Transformers UK: Issue #301

Story 1: Legacy of Unicron (Part 12)
Story 2: Rhythms of Darkness (Part 4)
Back-up strip: GI Joe The Action Force
Cover date: 22nd December, 1990
Price: 50p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: John Marshall, Stephen Baskerville, Robin Boutrell (cover), Bryan Hitch, Jose Delbo
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Spike climbs a tower to unveil the secret weapon in his nation's rebellion against the Decepticons.

In an alternate reality Earth in the year 2009, the heroic forces have been decimated and Galvatron rules North America. The remaining governments of Earth are preparing to bombard the continent with a volley of nukes in the hope of destroying the Decepticons. The only thing that can avert the strike is if Spike, Jazz and co. can show the world that America is still alive and fighting, and to this end they have launched a suicidal assault on the Decepticon base.

In the woods around the perimeter Getaway and Scourge have taken each other out, and Guzzle is getting well and truly beaten up by Cyclonus. As he taunts the Sparkabot about his impending demise, Chainclaw leaps on to the Decepticon's back and prepares to rip him to pieces. Suddenly a saviour arrives - none other than Galvatron himself, and blasts the bolts out of Chainclaw. Cyclonus is relieved but soon realises something is wrong by the bloodthirsty look on his boss's face. It turns out that Galvatron is disappointed that one who was forged by Unicron could allow himself to be bested by a mere Autobot. He saved Cyclonus so he (Galvatron) could destroy him!

The insane one then enters the compound, followed by his Pretender Monster bodyguards, and be-lines for Jazz who is standing watch while Spike climbs the tower. Jazz thinks about fleeing for his life but he can't leave Spike so he has to battle Galvatron and come close to getting broken in two. Meanwhile the coalition of nations are watching events transpire via satellite and are minutes from firing the nuclear missiles. Jazz tells Galvatron he is too late, and the Decepticon turns to see Spike unveil their secret weapon - an American flag! As it flaps proudly from a spire the world knows that resistance is alive and well on the continent and the strike is aborted.

Galvatron cannot believe they have risked their lives for a piece of cloth and transforms into cannon mode to prepare to incinerate both Spike and the flag. He aims but never has a chance to fire as suddenly the agents of Unicron - Hook, Line and Sinker, arrive and capture him. Moments later they vanish with the Decepticon leader, leaving the Autobots and humans reinvigorated with new hope. An image of both races charging into battle is the last we see from this alternate dimension. It is a new beginning.

******

Comments:

I'm pretty sure this is the last Transformers story that Jose Delbo worked on. After 40 or so issues he was probably ready for new things. I would suggest that the guy who did the colouring was pretty tired of it all as well given the half-baked effort he put in. Soon it would be the henchmen of Furman - Geoff Senior and Andy Wildman, who would take on the pencilling for the US book, much to the acclaim of the fans.

It is actually a pretty good finale for the story and one which would have been certain to have got a few cheers from the American audience. Maybe a little cheesy for the non-US readers but I like the idea that an image of hope is sometimes a better weapon than guns, tanks and missiles. There are certainly a few characters meeting their maker this issue, but as it is an alternate reality these things can be done without any adverse effects on the continuity. It is interesting to note that Hook, Line and Sinker, say they are working for a different Unicron than the one Galvatron served loyally. In Furman's Worlds Collide story for Dreamwave's Transformers Armada comic, we are led to believe that there is only one Unicron and that he travels across the dimensional boundaries to consume alternate galaxies as well.

An excellent cover, although why it took three artists to do I am not sure, and Darn n' Blast has an improved selection of letters than last time. But they could have done with editing down some of them (plus reducing the length of the reply) to squeeze more into that page. One thing I forgot to note about last issue is that the next week blurb has made a return. It is a very welcome return for me because this was always one of my favourite features, and I hated the picture only teasers which smacked of laziness.

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