Transformers UK: Issue #256

Story 1: Worlds Apart (Part 2)
Story 2: Perchance to Dream (Part 2)
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: February 10, 1990
Price: 45p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson, Staz, Stephen Baskerville (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


By Omega Steve

Ironhide takes the terrorists by surprise and foils a hostage situation.

The main strip is a reprint of Worlds Apart from issue 130 so please see that page for comments.

The Ark has been infiltrated by a small beetle-like robotic probe, which is scanning the memories of the deactivated Autobots. It settles on Ironhide's head and begins to tap images from a siege several years ago. Armed police had surrounded a derelict warehouse in Los Angeles and demanded that the terrorists inside, release their hostages and surrender.

Ironhide had left the Ark without permission and now found himself slap, bang in the middle of the cordoned area. Throwing the Autobot policy of non-interference out of the window, he decided to rescue the hostages before a shoot-out resulted in lives being lost. Driving around the back, Ironhide spotted a human assault team preparing to storm the building and he knew time was of the essence. He smashed through a gate and the terrorists were alerted that something was going down outside, prompting one to cock his rifle in the direction of a hostage. Suddenly a huge robotic fist punched a gaping hole in the wall and Ironhide appeared - 'Surprise!'

The terrorists opened fire but their bullets had no effect, and all the Autobot had to do was pound the floor to send everyone flying. One desperado started fingering a grenade pin until Ironhide warned him that this action would only make him (Ironhide) more angry. The SWAT team burst in and the guy decided that the giant robot had to be some kind of sophisticated storming tool, so he went for his grenade again and got encased in ice by Ironhide's gun. He had tried to get the terrorists to surrender by shock tactics and the SWAT had blundered in and nearly ruined everything. 'Next time leave it to the professionals,' was Ironhide's thought, and it is this view of humans as 'dumb organisms' that makes him interesting to the mysterious figure monitoring the probe's data.



If in doubt keep in simple. A nice straightforward story from Furman that demonstrates the power that Transformers really have in relation to Earth's dominant life. Ironhide is impervious to bullets, can bash down walls and has superior firepower at his disposal if needed. The terrorists are no match for him but his sense of superiority is not fuelled by the fact he is bigger, but rather than he thinks humans lack subtlety. Perhaps it is just that no human can match Ironhide when it comes to war savvy, he has simply been doing it for so long. Nice use of his ice gun too - although I wondered if the guy that got zapped would now suffocate or catch hypothermia. Who are the terrorists I wonder? We never find out which cause they are associated with because the guy gets iced up before he can finish his sentence. But they look like the stereotype and one has a nice mullet, which I found amusing. The artwork in this instalment is superior to last week in my view and definitely approve of the inking and use of shading. It might be a black and white strip but the use of shadows and greys is a good substitute for colour. However it is pretty obvious that the mysterious observer is Galvatron, we know his bodywork all to well by now. The question is - what on Earth is he doing here?

Combat Colin raises a few laughs, I do enjoy these, and this time panel featuring a yucky exploding brain has been thoughtfully covered up by a drawing of that 'nice Kylie Minogue'! There has been a stealthy price rise, up 5p, to 45p. I nearly missed that. It is a shame this extra revenue won't result in full colour and better quality paper anytime soon.

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