Transformers UK: Issue 208
Story: Dark Star (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: March 11, 1989
Writer: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Jose Delbo (story) Andy Wildman (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
The Aerialbots arrive in time to save Buster from an icy death in the Arctic.
Buster Witwicky lies frozen and near death on an Arctic ice flow, having been dumped there by Starscream. Luckily the Decepticon has furnished him with a distress beacon which he uses to summon the Autobots. Skydive, Fireflight and Air-raid soon arrive and discover Buster unconscious. They radio Fortress Maximus who is soon on the scene, via a shuttle, with Optimus Prime and others. Max's head detaches and transforms into Cerebros and then to Spike Witwicky, who rushes to his brother's side. Fortress Maximus scoops up the stricken youth and places him within his chest compartment and starts the slow process of raising his body temperature.
Nearby, the Decepticon commanders Ratbat and Scorponok has put aside their difference and are busy readying their craft to pursue Starscream when Soundwave reports that an Autobot invasion force is massing on their doorstep. The unified Decepticons ambush their enemies and a titanic battle ensues. Ratbat prepares to sink his teeth into Fortress Maximus but Buster emerges from the compartment and convinces him that Starscream has engineered the conflict and they should cease-fire. The Autobots and Decepticons suspend their hostilities and hear that Starscream is planning to absorb the power of the Underbase. Prime reveals that he sought this power in his youth but learned that it would lead to madness and death. Scorponok and Ratbat suspect him of wanting it for himself, but a collaboration is agreed to get the Decepticon ship space worthy and pretty soon the Transformers are blasting away from Earth.
Starscream is now a distance from the moon in the stolen Headmaster ship and sights the Underbase glowing on the horizon. He leaves the vessel and flies into it, absorbing a few seconds worth of energy, before a shot from Optimus Prime manning the Decepticon ship's guns sends him spinning. He recovers, and with eyes burning, blasts a huge hole in the side of the enemy craft!
According to the narrative Buster is only 17 years old. This can't be right because he was 16 when Transformers started in 1984 and it is five years on by this point. There is a huge supporting cast this issue and demonstrates how crowded the comic has become. A cull is needed but unfortunately it will be the older characters who take the brunt of it. One battle which leaves me shaking my head is Buzzsaw taking on Omega Supreme! Let us not forget that Omega pulverised eight Decepticons and Megatron on his debut and now has his work cut out fending off a Decepticon spy cassette. This doesn't add up. Likewise Mirage gets decapitated with one shot and Ratbat has the better of Fortress Maximus. Max was recently tripled in size and should be able to brush Ratbat aside like a bug! It is nice to see so many old favourites reappearing but this is largely spoiled by them having such minor roles and poor colouring in places.