Transformers UK: Issue #76
Story: In The National Interest (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Hercules
Cover date: August 30th, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) David Hine (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Swoop recovers from the effects of the tracer bug which left him stuck in mid Transformation.
Main street, Portland. Swoop comes awake with a jolt. He is lying amid the rubble of a semi-collapsed building and two humans are standing on his wing. Swoop has a very bad feeling about all of this. He casts his mind back over recent events in a bid to regain his barings. The Dinobots had teamed up with the reporter Joy Meadows to help her expose the Robot Master conspiracy. Swoop had been dispatched to rendezvous with her film crew and airlift them to Talon's Point, a simple matter.. or so it seemed. What he actually found at the meeting point was Megatron! For reasons unknown the Decepticon leader was looking for Meadows and had decided her film crew was a good place to start. Swoop was simply in the way, and being treated to a thrashing, Megatron had positioned his fusion cannon to finish the Dinobot off. All that had saved him was the timely intervention of an unknown mechanoid. Swoop comes to and looks around - yep, that was no dream!
Closeby Centurion lays into Megatron. His arsenal is formidable even for the mighty Decepticon commander, but Megatron has firepower of his own and transforms into gun mode - allowing Mixmaster to catch him and shoot. Reverting to robot form Megatron pummels his opponent into the ground before punching him through the fourth storey of a nearby building. Swoop knows there is no time to lose if he is to get the humans (and himself) to safety. As Megatron moves in he takes to the air, struggling momentarily by the weight of the newsvan before soaring into the distance. From a nearby window a marksman from Triple I fires a tracer dart, unnoticed, on to the Dinobot's side.
At the headquarters of his superiors a state of panic is breaking out. Professor Morris, who now controls Centurion, has somehow sealed himself into the Triple I control room. The blast doors are virtually inpenetrable and Morris has enough food and water to sustain himself for a year. That should be all the time he needs to destroy Triple I - but first he has a debt to repay.. to Swoop!
At Talon's Point the mood couldn't be more different. Slag and Snarl are curled up in laughter at the sight of Swoop stuck in mid-transformation! Grimlock asks Slag to look into the problem and he turns his attention to Meadows and Sludge who are preparing to go on camera. Slag interupts to let them know that he has found a small device on Swoop that was causing his troubles. It appears to be a homing beacon of some kind, and unfortunately for them it has served its purpose all too well, as Megatron, Soundwave and the Constructicons emerge from the sea. Megatron makes Grimlock an offer - surrender Meadows and Robot Master and the Dinobots can leave unharmed. Grimlock responds in defiant tone - Robot Master isn't there, Meadows stays with them, and Dinobots don't walk away from any fight. Megatron smiles, this is just what he wanted to hear. He orders the Decepticons to attack!
That was one hell of a punch from Megatron, sending Centurion flying through an office block and out the otherside! Still, he held his own against the Decepticon leader for a while there, proving that Triple I knew what they were doing when they made him. The story being told through Swoop's eyes is a nice touch and a good way to remind readers of previous events, having the Dinobot go over what's happened as a way of getting his bearings back. The Dinobots can't be very perceptive if they failed to notice Megatron, Soundwave and the Constructicons approaching until they were about 30 metres away! Great quote from Grimlock though: "This is a Dinobot you're talking to - we don't walk away from any fight." This shows why the group is so popular with the fans, who like nothing better than a good giant robot scrap! That pic of Grimlock appeared quite a lot after that as part of an advert encouraging readers to subscribe to the comic.