Transformers UK: Issue #293
Story 1: Legacy of Unicron (Part 4)
Story 2: Matrix Quest: Dark Creation (Part 4)
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: 27th October, 1990
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Geoff Senior, Stewart Johnson (cover)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Prime is shocked to discover that the Matrix is now in Decepticon hands!
Grimlock, Bumblebee and Jazz pick themselves up after a bruising encounter with Thunderwing and his Decepticons. Grimlock is having trouble getting to his feet, claiming his whole body feels heavy, and Bumblebee realises that the moon's heavy gravity is taking its toll. They had been burning energon to compensate but now the team is running low on fuel. Even so they must still go after Thunderwing and get to the Matrix before he does.
Moments later Jazz falls through the gantry floor and has a chuckle about being stuck. Little does he realise the Matrix is only a few feet below him in the tunnels underneath - and the Matrix Spawn creature is down there too! A quick cut away to the main chamber of the moonbase sees the Decepticons gathering their injured. Spinister and Needlenose say that Thunderwing clearly doesn't give a hoot about them so there is no way they are going to help him. If he beats the Autobots and gets the Matrix then fine, but if he dies in the process they'll send flowers.
Back in the gantry the creature has got hold of Jazz's legs and is trying to pull him down. But Thunderwing arrives and wrenches the Autobot out (and throwing him several metres). He then commands the Matrix to come to its "rightful owner" and it obeys. The Spawn objects and attacks his Decepticon rival and a fierce scramble breaks out. The three Autobots collect the Matrix and hobble off hoping they can escape before one of the other two wins.
Days later an Autobot shuttle returns to the Ark and Optimus Prime can sense that the Matrix is aboard - his warriors are coming home and the quest has been successfully concluded. He ignores Hot Rod's caution and goes to welcome the team, but there is something sinister about the dark figure inside who's holding the Matrix. Suddenly a powerful blast of energy strikes Optimus and Thunderwing, the first Decepticon ever to possess the Matrix emerges!
What a fantastic issue! The Matrix Quest team running out of time and energon and having to go up against Thunderwing and an equally hideous foe. Then just as we think they have pulled it off Thunderwing emerges from the shuttle, victorious and the new guardian of the sacred life force. What a great twist in the tail, that Unicron is coming and the one thing that can stop him is now in enemy hands. What a dark day for the Autobots, but let's face it, if it were easy for them it wouldn't be fun. Another fascinating expect is the roll call of the previous Matrix holders, Primus, Prima, Prime Nova, Sentinel Prime and Optimus - how cool would a serious about them be? Maybe Furman will do it one day for Dreamwave. I could be wrong but I think it was mentioned somewhere (possibly a letters page) that the first Transformer was called Primon so a little odd that he wasn't a Matrix bearer. Perhaps my memory is playing tricks all these years later.
Obviously it's a shame that part of the comic is taken up with reprints, but if they have to be there you can't get much better than Legacy of Unicron part 2. The showdown between Death's Head and Shockwave is superb and I for one don't mind seeing it again. The letters page is good comedy value once again as a kid compare Dreadwind's IQ to his shoe size, until the Decepticon points out how big his feet actually are!