Transformers UK: Issue 219
Story1: Recipe For Disaster (Part 3)
Story2: Survivors (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Visionaries
Cover date: May 27, 1989
Writers: Bob Budiansky/Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Dan Reed (story) John Stokes (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Cloudburst reveals his true self to the First One - not a good move!
Autobot Pretenders Landmine and Cloudburst have gone to the planet Femax to gather spices for the Mecannibals' table. If they fail their human friend Berko will be put to death, but even if they succeed one of them will be eaten alive as a gourmet meal! It is a rock and hard place situation for the Autobots who, to make matters worse, find themselves captured by 50 foot warrior women! Yes I know it sounds ridiculous ;-)
On the outskirts of the maiden's paradise kingdom a deadly Decepticon jet flies in to land. It is 'Dreadwing', the combined form of Darkwing and Dreadwind, and their Nebulan partners Hi Test and Throttle get out to scope for the Autobots. They are working as the Mecannibals' robot spotters and keeping quiet that they are binary-bonded to Decepticon Transformers. But as giant natives come to investigate them, the pint-sized pair are forced to combine with Darkwing and Dreadwind and reveal their disguises to Sky Lynx, who is spying from a safe distance.
The Pretenders meanwhile are brought before the 'first one', the queen of the maidens, who denounces them for trespassing. Landmine is ready for a fight but Cloudburst turns on the diplomacy and sparks the leader's curiosity. She decides to test him in battle to see if he is as good a warrior as he is a talker. So Cloudburst finds himself pushed to the limit by machines, strange creatures, and comes out on top, even defeating a warrior maiden in a jousting match! Pretty soon the First One has dragged this 'impressive man' away to her private quarters and has him out of his armour and on the sofa! She decrees that Cloudburst will be her 'number two' and mate and plants a smacker on his lips! Cloudburst gets up and apologises, saying its time that he was honest. His outer shell eerily starts to open, revealing his true mechanical self!
For our second story we are transported to Hudden nuclear power plant in California where the Autobot Skids stumbles through an electrified fence pursued by a pack of monsters. He spent two years in the Limbo dimension (after being deposited there by Galvatron in UK#101) and the isolation eventually got to his mind. Skids dreamed all manner of nightmarish creatures which eventually came alive and somehow have followed him to Earth! He knows his new 'friends' are in some strange way a part of him, and will not rest until they are together again. Somehow he must destroy them but how can this be done without causing carnage on Earth. He flees deeper into the nuclear facility in search of the answer.
A few miles away the survivors of Time Wars, Springer, Inferno and Broadside, are sitting in a cave complaining that Megatron pinched their shuttle stranding them on Earth. Weeks on from the conflict there has been no rescue craft and the Autobots are starting to feel abandoned. Suddenly two fearsome Pretender Beasts skulk out of the darkness and reveal themselves as Carnivac and Cattilla - their erstwhile Decepticon allies. Carnivac explains that they got the disguises 'doing a little job for Scorponok', something Springer doesn't like the sound of, and neither does he like the newcomer they have brought with them - the hog-like beast Snarler who looks about to start a fight with Broadside.
Cloudburst's disguise seems to be working a little too well and is starting to attract amorous ladies! Perhaps when he gets back to the Ark he could ask Brainstorm to stick on a few spots or batter him with a spanner a bit! The scene with Hi Test and Throttle surrounded by giants had me wondering if I was reading Gulliver's Travels for a minute. Seeing Darkwing and Dreadwind head height with humanoids was very weird though. Overall, despite all the offbeat nature of this story I am enjoying it more than I would have expected. Nice to see Skids reappearing in the black and white story. After such a long absence it is only fitting that he should get his own story and it is one of those loose-end tying exercises that are needed now and again. The Autobot and Decepticon survivors of Time Wars are reunited but there is no mention of their fallen comrades at this stage. Given that the Wreckers were such a close-knit unit, I can't believe they have just left their comrades to rust away on the battlefield. Maybe Springer has them stashed in his cave in case a ship with medics arrives, or else RAAT scientists have probably carted them off for a bit of research.
The black and white strip has been ably drawn by new chum Dan Reed, who I am sure, will have appreciated the chance to put his creative talent to work dreaming up the dark abominations from Skids' mind. Dan gave Megatron and Galvatron a distinctive 'vampire' look in issues 203/204 and has drawn a lot of similar stuff in his self published work in the 1990s, so this could have been a taster. Fans will wonder why Skids has a face plate instead of his usual 'nose and mouth' features. Dan mentioned that he was given character sheets to familiarise himself with how Transformers should look and seems to have drawn Skids true to his toy design unaware of past appearances.