Transformers UK: Issue #195
Story: Club Con! (part 2)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: 10th December, 1988
Script: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Jose Delbo (story) Stephen Baskerville (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Grandslam, Raindance
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
The Seacons have retrieved a treasure chest containing information about the fabled Underbase.
While holidaying at the Decepticon island (site of Club Con) Buster Witwicky's girlfriend Jesse has discovered the Seacons patrolling the waters near a sunken galleon on the ocean floor. She returns to Blaster who's taking in some rays in his cassette deck mode and tells him the news. Blaster thinks Jesse has been taking too many risks and could have blown the whole operation, but she sticks him in a water proof bag and tells him to cool off.
Jesse proves she can hold her breath for a very long time by swimming down to the hidden entrance to the Decepticon base and surfacing inside. She sneaks along the huge corridors taking care to not be spotted by two chatty 'cons and sees a man-sized door which must be where they are keeping Buster. She goes in and Buster is very pleased to see her (something to do with the bikini perhaps?) but he can't leave because his leg is manacled. If Blaster could transform he'd be able to tear the bindings but there isn't room. So Buster resigns himself to being a hostage a bit longer and tells them what he knows of the Decepticon scheme. It turns out something is heading for Earth, something Buster doesn't know about, and two Autobot cassettes were dispatched to our solar system centuries ago to warn everyone. Raindance and Grandslam crash landed on Earth and wound up in a treasure chest belonging to some 18th century pirates. When their galleon sank the cassettes disappeared without trace too.
Jesse says goodbye to Buster and retraces her steps only to find the Seacons returning with treasure trove. She follows them and swipes the cassettes while Snaptrap and his men are receiving congratulations from Commander Ratbat.
Jesse heads back to the beach quick time but the Seacons surface and start shooting in the direction of the terrified holidaymakers. Blaster transforms and battles the six heavily armed Decepticons, making use of the only advantage he has, that being that they are less effective on land. When a human child gets in the way Blaster intervenes to protect him and takes a full on shot. The only option he has is to launch the cassettes into the ocean (which he bizarrely does by spitting!) and the Seacons dive to find them. This gives Blaster a chance to transform and blend into the crowd.
Jesse thinks she's messed everything up but Blaster disagrees. Thanks to her he has learned the Decepticons' plans and besides she got a tan so the trip wasn't a total loss! All that's left is for club manager Starscream to apologise for the firefight as dozens of rattled humans scramble on to jets to fly home. Climbing aboard one plane is Jesse, still carrying Blaster, who vows to return to Club Con sooner than the Decepticons think.
After the silliness of the last issue this one could only be an improvement. Generally second parts are because all the scene setting is out of the way. I'm not sure how Jesse can hold her breath long enough to swim into the Decepticon base but somehow she does. The scene is the sort of thing we've all seen in hundreds of films where the hero infiltrates the enemy lair and there are hundreds of bad guys etc. I found the part where the two Decepticon lackeys are walking past and engaged in small talk to be quite funny.
There are a few mistakes on page 5 where Buster is telling his story. Just behind Beachcomber is a mini version of the Protectobot combined robot Defensor and Sunstreaker is there too. Buster goes on to say that the Cybertron Autobots knew Prime and his men arrived on Earth four million years ago and wanted to warn them. But all the Earth-based Transformers were presumed dead until Soundwave sent a message to Cybertron in issue 66 so this doesn't make sense.
This story marks the Seacon's US debut but they have been around quite a while in the UK continuity. US readers have still to see them in their combined form as Pirannacon at this point. I'm not 100% sure but I think the Autobot cassettes Grandslam and Raindance are part of the Hasbro toy range. They don't get much exposure though.
Blaster and Jesse interact well together as characters and there's a bit of banter going on there. It would have been nice to see them team up again in future but it was not to be. Unless I'm mistaken this may well have been the last time we see Jesse in the comic.