Transformers UK: Issue #187
Story: Space Pirates (Part 6)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: October 15th, 1988
Script: Simon Furman
Artwork: Lee Sullivan (story) Andy Wildman (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Rodimus throws Ghyrik off the roof of Autobot City, and its fair to say he won't get a soft landing!
Metroplex has been sleeping for five years and has woken-up like a bear with a sore head (strange considering his lengthly lay-in), and wastes no time getting stuck in to the fleeing Quintessons. One of his gigantic hand splats a few fleeing soldiers and he swats enemy ships as though they were bothersome insects. It certainly appears that the tide of battle has turned and General Ghyrik, watching from the wings, knows it. There is only one thing that may yet save the day for the Quintessons and that is the stolen Matrix. Ghyrik dashes off to find it with Hot Rod in pursuit.
On Cybertron the Autobots and Decepticons cease fire, having defeated the Quintesson army by working together. Several ships now soar away from the planet carrying the survivors. Soundwave thanks Ultra Magnus for his help and recognises that the Decepticons owe their hated enemies a debt of gratitude. For a moment Soundwave seriously considers that they put aside their differences and end the war, but then he thinks too much has happened and a ceasefire would never work. He hopes aboard Vortex and the Decepticons move out, leaving Magnus to reflect on the tragedy of the senseless conflict.
On an asteroid in deep space, Wreck-Gar and the Junkions broadcast the Quintessons' stolen battle plans across the galaxy, and countless odd looking aliens react angrily when they realise that their worlds have been targets for colonisation. It seems as though the Quintessons will have very few friends to turn to once their homeworld is destroyed.
Back on Earth, Ghyrik attacks Hot Rod with the power of the Matrix flowing through his circuits. Hot Rod thinks he'll be destroyed and then the Autobot's sacred life force will be turned against his men - he wonders why the Matrix ever chose him as leader. Hot Rod realises the only way to defeat his opponent is by out thinking him, so he uses ventriloquism (weird eh?) to make it sound like there is someone behind Ghyrik. When the Quintesson looks around, Hot Rod snatches the Matrix and is restored as Rodimus Prime! He hurls Ghyrik off the roof of Autobot city and watches him break into bits from the impact several hundred feet below. The heroic Autobots are victorious but once again their city has paid a heavy price.
Epilogue: The planet Quintesson is torn apart thanks to its decaying orbit and Lord Kledji dies swearing revenge. We are told that months from now Autobot scientists will discover that the planet's demise was the result of a rapidly expanding rift in the fabric of time and space... but by then it will be too late!
The art is very poor this issue, just look at Rodimus Prime with his big teeth on page 13 to see what I mean. He looks daft with such big nashers and why would he need them anyway? It's not like Transformers eat. The bird's eye view of Metroplex shooting ships looks bad in this reviewer's opinion, while Magnus ought to be taller than Soundwave not equal height. That's being pedantic but the heights thing does bother me because it shows a lack of consistency. Rather like how when Omega Supreme and Jetfire were first introduced and were massive only to steadily shrink over time. Most annoying is the dip in paper quality from page 5 onwards which was something readers hadn't had before. At the time I bought the comic I thought Marvel must have been forced to do it because of falling sales and a lack of money. I started wondering if cancellation was on the cards.
Overall Space Pirates was a let down for me. I don't know what I'd been expecting exactly, but previous epics like Target 2006 set the bar high and successive stories were always going to struggle to top that. The Wanted Galvatron story (UK113-120) started great but tailed off towards the end, and Space Pirates while having its moments was not as good as I'd hoped. Plus points were seeing Rodimus Prime having to cope as Hot Rod again and Metroplex's entrance. As I said in the comments to the previous issue this was a very fine piece of art from Lee Sullivan, even if the rest of his work didn't impress me. The stage is set for Time Wars which looks promising (see UK199 onwards).