Transformers UK: Issue #77
Story: In The National Interest (Part 4)
Back-up strip: Hercules
Cover date: September 6th, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) Phil Gascoine (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Talon's Point is turned into a warzone as the Dinobots, Centurion and Decepticons do battle!
His name is Peter Anthony Morris, professor of robotics, and this is his story. It began when the news reporter Joy Meadows publicly announced her intention to expose the costumed terrorist Robot Master. He had been a creation of Triple I, intended to quell public unrest over the origins of the giant robots who were doing battle on Earth. The agency couldn't not allow its duplicity to become known and Meadows had to be silenced. As extra insurance against any robot interference, Morris had been kidnapped and forced to interface with a top secret government weapon known as Centurion. Instead of following orders he had gone astray and engaged Megatron in battle. His efforts had saved Swoop from and hopefully gone some way to repaying the debt Morris owed to Swoop - the transformer he had attempted to possess with his first mind control machine. That was wrong, and what Triple I now wants him to do is wrong too. The agency has taken concepts of liberty and justice and twisted them; as long as it's judged to be in the national interest anything goes. Morris resolve that it is time for someone to fight back... someone like Centurion.
At the beach of Talon's Point a ferrocious battle rages. Megatron pummels the Dinobot commander with heavy blows, but Grimlock refuses to go down. Sludge takes on Constructicon after Constructicon to protect his long lost love Joy Meadows, while Snarl finds himself subject to a surprise attack from Laserbeak. Suddenly Centurion enters the fray and punches out Bonecrusher. Swoop flies Hook into the rockface and it seems to Soundwave that the tide may be turning against the Decepticons. Though the might of Megatron may yet carry the day there is no sense risking further depleting their forces further. The solution is to obtain the footage Meadows has concerning Robot Master and the sight of Soundwaves concussion blaster is enough to do this.
He commands the battling transformers to stop, and Laserbeak incinerates the taped evidence in Soundwave's palm. The battle is won and the Decepticons depart, leaving the Dinobots behind to nurse their wounded pride. Meadows makes a lot of noise about refusing to be scared off but it is clear that the experience has frightened her. As for Morris/Centurion the fight goes on. The final words of Triple I's chief, from the other side of the blast doors, is enough to make his mind up. Triple I have destroyed all evidence linking Centurion or Robot Master to them, and Morris is a wanted man. When he eventually comes out the authorities will be waiting. The vault contains enough food and water to last an entire year. Morris vows his mission to destroy Triple I won't take him that long!
What a fantastic story with excellent artwork throughout by Will Simpson. Coinciding with the recent redesign only makes it stand out my mind as one of the best stories. A decent ending although I am sure readers will want to know if Morris ever made good on his threat to take down Triple I. I know he gets torn up by Galvatron in issue 101, rebuilt in issue 125 only to wind-up in the Thames, so perhaps he never gets the chance? The Decepticons are obviously prepared to go to some lengths to ensure the Robot Master falacy is believed by the public, because it paints the Autobots in as bad a light as the Decepticons. They destroy Joy Meadows' evidence which is obviously a blow, but why doesn't the reporter do an interview with Grimlock or Sludge to make up for it? This would be a major news event surely, after all how many people get the inside story from a Transformer? With everything that was going on this issue there was barely room for the coming attractions spot, but it is squeezed in on the letters page and tells of visitors from the future next issue. Most intriguing!