Transformers UK: Issue #166

Story: Legion of the Lost (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: May 21st, 1988
Price: 35p
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jeff Anderson (story) Lee Sullivan (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Flame


Synopsis:

By Thomas Denton


Okay, so the Wreckers wished they could have Impactor back, but this wasn't what they had in mind!

An unknown being monitors Ultra Magnus, the Sparklers and the their Decepticon prisoner Flywheels from a secret base beneath Cybertron's surface. He recounts recent events, revealing that the 'zombies' Magnus and co shut down were his soldiers. We find out that the zombies were just part of the plan and that this mystery Transformer has at least one more big surprise; Emirate Xaaron is his prisoner.

The unknown narrator recaps the events of three weeks ago starting with a huge explosion in the centre of Kalis. Those in the immediate vicinity of the blast were instantly reduced to molten slag, while others were violently jarred by the earth-shattering force and shockwaves. Springer had stormed into Autobase looking for Xaaron and fearing that the Decepticons had resorted to nuclear weapons! He found Xaaron studying images of the blast area obtained by spy satellite, and the viewscreen clearly showed dozens of Decepticons carrying out an investigation of some kind. Xaaron concluded that the Decepticons were not responsible and that someone else was. He summoned Springer and the Wreckers to a meeting.

A technician told the group that the blast was caused by the venting of an active nuclear reactor. He noted that a worse explosion was prevented somehow, and that larger one could destroy Cybertron. Springer found it hard to believe that a reactor this large could exist but Emirate Xaaron knew better. He remembered Megatron's diabolical scheme from millions of years ago to to turn Cybertron into a mobile battle station. When Megatron disappeared, it was assumed his plan forgotten. It may be this giant reactor was built by Megatron as an engine room for powering the giant ship he envisioned Cybertron becoming. It's location? Kalis.

A search for passage ways to the engine room proved fruitless and left Springer feeling angry and frustrated. His mind wandered to his 'other recent failures' such as allowing Impactor to die, and he questioned whether he was up to the job of Wrecker leader. A technician had approached with news that a cavern had been located deep below the planet's surface, while another reported than a high frequency signal had been detected from that location. Suddenly an army of zombies burst through the floor of Autobase and started attacking the startled Transformers. Springer found himself unable to decide what to do but was forced get with the program as his men were soon pitched in a fierce battle. With Broadside and Topspin outnumbered and Twin Twist taken out, Sandstorm yelled to Springer to get Xaaron to safety. Springer, not wanting to abandon his men, had initially hesitated and then realised that this was exactly what he had to do. Just as he was about to blast his way out, he found the exit guarded by someone he couldn't possibly shoot, the Wrecker's murdered leader - Impactor!

******

Comments:

An excellent issue, proving just having the Wreckers around makes a story better. Great characterisation for Springer throughout. Less consistent is the Autobot symbol on his chest, which is absent for most of the first half of the issue, then seems to come and go as it pleases for the rest of the issue. I also have to say it has one of the best surprise endings in the series.

A couple things of note in the Megatron history sequence. First of all an important piece of Cybertronian history when Xaaron states "War broke out when Megatron declared his intent to transform Cybertron into a mobile battle station and use it to conquer the universe." Also, in a continuity flub, Xaaron mentions that Megatron disappeared after "a hundred or so years of war", in fact we learn in issue 1 that he'd been fighting for at least a thousand years before his first battle with Optimus Prime.

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