Transformers UK: Issue 210
Story: Dark Star (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: March 25, 1989
Writer: Bob Budiansky
Artwork: Jose Delbo (story) Andy Wildman (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Starscream absorbs the Underbase and expands to massive proportions... before promptly exploding!
The Autobots and Decepticons have joined forces to stop an Underbase-enhanced Starscream conquering Earth. New York was saved at the cost of heavy casualties on both sides and the battle has now shifted to Buenos Aires.
Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and the Decepticon triple changers launch a surprise attack and are shot down in flames by a powerful energy blast. Starscream lands on a structure reminiscent of the Washington monument and announces himself as Earth's new ruler. The city will be destroyed as a demonstration of his power. The Technobots and Terrorcons have something to say about that but their combined might is no match for Starscream. Fortress Maximus reels from a blast and then Soundwave and Omega Supreme are render non-functional. The wounded Max is contacted by Buster Witwicky who says that plans are proceeding well aboard the Ark. Starscream takes the bait and sets off into space to intercept Prime and stop him.
Meanwhile Prime and Hi-Q's rocket has been launched at the Underbase and will use reflective mirrors to change its course. Ratbat and Scorponok sneak aboard and accuse the Autobot leader of plotting to seize the Underbase for himself. They will not listen to explanations but are interested to learn that the Underbase is heading for Earth. Ratbat thinks the time has come for him to possess it but Scorponok has other ideas and gives his rival a powerful sting. He blasts Prime for good measure and exits Ark to intercept the approaching power source.
With Hi-Qs help Prime receives a much-needed power-up and battles Scorponok in space. He uses his leg rockets to propel both of them clear and allows the Underbase to pass by and be absorbed by Starscream in Earth's orbit. He grows to gigantic proportions and then dramatically explodes! It is just as Prime suspected, the Underbase is too great for any one being to possess and to do so brings madness and death. Scorponok has learned something this day: he thought Optimus sought power for himself but now realises the nobility of his opponent. Nevertheless once the injured have been attended to the truce will be over and the battle for Earth begins anew.
This is a solid instalment and rounds off the long-running Underbase saga nicely. I have the same complaint as last issue that too many characters are killed off casually, and I would have expected more of a fight from the likes of Omega Supreme. This issue is a watershed in that it establishes Scorponok as Decepticon leader (we never see Ratbat after this) and the beginnings of his eventual friendship with Optimus Prime are forged. All of the original Transformers have been destroyed and we are left with a streamlined cast of mostly new characters. It is not the end of Starscream as we will see him again soon enough.