Transformers UK: Issue #277

Story 1: All Fall Down (Part 1)
Story 2: Internal Affairs
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: July 7, 1990
Price: 45p
Writer: Michael Higgins, Simon Furman
Artwork: Herbe Trimpe, Simon Coleby, Stewart Johnson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Bombshell gets a blast in the back from Baroness before he can dispose of Dr Mindbender.



While Megatron and Shockwave duke it out, others and moving behind the scenes to relieve them of command.

The Ark shakes along with everything else on Earth as Power Station Alpha drills into the planet's core. The Decepticons have stolen the satellite from under GI Joe's noses and want to use it to unleash a series of devastating natural disasters. They will harness the energy released and use it to re-power their home world of Cybertron but the Earth will be left virtually inhabitable.

Releasing what their so-called allies were secretly planning, Cobra has ditched its alliance with the Decepticons and joined up with the Autobots and GI Joe. The simple solution seems to be to destroy Alpha, but Blaster fears it may have become a living being which could complicate matters.

At the Decepticon island base, Shockwave is pleased with Alpha's progress and also decides that the Cobra alliance has run its course. He orders Bombshell to terminate their human guest Dr Mindbender in any manner he desires. Bombshell happily trots off to find the good doctor, and reveals his intentions to inject him with a mind-controlling cerebro-shell and watch Mindbender pull his own limbs off.

Seconds later the overconfident Insecticon is blasted in the back by the Baroness, who is wielding a gun almost as big as she is. Bombshell slumps unconscious into his insect mode and is captured by the Cobra agents, who quickly board a waiting jet outside and blast off to freedom.

******

The second strip opens with Megatron and Shockwave duking it out at Memphis Airport and causing a considerable amount of damage to the planes! It looks like the terrified passengers in the terminal are going to be grounded for a while, but at least they can take bets on who is going to win the fight. Shockwave initially looks like a good prospect. As he recovers from the surprise ambush he batters his rival with a jumbo jet's wing but Megatron is not easily beaten.

Starscream flies past taking in the view and then soaring upwards. He is delighted that everything is going according to plan and now all he has to do is send an anonymous tip off to the Autobots to land the two leaders in even worse trouble. With this done he heads to Megatron's base in the Louisiana marshlands where Soundwave has gathered everyone together. The two second in commands convince the other Decepticons that this divisive civil war has been bad for everyone, but with Megatron and Shockwave out of the way they can come together under new leadership - that of Soundwave and Starscream. However each is hoping to secretly remove the other when the time is right.

Back in Memphis the deposed leaders find themselves surrounded by a platoon of Autobots led by Grimlock and radio their respective camps for back-up. They each get back the response that they are 'on their own' and decide to join forces and escape together. That is the problem with being a Decepticon, reflects Megatron, you never know who to trust.

******

Comments:

You are always guaranteed to see some fireworks when Megatron and Shockwave battle one another for the Decepticon leadership. Although this encounter is brief due to the limitations of the five page format, I rather liked seeing them hit each other with bits of jumbo while the crowd look on like it's a Saturday night main event. However I don't know why they ran off from the Earthforce at the end. Megatron on his own could take most, if not all of these Autobots, and with Shockwave's help they should be no sweat (unless of course their reserves are depleted from fighting each other?). And so the plot threads from the last few weeks come together as Soundwave and Starscream usurp them and form a joint leadership. It really was about time Starscream got a shot at the top job after so many treacherous attempts, but it is also reassuring to know that things won't be plain sailing in the Decepticon camp as each leader looks for a way to eliminate the other.

A quick word about the art. While some of it is good, particularly Starscream's jet mode and Shockwave. I don't like how Megatron has been drawn with a Desperate Dan chin as well as a nose bone and lines under his eyes. Sometimes I think the artists are too keen to inject human expressions and forget they are dealing with beings made of metal, whose faces should not be able to crumple and distort.

The crossover strip is almost too dire to mention, with the first three pages given over to explaining the threat from Power Station Alpha (which we already know about from past instalments). Plus Blaster and Omega Supreme seem to have contracted verbal diarrhoea as they recap the situation in the opening panels. And talk about stating the obvious. There's Omega telling Blaster that actions have been set in motion by the "malevolent forces of the evil Decepticons, age-old adversaries from our home planet Cybertron". Like he doesn't know who they are!! I was glad once the plot moved on to the bit with Bombshell making his move on Dr Mindbender. But how did the Baroness manage to waltz unchallenged into Decepticon HQ with a big gun and shoot him? For that matter how was she able to fly a plane in and out. Clearly Decepticon security is not what it once was and the Autobots should consider planting a large incendiary device and ridding themselves of these idiots.

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