Transformers UK: Issue 225
Story1: Headhunt (Part 1)
Story2: Aspects of Evil (Part 3)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: July 8, 1989
Writers: Simon Furman
Artwork: Dan Reed/Andy Wildman (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art --- Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Shockwave's analysis didn't take into account the actions of Hot Rod.
This issue's colour story is yet another reprint, this time the 1987 story Headhunt, which first appeared in issue 133. Aspects of Evil part 3 takes place at the official opening ceremony for Autobot City in 2004. The event is attended by senior Autobots including Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus, and world leaders, and should have protected by the most stringent security. Instead Hot Rod, in his haste to get to the party, has forgotten to activate the advance warning radar and the gathering comes under aerial attack from Shockwave and the Decepticons.
Shockwave is annoyed at having to serve under Megatron's leadership again and thinks that the destruction of Prime and human heads of state will be the coup he needs to emerge as the best placed to lead. The assault has been meticulously calculated by Shockwave's logic circuits with a 95% probability that the Autobots will be destroyed while trying in vain to protect their human friends. Prime proves the point by absorbing a nasty blast to the back from Shockwave in gun-mode, who transforms and lands on a nearby peak to watch the carnage. But his plans don't reckon on the unpredictability of the impetuous young Hot Rod who burns out of there like a bat out of hell and dives on Shockwave, sending them both rolling down the hillside. Hot Rod's wise cracks disguise his terror - he is totally outmatched - but his Decepticon opponent decides the plan is ruined and takes to the air. His comrades see this and quickly follow suit, leaving Hot Rod to lap up the acclaim.
Years later (in 2356 to be precise) Hot Rod, now Rodimus Prime, is telling the story to an Autobot student who seems especially impatient to find out about Unicron for some reason. But he will have to wait because first Prime must speak about the coldest, most ruthless Decepticon of all... Megatron!
There is nothing sophisticated about the plot to this issue's Aspects of Evil instalment. The Autobots and humans are at a ceremony and the Decepticons attack. This could be straight out of any of the cartoons in terms of depth and Furman can do a lot better than this. Shockwave is logical so how can we defeat him - answer: by someone acting unpredictably of course! Hardly original it must be said. I don't see why Shockwave gave up so easily in the face of this minor set back. He could have destroyed Hot Rod and carried on watching the show. It is also not the best example of Shockwave's cold logic at work. Better would be his humiliation of Megatron in issue 25, his ruthless exploitation of Prime and the Matrix in the early issues, choosing his moment to destroy the Autobots after the last stand, or launching a surprise attack after the events of the Movie. Anything. Andy Wildman has drawn Rodimus with skin contours and worts and in the last two panels. That would be fine if he was human and suffering from plague, but looks weird for a robot.
On page 2 we are told that an 'awful lot' of readers have been complaining about the black and white and the comic has decided to come clean and explain that soaring production costs are to blame. Possibly a knock-on effect of the economic recession in the country at that time.