Transformers UK: Issue #199
Story: Time Wars (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: 7th January, 1989
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andy Wildman (story) Art Wetherell/Dave Harwood (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Daniel Witwicky
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
As if the time chasm wasn't enough menace, now the Terrorcons are on the rampage
Time Wars, the epic to end all epics, has arrived! The death of Cyclonus twenty years before his birth has created a gaping rift in the space-time continuum that is growing larger by day and threatening to consume Earth and Cybertron of 1989 and 2009. Is there anything the Autobots (or Decepticons for that matter) can do against such a formidable force of nature?
It is New Year's Day 2009 but the traditional festivities has given way to riots on the streets due to a terrifying environmental disturbance in the sky! Into this powderkeg steps the Terrorcons, on a rampage, and having a great time lapping up the fear of these lesser creatures! One guy who is thinks the end is nigh is convinced the Decepticons are demons hordes from the pits of Hades, come to destroy him. He appears to get stamped-on while Cutthroat, Blot and Sinnertwin amuse themselves by destroying buildings. Hun-grr arrives and puts a stop to the fun, reminding the team that there is work to be done for their leader Soundwave. They are supposed to be constructing an energy leach to siphon energy from the Earth as possible before it is destroyed. In true villainous style, the quintet do their best to convince the crowd that they are with the Autobots before departing!
Kup arrives at Autobot City accompanied by Spike and Daniel and fuming! He demands to know why Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus are holed up instead of out saving the planet from the Decepticons. Rodimus explains that the rift currently threatening the world, originated in 1989 and they will have go back there to seal it. Spike and Daniel plead with Prime to do something for Earth's people in the meantime and he agrees to send a platoon to destroy the Decepticon energy leach, but it is imperative that the group returns within the hour to timejump.
Arcee is scouting out the leach area and thinking she may have to take on Soundwave and the Terrorcons alone, when laser fire skims past her and destroys the machine's control trigger. She turns to see Magnus, Kup, Blurr and Red Alert weighing in. With the weapon destroyed the Autobots hightail it back to base but the Decepticons pursue. The six villains enter Autobot City without resistance and find Prime and the others gone. Hun-grr points out that the time portal has been used recently and asks if they should follow. Soundwave knows the sensible thing would be to strip the city of valuables and rebuild the leech, but he knows his men are hungry for revenge (and previous Decepticon leaders have fallen over less) so he orders them into the portal... to "get us some Autobots!".
The hype surrounding this seven-parter suggests it will be good. Can they top Target 2006 I wondered somewhat optimistically. According to the Transformation page 'the biggest, most shocking story of all' is about to unfold and will tie-up plot threads from 100 or so issues and serve-up a respectable body count. You can usually bank on any character who is part of the Hasbro toy range living to fight another day, but apparently the comic has got permission to weild the axe indiscrimately! Should be good!
Trouble is the first part is a bit damp and there's not enough going on. Added to that I am not too keen on the artwork. This instalment sets the scene by depositing the future Autobots/Decepticons into the arena, so is more functional than anything, and hopefully the better stuff is to come. Worryingly the humans of 2009 are all wearing bright orange jumpsuits with flaps and I'm wondering what could have happened to make everyone abandon any sembalance of fashion sense and go uniform. The Terrorcons have lousy disguises when you think about it but when it comes to scaring humans they are in their element. I don't see the point in having them travel back to 1989 with Soundwave though, seeing as they all already exist there. In an ideal world I would have preferred the Constructicons or Predacons to take centre stage as they are far better characters. It is safe to say that the Terrorcons, being the toys on the block, were included for commercial reasons rather than for the plot. One final point: How come Autobot City is deserted? Only six Autobots time jumped so where is everyone else?