Transformers UK: Issue #161
Story: Salvage (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: 16th April, 1988
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Lee Sullivan (story) Bryan Hitch (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
A mentally unstable Megatron is confronted by his worst nightmare - Optimus Prime!
Megatron strides confidently through the corridors of the Decepticon fortress, his mind filled with images of past glory. Once, as supreme leader, he was a force of pure undiluted evil, feared by Autobots and his own troops alike. The weakness and self-doubt that eventually followed is now behind him and once again he is afraid of no-one. at least that is how Megatron would like it, the truth is a little different! As the spectre of his greatest enemy Optimus Prime appears, Megatron sinks to his knees sobbing like a baby and pleading for mercy.
In the real world Shockwave watches this once great warrior (now in a delusional state thanks to the psycho probe clamped to his head) and delivers his verdict - 'pathetic!' Shockwave's plans to reprogram Megatron as an agent to send against Galvatron is not proceeding well, and it seems like the psycho probe is only straining his fragile sanity even more. If Megatron cannot overcome his personal demons then he won't be much good to the current commander of the Earth-based Decepticons.
Outside the fortress, the once great Autobot Ultra Magnus is facing his own nemesis - Galvatron! Magnus is also on his knees and suffering from the choking fear brought on by memories of all their previous battles that have ended in his defeat. There is no point in fighting any more and things look bad - especially for the Sparkler mini bots who now face the prospect of taking on Galvatron without Magnus' help. A flashback to the mind of Megatron sees him cowering in the corner as Prime closes in. Suddenly Lord Straxus appears (after all they do share the same mind - see UK#103), if Megatron will not destroy Optimus Prime then he will. With that Straxus proceed to tear Prime limb from limb! Likewise on the outside Galvatron is getting stuck into the Sparkabots while Magnus is gripped by despair.
As Straxus gets busy destroying what is left of Prime he warns Megatron that he is next, and finally he (Straxus) will assert himself as the dominant personality in the mind they share. Something stirs within Megatron - a distant memory - this is not how he used to be, back on Cybertron if any being dared to challenge him he would crush them utterly, for he is Megatron! With that Megatron snarls and springs into action, punching a crater in Straxus' face, and tearing his body in two! Megatron is victorious.. and in the outside world Shockwave is pleased, his subject is now ready.
Meanwhile Magnus too seems to have come to his senses, probably from seeing his comrades' defeat by Galvatron, and gets to his feet. He swings a mighty punch at Galvatron and reigns blow after blow down on him, finally booting him a distance away. Galvatron was clearly unprepared for this and, for some reason, decides he had better not stick around. Just as Megatron is restored so is Magnus, and he cannot believe he has finally defeated Galvatron (and put a few demons to rest in the process). As the Sparkabots regroup Magnus vows that he is finally ready and the next time he faces his mortal foe, it will be for the last time.
I'm not a big fan of Lee Sullivan's work but I take my hat off to him this issue as the art is pretty decent. My main beef with him usually is that he gives his robots too many human qualities such as saliva, teeth, and twisted expressions. No doubt some readers will like this but it's not my cup of tea. We still get some spit on Megatron and Galvatron's face looks wrinkled (how does that work?) but you can't argue with the fight sequences this issue. Let's face it how often do we see Transformers tearing each other limb from limb or pummelling an opponent to pieces? No doubt a board of censors would frown on it, but I can think of nothing a 14 year (as I was then) would like to see in their comic that a fest of gratuitous violence!
Having the scenario set within Megatron's mind made the level of destruction possible. Obviously if regular Transformer battles went like this there would very soon be few of them left to fill the comic each week. So that is why the Magnus/Galvatron rematch is a strictly hand to hand (and foot) battle, and no severed limbs. The mirroring of Megatron and Magnus' plight works to good effect. It's interesting to see how these two beings of vastly different backgrounds can share the same predicament at this moment in time.
Nice to see Straxus returning as well, and though he is defeated in the end we know he is still lurking in the back of Megatron's mind waiting to resurface. There are no 'Richard Branson' style gimmicks this issue which means the focus is back on good old fashioned robot warfare. I think this instalment rounds Salvage off pretty well.