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1989 Annual

| Notes | "The Quest!" | "Destiny of the Dinobots!" | "Trigger-happy!" | "Dreadwing Down!" | "The Chain Gang!" |

Production Notes

Cover: Lee Sullivan

Notes: The fifth Transformers annual produced by Marvel.

As well as three strip stories and two illustrated text stories, the annual also included a quiz, A-Z profiles on the Micromaster Race Car Patrol, Off Road Patrol, Air Strike Patrol, Sports Car Patrol, Rescue Patrol and Battle Patrol, plus three mini-posters [based on the covers of Collected Comics #6 and #160, and the splash page of #185].

Priced at £3.99.

"The Quest!"

[7 page illustrated text story]

Compiler: Simon Furman
Illustrations: ?

Notes: A recap of events up to #205, done from the perspective of an alien named Dicet Alpha-zero.

"Destiny of the Dinobots!"

[6 page strip story]

Plot: Steve White, Steve Alan
Script: Steve Alan
Art: Andy Wildman
Letters: Glib
Colours: Steve White

Synopsis: The Dinobots have travelled to the Savage Land to recover a control crystal from their old shuttle. It's needed to restore Snarl, who is suffering from Corrodia Gravis. They find many of the native dinosaurs dying, and the control crystal missing from their shuttle. A human, Professor Embrey, has taken it, and is using it to slow down the Saurian disease killing the dinosaurs. Removing it will seal their fates. Swoop has an idea, though - he modifies the apparatus to move Snarl's brain to a real stegosaurus until a cure is found for Corrodia Gravis.

Notes: Snarl was diagnosed with Corrodia Gravis in #284 - this story most likely takes place after that issue, as there's no mention of Starscream. How the Dinobot shuttle got to the Savage Land was shown in #27. The story is explicitly set in 1992.

Errors: How much effort would it really be to simply build Snarl a new body? Earthforce already have a body shop [as shown in #281], so surely that can be used? What exactly is Embrey doing in the Savage Land? Did he just travel there on the off-chance there might be dinosaurs? Surely the Savage Land can't be common knowledge, or it'd be swarming with people [remember, this isn't the same Savage Land as in the regular Marvel Universe; Ratchet has no problems travelling there in #27]? How exactly can one palaeontologist take a laser cannon from a Cybertronian shuttle, move it [it's larger than he is] and modify it so it can come out of the ground and shoot at passing Dinobots? Slag's dinosaur head is silver throughout.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Swoop, Sludge, Grimlock, Slag, Snarl.

Review: Some fun dialogue [Grimlock is on excellent form, and the Dinobots' team essence is distilled nicely] and amiable art from Wildman is let down by the silly brain transfer idea.


"Trigger-happy!" [14 page illustrated text story]
Ian Rimmer
Illustrations: Art Wetherall, Stephen Baskerville

Synopsis: Backstreet is on the run from the Autobots following a botched ambush in which Backstreet panicked and damaged a human town. The Autobots want his side of the story, while news of his predicament has reached Megatron. He plans to turn the situation to his advantage by publicly dealing with Backstreet to convince the humans that the Autobots are evil. Spinister tracks Backstreet to a fairground, and Megatron promptly arrives. He tries to get Backstreet to defect to the Decepticons. Optimus Prime arrives, and battles Megatron. Backstreet intervenes and knocks Megatron out, and the Autobots leave. Back at their base, Prime lets Backstreet off, realising the pressure he put on him.

Notes: This story most likely happens outside the regular continuity - Megatron's move against Scorponok was much more covert than having a bunch of troops ambling around Earth [Prime also didn't know he was still alive until much later], while Scoop, Landfill, Quickmix and the Triggerbots weren't ever stationed on Earth.

Errors: In one of the all-time greatest cock-ups, Scoop turns out for both the Decepticons and the Autobots, often switching sides in consecutive paragraphs. He even gets drawn being threatened by Megatron for being an incompetent minion at one point.

Review: Another paralysingly dull story. Rimmer's laborious prose doesn't help matters, while the plot's turgid, and the ending's unrealistically neat.


"Dreadwing Down!"

[11 page strip story]

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Second Generation [Worldwide]

Synopsis: Fireflight and Skydive shoot Dreadwing down over the Atlantic, much to the displeasure of Optimus Prime - they need a power cell the Decepticons have stolen to save the life of a human injured in a Transformers skirmish. Prime takes the Autobot Powermasters underwater to retrieve it. However, they're jumped by the Seacons. They send their Nebulan partners to get the power cell while the fight. Hi Q recovers it, and the Seacons withdraw to rescue Dreadwing, allowing the Autobots to return to the surface.

Notes: This story takes place between #195 and #196, most likely [with Dreadwing employed on a freelance basis?]. Powermaster suits contain thirty minutes of air.

Errors: Jawbreaker once again retains his US name, Overbite. On the penultimate page, Hi Q says "would'nt". Would the Seacons really leave a chance to kill Optimus Prime just to save Throttle and Hi-Test?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Dreadwing, Fireflight, Skydive, Silverbolt, Optimus Prime, Getaway, Quake [flashback], Air Raid, Slingshot, Slapdash, Joyride, Nautilator, Seawing, Skalor, Snap Trap, Tentakil, Jawbreaker.

Notable Others: Hi Q, Rev, Lube, Hotwire, Hi-Test, Throttle.

Review: Rather average. It moves at a fair pace, and there's nothing particularly wrong with it, but it feels like the same old themes, and as a result comes across as rather inconsequential.


"The Chain Gang!"

[6 page strip story]

Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Prey [Worldwide]

Synopsis: Skullgrin, Bomb-Burst and Iguanus attack the Keeler Oil Terminal for fuel. Cloudburst, Landmine and Waverider arrive, but a stray shot hits an observation aircraft, which then starts falling towards the terminal. Cloudburst warns Bomb-Burst they'll all die if it strikes, and the pair save the plane. When the duo land, the Autobots have already captured Skullgrin and Iguanus, and Bomb-Burst soon follows.

Notes: This one could be set anywhere between #163 and #235. Presumably the Decepticons later escape.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Skullgrin, Bomb-Burst, Iguanus, Landmine, Cloudburst, Waverider.

Review: A forgettable, if inoffensive, little action story.



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