Transformers UK: Issue 216

Story1: Guess Who the Mecannibals are Having For Dinner? (Part 4)
Story2: Race With the Devil (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: May 6, 1989
Price: 38p
Writers: Bob Budiansky/Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Andy Wildman (story) Wetherall (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


The Autobots go out the airlock and into the firing line of Dreadwing!



The gruesome corpse of Starscream has come back for revenge!

Cloudburst rockets out of the Mecannibal ship, and not a moment too soon. The mission had turned out a lot more dangerous than expected and he will be glad to get back to the Ark. Landmine says he's not ready to go yet - not until they've rescued Berko from Grand Central.

Back on the station Hi Test and Throttle are avoiding the bodies of giant, drunk aliens, bemoaning the fact that they only received half as much money this time. The Mecannibals blamed them for bringing Landmine and Cloudburst aboard which districted them and allowed the main meal, Sky-Lynx, to escape. They spot the troublesome giant humans and decide to follow. The duo pick up Berko and disappear down an alley where they emerge from their shells and reveal themselves as Autobots. Berko can trust them now - and Hi Test and Throttle have found a way to win back favour from their employers!

They have a word with the bar keep, and when the Autobots arrive to settle Berko's tab, they are set upon by the other patrons. The Pretenders can't understand how their true robotic identities have been discovered but they are soon bundled out and airlock, then blasted by the Decepticon Dreadwing!! Shortly after they regain consciousness and find themselves clamped to a slab in the Mecannibals lair. Master Mouth tells them that he has discovered they are really robots and they've been invited back to discuss some unfinished business... DINNER!

******

Meanwhile in the (groan) black and white strip Backstreet, Override and Dogfight have just survived a space in encounter with Dreadwing, and are heading to Earth (minus their ship). Far below them on the peaks of southern Peru, archaeologist Susan Hoffman is leading a party in search of the lost shrine of the Myaz. For some reason their guide (a local) is refusing to go any further, citing a 60 foot demon whom is supposed to dwell in these parts, and trots off leaving them alone. Hoffman and the crew and momentarily deafened when the two Decepticon jets - Darkwing and Dreadwind - fly overhead and appear to land on the mountain. The humans think it must be the military trying to recover the artefacts before they get to them and the party will have to get up there fast!

Dreadwind and his Nebulan partner Hi Test transform and survey some scorched earth. Their quarry might have been on fire on entry but couldn't have got up and walked, surely? A human tribe arrives and Dreadwind, having fun, calls to Darkwing asking if he should flatten the creatures. Suddenly there's a laser blast and Darkwing hits the deck! Dreadwind stares at the face of the attacker and looks very scared indeed!

Minutes later Hoffman and her party run into Hi Test and Throttle who are legging it from the horrors behind them. They order the group out of the way, just as the three Autobots descend to teach them some manners. Backstreet seizes the Decepticon collaborator and demands answers: what is their mission? He learns that they were sent here to recover the body of the Decepticon destroyed by the legendary data store known as the Underbase - the one and only Starscream! Trouble is that corpse is alive and thirsting for revenge! Suddenly the decomposing Starscream enters, crackling with energy and looking a fearsome sight indeed!

******

Comments:

At this stage I'd grown tired of the UK comic with its slim-pickings new format and black and white strip and started collecting the US comic instead. This was much better because you got four weeks of story in one go and a decent read for a change. I nearly stopped getting the UK book but decided to carry on out of loyalty more than anything.

The stories in this issue actually aren't too bad (format allowing). The Mecannibals tale is not the best Budiansky has ever done but I found it entertaining all the same. I quite like the way the Autobots find themselves in a dodgy situation but are still cracking the jokes. Example - after getting tossed out of the airlock Landmine says 'well, we were leaving anyway'. And exiting the Mecannibal's ship Landmine says: "Y'see Cloudy? That wasn't so hard." Cloudburst: "If you mean we barely escaped with our lives then I agree." Slightly Star Wars-esque I think, but maybe it's just the bar full of aliens that's making me think that!

The UK story has Susan Hoffman in it, the first time we've seen her since Ladies Night (issue 138). Always nice when characters we haven't seen for a while return. I also like the touch about the legend of the 60 foot devil god which fits the bill for Starscream perfectly. Still not keen on the artwork - and Starscream, while freaky looking, is so battered he looks like he'd fall apart if he tried to hit something. Oh dear, the next week teaser is very lazy, it's one close-up of Starscream and another of a Mecannibal. I think most readers could safely predict that these two would be in it next week so this so called teaser tells us nothing. Such a disappointment after the well-crafted preview texts we used to get, that actually made you feel excited about the next issue.

Next issue
Previous