Transformers UK: Issue #151

Story: The Legacy of Unicron (Part 6)
Back-up strip: Iron Man
Cover date: Feb 6th, 1988
Price: 35p
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Bryan Hitch (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Adam Hogg

Rodimus Prime prepares to face Unicron on the astral plain, while Death's Head will finish off Cyclonus and Scourge!

The head of Unicron fires his eye beams at a small Autobot shuttle circling above, which evades the blasts before releasing a few shots of its own. Seemingly ineffective explosions rain down on Unicron, while the demi-god curses Rodimus Prime who has somehow learned of his return ahead of time. Inside the ship, co-pilot Scattershot grills Smokescreen who is flying incredibly recklessly. Smokescreen silently recalls how both Wreck-Gar and Inferno had sacrificed themselves so that he could get word to Rodimus Prime (UK#148-149) and he feels obligated to risk his own life to avenge them. Meanwhile, below the surface of Junk and directly under Unicron - a far from dead Wreck-Gar lies helpless beneath tons of rubble. All while the timer on a mass of explosives continues to countdown. Death's Head had actually broken Unicron's mind control and spared Wreck-Gar, but the battle above had collapsed the chamber ceiling last issue.

On the surface, Unicron has little to fear from these Autobots who are at worst an inconvenience, but he still summons Scourge and Cyclonus to Junk to assist. The pair had been leading a suicidal battle between the Autobots and Decepticons (as per Unicron's orders) but dare not defy their master by remaining. Their departure is reported to Soundwave, who decides if the instigators of this pointless attack are clearing out, then the rest of them should do the same. Kup and Ultra Magnus cheer at the sight of the Decepticon retreat, although Magnus suspects that Rodimus Prime had everything to do with it. Back on Junk though, Rodimus wouldn't agree that anything was going to plan. He ponders calling off the Dinobots from attacking the mindless Junkions when a mysterious figure closes in behind him! Prime spins to confront this foe before he can strike - and sees it is Death's Head. Prime holds up his gun, asking for one good reason why he shouldn't kill him right now. Death's head has two - he didn't kill Wreck-Gar (as Prime no doubt suspects), and more importantly he has found a way to defeat Unicron!!

Moments later, Death's Head drags the apparently lifeless body of Rodimus Prime before Unicron. He offers the Autobot leader and the Matrix in return for his freedom but Unicron laughs. He doesn't bargain and will simply take what he wants - and immediately prepares to capture Death's Head's mind again. The bounty hunter quickly tells Prime to propel himself on to the Psychic plane while Unicron's mind is open.... Rodimus does so and finds himself in a unfamiliar environment that can only be Unicron's inner consciousness. Death's Head has informed him of the story of Unicron and Primus (see last issue), and armed with this knowledge, the Matrix's chosen warrior goes searching for Unicron. He doesn't have to look far - Prime spins to see Unicron who is now regular sized, and ready for the rematch...

Meanwhile in the real world, Death's Head wanders into Wreck-Gar's underground chamber to discover the situation. Enough explosives to finish Unicron, and only a matter of minutes left - perhaps he should just leave and have all his enemies destroyed!! Back inside Unicron's mind, Prime collapses as Unicron rains heavy blows onto his mortal foe. Now that the Matrix is within his grasp he shall absorb it and become one entity devoted to evil and destruction. Unicron reaches to finish off Prime who suddenly vanishes as Death's Head pulls him back into the physical world. Wreck-Gar is also present as Death's Head reveals that they need to get away quickly.

Suddenly Cyclonus and Scourge arrive just as the explosives begin to detonate. Death's Head knows the only route of escape is Unicron's time portal and propels himself and the two Decepticons into it. Unicron is engulfed in a second catastrophic explosion that rains debris on to Rodimus Prime and his allies. Finally the dust settles and Rodimus and Wreck-Gar check that their respective peoples are okay. Prime tells his good friend that Unicron is not dead but that his essence has been absorbed by the Matrix. Hopefully it can be contained there forever... In the short postscript we see Cyclonus and Scourge fighting alongside Scorponok after they where thrown into Cybertron's past (obviously explaining how they where able to become Target Masters). But as the scene pans past the devastated shell of Unicron's head there is no trace of Death's Head...

******

Comments:

Despite the build up, you just can't help but feel disappointed at the final part of this overall pretty decent and ambitious UK story. Debut artist Bryan Hitch does some outstanding Art, but in the end the script just feels rushed - such that 4 slow paced issues explain the build up, 1 for the Transformers origin, and then everything else squashed into this final part. Lots of unnecessary things going on too, such as Unicron strangely summoning Cyclonus and Scourge from Cybertron, which in effect prevented the Transformers from wiping themselves out. Then we have Death's Head suddenly discovering Wreck-Gar trapped underground despite no apparent clues as to his whereabouts. How did Death's Head know of this place, perhaps Wreck-Gar told him of his plan beforehand? Also, how can the explosive TNT finale be more satisfying than the showdown between the immortal foes - Unicron and Primus? When Prime confronts Unicron you expect the big showdown to end them all, but just 4 short panels later it never happens. Lastly, I don't understand why Death's Head throws himself, Cyclonus, and Scourge through the time warp when these two Decepticons where about to be caught in the explosion anyway. He obviously doesn't want them to die unless it is at his hands, and plans to kill them wherever they end up, but you honestly reckon Rodimus Prime would care who killed them (the fact that this sees Death's Head's final action in the comic proves unforgivable). Also just why doesn't Death's Head return to Cybertron's past unlike Cyclonus and Scourge - we shall never know... (actually its because he he goes on to appear in his own comic).

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