Transformers UK: Issue #331

Story: End of the Road (Part 1)
Back-up strip: The Big Shutdown (Part 2)
Cover date: 4th January, 1992
Price: 55p
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andy Wildman (story and cover)
Rating: Art / Story


Synopsis:

By Omega Steve


Getaway is hunted down by Darkwing during an ambush on the planet Klo.

After a lifetime of fighting and running the end has arrived for the Autobot Getaway. Our scene opens on the devastated alien world called Klo, where he is caught smack bang in Darkwing's crosshairs and with no means of escape. The Decepticon swoops in close to delight in the look of anguish on his enemy's face and then blows him to bits with a volley of missiles.

Decepticon leader Bludgeon by such recklessness but overall pretty pleased by the Autobot wrecks that now lay scattered across the battlefield. His little ambush has worked perfectly. A few feet away, a wounded Siren inches towards his gun, and soon feels the deadly effects of Bludgeon's blade. As for the remaining Autobots who escaped they will be hunted down and destroyed.

We now see the hunting party of Octopunch, Weirdwolf, Fangry and Quake on the trail. Weirdwolf is flabogasted after losing the scent, so Octopunch orders them to fan out and for Fangry to conduct a full sensor sweep. They move on, and Grimlock, Prowl, Blaster, Slag and Kup, emerge from a lake where they have been submerged. Prowl is quick to lay the blame for their current predicament at leader Grimlock's feet. He had leapt into battle with no plan and walked straight into a Decepticon trap. As they deliberate Blaster is suddenly cut to pieces by a blast from Quake's gun barrel and the hunters close in for the kill.

Back at the battlefield Bludgeon prepares to put the barely functioning Wheeljack out of his misery when the ground erupts around him. Thunderpunch delivers a stinging blow to the back of Bludgeon's head signalling the arrival of the Neo Knights (last seen uncovering The Last Autobot on Cybertron). Dynamo unleashes a burst of energy harnessed from the planet itself, and Rapture hypnotises Stranglehold into clobbering Bludgeon with his ball and chain. The Decepticons close in for revenge - and the Neo Knights reveal that they are merely the 'warm up' act and the main player is about to arrive... who can it be?

******

Comments:

It is not often that a Transformers story opens in such a dramatic and shocking way as this one featuring the death of Getaway (except perhaps Unicron's arrival in #319). The reader is catapulted into the heart of the action and has to piece together what happened in the run-up to this event as the story unfolds. The idea of hiding in a swamp to escape a pack of sniffer dogs may be clich´┐Ż but it works well here and adds to the drama of the issue. Prowl has been getting on my nerves with his incessant whining but you have to say he has got a point about Grimlock blundering in. Thanks to him the entire Autobot army is slaughtered, which makes you wonder what Prime was thinking when he named him his successor.

The demise of characters like Siren and especially Blaster (a favourite of mine) was shocking to see. I am not convinced that he could be blown apart by a single shot from Quake though. This being the last story in the series you know that it is perfectly feasible that characters may be killed off and never revived.

I enjoyed the scenes with the Neo Knights at the end, but really, Bludgeon is supposed to be a master ninja and should have detected Thunderpunch's unsubtle attack. You've gotta love the way Rapture uses mind tricks to disable an opponent though. The final panels set up the stage for Optimus Prime's Lazarus-like return, but it is a real shame that the surprise is spoiled by the cover. It would have been far better to switch this cover with issue 332's in my view.

There is no letters page this issue (which is a shame because I enjoy reading that) but we do have an extended Combat Colin with more twists than a plate of spaghetti. And it is nice to see The Big Shutdown in colour as well. It makes you realise how much better those black and whites could have been originally if they had the colour treatment. So it is on to 332 and the final destination for Marvel UK's Transformers.

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