Transformers UK: Issue #185
Story: Space Pirates (Part 4)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: October 1st, 1988
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Dougie Braithwaite (story) Andy Wildman (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Rodimus loses the Matrix and starts to revert back to Hot Rod!
The surface of Cybertron trembles as a fleet of airborne Decepticons soars towards the Autobots' base. On board the lead jet, Astrotrain, a gleeful Soundwave can almost smell victory. Last issue he was visited by a Quintesson who appealed for his help in defeating the Autobots attacking his homeworld. Instead Soundwave saw an opportunity to destroy Autobase while his hated enemies were away. Little does he realise that this is exactly what he was supposed to think! Suddenly Astrotrain is shaken by a tirade of fire - apparently coming from Quintesson attack craft. Soundwave orders his men to disembark Astrotrain and fight back. They land in the midst of an expertly orchestrated Quintesson ambush and are soon under intense fire. Soundwave realises that he has been tricked but he has no idea as to why, nor what he can do about it.
A quick leap across the galaxy sees the Quintesson homeworld inching ever closer to its sun, but within the royal palace Lord Kledji is pleased to see that 'Operation Cybertron' is going well. It is only a matter of time before the Autobots and Decepticons are eradicated and the planet is cleared for colonisation. And in deep space Wreck-Gar and Wheelie are still struggling to hold their ship together. They have to stay at light-speed to evade their pursuers but it is putting their engines under considerable pressure. Wreck-Gar thinks the answer to their problems may lay on a small asteroid in the Delta Six quadrant.
Back on Cybertron the Autobot, Eject, has picked up a distress call and alerts Ultra Magnus. The senior commander has his orders to stay and defend the base in case of a Decepticon attack, but Autobots don't turn their back when someone is in trouble. Magnus ponders his decision. Little does he know that the originator of the message is none other than Soundwave! The Decepticons have decided that whatever survival chance they have depends on the Autobots assisting them against this common foe.
On Earth Rodimus is shocked to see the devastation of Autobot city. He sends his troops ahead while he rushes to the aid of Arcee - who is lying bashed up at the foot of a cliff. After a few tender words Prime removes the Matrix from his chest and uses its energy to heal his fallen colleague. The weakened Arcee tries to warn Rodimus of a trap but cannot get the words out in time. Suddenly a Quintesson appears behind Prime and coshes him, while another flies past and steals the Matrix. The Autobot leader feels a great change in his body (without the Matrix he cannot exist as Rodimus Prime) and he begins to get smaller and weaker - reverting back into Hot Rod!
According to the letters page a lot of fans had been writing in to ask if Rodimus Prime would revert back to Hot Rod if he didn't have the Matrix. So now they know. In the Movie Hot Rod and Arcee were very pally, flirtatious might be a better word, so it's no surprise that she is such effective bait for Rodimus. He seems to be making a few bad judgements lately (starting way back in UK#113) and stupidly exposes the Matrix to be stolen. Mind you Soundwave isn't being too clever either, falling hook line and sinker for the Quintesson's ruse. One thing is wondered is why he couldn't simply radio for more Decepticon reinforcements until the Quints were overwhelmed. Surely there must be more Decepticons on the planet than the few we see here.
No doubt if there were a few hundred more they would still fit into Astrotrain! I know Transformers have the ability to grow and shrink when the transform but this is ridiculous. If he can accommodate so many in shuttle mode why not keep the same dimensions in robot form?
On page 15 there's a competition to win one of three Trypticon toys (naturally not available in the UK thanks to Hasbro). All you had to do was put names to the three faces shown which wasn't too hard. Sadly for me I still didn't win. Thank godness for today's worldwide market and ebay!