Transformers UK: Issue #315

Story: Out of Time (Part 1)
Back-up strip: The Enemy Within
Cover date: 25th May, 1991
Price: 50p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andrew Wildman (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story


By Omega Steve

With Scorponok it is a case of the bigger they are.. the more unlikely they are to fall!

Unicron is on his way to Cybertron intent on devouring the planet and destroying his ancient enemy, Primus, who slumbers at the core of the Transformers home world. He has abducted the evil Decepticon, Galvatron, from an alternate reality and dispatched him to Cybertron as a herald, along with three other minions, Hook, Line and Sinker.

But Galvatron is determined to betray his master and he has captured Emirate Xaaron and taken him to the chamber where Primus sleeps. The Matrix is thought to be destroyed so the only hope of a victory in the coming battle is for all of the Transformers to be transported home to fight. Their god could do that. Since Xaaron is one of the oldest Autobots alive, Galvatron reasons that if anyone were to have a psychic link with Primus it would be him. He orders Xaaron to wake Primus and do it fast, before Unicron's loyal servants come looking for them. Xaaron hasn't a clue what he is doing and he knows if he isn't successful, the penalty will be death.

In deep space, the beast like inhabitants of the planet Jhi breathe a collective sigh of relief as Unicron passes by their world without consuming it. The reason they have been spared is simply that the chaos bringer is saving his appetite for a much greater feast. But one problem remains - the whereabouts of Galvatron, and Unicron orders Hook, Line and Sinker to break off their attack on Autobot HQ and go looking.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers had thought they had seen it all. First giant robots started laying into each other in the New Jersey swamps (Shockwave's rebels and the regular Decepticons), then two more in Manhattan (Shocks and Scorponok), then a talking truck (Optimus Prime) intervened, and finally super-powered humans arrived, proving that in this city there is always more to see. The Neo Knights, mentored by the oil millionaire GB Blackrock and led by Circuit Breaker, have been ordered to stop the robotic rampage, by the president himself.

Thunderpunch leaps at Scorponok and gives his best shot. It has no effect. So Dynamo uses his ability to draw energy from the elements, to unleash molten from Earth's core and knock the Decepticon backwards into the water. The attack gets Prime worried, and tells Nightbeat that if the humans do too well they might have to intervene to save Scorponok, for the sake of the Autobot-Decepticon alliance! As Scorpy gets up to strike back, he falls under the hypnotic spell of Rapture and starts dreaming of victory over Starscream and Shockwave. He is distracted just long enough for Circuit Breaker to fry him! Nightbeat orders the highly-strung human to stop, and then Shockwave blasts her. She puts two and two together and comes up with five, charging up a energy blast to unleash on Nightbeat!



I haven't scored this issue too highly for a couple of reasons. Firstly, while Andrew Wildman's cover is good, I have a problem with some of the art work inside, and one drawing in particular. The opening page with Galvatron looks bad. His face is contorted into a scowl with his upper lip curled and saliva between his teeth like he hasn't brushed in a while. Like I've said before I just don't think robots should be able to twist their features this way, because they are made of metal not flesh. They shouldn't have spit at all, unless its oil, it just looks weird. I don't like the colouring much either.

As for the story, it seems like the momentum that had built up over the past few weeks, with Ratchet-Megatron tearing up the Ark, the Autobots at odds with Prime, and the surrender etc seems to have petered out. Scorponok and Shockwave have been battling for three issues now and Galvatron has been pursuing Xaaron for nearly as long. It is like Furman knows that US #75 has to be a special milestone edition, so he's dragging the story out until then. I reckon Out of Time and The Void could have been combined to keep events changing quickly and keep the pace up.

I'm not keen on superheroes in the comic because there is enough of that in all of Marvel's other books and no need for it in Transformers. Circuit Breaker is an exception because she doesn't have powers as such. She designed a cybernetic suit for herself as a means of exacting revenge on the robots after being paralysed by Shockwave. I don't think the rest of the Neo Knights, who are super powered mutants add a great deal to the comic. The bits I did really enjoy, were Prime admitting to Nightbeat that they may have to intervene on Scorponok's behalf against the humans (oh the irony) and Rapture hypnotising Scorpy. It was a classic case of mind over muscle and a good way to disable such a huge foe I felt.

Other points of note is the Landmine AtoZ entry on page 13, because it is nice to see the newer characters getting profiled, and there was a Beetlejuice joke book given away with this issue. A strange choice of free gift, but a freebie nonetheless.

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