Transformers UK: Issue #184
Story: Space Pirates (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: September 24th, 1988
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Dougie Braithwaite (story) Jerry Paris (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance Eject
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
The slaughtered Autobots are used as bait for Rodimus Prime
Rodimus Prime contacts the Junkions demanding some answers: Where is Wreck-Gar? The Junkions respond in their usual cryptic TV talk and cut Prime off! He's not best pleased by this and also can't help fearing that some harm has befallen his old friend Wreck-Gar. A quick recap reveals that Wreck-Gar had told the Autobots he was coming to Cybertron with some highly sensitive information about a canister - but he never arrived. Prime mulls over what it could mean and Blurr comes in jabbering about Autobot City. All communication is down and it's a fair bet that the the city has been attacked.
The scene switches to Earth and we see Autobot City in a state reminiscent of the aftermath of the Decepticon attack in the Movie. The Quintessons have crushed all resistance and General Ghyrik has taken control. A trooper relays a message from the high command - the Autobot fleet is on it's way and he must arrange a spectacular welcome. Ghyrik goes to work while a Quintesson agent on Cybertron initiates the second phase. He goes to see the Decepticon commander, Soundwave and asks for help in defeating the Autobots that are attacking his homeworld. Quite why Soundwave falls for this is unclear, but he quickly decides that with so many Autobots off-world their base on Cybertron is vulnerable. He readies his key lieutenants for an imminent attack.
Meanwhile, on the rapidly disintegrating Quintesson planet, Jolup reports the latest developments to Lord Kledji. The Decepticons have been seen making war plans and everything is proceeding on schedule. The only wildcard is Wreck-Gar who could ruin everything if he is allowed to warn Rodimus Prime of what is going on. Kledji wants him found and eliminated.
Speaking of Wreck-Gar he is currently hiding in a shuttle with Wheelie under the cover of an asteroid field. Quintesson vessels are patroling the area looking for them, and Wheelie (speaking in rhymes as usual) is getting bored with waiting around. Wreck-Gar warns against doing anything hasty but he agrees that the longer they stay the higher the risk of discovery. Finally they make a run for it and the Quintesson tridents quickly pursue. The ship some hits before moving to lightspeed and Wheelie is concerned by the smoke coming from the ships engines. It looks likely that the ship may explode before it ever makes it to Cybertron!
On Earth a surveilence droid goes ahead of Rodimus Prime - relaying pictures from the pulverised Autobot city. Prime and his leuitenants watch in horror from their shuttle as images appear of their comrades strung-up on the city walls!
A new artist (Dougie Braithwaite) has come aboard for this issue. His work is okay but unlikely to topple Geoff Senior from my favourites list. DB does put a lot of effort into facial expressions (and credit to him for that) but the affect is also that the Transformers look 'cartoony'. One page I do like is the final one where the Autobots are hanging from the City walls. It's probably one of the finest moments in the Space Pirates saga - which overall is pretty average compared to past epics. This scene reminds me of medieval or biblical cities, where they would display the bodies of criminals outside the city walls to deter other wrong-doers. Kids like a bit of decapitation and gore and this moment is up there with Cyclonus losing his head (UK#189) and the Autobots being strung up by Shockwave (UK#22).
The computer that Rodimus uses on page 3 is the same one that is now being used on the 'coming attractions' page.
As mentioned in the synopsis I'm not sure why Soundwave was so easily fooled by the Quintessons. He knows the Autobots well enough to realise that attacking worlds is not something they'd do.