Transformers UK: Issue #241
Story 1: Back From The Dead (Part 2)
Story 2: Rage!
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: October 28, 1989
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Andy Wildman (story) Geoff Senior (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Decepticon Micromasters are laying siege to an air force base, but is it a diversion for a much grander scheme?
At the Macdill air force base in Florida General James Campbell welcomes his honoured guests including military personnel and the ladies and gentlemen of the press. They are there to witness the unveiling of the B-204, the largest refuelling plane in existence. This baby can broaden the range and capacity of aerial combat by a factor of seven - which is why the Decepticons want it! At that moment the squabbling Air Strike Patrol of Micromasters swoops down and destroys the other fighter jets at the base before declaring the installation under their control. The fleshlings will have one hour to fuel the B-204 and provide a pilot to take it back to headquarters.
Aboard the Ark in Earth's orbit Hot Rod's surveillance equipment has detected the threat and Prime mobilises a squad of Autobots to travel with him in a shuttle. This will leave the Ark manned by a skeleton crew and dangerously unprotected in the meantime, certainly not what chief medical officer Ratchet needed to hear. In his repair bay the surgeon is still feeling the strain of having to fix all the Autobots damaged by Starscream during the Underbase Saga and is on the verge of cracking up. So when he sees a small figure moving by the doorway he dismisses it as a hallucination. However it is one of the four Decepticon Sports Car Patrol members who have teleported aboard via an inter-dimensional portal (a successor to the space bridge we are told) and Blackjack overrides the medical bay's main computer while his colleagues argue among themselves. Soon the hacking job is complete and then it is time to watch the results. In the medical bay Ratchet is busy welding as Jazz's skeletal hand starts to flicker into life.
The beach where Thunderwing fought the new Headmasters (in issues 230-231) has been sealed-off by the Californian authorities. He was last seen disappearing beneath the waves on fire but was never recovered so police are erring on the side of caution. But a group of teenagers has decided it would be fun to sneak in and hold a late night party with a campfire and a few beers. Things are soon in the swing when Thunderwing resurfaces (having recovered from his injuries) and demands to know the whereabouts of the Autobots who humiliated him. Of course the kids have no knowledge of Nightbeat, Hosehead or Siren - all they know is that a demented giant robot is after them and they are soon high-tailing it off the beach.
In orbit a Decepticon shuttle detects Thunderwing and swoops down to make contact with him. At that moment the would-be leader is in plane mode and bombing a town in order to gain the Autobots' attention. In his angered state of mind Thunderwing mistakes the shuttle for the Autobots and shoots it down. Ruckus, Crankcase and the others climb out of the wreck and try to calm the big guy down. Ruckus assures him that his failure to destroy the Headmasters need not mean that his bid to become leader is over. But Thunderwing doesn't see it that way and is past caring anyhow. He declares that he will not be taken and attacks Ruckus, Crankcase and Windsweeper. A shot from Quake's tank mode makes little impact and he is thrown into Flamefeather. When the battle is over Thunderwing obtains the information he needs and requisitions the Decepticons and their shuttle for an attack on the Ark! Everyone thinks he is mad, but after that beating no-one is in the mood to argue!
The Thunderwing story probably takes place hours (or perhaps a couple of days) after the events of the Big Shutdown. The Decepticon sank to the bottom of the ocean on fire but presumably his mega pretender shell has healing properties so it was just a matter of him resurfacing when repairs were complete. Quake's gun barrel looks like that of a regular tank but his toy has one of his targetmaster companions as the barrel. So I'm wondering if this means Quake is not a targetmaster at this point. Certainly if he had Nebulans with him on Cybertron he have a job to feed them on a completely metallic world. In the US strip I'm surprised at how few Autobots Prime has at his disposal. Even with many of the old troops out of action he still has most of the Steelhaven crew, namely Headmasters, Targetmasters, Pretenders, Powermasters, Monsterbots. In fact it was only the Technobots who copped it during the Underbase Saga from what we saw, and for that matter lots of the older Autobots like Windcharger, Ironhide and Smokescreen didn't feature so presumably would still be operational.