Transformers UK: Issue #292
Story 1: Legacy of Unicron (Part 3)
Story 2: Matrix Quest: Dark Creation (Part 3)
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: 20th October, 1990
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Geoff Senior, Staz (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Windsweeper is on the menu as the Matrix Spawn decides its lunch time!
Thunderwing and his Decepticons have surprised the Pretender Classics in a deserted base on the moon where Optimus Prime's original body came to rest. Both sides want the Creation Matrix and a fierce fight ensues, resulting in Grimlock clamping his powerful jaws on the Decepticon commander's arm. Thunderwing shakes him off with such force that Grimlock is thrown backwards into a stack of boxes.
Bumblebee mentally commands his shell to attack and Thunderwing shoots a gaping hole in it! Like Bumblebee, he too is a Pretender, albeit an incredible powerful one, and he knows that damage to the shell is felt by the owner, only more so. Sure enough Bumblebee (the robot) falls to the ground with circuits burning in agony. With Thunderwing single-handedly taking on the Autobots, Windsweeper hangs back out of harm's way. He doesn't notice the Matrix Spawn lurking in the darkness above, until a tentacle descends and yanks him sharply upwards! An interlude set in Blackpool, England, of all places, sees the famous pebbly beach being lashed by rain. So nothing unusual there then, however in the darkness something is coming ashore! An old man, walking his dog, stops and stares in horror as a seaweed-ridden Shockwave rises before him. The Decepticon cannot allow for detection at this time, even by a fleshling, so he extends an enormous hand and flattens the man!
Back on the VsQs moon Thunderwing is battering Jazz when one of his warriors alerts him to Windsweeper's fate. The Decepticon leader picks up Jazz and commands him to switch on his vehicle mode lights, which he does, revealing the hideous creature in the wings. Needlenose draws his gun to pepper it with holes but Thunderwing brushes him aside. The monster is dripping with Matrix energy, he says, therefore it knows where the sacred life force is. Matrix Spawn hears this and retreats, realising that this Transformer has the sight and the oneness, and is a potential rival. Thunderwing pursues it, leaving his warriors fuming that their leader was prepared to sacrifice Windsweeper, a fellow Decepticon, for his obsession. The distraction gives Bumblebee and Jazz and precious moment to recover.
Some great artwork this issue thanks to Geoff 'the man' Senior whose responsible for both strips. This Legacy of Unicron instalment is my favourite of the original six parts, not least because it pits Death's Head against Shockwave. The cunning bounty hunter (er sorry make that freelance peacekeeping agent) against a cold calculating genius, who's not exactly lacking in firepower either. It is always nice to see this story again but just a shame about the reprints overall. The Dark Creation strip demonstrates what a fantastic character Thunderwing is becoming. Not only is he tough enough to take on and beat all three Pretender classics, but he is nutty as a fruitcake to boot. He's obsessed with capturing the Matrix and doesn't give a stuff about anyone who gets in his way, be it the Autobots or his own troops.
The brief interlude set in Blackpool is likely to be appreciated by the UK audience, and the weather conditions there will ring a few bells. You can tell that the US strip is under Brit-domination (Furman and Senior) when this sort of scene pops up. Good to see the tower and the promenade in the background, but one complaint is that the grumbling old drunk talks like a cockney using language like "bleedin". He's a little far from the banks of the Thames for an accent like that. Still never mind the old man, the real significance of this scene is that it reintroduces Shockwave, who has been missing from the US strip since The Desert Island of Space story in 1988. In that he was last seen getting caught in Earth's gravitational pull and being sucked down, presumably ending up in the sea and surfacing of the English coast. For UK readers this will be a continuity blooper for sure, because Shockwave has been with us virtually since his disappearance, and has been hanging out on earth recovering from madness and plotting his return. How Shockwave ends up in the sea within the Brit continuity is never explained, for the reason that there are no Marvel UK strips anymore, so will forever remain a mystery.
The opening blurb lists Stewart Johnson as the cover artist, yet the cover itself bears Staz's signature, so I reckon they credited the wrong guy. On the subject of the opening page, there's a clue there that Dreadwind is coming to the end of his stint as letter answerer. Someone is calling for an Autobot to take over in one of the actual letters, and Dreadwind doesn't put up much of a fight, oddly enough. My best part of this section are the threats the kids invent to try to get Dreadwind to print their letter. One this time is saying he'll get Unicron to sit on Dreadwind if he doesn't do the honours!