Transformers UK: Issue #146

Story: The Legacy of Unicron (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: January 2nd, 1988
Price: 35p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Geoff Senior (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Inferno


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Unicron is back with a dastardly plan to destroy the Transformers - and Death's Head is about to help!

It is New Year's day 2008 and high above the Planet of Junk the Decepticon warriors Cyclonus and Scourge have become the hunted. Their pursuer, the ruthless bounty hunter Death's Head, is carrying out a contract placed on their heads by Rodimus Prime (#134). Scourge is shot down in flames and Cyclonus flees to save his own skin. Scourge bounces along the surface of Junk before transforming and coming face to face with Death's Head's ship. Why hasn't the mercany finished him off, what's he waiting for? Scourge looks for an exposed fuel tank he could shoot and is suddenly attacked from behind by Death's Head (clearly the ship was on autopilot).

Scourge hits the deck and begs for his life, but really he's playing for time as Cyclonus closes in for a surprise counter-attack. Death's Head reacts with lightning speed to avoid the barrage of fire and sticks a heat-seeker on Cyclonus' tail. The Decepticon is forced down and quickly incapacitated. Before Death's Head can complete the contract a Junkion pops up and offers to pay Death's Head to destroy the 'being of vast power' who has enslaved his people. He suggests that Cyclonus and Scourge might be useful and Death's Head agrees. Better to collect the money from this job and kill Cyclonus and Scourge later.

Meanwhile on Cybertron Rodimus Prime is bidding farewell to Wreck-gar who is preparing to return to Junk. The old friends say their goodbyes and a shuttle, piloted by Smokescreen and Inferno, rockets away unaware of the danger ahead.

Back on Junk Death's Head's plan is in full swing. His Junkion employer is to pose as one of his enthralled countrymen and place a bomb as close to the mystery overlord as possible, and Death's Head will detonate these while the Decepticons provide a distraction from the air. But things quickly go wrong. First the Junkion is discovered an explodes in a ball of flame, and a powerful will commands Death's Head, Cyclonus and Scourge to submit to him. The bounty hunter resists with his mind but his body disobeys him. The stares upwards and sees the face of pure evil itself... the Junkion's mystery ruler is none other than the planet eater Unicron!!

******

Comments:

Unicron has returned! Or at least, some of him has.. in his first actual appearance post-Transformers the Movie. The story also picks up the threads from last year's story Headhunt (#UK133-134) which finished with Death's Head being contracted to kill Cyclonus and Scourge. Their battle on Junk makes for a promising start to the new year, but what makes this a good story for me is the strong characterisation in the three main leads. I particularly enjoy Cyclonus' little deception in pretending to abandon Scourge then sneaking back for a surprise attack.
The production team tries hard to keep the identity of this issue's shock returnee a secret. In fact they even manage to write the Transformation page without a single mention of Unicron (which can't have been easy as his name is the title of the story). We also have our first look at the Junkions, who apart from Wreck Gar, haven't featured until now.

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