree to set aside differences. Whereas in the UK version the volatile joint-leaders regret their decision and are about to square up. The space bridge idea has been borrowed from the Transformers cartoon (in which it regularly features) and could be a highly useful vehicle for bringing new characters into the comic relatively simply.