Transformers UK: Issue #329

Story: The Last Autobot (Part 1)
Back-up strip: Machine Man 2020
Cover date: 7th December, 1991
Price: 55p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andy Wildman (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story


By Omega Steve

With the Autobots in deep space it falls to Spike and Fortress Maximus to protect Earth from Galvatron.

Spike Witwicky journeys to Northern Canada where The Ark crash landed some six days earlier. He finds the enormous spacecraft in pieces and embedded into the frozen landscape, having been sacrificed by Ratchet as a means of wiping out Galvatron, Megatron, Shockwave and Starscream in one fell swoop. What became of these Transformers is not clear at this time, but certainly Galvatron got out and laid waste to a squad of tanks before stumbling off into the night.

Spike was once binary-bonded to Fortress Maximus and now begins to receive telepathic communication from his old friend. Max calls on his erstwhile human ally to reunite with him so that he can be whole once more and can stop the Decepticon menace. Spike is reluctant to abandon the normal life he fought so hard to reclaim, but equally he knows with Prime and the others gone, there is a chance that he is Earth's last protector and the last Autobot. He opens a concealed entrance to find Fortress Maximus' headless body awaiting him.

Light years away on Cybertron, the four Neo Knights, GB Blackrock and Hi-Q have embarked on a search for a being who really is known as The Last Autobot. According to Hi-Q this mythical Transformer was created by Primus as the planet's last line of defence and now slumbers beneath the surface. Only he can guide the home world's evolution in a positive direction - and only he can prevent the Decepticons from spreading their evil. Mind you, Hi-Q also reckons his time as Optimus Prime's Powermaster engine caused him to absorb the great leader's mind and turn them into one being. The Neo Knights are worried that they may have made a mistake in believing this 'nut' and forfeited their chance to escape this world. But Dynamo suddenly glows with power and feels pain. His ability to absorb energy from the world around him has enabled The Last Autobot to contact them.

In outer space the Autobots are racing to the planet Klo to stop a Decepticon invasion. Prowl is on edge and commanding Silverbolt to crank the speed up but others are worried that this could cause these ancient vessels to break up. Autobot leader Grimlock is determined to relax ahead of the fight, after all how much damage could Bludgeon and his men have done by now? And a quick scene change to Klo reveals the answer, as we see the planet's pink goblin-like inhabitants being wiped out by the onslaught of Decepticon power.



One thing that has been puzzling me re-reading these issues is how the Neo Knights are able to survive on Cybertron. Then I turned to page 13 where a kid called Stephen Hamblet has written to Blaster to ask that very question. His reply is that Cybertron has a breathable atmosphere and water (hence the sewage tunnels in the story Headhunt) and there might be the odd Transformer who can turn into a microwave or refrigerator. Hmmm. If there is oxygen on Cybertron then where are the trees to generate it and where would the Neo Knights find food to eat? It's all very well having a microwave but it won't do you much good without anything to cook in it. And let's not forget the Scraplets story, where Ratbat says the only cure is water, a substance so rare that its very existence is suspect. I can't imagine why he would say that if the Transformer homeworld has water on it. For this reason I always assumed that the fluid in the sewers in Headhunt was some other kind of chemical.

The wrecked Ark looks good (although I am not convinced it has been drawn big enough) and I see some humans have been killed, which is a rare bit of realism. Presumably Furman could have chosen Megatron or Shockwave to have emerged from the wreckage and gone on a rampage but I suspect that Galvatron has always been one of his favourite characters. Lets not forget too, that this a Decepticon who has often been to the brink of madness, making him considerably more dangerous.

If the others have been injured or destroyed by the crash you have to wonder how Fortress Maximus' body managed to remain so intact. I actually feel a bit sorry for him. He is millions of years old and incredibly powerful, and now is reduced to standing around without a head when his human sidekick decides he has had enough. Once Spike quit you would have expected the Autobots to reverse engineer him so he was no longer a headmaster, and then he could have returned to active duty. Still at least his and Spike's presence in this story ties up those particular loose ends.

I also like the double meaning of the story title, The Last Autobot. Hi-Q and company are searching for a Transformer of that name, and Spike thinks he may be the last Autobot left on Earth. I wonder where Buster has been lately? Ever since Spike came on to the scene and rescued him we have seen very little of him indeed. But on the subject of Spike and Fortress Maximus, fans will have been pleased to note that they are featured in the latest AtoZ fact file on pages 14 and 15.

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