Transformers UK: Issue #88

Story: Target: 2006 (Part 10) Aftermath
Back-up strip: Spitfire and the Troubleshooters
Cover date: November 22nd, 1986
Price: 30p
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) Geoff Senior (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Macabre


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Volcano is on with or without Magnus - and there will be a terrible price to pay!

Surveying the wreckage of Galvatron's plan a final time, Unicron is content. He had underestimated his puppet and failed to prevent him travelling into Earth's past, where he was free to build a weapon of unimaginable power. He has been made to understand that Unicron cannot be destroyed!

The planet-sized Transformer had been unable to pursue his creation, but he could employ agents to act on his behalf. It had been laughably simple to snare the minds of Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr and prime them with superficial knowledge of Galvatron's plan. Under Unicron's subliminal control the trio had set about their task with typical Autobot efficiency. They had tricked Galvatron into thinking that he had erased his creation by slaying Starscream (in fact it had been a disguised Skywarp that was destroyed). Galvatron had returned to the future where Unicron was waiting!

After putting the real Starscream into cold storage the future Autobots had also returned to 2006, their memories of recent events erased. Now Unicron indulges himself, planting a small but significant thought in the mind of Smokescreen. The Autobot suggests that should his comrades ever decide to leave the Ark, the area so recently the site of Galvatron's weapon would make an excellent location for the first Autobot City! Unicron laughs and turns his attention to more important matters, such as the destruction of Cybertron (to be continued in Transformers the movie!).

Back on Earth, Jetfire thanks Ultra Magnus for his help in defeating Galvatron. Magnus must now return to Cybertron without delay, but as he disappears through the Autobot space window, he vows that he will someday fight side-by-side with Optimus Prime. On Cybertron, Emirate Xaaron stands before twenty-two Autobot resistance leaders from all over Cybertron. But he has never felt so alone, all of the dignitaries and the guards that surround him are nothing more than facsimile constructs, artificial beings designed to stand in for real Transformers. The Insecticon spy, Kickback watches from above. Satisfied that what he sees is genuine he returns to gather his fellow Decepticons. The information Shrapnel obtained was correct and they will strike now and wipe out the Autobot high command. Beneath the amphitheatre Springer confirms that Kickback has taken the bait. Volcano is on.

On Earth, Laserbeak's eye beams cut through the wreckage of Galvatron's weapon. Finally Megatron emerges, thirsting for revenge. On Cybertron the troop of ruthless Decepticon killers advance on the amphitheatre. Among them is Macbre, a warrior so long treated with contempt by other Decepticons, he has only one wish to kill Xaaron and prove his worth. Suddenly Astrotrain soars into view and transforms - he is carrying an important communication from Megatron! The Decepticon leader orders all current operations to cease, and for the Insecticons and Decepticon jets to travel to Earth as soon as possible. They are needed to bolster Megatron's depleted ranks, and though the Cybertron Decepticons curse him, none dare defy him. Reluctantly they turn and walk back to base - all except for Macabre who is determined he will not be robbed of his moment. Xaaron will die today, and at his hands!

At the amphitheatre Impactor breaks the news to Xaaron, the Decepticons have turned back, perhaps they realised it was a trap? Xaaron is adamant there will be another time and Impactor is visibly relieved. Unknown to them Macabre has managed to sneak in and conceal himself under a pile of wreckage. He trains his sights on Xaaron and prepares to fire, a place in history is within his grasp. Macabre pulls the trigger... just as Impactor sees him and throws Xaaron clear, absorbing the blast himself. Multiple laser beams cut Macabre to pieces as Xaaron cradles the fallen Impactor. The Wrecker's leader has just enough time to pass his mantle to Springer before he dies in Xaarons arms.

At the Ark Optimus Prime has returned to pick up the pieces from Galvatron's visit. Jazz and Grapple lay in the medical bay, they will recover in time, but Trailbreaker's fate is less certain. Optimus realises that all of his warriors bear the scars of recent events and the pain of defeat. But he is convinced they can pull together and grow stronger - no matter how many times they brush with defeat, the Autobots will prevail.

******

Comments:

A welcome return for Optimus Prime and a heroic end for Impactor. But have we seen the last of him? In the world of comics you never know. Xaaron mentions that Straxus is dead, and judging by Megatrons authority on Cybertron, he probabally hasn't been saved yet. We eventually see what is left of Lord Straxus in a life support bubble in issue 98. This issue has another one of those funny "communicubes", I dont think they are in any other stories though! The epic "Target 2006" is over then, but the Movie wont be released for another three weeks, December the 12th.

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