Transformers UK: Issue 220

Story1: Recipe For Disaster (Part 4)
Story2: Survivors (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: June 3, 1989
Price: 38p
Writers: Bob Budiansky/Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Dan Reed (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Cloudburst learns how deadly a woman scorned can be

Autobot Pretenders Cloudburst and Landmine went to the planet Femax to gather spices for the Mecannibals', and win the release of their human friend Berko. But Cloudburst's disguise has worked a little too well on the leader of the warrior women and she invited him to her private chambers, where his disguise was revealed! The First One was horrified to learn that her guest was not a man at all, but 'cold soul-less machine' and promptly chopped his head off with a swing of her blade!

Meanwhile Landmine was entertaining the ladies when the First One stormed in with Cloudburst's severed head. He drew his sword to avenge his comrade but after a pause for thought, put the weapon down and tried the way of reason so favoured by his friend. He insists they have come in peace and the First One decides she may have let her emotions get the better of her. Cloudburst is soon repaired and the Autobots are given a send off by the warrior women and presented with the crystals they sought.

They follow the tunnel out of the mountain and are ambushed by Darkwing and Dreadwind. But Sky Lynx has been spying on the pair and swoops down to bash their heads together. His debt to the Pretenders is paid and they are free to hatch a plan to thwart the Mecannibals. Aboard the fiends' vessel Cloudburst and Landmine deliver the crystals as promised and demand that the creatures' victims be reconstructed. They point out that Sky Lynx is outside and preparing to sharpen his teeth on Dreadwing (the combined jet form of Darkwing and Dreadwind and the vessel of robot spotters Hi Test and Throttle). They are too valuable to lose so the Mecannibals accept the hard bargain. Only then do the Autobots reveal that Hi Test and Throttle are actually binary bonded to robots themselves - and then quickly depart leaving the Decepticons fleeing for their lives with the Mecannibal ship in hot pursuit!

******

Though sworn enemies, Wrecker leader Springer and Mayhem Squad commander Carnivac forged a bond after fighting side-by-side in Time Wars. The Decepticon has become a Pretender Beast after 'doing a job' for Scorponok, but has now come looking for Springer to form an alliance. Both sides have seemingly been abandoned by their superiors after the slaughter at the hands of Galvatron so they have something in common. Carnivac's sidekick Cattilla has come along, as has Snarler - a Decepticon through and through who doesn't like the idea of a team-up one little bit.

Inferno rushes into the woodland clearing to report a precession of human emergency vehicles is on their way to the Hudden nuclear plant. Springer and the Autobots roll-out leaving the Decepticons to confer. A police officer named Nicholson files speaks into his walkie talkie about a giant robot running amok inside, then sees Springer, Inferno and Broadside arrive and transform. In the reactor room Skids is preparing to blow himself up in the hopes that a ghastly bunch of creatures that his mind created in Limbo might die with him. While in that strange dimension his nightmares became reality, but perhaps they cannot survive without him? Back in the forest Snarler orders Carnivac to destroy Springer or he will see to it that the Decepticons hunt him down.

Springer and co get to Skids before he can take his own life (and blow up the reactor and surrounding area). He fills them in on what's happened, just as the monsters arrive and start sinking their teeth into everyone!

******

Comments:

Fun fact: This issue's May calendar appeared AFTER the June one! The cock-up was explained in the Combat Colin strip as down to Professor Madprof messing around with time.

One thing I like about Transformers is how they can be decapitated, blown to bits, chopped-up, and mutilated in all sorts of nasty ways, and still be right as rain a couple of issues later. This time it's Cloudburst who's in for a miraculous recovery after he gets his head cut-off with a sword. He is back to normal a few frames later and this goes to prove how handy Landmine is with a wielding torch! There have been a few beheadings in Transformers... Cyclonus famously copped it at the hands of Megatron and triggered the time rift. Fortress Maximus surrendered his head to make peace with the Nebulans, and Scorponok ended-up comatose after Highbrow violently separated him from Zarak. Prime's head was a prisoner of Shockwave, and Lord Straxus' bonce was all that remained after his body blew-up in a space bridge accident. Cloudburst seems to have survived with no adverse effects which begs the question of why Cyclonus (a being forged in the fires of a God - as he liked to say) did not. A letter to Dread Tidings asked the question, and Dreadwind stated that Transformers could remove their heads at will, with a series of mental commands (he demonstrated as he answered), but Cyclonus had no time to execute those fail safes, and presumably the shock fried his brain module. Cloudburst must have seen the blow coming.

On the subject of 'skin of his teeth': nice cover by Jeff Anderson but why has Cloudburst got a perfect set of pearly whites and spit!! Not exactly robot like I am sure you'll agree. There seems to be a printing problem on this issue's Dread Tidings because the background is so bright that the text is barely legible.

Broadside's comment at the end of Survivors "man have you got to see a shrink" is very American sounding for a British story. Not that I'm one to beat a drum about 'cultural imperialism', but it shows how a endless flow of movies, TV shows and adverts have soaked into the British consciousness. I doubt many readers even noticed anything out of the ordinary. I can't fathom what is worse: the Mecannibals releasing their Autobot victims to bring back spices, or agreeing to reconstruct their previous meals back into robots. Why not turn their ship's defences on big bird and eat Landmine and Cloudburst for their treachery? What sort of crummy villains are these? Apart from that I don't see how the robots could be rebuilt without melting the chips down and starting from scratch. In that case their brain modules would be lost (if not already) so would defeat the object surely? I like a happy ending but this is into the realms of silly.

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