Transformers UK: Issue #94

Story: Decepticon Graffiti (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Spitfire and the Troubleshooters
Cover date: Jan 3rd, 1987
Price: 30p
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Runabout, Runamuck, Noah


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

The insolent Noah shows Runabout and Runamuck the way as he leaves a trail of grafitti behind him!

At the secret RAAT headquarters somewhere in New Jersey, Circuit Breaker holds a tiny Transformer brain module on the tip of her finger. By generating electrical pulses she is able to stimulate movement in the deactivated body of the Autobot Skids. She is intrigued how something so small can control something so large. On the sidelines Donny Finkleberg, who sold out Skids for $50,000, is feeling guilty. And seeing the way Circuit Breaker treats her captives is not helping him. He protests that Skids looks in pain, but Circuit Breaker snaps that this is a machine not a person, reminding Donny that he wasn't so worried when he accepted the reward money! As they speak a monitor screen displays a prominent image from Skids' memory, which Donny identifies as Optimus Prime. He had sent Skids to look track down seven missing Autobots, and now (thanks to Donny's betrayal) Skids and the Aerialbots have joined the Cybertron seven in captivity, leaving the Decepticons even more free to do what they want on Earth! And he helped - great!

Meanwhile at the Decepticon coal mine base in Eastern Wyoming, Megatron is greeting his latest recruits from Cybertron, Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck. They are to deliver a message to Optimus Prime to set up a confrontation between the two leaders. Soundwave helpfully suggest a phone call and is bashed in the face with a car exhaust! Having seen how Megatron deals with insubordination, even from his closest warriors, neither Runabout nor Runamuck are inclined to argue and promptly roll out. Only when they are on the open highway do they voice their displeasure at working for this bully, it would be far better to ditch this mission and have a good time on their new world!

The duo stop at a service station where a typical American family is taking a break on their cross country vacation. While the mother wipes a young girl's face, a male child seems to be quite unruly, and catches the Decepticons' interest. He Noah and has a bad habit of scrawling grafitti wherever he goes, earning him a severe telling-off on this occasion from his father. Still, he's a defiant little fellow, and Runabout and Runamuck think it could be fun to follow his example. As the family wagon pulls out the two Decepticons follow.

Three days later at RAAT headquarters, Triple I agent Walter Barnett draws Circuit Breaker's attention to news reports about weird markings that are appearing on several US landmarks. First it was a Football stadium in Wyoming, then Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and finally the Gateway arch in St. Louis. Barnett thinks they have been left by Transformers and Circuit Breaker is to investigate. Donny suggests that Skids could help but Circuit Breaker is not amused - no human can trust a robot, she says ironically!

In Washington D.C. the next morning, the Acton family drive past the Washington Monument and 'mom' is worried about more awful graffiti here - seeing as it has showed up everywhere else they visited! Her daughter points out two speeding cars who suddenly transform into Runabout and Runamuck and fly up to the Washington Monument spraying graffiti! Shortly after, Circuit Breaker arrives on the scene along with Barnett and Donny.They are introduced to the Acton family and learn of the strange co-incidence, that the graffiti attacks seems to occur everywhere they go. Circuit Breaker tells them to travel as normal and her troops will lay in wait should the robots follow.

******

Comments:

It's another of Budiansky's wackier storylines and hard to take too seriously. The tale seems primarily designed to showcase the two new Battlecharger toys from Hasbro, however the plot is still moved on somewhat with Donny starting to feel guilt for turning in Skids, and it looks like he might be on the verge of redeeming himself. It's an odd behaviour for Decepticons to be spraying grafitti as they usually have more serious plans to pursue. It goes to show that the even Transformers have types who like to indulge their power in childish ways. Not all that interestingly they start out writing in Transformer language this issue and by next week will have learned English! Where exactly do they download their data?

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