Transformers UK: Issue 233
Story1: King Con! (Part 2)
Story2: A Small War (Part 2)
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: September 2, 1989
Writer: Bob Budiansky/Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Geoff Senior (story) Jeff Anderson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: The Air Strike Patrol, Sports Car Patrol
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Iguanus and Skullgrin argue over what to do about the human spy they have captured.
New York is experiencing strange weather conditions and bizarre creatures have been sighted in the swamps nearby. The Autobot Race Car and Off Road Patrols have been sent to investigate, and also on the scene is a TV news team led by Cecilia Santiago. The van driver protests that he can't manoeuvre the vehicle through the swamp and a cameraman wimps out on grounds that he can't risk ruining his expensive kit. So Santiago goes alone in search of the swamp thing.
In a network of caverns below ground Scorponok has established a new base and has a plan to harness energy from the nearby city to make energon cubes. It involves Finback and Submarauder laying a cable across the Hudson river and Iguanus attaching a device to the Empire State Building but Skullgrin has to stay behind and guard the base! He isn't happy and Iguanus taunts him that it is because he befriended humans during his movie star phase and the commander doesn't trust him (see issue 190).
A while later Cecilia stumbles across four pretenders gathered around the device responsible for generating the bad weather. Finback and Submarauder swim off with the cable and Cecilia slips into the swamp, making a splash. Iguanus seizes her and wants to terminate his catch. Skullgrin says no and Iguanus gives him a mighty slap!
Fourteen months ago on Cybertron the Autobot Battle Patrol were captured and dissected by Thunderwing's scientists. Their internal circuitry was analysed and logged and would be used by the Decepticons to create their own Micromaster teams.
Outside, the Race Car Patrol were preparing to deploy explosives around the base, taking out their enemies and the Battle Patrol in the process. Roadhandler has been given strict orders not to allow the Micromaster process to fall into enemy hands, but he decides to risk a court martial by leading a rescue mission. The Autobots blast their way into the main chamber and find the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol under construction. The Air Strike Patrol step out of the shadows with their weapons charged and a shocked Roadhandler drops the explosive device. In the confusion the Autobots attack their opponents and floor them, before gathering the Battle Patrol and escaping.
Back at Autobase Roadhandler surrenders himself to Xaaron for disobeying orders and expects to be tried and executed. Xaaron replies that he recently lost sight of the wellbeing of the soldiers who serve him, but Roadhandler has helped him see the error of his ways. The courageous Micromaster leader will be spared.
More stage setting going on in this issues instalment of King Con. An archetypal US TV reporter is introduced, ultra-dedicated to her job but liable to be led into trouble by curiosity, and she will be a fixture for the next few issues. Budiansky, as he admitted in an interview on the Hub website, liked to interact humans and Transformers where possible. Meanwhile Skullgrin is the object of ridicule for his recent spell in the human movies, and rightly so! The UK story is expertky drawn and has a good dose of action for a five page story. We find out how the Decepticon Micromasters were created (though not how they were given life) and there is the beginnings of the Race Car and Off Road Patrols' rebelious streak.