Transformers UK: Issue #313

Story: All This And Civil War 2 (Part 1)
Back-up strip: The Enemy Within
Cover date: 27th April, 1991
Price: 50p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Johnson, Boutrell (cover) Andrew Wildman (story)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Starscream learns that rumours of Scorponok's demise have been grossly exaggerated!

Okay, quick recap time. Last issue Optimus Prime and Scorponok suspended hostilities and agreed to work together to combat the impending threat of Unicron. But no sooner had the Prime and Scorponok shaken hands (pincher in Scorpy's case), a band of rebels led by Shockwave opened fire on the Decepticon base sending tons of debris crashing down on the heads of the Autobots and Decepticons inside.

This issue opens with the seven-strong gang of plotters including Starscream, Ravage, the Battlechargers and deserters, Mindwipe and Triggerhappy surveying their handiwork. Starscream congratulates everyone on pulling off one of the quickest coups in Decepticon history! Now all they have to do is dig everyone out of the wreckage and 'convince' them to join the new order or be terminated! Any surviving Autobots are to be put to death in any event.

Shockwave is cautious, reasoning that a being as durable as Scorponok may well have survived, and they should be ready for a counter attack. The cowardly Mindwipe and Triggerhappy think they should escape while they can, so Starscream leads the way by tossing the debris aside and having visions of setting up a joint leadership (until such a time that he can do away with Shockwave and take over). Suddenly Scorponok's pincher smashes out of the wreckage and clamps on to Starscream's foot. The Decepticon leader emerges worse for ware, but spoiling for a fight!

Below ground, Optimus helps Kup and Hot Rod to their feet and hopes his warriors have survived this assault. Soundwave (who had his lights punched out last issue) has recovered and orders the Decepticons to take up arms and get to the surface to help Scorponok. Prime resolves to leave the Decepticons to sort out their own internal squabbles for the time being while they free their comrades from the cells. Once everyone is operational the priority will be to stop the battle spreading across the river from the New Jersey swamps to New York City! Sure enough the humans have noticed the smoke trail from the explosion and realised that something is going on. Someone will have to tell the president and get the army down there.

Scorponok, meanwhile, is ruing ever giving Starscream a second chance. He tosses the slippery seeker aside pledging to destroy him later, and then deflects Ravage as though he were a fly. The other Decepticon usurpers open fire but Scorponok takes them all down and is soon locked in battle with his chief rival Shockwave.

A brief interlude takes us to a distant planet called Hydrus Four, where Grimlock has succeeded in reviving the fallen Dinobots using an unstable energy source called Nucleon. The happy reunion is marred somewhat by Grimlock's leg seizing up, which brings to mind what the warnings he chose to ignore about the unpredictable side effects of Nucleon! Grimlock keeps his doubts to himself and orders his troops to gather the power source in a containment unit and prepare to leave this 'slime pit'. They will head back to the Ark rejuvenated and ready to kick Unicron's tail!

******

Comments:

Scorponok has looked a little wimpy of late, his killer instincts blunted by the merging of minds with human, Lord Zarak. Now here he is back to his best proving that he is still the same nasty bruiser he ever was. He easily repels attacks from all Shockwave's forces, and demonstrates that Starscream was talking out of his tailpipe thinking it would be a pushover to take control. Starscream shows once again that he doesn't have the strength to step up to the big league, and he lacks the cunning of someone like Soundwave, who always makes sure he is on the winning side. Shockwave has never been Mr Personality but he seems to be turning into a walking calculator lately, starting every sentence with 'hypothesis', 'conclusion' and the like. It looks like we are in for a real battle of brains versus brawn.

Elsewhere, the first signs of the Nucleon side effects are emerging. Grimlock's leg has frozen up briefly and its only a matter of time before his body undergoes a full change, and he becomes a non-transforming Action Master. I always thought this was a ridiculous concept, even by Hasbro's recent standards of gimmicky Pretenders and various masters. But I take my hat off to the writer for the way that he has weaved the threads into the story, especially with so much else going on. I'm sure fans will have been pleased to see the Dinobots back as well, considering that it has been a good 18 months since they got wasted by an Underbase-enhanced Starscream. It certainly looks as though the tide has turned and the older characters are on the way back.

Back-up strip wise, Furman's first Transformers story - The Enemy Within (from 1985) is back, obviously taking it in turns with Machine Man. It is nice to see it in full colour but a bit pointless if you bought the collected comics volume, or originals.

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