Transformers UK: Issue #245
Story 1: The Resurrection Gambit (Part 3)
Story 2: Underworld
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: November 25, 1989
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Jeff Anderson (story) Andy Wildman (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Pipes, Tailgate, Subsea, Flat-top, Rotgut, Slayride, Jackhammer, Warhead, Smeltdown
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
In the heat of the battle the Air Strike patrol take their leave!
In a Decepticon fortress on Cybertron, Megatron is regaling his prisoner, Ratchet, with the details of how he survived the exploding Space Bridge. It had thrown him into the Dead End where he lay deactivated for many months until internal repair mechanisms kicked in. Then after a longer period of amnesia Megatron spotted two Autobots hassling Blackjack and the sight of that hated insignia snapped him out of his daze. He destroyed the Autobots and Blackjack guided him to safety, where he was soon plotting the destruction of his enemies again. Megatron tells Ratchet that Darkwing and Dreadwind will soon be arriving with the 'patient' whom will be restored to full power by the super Pretender shell. The three prototype shells that Ratchet saw on the way in are to go waste - or perhaps not!
Back on Earth Prime is under attack by Scorponok and Weirdwolf at the Macdill Air force base. He repels the feral Decepticon and sends him spiralling into his commander. Then Prime grabs a jet and batters Skullgrin with it. Scorponok has never seen his opposite number fight with such fury and wonders what could have put him in such a mood. He suspects his wayward new warriors, the Air Strike Patrol, can supply the answers, but a glance around reveals that they are taking to the skies and leaving everyone too it! An uppercut from Prime sends Bomburst crashing into a building and nearly flattening some humans. Optimus realises that his behaviour is endangering innocents and he will need to speak to Scorponok to call this squabble off.
Back on Cybertron Ratchet's patient has arrived... and it is none other than the wrecked body of the traitorous Starscream!
Below the surface of war-torn Cybertron, even deeper down than the sewer system, is a no-go realm known as the Underworld. Three Autobot cadets - Tailgate, Flat-top and Subsea - have ventured here as part of their initiation. It is not a very wise move considering the mutant creatures that exist down there, and making matters worse an oil-thirsty Decepticon hunting party has followed them!
Above ground, Outback and Pipes have discovered the open manhole and fear for the safety of their fellow Autobots. They think the headstrong Flat-top has talked the others into going there and now they will be forced to go after them. Below, the Autobots' hiding place has been discoved by the Decepticon Jackhammer, and he uses his hammerhead to batter a path to them. Weapons fire obliterates Subsea and moments later Flat-top has bought it as well! Tailgate knows he is next unless he can think of something, and then gets the idea of blasting the gas furnace in Smeltdown's chest which explodes the Decepticon! Outback and Pipes arrive but honour dictates that they don't intervene in Tailgate's fight with the last man standing. He defeats his opponent and the Autobots beat a path back to the surface. Meanwhile the creatures who inhabit the Underworld devour the bodies of the Transformers left behind and hunger for more!
It is not that often that a story is set on Cybertron as opposed to Earth or Nebulos so there is a lot of scope to develop the planet. Underworld is an attempt to do just that, by introducing a new menace and an aspect of the planet's evolution that we haven't been aware of until now. The only thing is that we know that all life on the Transformers homeworld was created by Primus, and I can't imagine why he would want to make these creatures as well. A possible explanation might be that they pre-date Primus to the time when Cybertron was just a metal Asteroid and before the creator's essence became trapped there. First, and I think only, appearance of Pipes and Tailgate who came out as toys a couple of years previously but have never been shoehorned into the comic. Meanwhile we have a lot of new characters who are introduced only to be quickly destroyed.
Back on Earth, at last a bit of action, although it seems that Prime is taking the fight to the Decepticons singlehanded. The pieces are all in place for the debut of the Pretender Classics and the story seems a tad predictable. I can't understand why Megatron would want to use Starscream as part of any plan though. He knows his ex-lieutenant cannot be trusted. Better to have put one of the Micromasters in the super shell and sent them on a demolition spree.