Transformers UK: Issue #201
Story: Time Wars (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: January 21, 1989
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Robin Smith (story) Braithwaite/Harwood (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Carnivac, Cattilla, Chopshop, Ransack, Venom
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
It's a case of double trouble as the Wreckers are ambushed by Galvatron and Megatron
'Murdering scum!' cries Fortress Maximus as he throws a punch at Rodimus Prime. Feelings are running high after the strange departure of Optimus and co last issue and suddenly its Autobot against Autobot. Rodimus tries to talk sense into Max and convince him that his comrades are not dead, just displaced to another dimension to make room for the new arrivals, and it is imperative that they team up to return three future Decepticons to their own time. Max just thinks Rodimus destroyed Optimus and now wishes to usurp him and the fighting continues.
Grimlock, who slaps down Kup, doesn't much care whether Rodimus is telling the truth and is content just to see some action. Scattershot and Wheeljack team up to defeat Blurr, while Ultra Magnus scores a hit for the future Autobots by taking out Slag and Sludge. Goldbug has met future Autobots before and knows they are speaking the truth now, but before he can spread the word he is blasted in the shoulder by a battalion of Decepticons. Mindwipe reunited Scorponok with his head (stolen by Highbrow in the 1988 TF annual) and they are all set for revenge. Suddenly Scorponok's warriors are engulfed by blackness and vanish - with Soundwave and the Terrorcons arriving in their place from 2009.
Some distance to the north a huge Decepticon spaceship has touched down and Springer disembarks to greet his gob-smacked warriors Sandstorm, Broadside and Inferno. The Wreckers' leader explains that the time rift threatens both sides so they've teamed up with their mortal enemies the Decepticon Mayhem Attack Squad! Broadside can hardly believe his audio receptors and warns "we can't trust these guys". Mayhems' leader Carnivac is watching from inside the ship and jokes to his colleague Catilla that Broadside is absolutely right. Once the mutual danger is removed Decepticon orders are to kill any Wrecker left standing!
Meanwhile the Autobot skirmish is continuing unabated until Ultra Magnus steps in carrying the wounded Goldbug and makes everyone see sense. Rodimus opens his chest compartment and uses the Matrix to project an image of Optimus Prime (now in Limbo) who appeals to Autobot and Decepticon to work together to neutralise the impending threat of the rift. Elsewhere the Wreckers and Mayhems march into Galvatron's underground fortress wondering where all the guards are. Suddenly Galvatron appears on a high-up balcony accompanied by a shadowy figure. He warns the invaders of their impending death and leaps into the fray... accompanied in battle by none other than Megatron!
The first story page in my issue has a colouring error and appears in purples and yellows. Smith's artwork is average and there are the dimension problems from last issue persist. Fortress Maximus is drawn slightly bigger than Rodimus, when in reality he was tripled in size in UK#156 and his head (Cerebros) is the same size as your typical Autobot. The skirmish is slightly unconvincing because as I said before, the present day Autobots have witnessed mass displacement when someone time-jumps, and they already know some of the future Autobots they are attacking. Kup and Blurr used to serve Fort Max and Rodimus looks a lot like Hot Rod so he should have used his head (no pun intended!).
As mentioned before, in the past when Autobots or Decepticons time-jumped they mass-substituted members of the other side. In Time Wars it is Autobots replacing Autobots and Scorponok's men getting switched for Soundwave and the Terrorcons. As all six of these characters exist in the present day there really is no reason for them to be here, other than to have both sets of future casts present. I'd have preferred new and more interesting characters enter the stage or even old favourites like the Predacons.
At last the Wreckers have suitable opposition with the introduction of the Decepticon Mayhem Attack Squad. The uneasy truce and impending betrayal all make for potentially interesting storylines, especially as this little lot are about to go up against Galvatron and Megatron! Galvatron's spiked feet is a nice touch from Smith. An improvement on last issue but still some plot holes and artwork ropey in places, elevated by the dramatic cliffhanger. Robin Smith's work is better this issue than 200 but the proportions of some Transformers still needs work and the colour blunder on page one is annoying.