Transformers UK: Issue #75
Story: In The National Interest (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Hercules
Cover date: August 23rd, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) John Stokes (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Swoop is out of his depth this time as he launches a one-Dinobot assault on Megatron!
5:23pm - Main Street, Portland is a scene of chaos and devastation. It has become the latest battleground for the giant warring Transformers and emergency crews and reporters now swarm the area. For the cause of the destruction we must skip back in time by several hours, to the beach at Talon's Point where Joy Meadows and the Dinobots confer. Grimlock and Swoop explain that they (and the Autobots) are engaged in a war against the Decepticons, and that Robot Master has nothing to do with either faction. The theory the Autobots have is that he has been put up to it by the US government for whatever reason. Meadows is initially disbelieving but the more she thinks about it the more things start to make sense. Pausing to consider the lovesick Sludge, who appears lost in his own world, she asks Grimlock for help in exposing the Robot Master fraud. Grimlock has been looking for something to break the monotony of recent weeks and readily agrees. It is decided that Swoop will rendezvous with Meadows' film crew and bring them to the beach.
Meanwhile at the Decepticon coal mine base news of Meadows impending expose has reached Megatron. The Decepticon co-leader is anxious that the truth should not come out, and that the Autobots should remain hated by the humans. Ravage has failed to return and he can only assume that Robot Master is still at large - a failure which Shockwave could use as ammunition to prove he should be the one to command the Decepticons. Soundwave has been monitoring the human airwaves and now believes he has intercepted a communication from Meadows to her colleagues. Megatron is pleased.
At the headquarters of Triple I a struggling Professor Morris has been reinitiated into his robot mind-control device. The Professor deeply regrets the last occasion he used the device (he took control of Swoop and killed a guard - see issue 45) and pleads with Agent Grady to release him. If not the consequences could be disasterous. The agent tells Morris that Triple I has every faith in him. They had been planning for his services for some time and had even planted evidence that would have led to him being exonerated of the murder charges. But circumstances had caused their plans to be brought forward. As they talk complex systems begin to connect and fuse Morris' mind with the huge hulk before him; at last contact with Centurion has been made!
Main Street, Portland, 3:57pm. Meadows' camera crew are waiting for the unexpected. They have been told to park up and wait to be contacted but the men are starting to feel paranoid, like they're being watched. An innoculous looking green construction truck is parked opposite - but this is no ordinary vehicle and niether is its occupant - Megatron! The mighty Decepticon leader springs out of Mixmaster's cab and transforms to full size. Swoop watches from a rooftop in horror as the Decepticon moves in for the kill, stopping the fleeing TV crew in their tracks. The Dinobot cannot hope to prevail against so powerful an enemy but he has the element of surprise on his side and attacks Megatron with claws bared. The Decepticon is momentarily diorientated but soon recovers and slams his challenger into the side of a building. As Megatron positions his fusion cannon to deliver the fatal blow, Centurion bursts out of the ground and tackles him. The terrified camera crew have little idea what's going on but suspect that the 'winged one' may have been sent to save them. Judging by Swoop's current condition they are all in a lot of trouble!
Appearances from the Constructicons are rare so it's good to see Mixmaster playing a role in this issue. The action is really hotting up and Simon Furman appears to be weaving another of his first class tales here (even succeeded in giving an unexpectedly serious dimension to the Robot Master storyline). Similarly Furman's Triple I are far more sinister here than in their early appearances. The redesign makes the comic look the business too, and I am enjoying Grimlock's brand of letter answering (even though he'll be working through Soundwave's mailbag for a while yet)!