Transformers UK: Issue #246

Story 1: All the Familiar Faces (Part 1)
Story 2: Demons!
Back-up strip: Action Force
Cover date: December 2, 1989
Price: 40p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo/Jeff Anderson (story) Stewart Johnson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Fixit, Seawatch


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Starscream is being restored to life by the super Pretender shell.

The tangled mess of metal and circuitry that used to be Starscream, is slowly being knitted back together by the super Pretender shell. Megatron is pleased with how things are progressing and reflects that it was a good move, abducting Ratchet from the Ark to do his bidding. The surgeon gets caught up marvelling at the technology, and has to remind himself that he is supposed to be working under duress for his greatest enemy. After all if he doesn't co-operate then Megatron's minion, Blackjack, will detonate the charges he is busy planting on the Ark. With a wait on their hands, Megatron orders Ratchet to utilise the time by tidying the laboratory, starting by removing the deactivated Autobots - Goldbug, Jazz and Grimlock - that he brought with him.

Megatron returns to his control centre in time to break up some petty bickering between Detour and the much larger Dreadwind. The Powermaster and his companion, Darkwing, are invited to stick around and serve Megatron longer. But unknown to them their former employers the Mecannibals are not far away, and feasting on the abundant robot life on Cybertron.

On the Ark the smug Blackjack is getting impatient to blow the explosives and destroy the ship (after he's got to a safe distance of course). He fails to notice that Kup, whom he blasted earlier, is starting to recover and reach for his gun! At the Macdill air base on Earth, Prime has cottoned on that something amiss is happening at the Ark and orders his troops to retreat to the shuttle. Hot Rod is aghast and especially as his leader is staying behind to cover their exit. Scorponok also realises that Optimus is planning something and transforms in order to destroy the shuttle.

******

The demons who exist below Cybertron's surface have been reactivated by the searing white light from above. This happened after a group of Autobots and Decepticons ventured into this Underworld last issue. The creatures feasted on the bodies for the first time in millions of years and now they are hungry for more victims. They make their way to the surface, drawn by the sound of voices. At ground level the Autobot Micromaster Seawatch is in trouble, surrounded by three full sized Decepticons who want a little fun at his expense. They start bashing him up but suddenly there is the sound of metal and components tearing and the Decepticons are devoured! Seawatch is so horrified by the sight that his mind shuts down!

Later at Autobase he is examined by Fixit to get to the bottom of the mystery. The patrol who found Seawatch also reported that the remains of the three Decepticons had been totally stripped of energy, and Emirate Xaaron wants to know what they are dealing with. He worries that the Decepticons will blame the Autobots for the deaths and make reprisals. Sure enough nearby Grimlock, Jazz and Bumblebee (minus their new Pretender shells) are searching for clues when they are ambushed by the Firecons and Triggercons! Bumblebee tries to stop the fighting and convince everyone to work together to track down the demons - little realising that the gigantic creatures are assembling behind him!

******

Comments:

Seawatch's lucky escape at the hands of the demons, and the Decepticons' demise, has everything to do with the fact that he is part of the toy range and they are expendable extras! Non-entities biting the dust is starting to become a theme in the black and white strips. Interestingly the demons are awoken by the light shining in from above. I wonder if they are solar power and have remained non-functional beneath the surface for so long because of a lack of energy? To be honest I'm not actually sure that they are mechanical life - they look organic, even fleshy on the last page. Who was it that said organic is good for you? Nice to see Jazz, Bumblebee and Grimlock back, although a little surprised that their new pretender shells aren't being showcased. Perhaps because we'll see a lot of them in the main strip shortly. Grimlock and Bumblebee seem to have patched up their differences, considering that Grims was harbouring a major grudge not so long ago (when he was leader and Blaster and Goldbug deserted). In the main strip things are progressing albeit a little slowly. I enjoyed the spat between the Micromasters and the comedic duoof Darkwing and Dreadwind - and clearly the Mecannibals are being lined up for a return. I'm not sure whether this story takes place before or after issue 240's 'Out to Lunch'. Megatron really is an incompetant oaf sometimes, leaving Ratchet unsupervised with the three prototype Pretender shells, knowing that he's got three deactivated Autobots handy.

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