Transformers UK: Issue 231
Story1: Ressurection (Part 3)
Story2: The Big Shutdown! (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: August 19, 1989
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson (story) Lee Sullivan (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Graham Thomson
One of Thunderwing's victims returns to haunt him... or could it be an Autobot trick?
Thunderwing seemed to come from nowhere - which is no mean task for a forty foot high Decepticon, encased in a power enhancing outer shell and shoulder-mounted gun ports. Siren panicked and dropped his weapon as Thunderwing advanced. But even if he hadn't the blaster wouldn't have much effect anyway.
With his weapon point-blank to Siren's head, the Decepticon explains that the destruction of the corpse, Playback (see last issue), and the release of Horsepower and Hosehead from custody on Cybertron - were the final stages of his testing. He must hunt down and destroy the three Autobots on Earth if he is to prove himself worthy of Decepticon leadership. Adding Siren his tally will be an unexpected bonus. Hosehead uses the distraction to fire chemical foam into the Decepticon's eyes.
Temporarily blinded he fires in random directions allowing the two Autobots to transform and beat a hasty retreat. Thunderwing emerges from his Pretender shell to see his prey racing away. A small set back but there is nowhere they can go that he can't find them.
Back at the beach, Nightbeat has concluded his examination of Playback's body and deduced that he was a Decepticon prisoner. A serial number on the body confirms this, while the blast wound in his back conforms to a cyclone cannon, a Decepticon weapon. Siren and Hosehead arrive just as Thunderwing catches up with them. He swoops down in jet mode riddling the beach with laser fire. Siren pushes Nightbeat out of harm's way before taking the brunt of an explosion, which sends him flying. Nightbeat knows that he will have to be inventive to rescue this situation. Moments later, Thunderwing has transformed to robot mode and is preparing to finish off Hosehead. Suddenly Playback's corpse rises from the sea and starts to advance towards his murderer! Thunderwing is confused and a little afraid and he starts to back away. Only when the dead Autobot gets close does it become apparent that Nightbeat's Nebulan companion, Muzzle, has bonded with the body and is controlling him. At Nightbeat's command Muzzle jumps clear and the three Autobots target Playback's fuel supply, causing an explosion which sends Thunderwing into the depths of the Pacific.
Comments:By Steve Bax
The editorial to this issue is shamelessly promoting the black and white format as a positive thing!! Readers are being invited to cut out the Combat Colin page and colour it in! How dumb do they think we are? Especially as most people I knew who collected the comic were well into their teens. Resurrection (the story we already bought in 1987) is still being repeated in full colour which is even more gauling.
Anyway... The big shutdown. It has been drawn by Lee Sullivan, who admittedly was never one of my favourite artists, but he makes the best of it considering the lack of colour. Thunderwing's inner robot makes an incredibly rare appearance, but can't help but look puny alongside his powerful shell. Seeing as Thunderwing's mega pretender shell can transform anyway I don't see the point in him being a Pretender. A clever use of Nightbeat's Headmaster gimmick (sorry ability) allows him to trick Thunderwing. Again this is rare because in later stories you would never see Nightbeat removing his head. He, Siren and Hosehead could have been regular Autobots that transformed into cars/a fire engine like the set to all intents and purposes. The banter between Nightbeat and his dizzy sidekick Siren is enjoyable.