Transformers UK: Issue #81
Story: Target: 2006 (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Hercules
Cover date: October 4th, 1986
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jeff Anderson (story), Will Simpson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
By Omega Steve
Ironhide and his comrades reel from their defeat and are ready to think the unthinkable - an alliance with Megatron!
Defeat. An ugly word that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Ironhide, who we now see shifting huge boulders, contemplates the Autobot's recent defeat at the hands of Galvatron. He hopes that by doing so he can justify his present actions.
Jetfire had spoken for all the Autobots when he insisted on an immediate response to Galvatron's invitation. With Jazz held captive, the objective would be simply to retrieve him and give Galvatron and his henchmen a beating so serious that they would know what it means to mess with the Autobots. Hound had stepped in to bring a bit of reality to the situation - Galvatron and his men were no pushovers and had already defeated Megatron, Soundwave and Jazz without breaking a sweat. Hound reminded him that he too would be dead if not for Ultra Magnus, and if an attack is to take place they should at least ask Magnus to join them. Jetfire grudgingly agreed and sent Hound and Ironhide to ask him. With Magnus showing up from nowhere, and so close to Primes disappearance, many of the Autobots were suspicious of him. And it was no wonder given what happened next - Ultra Magnus turned down their invitation claiming his own mission was too important, even with Jazz's life at stake. The Autobots went ahead and attacked, Galvatron was waiting for them.
Every available Autobot was involved, and it was Cyclonus and Scourge with the initial response. With Jetfire leading the attack he took to the skies to battle Cyclonus, while Scourge landed amongst the other Autobots. So confident of his ability was he, that he took on all comers. Eventually Scourge was overpowered, and Jetfire clipped Cyclonus' wings, seeming to send him down in flames. A bruised looking Jetfire gathered up Ironhide, Tracks and Smokescreen and decided it was time to go for the boss. The others could finish off Scourge.
They confronted Galvatron at his base, but something was wrong. The Decepticon was far too calm, and the Constructicons just stood around making no attempt to intervene. Then Cyclonus and Scourge arrived, their apparent defeat had been nothing more than a stage managed affair. The Autobots had walked into a trap, nevertheless they hit Galvatron with enough firepower to level a small city. The Decepticon simply stood there and laughed - before proceeding to beat the four Autobots to a pulp. Clearly his plan had been to humiliate the Autobots and show them how utterly out of the depth they were. Letting them live would be the biggest insult of all, they were not even worthy opponents in Galvatron's eyes.
The flashbacks end and we return to the present day and Ironhide who has uncovered two buried Decepticons. Without Optimus Prime the Autobots don't have a chance. They need someone to take charge - to lead them - but surely not Megatron??
Epilogue: Back in the Ark, the life support machine for one of the captured Decepticons begins to glow. The emergency light comes on and suddenly a fist punches through the capsule.
There's a free Secret Wars sticker album for every reader with this issue. We also get a factfile about Ultra Magnus on page 16. It tells us that Magnus was created by the Autobot resistance on Cybertron and given life by the Matrix flame, in order to lead a well-planned uprising against the Decepticons. Thus with Magnus operational the starting gun for Operation Volcano was fired and then things took an unexpected turn with Prime disappearing and Magnus going to Earth to investigate. Why not send someone else if Magnus is so vital? Much of this issue's story appears in boxes with coloured borders, to show that they are a flashback from Ironhide's mind. Cyclonus and Scourge seem to be incredibly powerful and we are told that even 100 Autobots could not best them. Despite this they seemed to be relegated to the status of regular Decepticons in later issues. A nice twist having Megatron and Soundwave getting dug out by the Autobots, although a confusing epilogue with a fist breaking out of a stasis pod in the Ark. My guess was that this was the captive Decepticons, meaning Megatron had agreed to the Autobot's idea of a team-up. Most annoyingly though we would have to wait a fortnight to find out as next issue's story concentrated on the Wreckers.