Transformers UK: Issue #257

Story 1: Worlds Apart (Part 3)
Story 2: Perchance to Dream (Part 3)
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: February 17, 1990
Price: 45p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Will Simpson, Andy Wildman, Art Wetherall (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Sunstreaker is left dazed and dented after a run in with the Decepticon jets.

The main strip is a reprint of Worlds Apart from issue 131 so please see that page for comments.

In the Ark's sick bay a robotic bug is flitting between the deactivated Autobots and scanning their memories. A mysterious figure is monitoring the results from a small craft that is holding position close to the giant star cruiser. He judges Brawn to be unsuitable for his purposes and orders the bug to move on to the next candidate - Sunstreaker.

We then see images from this Autobot's mind and a story from the early days of the Transformers war on Earth. Sunstreaker and Jazz were on a reconnaissance mission to the newly built Fortress Sinister to spy on their enemies the Decepticons. But rather than paying attention to the mission, Sunstreaker had been paying attention to himself - telling Jazz how stylish his new sports car mode looked. Jazz was feeling irritated by all this pointless rubbish and warned that they were deep in Decepticon territory and the last thing they need is to draw attention to themselves. His words proved prophetic as Thundercracker swooped overhead and deafened the Autobots with a sonic boom, then Skywarp teleported in and opened fire on Jazz. Sunstreaker transformed to robot mode and ran to help, but when he saw the mess that Jazz was in he realised he couldn't possibly take a risk on ending up like that. He did the only thing possible and started making a run for it!

The jets knocked him off his feet, damaging a shoulder pod, and swung around for another strike, but suddenly they came under attack from the US Airforce (the military having mobilised near the fortress) and were ordered back to base by Megatron. The time for answering the human threat would come, but not just yet. The deluded Sunstreaker gives himself credit for leading the Decepticons into the humans' trap, even though it was pure luck that this happened. And even while the military are collecting their casualties he is oblivious to what is going on, too busy swooning over himself! In space the mystery observer chuckles and welcomes Sunstreaker 'to the team'.

******

Comments:

I had an inkling from the cover that this was going to be one of those stories. I don't mind humour in Transformers, but preferably in the form of lighter moments in an otherwise gritty and well-scripted story. Unfortunately this tale seems to be more of piss-take of Sunstreaker than an attempt to write something serious - painting him as vain, selfish, cowardly and arrogant. He comes across as a stereotype character who it is hard to imagine has lasted five minutes in the Autobot army. The way he abandons Jazz just to avoid denting his own bodywork is disgraceful, and he simply couldn't function as part of the Autobot army if he behaved like this. His comrades couldn't rely on him and wouldn't want him around. We know from tech specs that Sunstreaker loves himself, but up till now this has been cockiness and an arrogant belief in his warrior abilities. He thinks he looks stylish whether in battle or cruising Earth's highways. But in past appearances he has always been prepared to get stuck-in fighting the Decepticons, often alongside his brother Sideswipe (see issue 4). We haven't seen much of Sunstreaker due to his long deactivation but nothing to suggest he is as callous as portrayed in this story.

It is good to see Thundercracker and Skywarp back in action and showcasing their respective sonic boom and teleportation abilities. And setting the story in those early issues is a treat for long-time readers like myself, as well as providing a bit of continuity. But it is such a short story that it is over with before you know it - and coupled with artwork that I'm not keen on - leaves me feeling flat. When I compare stories like this to past greats like Target 2006, Dinobot Hunt, Warrior School and numerous others, it makes depressing reading to see how far the comic's standards have slipped.

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