Transformers UK: Issue #254

Story 1: Yesterday's Heroes (Part 3)
Story 2: White Fire
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: January 27, 1990
Price: 40p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo, Cam Smith, Stephen Baskerville (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


The Autobots journey to the centre of Cybertron and discover Primus!



Rodimus and Unicron battle for control of the Matrix.

Millions of years ago Cybertron pulsed to the beat of a billion robotic hearts. Then the war came and the beat was stilled - even Iacon, the jewel in Cybertron's crown, became a dead place - a graveyard of dreams. But it seems that even in a graveyard life can be found - specifically the Autobot resistance hiding deep underground! Bludgeon and the other Mayhem Attack Squad members, Stranglehold and Octopunch, have detected the Transformer life signals and move in, hoping to assassinate Grimlock, Jazz and Bumblebee.

Below ground these three are saying their goodbyes to resistance leader Emirate Xaaron and preparing (with the Rescue Patrol) to step into the portal that will transport them to Earth. The emirate expresses his hope that Primus will watch over these brave warriors, and Bumblebee reflects how long it has been since he heard the name of their god mentioned. Suddenly the Decepticons burst in and Bludgeon decapitates the technician supervising the portal. He accelerates the dimensional interface, hoping things will get 'very messy', resulting in a blinding white explosion. Xaaron has no idea where the Autobots have been transported to, but wherever it is their executioners have gone with them!

On Earth's moon Optimus Prime is locked in pitched battle with Hot Rod's malfunctioning Mark V Guardian robot. Hi rips the droid's weapon arms off and absorbs piercing eye beams, before punching a gaping hole in its chest area. The battle has lifted Prime from the depths of despair, just as Hot Rod hoped, and now he is ready to honour Ratchet's sacrifice but fighting on with all the strength and wisdom at his disposal. The Ark's computer (a source of logic for the Autobot leader) confirms: "The heroes of yesterday provide motivation and impetus for the heroes of tomorrow!"

Elsewhere a group of present day heroes find themselves teleported to the centre of Cybertron - a region that is strangely familiar and yet never before seen by Transformer eyes. The Pretenders and Micromasters trudge through shallow water along a corridor, sensing that the tentacles around them are almost alive. They emerge into a large chamber to be greeted by a truly awesome sight - the face of their God - Primus!

******

New Year's Day 2009 sees the future Autobots battling for their lives against their most bizarre foe yet - their leader Rodimus Prime! He has been possessed by Unicron - whose essence now inhabits the Matrix - and forced to destroy his own warriors. Kup reluctantly gives the order to shoot to kill, when Rodimus' chest compartment flies open, releasing Matrix energy. It is a sign that the Autobot leader is fighting back!

Within the Matrix Prime was being engulfed by Unicron, but has started pushing him back. He realises that the doubts, fears and despair that he experienced recently, has allowed the chaos bringer to take control of him. The Matrix has become tainted with Unicron's evil and like a living creature, can be turned and swayed, but it can also be turned back through resistance.

In the real world Rodimus' body blasts Strafe, but Kup realises that Prime is trying to win the internal battle and resolves to help. He wrestles Rodimus' body to the ground and rips out the Matrix from his leader's open chest cavity. Rodimus is freed from Unicron's influence and wakes up. He had been on the verge of destroying Unicron using the good parts of the Matrix, but with the connection severed, Unicron was allowed to flee. The next time they have a reckoning the dark god will surely be ready!

******

Comments:

Wow! I never expected to see Primus in the comic, in the flesh anyway (if that is the right word). This appearance is like a bolt out of the blue. Until Xaaron mentions his name this issue there had been no hint as to what was coming, and now there is a sense that something very big is in the offing. It would be hard to imagine a story featuring Primus that could be otherwise. It has been noted before that Primus looks a lot like Rodimus (see issue 150) and now we can see that they clearly have similar heads. I was worried initially that introducing Primus could mean that Cybertron would be transforming at some future point. It could be pretty cool, but personally I prefer the idea of the Transformers battling Unicron against all the odds, rather than sitting back and watching their gods go at it. Also if Primus were to transform, think of the destruction this would cause to the planet's already wrecked cities. As it is he seems to be more like a super computer existing at the planet's core. Should be interesting.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed the uplifting blurb about yesterday's heroes providing the motivation for future acts of courage. I don't know how Furman plans his stories, but I can almost imagine he started with this idea in mind and then wove the tale around it, including references to heroes where possible. The Dark Rodimus story comes to an end but is left open for a repeat performance. I'm still unhappy about the artwork which is ropy in places and can be distracting.

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