Transformers UK: Issue 217
Story1: Recipe For Disaster (Part 1)
Story2: Race With the Devil (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: May 13, 1989
Writers: Bob Budiansky/Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Andy Wildman (story) Jez Hall (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
The Pretenders' disguise are about to be blown as the Mecannibals hit them with a giant magnet!
Dinner is served! All trussed-up with nowhere to go, the Autobot Pretenders Cloudburst and Landmine find themselves about to become the main course at the table of those terrifying tomato-shaped Mecannibals! On the orders of Optimus Prime they had journeyed to this part of the galaxy in search of spare parts to rebuild their fallen comrades. They fooled black market dealers the Mecannibals into thinking they were humans and did a deal for a chest of microchips. The Autobots were able to rescue one of their comrades, Sky Lynx, who was about to be eaten and now, with their covers blown, they are set to take his place on the menu!
Cloudburst tries to talk their way out of it by pointing out they had a deal. But Master-Mouth says their rescuing Sky-Lynx has changed things, and besides now they are edible! Hi-Test, Throttle and the human captive Berko look on as the Mecannibals make room in their stomachs by regurgitating a previous meal as microchips. The Autobots are horrified and realise it would be unethical to save their comrades using parts gathered in this way, but that is all by-the-by as first they have to escape from their current predicament.
The Mecannibals lower a huge magnet into position and pull the Pretenders clean out of their shells. Things look bad but Cloudburst and Landmine are able radio-control their shells to counter attack. Landmine's cuts the power to the magnet a furious battle ensues and is permeated by the Mecannibal battle cry 'eat or be eaten'! Unfortunately there are too many and our heroes are soon surrounded.
Twisted and deformed, with protruding wires and smouldering circuits, Starscream has sure seen better days! Mind you he is dead (having been blown up by the Underbase) and that has a lot to do with it! His body was thought to be scattered across space and Darkwing and Dreadwind had been dispatched by their new master to retrieve it. However they found that risidual Underbase energy had pieced Starscream back together (almost) and he is now at large in South America. Not quite alive but most certainly dangerous!
One group who is discovering this first hand is the Triggerbots, Backstreet, Dogfight and Override who have run into him in Peru. They learn that Starscream's eye beams are quite deadly and decide the best course of action is retreat. But with Backstreet injured they cannot move very fast and Dogfight comes off worse when he attempts a little hand to hand combat.
Nearby Hi Test and Throttle hide in a cave with the archaeologist Susan Hoffman. When the coast is clear they dash off to find their Decepticon partners, Darkwing and Dreadwind, leaving Hoffman and team to be ambushed by tribe called the Juluth. The Nebulans discover their Decepticon allies deactived and drained of energy, so they and transform into engines and give them a power-up. Once recovered, Dreadwind has a plan, and one that will depend on Hi Test and Throttle for its success.
The US story is quite silly but I do appreciate the wisecracks from Cloudburst and Landmine and the general humour of the story. Scenes like the giant magnet pulling the Autobots out of their shells and the battle cry 'eat or be eaten' raise a smile. On balance though there is not much happening in these five short pages and it leaves me wishing they had never done away with the single-story format, which used to be 11 pages. The UK story is not the best I've ever read and the artwork really hampers my enjoyment of it. Starscream looking grotesque is okay, but the rubbery faces on the Autobots looks naff and Hi Test and Throttle look about 85. Transformations builds expectations by saying Death's Head is returning page, only to add that it will be in a reprint of the 1987 story Wanted: Galvatron. Shorter stories, black and white sections on poor quality paper and soon reprints. The UK comic is truly going down the toilet at this stage.