Transformers UK: Issue #317

Story: The Void (Part 1)
Back-up strip: The Enemy Within
Cover date: 22nd June, 1991
Price: 50p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andrew Wildman (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


The Transformers gather to hear of their origins and what they must do.

Trillions of years ago there was no life, no stars, no planets, no universe itself, only the whiteness known as The Void. The dark God known as Unicron had consumed all the life that existed and even space itself, why he did it was not clear, it was just his nature. With his mission accomplished, Unicron's existence no longer served a purpose and his simply curled into a ball and slept for eternity.

Thankfully Unicron had not been thorough and tiny fragments of matter existed and ultimately came together to trigger the big bang and start the process that would create life all over again. But the universe's sentient core was alert to the threat of Unicron and created an opponent for him, the God of light known as Primus. The two warriors fought and the heavens shook, risking the survival of the fledgling universe Primus had sought to protect. So he tricked Unicron into materialising within a barren asteroid and becoming trapped forever, but the price was that Primus too, was incarcerated. In time Unicron psionically shaped his prison into a transformable robotic body, and Primus evolved into Cybertron and created the Transformers to end the stalemate in his place. He transferred his essence to the Matrix and it became the only thing that could destroy Unicron.

Cybertron: the present day. Emirate Xaaron is now possessed by Primus and tells the assembled Autobots and Decepticons that they are all that stands between Unicron and The Void. They must succeed in destroying this ancient evil. Optimus Prime is nominated as the one to lead the fight, but it is a shame that Primus cannot read minds or he would detect one disaffected Autobot straying from the crowd with a different agenda.

Meanwhile Grimlock and his Nucleon-reactivated Dinobots have tracked down the Ark and found it cloaked and deserted in Earth's orbit. Not only that but Snarl has scanned the planet for Transformer life and can only find a lone signal in two parts. Grimlock clenches a fist and finds it locked (robotic arthritis?) but then it fades and he orders Swoop to lay in a course for Cybertron. If the others are anywhere it will be the home world, and besides that is where Unicron is headed, so that's where the fight will be. Then in a fateful move, he orders Slag and Sludge to pump the Nucleon they brought back from Hydrus Four into the life support pods containing all the fallen Autobots. Little do they know that the deactivated Megatron is also in one of those pods!

On Cybertron, 'Circuit Breaker' Josie Beller has realised she is on a planet full of robots and had a break down. GB Blackrock tells Optimus that the unconscious Nightbeat must have been touching their helicopter when Primus called, and they were teleported with him. He wants them sent back, but Xaaron/Primus is not listening and this further concerns the Autobot leader. What sort of God is Primus, perhaps he created the Transformers to fight his battles for him, and he is not interested in the welfare of his creations? It is a worrying thought. And more worrying still are the hordes of Unicron worshippers, both Autobot and Decepticon, who are gathering below ground and plotting Prime's murder in the name of their master!

******

Comments:

Like part one of Out of Time (the previous two parter) this issue's tale is quiet by the usual standards. I think Furman likes to lay the foundations in the first instalment and then let rip with a lot of action in the second.

I don't think I've ever seen a comic book with a blank opening page and just a thought bubble on it, so this is truly a first. In fact, the Void seems to have swallowed up the Transformations page as that is missing this issue. It does effectively convey the nothingness of pre-creation and you have to wonder why Unicron would wish this level of boredom upon himself. I suppose it is just in his nature to destroy life and he can't fight it. However the Matrix had a go at being evil, so who knows?

Once again we have a recap of the Transformers origin story, though this time its Primus putting everyone in the picture. It is nice to see so many characters gathered but the Earth-bound warriors ought to be vastly outnumbered by the Cybertron residents, and there's no one about. This can't surely be the whole planet's population gathered here?? The mystery surrounding the Neo Knights' presence seems to be solved, they were teleported over by accident. But I am curious about where the Unicron disciples have come from. The impression I got was that they are sleepers - secret devil worshipers who masquerade as regular Autobots and Decepticons and go to action stations when needed. But the next issue blurb suggestions that they have been sent to the planet by Unicron to act as his frontline troops. Did they arrive recently or a long time ago? And if they have been around a while then I wonder what other damage they have wrought. It could make for a interesting fan fiction.

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