Transformers UK: Issue #308
Story: Eye of the Storm (Part 3)
Back-up strip: The Enemy Within (Part 1)
Cover date: 9th February, 1991
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Stephen Baskerville (cover), John Ridgeway, Andy Wildman
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
While reeling from Prime's plan to surrender, the Autobots are confronted by a hidious creature!
Waverider locates Optimus Prime in one of the Ark's many chambers and is about to warn him that Grimlock has gone off the deep end. But the Autobot leader isn't listening. He has an important announcement to make, and cannot put it off any longer. Moments later Prime's face fills screens across the ship and he explains that the loss of the Creation Matrix and the impending arrival of Unicron requires that they think the unthinkable. The only way to prevail is for Autobot and Decepticon to put aside their differences and unify against this common enemy. Therefore when they reach Earth, Prime intends to offer Scorponok their unconditional surrender. The look of horror on the faces of Nightbeat and Waverider says it all!
On Earth - well New Jersey to be exact, Scorponok fumes as two of his once-loyal lieutenants, Mindwipe and Triggerhappy, take to the skies in desertion. They are quitting in protest at Scorponok's empty promises and failures, and the final straw was when he welcomed back Starscream into their ranks. The very being who caused the deaths of so many Decepticons during the Underbase Saga.
But the disaffected duo are not destined to get very far, as just moments into their flight Starscream zooms alongside them and they are forced to land. Mindwipe and Triggerhappy fumble for their blasters just as they are ambushed by Ravage and Shockwave! These two Decepticons are back from the dead, and a plot to oust Scorponok as leader of the Decepticons is under way. Mindwipe and Triggerhappy have no choice but to sign-up.
Back at the Ark, Grimlock has commandeered a shuttle and blasted a hole in the bay doors when Cloudburst refused to let him out! Waverider had tried to warn Prime about this, but Optimus already knows where Grimlock is going. He is undoubtedly on a course for the planet Hydrus Four, where a revolutionary power source called Nucleon exists. This has been known to heal the sick and make them more powerful than before - but it also carries the risk of bizarre side effects including insanity. It was for this reason that Prime had rejected the idea of acquiring Nucleon to restore the fallen Autobots but Grimlock had disagreed.
There is no time to debate the matter though, as the trans-dimensional portal starts to activate. Nightbeat's probe has locked on to something and it is coming through... The creature that emerges stuns everyone... It is Ratchet - AND it is Megatron, and they are fused together as some grotesque robotic mutant!!
Megatron must be one mixed-up mechanoid! A couple of hundred issues ago (UK#103 to be precise) Lord Straxus tried to take over his mind and left with a split personality. Now Ratchet is at it thanks to an exploding portal which has spliced their molecules together. As you can see from the pic above, the Megs/Ratchet hybrid looks pretty cool. I like the way their insignias have symbolically joined - I know Prime was seeking an Autobot and Decepticon alliance but this is ridiculous. The concept reminds me a lot of the horror film The Fly, where a human and an insect are joined at the molecular level by a teleporter experiment.
After Grimlock quietly dropped his Pretender shell, it now appears that Starscream is doing the same. He doesn't have it this issue and I don't think we ever see it again - so much for it granting him awesome power (which is actually the reason why Scorponok let him rejoin the Decepticons). On the subject of Scorponok, since when did he become 'approachable'? Perhaps Prime thinks this giant Decepticon with pinchers that can rip an Autobot in two, has become a softy since undergoing the Headmaster process with Lord Zarak. It does appear that discipline may be breaking down in the Decepticon camp if Scorpy's warriors are now prepared to be openly defiant. If you draconian lengths Grimlock went to, to punish Blaster and Goldbug for deserting his Autobot army, then you can imagine how bad it must be if you walk out on the Decepticons! I am surprised that it is Mindwipe who has walked out because his Nebulan companion, Vorath, was arguably Zarak's closest lackey in the Headmasters mini series.
Ravage is back for his first appearance in the US strip since Skids dropped him down a mine shaft five years earlier. In the expanded UK continuity he turned up in issue 200 during Time Wars and hooked up with Shockwave at the end of that. US readers can assume that Shockwave has been going around retrieving fallen Decepticons to recruit them to his cause. Which is why (in a couple of issues time) we also see Runabout and Runamuck on the team - having presumably been out of New York harbour following their battle with Circuit Breaker.