Transformers UK: Issue #287
Story 1: Matrix Quest: Deadly Obsession (Part 2)
Story 2: Inside Story
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: 15th September, 1990
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Jose Delbo, Pete Knifton, Staz (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Irwin Spoon
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Pincher fears for his friend Longtooth who could be about to commit murder!
Irwin Spooner sneaks aboard Superion in pursuit of the scoop of the century.
A search team consisting of the Autobots Longtooth, Doubleheader and Pincher travelled to Pequod looking for the Creation Matrix. But once there things got disastrously out of hand when Longtooth went mad and started pursuing a whale called The Klud in order to kill it.
This issue back tracks to a fortnight before to show us how the situation came to be. Our story starts in the ocean planet's capital Gottlieb - a floating city, where the Autobots sought out the harbour master. They found the ox-like official bellowing into a loudspeaker at passing boats which are overloaded with people. Pincher asks about the Klud - a gigantic sea whale that was thought to be extinct, and the harbourmaster accuses the planet's government has been covering up its return for the sake of tourism. After being reassured that the Autobots are not with the tourist ministry, he informs them of a series of attacks against boats in recent days. The wreckage was found to contain teeth marks of such enormous size that they could only have been made by a Klud. Word of the species' miraculous revival leaked to the 'vids' (the media) and the authorities put out a 10,000 Drax reward for the creature's destruction. This was open season for every whale hunter and 'thrill seeking lowlife' from across the galaxy to come and try their luck.
Longtooth can hardly believe it when his comrades suggest they should track down the Klud first. So Doubleheader reminds him that Emirate Xaaron told them to look out for incidents of miraculous resurrections which could be the Matrix at work. A flash forward to the present sees Pincher musing that they could not have foreseen how things would turn out, and that they must get to Longtooth before he harpoons the whale.
They are too late - but the Decepticons are not! As Longtooth fires the harpoon the enemy craft swoops down and destroys it before opening fire on the boat. Longtooth hobbles into the cabin to retrieve his blaster and battle these new 'monsters'. Aboard the Decepticon cruiser Ruckus is unhappy that they are risking themselves to save a dumb animal, and his insubordination earns a swift rebuke from Thunderwing. The Decepticon leader, growing increasingly obsessed with the Matrix, batters Ruckus aside and then asks if anyone else would like to question his orders?
Freelance reporter Irwin Spooner believes in the old journalistic adage: dog bites man is not news, but man bites dog definitely is. For the past five years he has been searching for that big and unusual story that will make his name. Now, as we see him climbing inside the leg of an out of control Superion, he seems to have found it!
But Irwin is getting a little ahead of himself and like any good storyteller feels he should go back to the beginning. He tells us how he was monitoring the police waveband when he heard about a giant robot rampaging through upper New York State. With a set of binoculars and a camera at the ready he hightailed it down there - only to run into more robots! Grimlock, Prowl and Springer were on the scene trying to stop their comrade from endangering human life and offered a deal.
Spooner was asked to climb aboard Superion and remove a cerebro shell (implanted by the Decepticon Bombshell) and return the giant to normal. In return he would be granted an exclusive interview with the Earthforce leader Grimlock and his Pulitzer Prize would be assured. The eager hack climbed in through a door in Superion's foot and somehow survived the searing heat and the Autobot's internal defences to make it to the brain. He succeeded in removing the shell and Superion immediately halted his rampage. The Autobots breathed a sigh of relief and Spooner concluded that this was most certainly a case of man bites dog!
I wouldn't be too surprised if Simon Furman had tried his hand at a spot of journalism in his younger years. There is no question that he can write well, but his characterisation of Irwin Spooner and his desire to break big stories isn't too far from the mark. On the other hand it may be that Simon was simply drawing on a stereotype but nevertheless Irwin Spooner is a welcome addition to the stories. Firstly because with Buster and Spike rarely in it at this point it had been a while since a human co-stared, and secondly because giant robot activities would be a magnet for media, yet they are seldom seen. However his dodgy blonde mullet hairdo and alarming taste in shirts really ought to qualify for a health warning. And once again we see second-in-command Prowl doing the thinking (and talking) for his less able commander Grimlock.
If last issue's Matrix Quest sent up Moby Dick then this one looks to be doing the same with Jaws. The attacks on the boats, complete with tell tale teeth marks, bring to mind the Spielberg classic, but hey - the more the merrier. It will be interesting to see just how many popular culture references Furman can shoehorn into the strip and personally I am enjoying them. However Pequod must be one strange place because Longtooth, Doubleheader and Pincher look like the weirdest crowd I've ever seen, yet the harbourmaster doesn't bat an eyelid when he sees them. In fact he thinks they might be working for the government!
Thunderwing's attack on Ruckus is likely to be significant in planting the seeds of doubt about him. Obviously, a Decepticon leader beating up his minions is par for the course, but erratic way he's behaving is sure to unnerve them.