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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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(2001-now)
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(1984-1994)
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and Titles

MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE

Marvel UK nav: UK Intro | Story List | #1-10 | #11-20 | #21-30 | #31-40 | #41-50 | #51-60 | #61-70 | #71-80
#81-90 | #91-100 | #101-110 | #111-120 | #121-130 | #131-140 | #141-150 | #151-160 | #161-170
#171-180 | #181-190 | #191-200 | #201-210 | #211-220 | #221-230 | #231-240 | #241-250 | #252-260
#261-270 | #271-280 | #281-290 | #291-300 | #301-310 | #311-320 | #321-330 | #331-332 | Cover Images
Annuals: 1985 Annual | 1986 Annual | 1987 Annual | 1988 Annual | 1989 Annual | 1990 Annual | 1991 Annual
Other titles / G2: Action Force #24-27 | Specials & Collected Comics | UK G2 Intro | UK G2 #1-5 | UK G2 Annual

UK #201 - #210

| #201 | #202 | #203 | #204 | #205 | #206 | #207 | #208 | #209 | #210 |

#201 - "Time Wars" Part 3

[cover]
Cover: Dougie Braithwaite & Dave Harwood
Cover Date: 21/01/89

Script:
Simon Furman
Art: Robin Smith
Letters: Annie Halfacree
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Collected Comics #18 [UK], Titan Books: Time Wars [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Both sets of Autobots battle. Goldbug realises what's happening, but Misfire guns him down. Scorponok is about to lead his Decepticons into the mêlée, but six of them are displaced by Soundwave and the Terrorcons time-jumping nearby. Meanwhile, the Cybertronian Advance Surveillance Unit meet up with their reinforcements from Cybertron the Wreckers, and the Decepticon Mayhem Attack Squad, observed by Ravage. Goldbug explains things to Fortress Maximus, and then Rodimus taps Optimus via the Matrix, who explains from Limbo what is happening. The Cybertronian Autobots and Decepticons infiltrate Galvatron's base, but are jumped by him and Megatron.

Notes: The Decepticons displaced by Soundwave & co. are Horri-Bull, Misfire, Fangry, Skullcruncher, Slugslinger and Weirdwolf. Goldbug saw future Autobots from #118 to #120. Carnivac leads the Mayhem Attack Squad, which also consists of Catilla, Flywheels, Battletrap, Chop Shop and Venom. The Wreckers currently consist of Springer, Twin Twist, Topspin, Roadbuster and Rack 'n' Ruin.

Errors: It's a bit much that the likes of Fortress Maximus, Grimlock etc. don't at least give Kup or Blurr the benefit of the doubt, considering they're currently serving on the bloody Ark with them - you could argue they'd even listen to Magnus, a prominent Autobot even if he's not met many of his attackers, who met Ironhide in Target 2006, and was possibly famous on Cybertron before Fortress Maximus and Scattershot left the planet; Rodimus, as he looks an awful lot like Hot Rod; or Red Alert, who served briefly on Earth [see #15]. Ironhide and Goldbug [as Bumblebee] also had first hand experience in #78 of this kind of thing. The Wreckers and Mayhems filing into Galvatron's base, without any weapons visible, as if they're walking to Maccadam's for a pint, with all the scouting prowess of Omega Supreme masquerading as Laserbeak, is totally laughable. Due to a printing error, page 1 is coloured totally wrong. Rodimus has white toes, Goldbug a blue head, Misfire's purple instead of pink and Robin doesn't bother with logos if they're going to be fiddly. After Misfire shoots him in the shoulder, Goldbug's chest blows up in sympathy and he lands a fair distance away from Magnus. After being so determined that the future Autobots are killers, Max is won over by a crippled Goldbug, who could have been shot and coerced by Magnus, and a light show that could have been faked by Mirage or someone.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Fortress Maximus, Rodimus Prime, Grimlock, Kup [2009 version], Blurr [2009 version], Scattershot, Wheeljack, Swoop, Arcee, Slag, Ultra Magnus, Goldbug [2009 version], Horri-Bull, Misfire, Fangry, Skullcruncher, Slugslinger, Weirdwolf, Mindwipe, Scorponok, Rippersnapper [2009 version], Soundwave [2009 version], Cutthroat [2009 version], Blot [2009 version], Hun-Grr [2009 version], Sinnertwin [2009 version], Springer, Broadside, Inferno, Sandstorm, Carnivac [first appearance], Catilla [first appearance], Ravage, Venom [first appearance], Galvatron, Megatron [clone]. There's also the Matrix' projection of Optimus Prime.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Hush Job" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: It reads fine the first time, but upon rereading there are huge holes developing already, just three parts in. Furman's not meant to get so caught up in events that things happen for no reason, such as the illogical and frustrating Autobot versus Autobot fight. The issue feels like a rushed attempt to shuffle all the players to where Furman wants them as quickly as possible, with little thought as to plausibility.

[*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#202 - "Time Wars" Part 4

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 28/01/89

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

Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Collected Comics #19 [UK], Titan Books: Time Wars [Worldwide].

Synopsis: The Wreckers and Mayhems are decimated by Galvatron and Megatron, and Springer and Carnivac are kept out of the battle by Scourge and Ravage. Springer tells Scourge of the time rift, distracting him. Meanwhile, the assembled Autobots and Decepticons listen to Optimus Prime, and begin to assemble a strategy. Back in the base, Springer takes out Scourge and orders a retreat, reluctantly followed by Carnivac. However, the time rift has now arrived on Earth.

Notes: Carnivac explicitly gives the combined number of Wreckers and Mayhems as fourteen, so Ransack and Barrage aren't loitering somewhere.

Errors: Goldbug's injury, so bad he shouldn't have been moved last issue, was so grievous he can be patched up in the field by Hoist, and seems to have gone back to just being a bad shoulder.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron, Megatron [clone], Springer, Inferno, Broadside, Battletrap [killed by Galvatron], Flywheels, Carnivac, Rack 'n' Ruin, Chop Shop [first appearance, killed by either Galvatron or Megatron], Catilla, Twin Twist, Topspin [killed by Megatron], Sandstorm, Roadbuster, Ravage, Scourge, Rodimus Prime, Scorponok, Fortress Maximus, Ultra Magnus [2009 version], Soundwave [2009 version], Swoop, Goldbug, Hoist, Ironhide, Hun-Grr [2009 version], Blot [2009 version], Rippersnapper [2009 version], Kup [2009 version], Arcee, Mindwipe, Triggerhappy, Snapdragon.

Notable Others: Fracas.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Hush Job" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: Now that the plot's been fiddled to where Furman wants it, this is actually pretty good. The fight scene's well done, and the carnage is actually quite shocking - they may be minor characters, but such finality has rarely been seen before or after in Transformer comics, with Topspin especially getting an 'Oh my God, they couldn't have done that if he was human' award. Reed actually seems to realise that Transformers are rigid for the large part, though he still has a few funny moments when he's allowed to draw mouths at any decent size.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#203 - "Time Wars" Part 5

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 04/02/89

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

Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Collected Comics #19 [UK], Titan Books: Time Wars [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Scourge heads to Shockwave's base to recover Cyclonus' body, and finds the Decepticon rambling incoherently. Shockwave then shoots Scourge when he tries to take the body. Meanwhile, Galvatron and Megatron catch up with the Cybertronians, and another rout begins. Elsewhere, Rodimus mobilises the Autobot/Decepticon coalition, watched from limbo by Optimus, unable to return for fear of accelerating the time rift. Back at the battle, Roadbuster is able to injure Galvatron with the experimental Decepticon Pathblaster weapon, only to be destroyed by the feedback.

Notes: Shockwave gave the order to kill Cyclonus [and Nightstick] in #189. Skids has been in limbo since #101. Optimus Prime is immune to the limbo creatures thanks to his visit there in #84 through to #88, chronicled in #100.

Errors: On page 2, the back of Scourge's 'wings' are coloured blue. On page 6, Carnivac has a green chest. In the next frame, despite Rack 'n' Ruin's plea, it's clear Inferno's already in the ship. Shockwave's optic is purple throughout. Where does Fracas go?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Scourge, Shockwave, Roadbuster [destroyed by feedback from the Pathblaster], Sandstorm [killed by Galvatron], Rack 'n' Ruin, Springer, Twin Twist, Broadside, Inferno, Carnivac, Flywheels, Catilla, Ravage, Optimus Prime, Rodimus Prime, Fortress Maximus, Scorponok, Soundwave [2009 version], Ultra Magnus [2009 version], Swoop, Snarl, Highbrow, Skids. Cyclonus' body is also seen.

Notable Others: Fracas.

Production Notes: The Transformation page claims the Underbase Saga takes place before Time Wars; this can't be right, as several casualties from the Underbase, including Grimlock, Slag, Swoop, Scattershot, Hoist and Goldbug, are featured in Time Wars.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Hush Job" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: Again, pretty damn good, with a real sense of desperation to the situation. Seeing ultra-logical Shockwave as a gibbering nutcase is great, and he's actually convincingly off the scale, with the monosyllabic "No! Mine!" fitting especially well. Dan Reed continues to finally get to grips with Transformers, with several memorable frames - the Wreckers giving covering fire, Sandstorm's violent end and the disfigured Galvatron all being highlights. It really feels like it's starting to come together.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0]

#204 - "Time Wars" Part 6

[cover]
Cover: Jeff Anderson
Cover Date: 11/02/89

Script:
Simon Furman
Art: Lee Sullivan
Letters: Peter Knight
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Time Wars [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Galvatron continues to carve his way through the Cybertronians, and when the Autobot/Decepticon coalition arrives, it fares little better, while Optimus ponders whether to risk everything and enter the battle himself. Ravage, meanwhile, finds Scourge, who realises what they must do, and sends Ravage to talk Shockwave around. After seeing the likes of Scorponok, Fortress Maximus, Ultra Magnus and Rodimus brushed aside by Megatron and an increasingly insane Galvatron, Optimus Prime is left with no choice but to use the Matrix as a bridge out of limbo, and face them himself.

Errors: The coalition is very low on forces - Wheeljack, Ironhide, Goldbug, Hoist, Sludge, Slag and Scattershot all seem to have disappeared. Surely Rodimus Prime is the future version of Hot Rod, not Optimus? While the Matrix holder existing in two places at once would be a very bad thing, surely having Rodimus in the same time as Hot Rod, even if he's in the Ark conveniently out of the way, is pretty bad? Not to mention the 1989 versions of Kup, Red Alert, Blurr, Ultra Magnus, Soundwave and Terrorcons? Similarly, it can be presumed that Life Spark and whoever became Scourge are kicking around the universe somewhere. Maybe it's a proximity thing? On page 8, The speech-bubble is wrong in the top-left frame - the left half is indeed Ravage speaking, but the adjoined second half is clearly meant for Scourge - he even completes it in the following frame.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Rack 'n' Ruin [killed by Galvatron], Galvatron, Twin Twist [killed by Galvatron], Springer, Rodimus Prime, Megatron [clone], Broadside, Carnivac, Catilla, Ultra Magnus [2009 version], Kup [2009 version], Arcee, Fortress Maximus, Grimlock, Swoop, Blurr [2009 version], Red Alert [2009 version], Scorponok, Soundwave [2009 version], Mindwipe, Snapdragon, Triggerhappy, Hun-Grr [2009 version], Optimus Prime, Scourge, Ravage.

Extras: February's Classic Covers Calendar features #134.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Strange Bedfellows" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: A nice big fight really, enhanced by some beautifully clear art from Lee Sullivan - the opening page, and the battle between Scorponok and Galvatron being real highlights, providing some of the best visuals in the comic since Bryan Hitch left. Rodimus is engaging, though his confrontation with Galvatron is slightly pathetic ["Shoot first, quip later!"], and who'd have thought Scourge would turn into such a likeable character? Ravage also gets a great scene, and the last page really sets it up for a barnstorming conclusion.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][0]

#205 - "Time Wars" Part 7

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman
Cover Date: 18/02/89

Script:
Simon Furman
Art: Lee Sullivan
Letters: Glib
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Time Wars [Worldwide].

Synopsis: Optimus easily overcomes Galvatron, the latter driven insane by false memories from Megatron of having defeated the Transformers. Ravage is able to talk Shockwave into saving everyone from the time rift, by pointing out that now he knows of his future death, he can avert it. Meanwhile, Megatron is disturbed by his future self's madness, and walks away from the battle, with Soundwave also taking his men back to 2009. Back in the battle, the time storm arrives, swallowing Galvatron, and Scourge then arrives, throwing himself in. Shockwave then arrives, giving Cyclonus to the rift, and sealing it. Rodimus then heads back to his own time, vowing to destroy his time machines, while Optimus thanks Shockwave, and allows him to go.

Notes: What exactly "Time Wars" does to the UK timeline is open to debate, dependant on your view of time travel, and how the future works out - i.e. whether you think the future is constantly changing, creating alternate futures, or whether the future is set in stone, and despite the best efforts will always snap into some predetermined shape. In the case of the former view, it would seem the future Transformers universe, featuring the rough events of Transformers the Movie, and the cycles of stories set after it, or involving characters from this era, are now an impossible alternate future due to everyone knowing their own destiny, or at least a fair part of it [Megatron, Optimus, Shockwave], something reinforced by the fact Unicron will arrive in 1991, rather than 2006 [although there's at least one mention in the comic, during #227, that suggests he can return whatever's done with his physical body]. For the latter case, the almost-empty chronological 15-year gap between the end of the 'present day' strips and the beginning of the 'post movie' ones offers all sorts of possibilities for the glimpsed future still happening. Oh, and page 1 is the first glimpse of what Optimus Prime looks like under the famous faceplate - true, it's a guess from a demented Galvatron, but it'll be borne out by later stories.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Galvatron [consumed by the time storm], Megatron, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus [2009 version], Shockwave, Ravage, Catilla, Snapdragon, Scorponok, Mindwipe, Triggerhappy, Soundwave [2009 version], Hun-Grr [2009 version], Arcee, Blurr [2009 version], Scourge [consumed by the time storm], Red Alert [2009 version], Kup [2009 version]. Cyclonus' body is seen, and consumed by the time storm.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Strange Bedfellows" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Something of a mixed bag. On the plus side, Sullivan's art is nice and clean cut, Megatron, Shockwave and Ravage are great, Scourge's sacrifice is quite touching and the time storm is wonderfully drawn. On the downside, it's undeniably rushed - whole groups of characters [what's left of the Wreckers and Mayhems, the present day Autobots] simply disappear from proceedings, the long-awaited Optimus/Galvatron clash fizzles and, as well drawn as it is by Sullivan, Galvatron's end doesn't pack half the punch it should. It's a readable but flawed finish to a readable but flawed saga, and like the bulk of "Time Wars", tends to get weaker on each subsequent reading.

[*][*][*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0]

#206 - "The Underbase Saga! Part Three - Cold War!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman
Cover Date: 25/02/89

Script:
Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Danny Bulandi
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-10 of US Transformers #49, dated February 1989.

Synopsis: Ratbat's Decepticons move to meet an arriving Star Cruiser at the arctic location that is the latest location for their island base. Starscream tells them not to destroy it - the ship contains Scorponok and his Decepticons. Scorponok has contacted Starscream, who suggested the rendezvous, but neglected to mention it to Ratbat. Starscream then shows Scorponok's troops around their base. Buster lets slip about the Underbase, and Scorponok is angry Ratbat has kept this from him.

Notes: Scorponok contacted Starscream sometime in #194-195. Buster has been the Decepticons' prisoner since #154. Fortress Maximus' base alt mode can float, and presumably propel itself in water, unless Optimus and Blaster get out and push the thing. Blitzwing's been repaired since being cleaved in half by Grimlock in #175, and Buzzsaw has been repaired since his body was recovered in the same issue. Starscream is Ratbat's second-in-command. Lazy editing once more sees Jawbreaker retain his US name [Overbite].

Errors: On page 2, Seawing appears to be flying. The relative size of Scorponok's ship jumps all over the place. On page 10, Yomtov gets confused between Ratbat's optic and the side of his head again.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Ratbat, Soundwave, Octane, Tantrum, Astrotrain, Headstrong, Blitzwing, Rampage, Onslaught, Thundercracker, Divebomb, Jawbreaker, Seawing, Snaptrap, Skalor, Nautilator, Tentakil, Piranacon, Starscream, Scorponok, Mindwipe, Snapdragon, Skullcruncher, Bugly, Bomb-Burst, Finback, Iguanus, Apeface, Razorclaw, Optimus Prime, Fortress Maximus, Blaster, Weirdwolf, Horri-Bull.

Notable Others: Zarak, Vorath, Krunk, Monzo, Spasma, Spike, Buster.

Letters Page: Dreadwind gives the name of the Autobot featured at the start of #164 as Steamer, despite #175 giving it as Chuffer.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Strange Bedfellows" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: Interesting, if slow. The biggest problem is that the fact Starscream's up to something can be seen a mile off, and it's astonishing that Ratbat hasn't had him shot yet, let alone promoted him to second in command. Still, it's nice that the two Decepticon forces on Earth have finally linked up.

[*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#207 - "The Underbase Saga! Part Three - Cold War!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Lee Sullivan
Cover Date: 04/03/89

Script:
Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Danny Bulandi
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-18 of US Transformers #49, dated February 1989, Pages 1-2 of US Transformers #50, dated March 1989.

Synopsis: Meanwhile, Starscream takes Buster to be terminated. Back at the Decepticon base, a fight breaks out between the two factions. Starscream, meanwhile, leaves Buster in the arctic with an Autobot distress beacon, as bait for a trap, before taking Scorponok's ship to get the Underbase for himself.

Notes: Apeface has been repaired since "All in the Minds!". He loses an arm straight off, but uses it to clobber someone. Skywarp's been repaired since #88. Skullgrin's returned to Scorponok's crew since #191.

Errors: In the bottom left frame of page 1, Starscream has a blue nose and tail. On page 2, Skullcruncher's head is green, and Scorponok's legs are purple with green feet. On page 3, Thundercracker's coloured like Starscream. As Scorponok transforms on page 6, his head is red. In the next frame, Razorclaw's coloured green, barely visible in front of Scorponok. Nice one, Nel. Soundwave's got that bloody mouth again. On page 7, Skalor appears to have eyelashes. Triggerhappy was with Scorponok's delegation last issue, then watching them from the ship on page 2.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Scorponok, Skullcruncher, Headstrong, Blitzwing, Ratbat, Mindwipe, Triggerhappy, Weirdwolf, Razorclaw, Tantrum, Rampage, Snapdragon, Hun-Grr, Slugslinger, Horri-Bull, Sinnertwin, Squeezeplay, Rippersnapper, Bomb-Burst, Skullgrin, Bugly, Iguanus, Finback, Submarauder, Thundercracker, Octane, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Swindle, Cutthroat, Skywarp, Apeface, Rampage, Soundwave, Skalor, Tentakil, Jawbreaker, Nautilator.

Notable Others: Buster.

Production Notes: To compensate for the low page count of US #49, the first two pages of #50 were attached to the end of this story.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Strange Bedfellows" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: A bit pointless and dull. Starscream's treachery is rather overcooked, especially the Decepticons' sudden realisation that they've been tricked. The level of violence would be worth some comment if the art was actually consistent from who's being torn apart and who just looks like that. Delbo's art by now has degenerated into undynamic cluttered nonsense, with many of the fight scenes looking very poor, not helped by Yomtov.

[*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#208 - "The Underbase Saga! Part Four - Dark Star!" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman
Cover Date: 11/03/89

Script:
Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 3-13 of US Transformers #50, dated March 1989.

Synopsis: The Autobots investigate the distress beacon, rescuing Buster, but are ambushed by the Decepticons. Meanwhile, Starscream nears the Underbase. Buster, meanwhile, tells Ratbat of Starscream's plot, and the two sides call a truce. They set off after Starscream in the island base-come-rocket, and Prime succeeds in shooting Starscream down, but not before he has absorbed some of the Underbase.

Notes: Buster's age is given at 17. Apeface and Tantrum have been repaired since #207.

Errors: Why does Ratbat need convincing from Buster as to Starscream's plan when he and Scorponok worked it out last issue? In the flashback on page 2, Starscream's shown, despite the fact he was busy nicking Scorponok's ship at the time. On page 3, Cerebros has yet another new colour scheme, with all-grey head. As he transforms on page 4, Optimus' shoulder cannon are blue. As Beachcomber gets clobbered by Mindwipe, his body goes brown. The timescale of the pursuit of Starscream is a little messed up - he's obviously quite close to the Underbase while the Autobots and Decepticons are still fighting, yet they still catch him despite all the truces, posturing and repairing of the ship...

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Air Raid, Skydive, Fireflight, Octane, Horri-Bull, Skullcruncher, Astrotrain, Ratbat, Soundwave, Scorponok, Mindwipe, Nautilator, Tantrum, Gears, Beachcomber, Prowl, Fortress Maximus, Cosmos, Cerebros, Ratchet, Perceptor, Omega Supreme, Warpath, Hoist, Jetfire, Optimus Prime, Sideswipe, Powerglide, Blaster, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Blitzwing, Mirage, Grimlock, Slingshot, Tracks, Blot, Hound, Tentakil, Skullgrin, Slag, Snapdragon, Slugslinger, Apeface, Swoop, Starscream, Sludge, Tantrum, Snarl.

Notable Others: Buster, Spike.

Production Notes: Pages 1 & 2 of US #50 had been printed in #207.

Extras: March's Classic Covers Calendar features #138.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Desperate Moves" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: Rather unengaging. The bits with Starscream are the best, the rest feels rather loose and fractal, especially the 'so-and-so shoots so-and-so' battle scene snapshots. Still, at this stage there is promise for the conclusion, despite ever-less impressive artwork from the Delbo-Yomtov dynamic duo. It's very amusing to see Ratbat deck Fort Max, though, and for Buzzsaw to take down Omega Supreme...

[*][*][*][*][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#209 - "The Underbase Saga! Part Four - Dark Star!" Part 2

[cover]
Cover: Geoff Senior
Cover Date: 18/03/89

Script:
Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 14-26 of US Transformers #50, dated March 1989.

Synopsis: Starscream has enough power to destroy the island spaceship, though, and heads off to Earth. Prime picks everyone up via the Ark's remote control. The Transformers deploy to three Earth cities Starscream plans to attack, though Optimus remains behind to co-ordinate things from the Ark. Starscream then decimates the Transformers in New York led by Blaster and Ratbat, though Ratbat is able to escape, heading back to the Ark. As Optimus works on something to stop the Underbase with Hi Q, Starscream routs Grimlock and Scorponok's forces in Tokyo, but Scorponok also escapes and heads for the Ark.

Errors: Why does Starscream announce his plans to the other Transformers? Why doesn't he kill them all while they're helpless in space? Why those three cities? How do the Transformers beat him back to Earth? Why does Starscream fall off the bridge after killing Jazz? Why does Starscream head to Tokyo after wiping out the New York force in seconds? Why do the Throttlebots stay in their useless vehicle modes when Starscream's right on top of them? Would the Tokyo residents really believe the Dinobots are from a monster movie when there's a giant robot blowing up chunks of the city? After Jetfire shoots him, Starscream's chest cockpit goes white. In the next frame, Gears' face is blue. As Starscream kills him, Bluestreak's colour scheme goes mad. On page 11, Thundercracker's left wing just stops after its leading edge, and his tail's missing too.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ratbat, Optimus Prime, Fortress Maximus, Scorponok, Starscream, Blaster [killed by Starscream], Submarauder, Perceptor, Nautilator [killed by Starscream], Soundwave, Grimlock [killed by the Decepticon Pretenders while being used as a shield by Starscream], Slag [killed by Starscream], Weirdwolf, Skullgrin, Fireflight [killed by Starscream], Skydive [killed by Starscream], Air Raid [killed by Starscream], Jetfire [killed by Starscream], Silverbolt [killed by Starscream], Slingshot [killed by Starscream], Gears [killed by Starscream], Brawn [killed by Starscream], Bluestreak [killed by Starscream], Hoist [killed by Starscream], Goldbug [killed by Starscream], Mirage [killed by Starscream], Hound [killed by Starscream], Jazz [killed by Starscream], Jawbreaker [killed by Starscream], Tentakil [killed by Starscream], Seawing [killed by Starscream], Snaptrap [killed by Starscream], Skalor [killed by Starscream], Searchlight [killed by Starscream], Freeway [killed by Starscream], Chase [killed by Starscream], Rollbar [killed by Starscream], Wideload [killed by Starscream], Thundercracker [killed by Starscream], Skywarp [killed by Starscream], Sludge [killed by Starscream], Swoop [killed by Starscream], Snarl [killed by Starscream], Divebomb [killed by Starscream], Bugly, Razorclaw [killed by Starscream], Rampage [killed by Starscream], Headstrong [killed by Starscream], Tantrum [killed by Starscream], Bomb-Burst.

Notable Others: Buster, Hi Q.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Desperate Moves" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: Carnage by numbers. If you took out the silly plot conveniences, the leaps of logic, added some gravitas to all the minor characters killed off that haven't been seen for a hundred-and-odd issues, got in a proper art team and made the thing about three hundred percent less mechanical, there might be a half decent story in here...

[*][0][0][0][0][0][0][0][0][0]

#210 - "The Underbase Saga! Part Four - Dark Star!" Part 3

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman
Cover Date: 25/03/89

Script:
Bob Budiansky
Pencils: José Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Rick Parker
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 27-38 of US Transformers #50, dated March 1989.

Synopsis: In Buenos Aires, Fortress Maximus and Soundwave's forces fare no better, and only Maximus survives thanks to being binary-bonded to Spike. However, he receives a call from Buster on the Ark, and Starscream traces it, intent on revenge. Ratbat and Scorponok reach the Ark in time to see Prime launch a rocket at the Underbase, and leap to the conclusion he wants it for himself. The rocket deflects the Underbase towards the Ark, and Ratbat sets off to claim it, only to be killed by Scorponok. Scorponok then sets out for the Underbase, but Optimus tackles him, and it hits Starscream, overloading him.

Notes: I'm firmly of the opinion that Soundwave's deactivated by Starscream here. He won't show up again until #260 in the regular timeline, easily allowing time for repairs and there's nothing whatsoever, besides people liking Soundwave and liking to think of him as some sort of ultimate survivor, to suggest he'd be any less damaged than any of the other totally inorganic Transformers.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Fortress Maximus, Soundwave [killed by Starscream], Starscream [destroyed by the Underbase], Octane [killed by Starscream], Astrotrain [killed by Starscream], Blitzwing [killed by Starscream], Laserbeak [killed by Starscream], Buzzsaw [killed by Starscream], Scattershot [killed by Starscream], Strafe [first appearance, killed by Starscream], Nosecone [killed by Starscream], Afterburner [killed by Starscream], Lightspeed [killed by Starscream], Rippersnapper [killed by Starscream], Sinnertwin [killed by Starscream], Cutthroat [killed by Starscream], Blot [killed by Starscream], Hun-Grr [killed by Starscream], Omega Supreme [killed by Starscream], Ratbat [killed by Scorponok], Scorponok.

Notable Others: Buster, Hi Q.

Back-Up Strips:
Action Force - "Desperate Moves" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: It starts off poorly with another bad-fanfic massacre, but the final act's actually quite good, with Scorponok, Optimus Prime and Ratbat well done, even if the latter gets a rather lame exit. Delbo's still drawing exploding Transformers like they're made of Lego, but he does have a real moment of glory with the frame of a powered-up Starscream on page 11. The Underbase Saga is far too uneven and overlong, and far too much of a self-conscious epic to be that enjoyable, and while it's far from the high point of Budiansky's work it's often claimed to be, there are a number of decent moments buried within.

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