Transformers UK: Issue #95

Story: Decepticon Graffiti (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Spitfire and the Troubleshooters
Cover date: Jan 10th, 1987
Price: 30p
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Don Perlin (story) Herb Trimpe (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Runabout and Runamuck's wrecking spree is about to be put to an end by the oddest looking Autobot ever!

The Acton family make their way to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, followed as usual by Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck. Meanwhile RAAT troops are laying in wait for the Decepticon vandals to show up and they are not disappointed. In a blur the two Transformers switch to robot mode and use rocket boosters to propel themselves towards the monument, carrying their giant spray cans! A squadron of RAAT aerial assault craft come swarm around them, but the Decepticons are unphased and in typical fashion begin to target the innocent bystanders below. RAAT stage a swift withdrawal, but Circuit Breaker refuses to back-off and attacks the robots. The Acton's tearaway son Noah is anxious to get a better view and steps into the firing line. A miss-placed shot from Runabout sends rubble crashing down around the young boy, and his plight alerts Circuit Breaker. As she moves to protect him a blast catches her and knocks her to the ground. Runabout and Runamuck decide to find safer targets and transform and blend into the traffic.

Later at RAAT headquarters, doctors decide that Circuit Breaker's injuries are minor, nevertheless she is temporarily relieved of command while she recovers. She is not happy about it while the robot menace persists, but there is little she can do. RAAT troops will have to go ahead without her and defend the next perceived target - the Statue of Liberty! Donny Finkleberg comforts Circuit Breaker and says he can sympathise with anyone wanting to get out of the 'mechanical mortuary', and then he has a suggestion. If Circuit Breaker wants to stop the Battlechargers she has all the help she needs right there in the hanger - namely the deactivated Autobots! Circuit Breaker is adamant they cannot be trusted and it would take too long to reassemble each robot. Perhaps there is another way? Using her abilities, she could assemble the parts of the prisoners into a single robotic entity, which she could interface with and control!

The next day, Liberty Island is deserted of tourists as RAAT commandos take up positions inside the Statue. Less than two miles away the Staten Island ferry chugs across the bay hauling its usual cargo of commuters and their cars...and some things not so usual. Runabout and Runamuck stowaway among the other cars and force ferry captain to take them nearer. Once in range they take off as before and fly into a volley of bullets, but while Runamuck draws RAAT's fire, Runabout writes their latest bit of graffiti this time in English! Ferry commuters watch in horror as their noble statue is defaced with the words "Humans are Wimps!". Meanwhile Circuit Breaker and Donny make their way towards the island on commandeered rubbish trawler. Circuit Breaker connects herself to the torso of a bizarre amalgam of Transformer parts and rockets towards the statue. Runabout and Runamuck are taken aback at the sight of this monstrosity, but they decide it's probably best to shoot first and ask questions later. With Circuit Breaker hooked up to the machinery, the conglomerated creature instantaneously obeys her command to fire and destroys part of Runamuck's shoulder mounting. The Decepticon retaliates with a disintegrator blast that would have scored a direct hit, had it not been for amalgam's giant hand. Circuit Breaker realises it instinctively moved to protect her of its own free will! Could what Donny said about the Autobots being the good guys be true? She has little pause though as Runabout severs the Statue of Liberty's torch which threatens to land on the ferry below. Circuit Breaker detaches the hand from her robotic host and catches the torch. The Decepticons realise that the fun is rapidly ebbing away from their latest exploits and attempt to retreat. But a sudden blast at full power from Circuit Breaker and her ally frazzle the duo and the smoking wrecks plunge into New York harbour!

Later at RAAT headquarters, Walter Barnett is pleased that the Battlecharger menace is over... Nevertheless he still has to give Circuit Breaker and Donny the sack. The reason for this is that the thirteen captured Autobots have all been released. Circuit Breaker confesses that she had to free them to get their co-operation. Barnett understands the situation, but his bosses demand that robots be captured not released and Circuit Breaker's position is untenable. Finally Donny is able to go home - what with his capture by the Decepticons and recent events, it has been a long time. Sitting down to watch TV he sees the news reports about the defaced Statue of Liberty, with the repairs expected to cost between 45 and 60 thousand dollars. Looking at the large cheque he earned for turning in Skids, Donny decides it's time to make amends. He writes out a $50,000 cheque of his own... to the Statue of Liberty repair fund.

******

Comments:

Somehow between last week's instalment and this one the battlechargers have learned to write in English! The Battlechargers have amusing dialog but both come across as the same character rather than separate entities. They go to show that Decepticons just wanna have fun (or should that be girls? Whatever!) and are certainly a lot less serious than most we have met. It's hard to imagine that this story has been brought to us by the same writer who did Warrior School or the Logical Conclusion, which are both far superior concepts, however it does prove that they are many different ways to tell a Transformers tale. This issue holds out the hope that Circuit Breaker has mended her attitude towards the Autobots, after teaming up with the amalgamated Skids and Cybertron seven. The Aerialbots weren't in there so presumably were allowed to go. We don't see much of Circuit Breaker after this but when we do she is still busting away without too much thought for good or bad. Incidentally the Battlechargers are now out of it for the longterm and won't be seen again until Shockwave revives them during the Decepticon civil war of 1991.

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