Transformers UK: Issue #269
Story 1: Power Struggle (Part 1)
Story 2: Mystery
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: May 12, 1990
Writer: Michael Higgins, Simon Furman
Artwork: Herbe Trimpe, Pete Knifton and Pete Venters (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Superion causes a stir when he arrives to back-up the mini-bot Bumblebee!
Sky Dive fears the worst when he finds Wheeljack missing.
A strangely constipated looking Superion wobbles in front of GI Joe no doubt causing some unexpected bowel movements on the part of the humans too! The giant Autobot - comprised of the five Aerialbots, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Sky Dive, Slingshot and Fireflight, has arrived at Fort Lewis army base in Seattle looking for his comrade Bumblebee and any Decepticons that may have infiltrated the site. Little does he know that the Joes have just blown his smaller pal into even smaller bits. Scarlet rallies the troops while Roadblock, Beachhead and company, open fire on Superion to little effect. The giant has no wish to hurt anyone but his sheer size, and the fact that the earth tremors whenever he moves, is making it hard to convince anyone of his good intentions. An explosion causes Lady Jaye to injure her arm and pretty soon the tanks have joined the assault.
Superion is calculating his next move when Blaster radios through on internal communications with some awful news - Optimus Prime has been assassinated. All Autobots are ordered to return to the Ark, and with that Superion activates the boosters in his feet and disappears into the sky, leaving GI Joe perplexed but relieved.
In the back up strip the Aerialbot Sky Dive makes his way out of Earth Force base in the dead of night and steps into a biting Alaskan snowstorm. He trudges the short journey to one of the outer structures, complaining as he goes, and expects to relieve Wheeljack on guard duty. But when he arrives reaches the building Sky Dive finds the door torn off, a blaster and lamp laying on the ground, and signs of a scuffle between his comrade and a wild animal of some kind. He starts to panic, fearing the worst, and imagining the scenario which took place. Grimlock had previously reported seeing the Predacons in the area (issue 267) and they have animal modes. Sky Dive pictures Wheeljack hearing a noise and grabbing his blaster, then a huge claw strikes his chest, and a Decepticon emerges from the shadows to close in for the kill. Wheeljack fights back but the Decepticon is stronger and overpowers him.
Sky Dive is enraged and follows the footprints in the snow hoping to confront the "murdering scum" he deems responsible. Finding the lock blasted off of Wheeljack's lab, he dashes inside and pounces on a robotic figure in the darkness. Seconds later one of Air Raid switches the lights on and Sky Dive realises he has just bundled Wheeljack and a piece of equipment to the ground. Embarrassed, he tells his side of the story, and Wheeljack explains that he had caused a mess at his guard post in a bungled effort to switch off an overheating thermo device, then had been attacked by a polar bear, forgotten his keys and had to force the lock on his lab. Air Raid laughs and assures his two shamed-up comrades that he will keep the matter quiet, and tells the over imaginative Sky Dive to lay off the human mystery videos.
The GI Joe crossover continues to be as dull as ever. Will this plot ever get exciting? Then there is the matter of the art being well below par - I can't remember ever seeing Superion being drawn this bad. The 'assassination' of Optimus Prime, reported by Blaster, refers to the events of UK #106 when Prime infamously sacrificed himself following a virtual reality clash with Megatron. If you haven't read it check out the review as it remains one of the most controversial stories of the run.
The back up strip, while a little more pacey, is another non-event. Essentially Sky Dive thinks something has happened to Wheeljack and then finds out that it hasn't - and that's it. It is hardly the stuff of bestsellers but this is sadly typical of the storytelling depths that the comic is trawling at this point. We all know that Simon Furman is capable of much better, but at this point he was devoting his creative energies to writing the American comic and shovelling any old rubbish at the UK audience, and the fact that stories have to be five pages long is also a limiting factor in my view. On the whole it is another uninspiring issue.
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