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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
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 #281 - #290

| #281 | #282 | #283 | #284 | #285 | #286 | #287 | #288 | #289 | #290 |

#281 - "Makin' Tracks!"

[cover]
Cover: John Marshall & Pete Venters

Cover Date: 04/08/90

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Sophie Heath

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Earthforce [Worldwide].

NB: For the colour Transformers strip, the 1987 GI Joe and the Transformers limited series was reprinted. It was split into sixteen parts and ran from #265 to #281. As this series sits outside of UK continuity, it is reviewed here. #281 contained the final fifth of GI Joe and the Transformers #4.

Synopsis: Someone is sabotaging Wheeljack's attempts to revive Tracks. It turns out to be Grimlock, who does not rate Tracks as a warrior. Another attempt at sabotage goes wrong, and Tracks is revived. There's worse to come for Grimlock, as Prime decides to station Tracks on Earth.

Notes: Tracks was deactivated at some point since #207 - probably during the Underbase saga. Autobot Earthbase has an impressive body shop.

Errors: Tracks' 'hood' disappears in the penultimate frame on page 5.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Tracks [reactivated], Grimlock.

Production Notes: The reproduction of the first page of "...All Fall Down" is atrocious.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Swindle and Swoop.

Letters Page: Dreadwind hasn't heard of the Pretender Monsters... fairly conclusive proof Furman's no longer writing the columns, as he used them in US #67, dated June 1990.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Cut and Freeze Dried" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: More slapstick - slightly less enjoyable this time - and more dark undertones. Grimlock's outright trying to kill Tracks in the final stage - while the first couple of attempts mentioned can be justified as Grimlock simply trying to bump a less useful [in his optics, at least] Autobot down the list a bit, Prime gives the distinct impression the final stage is now-or-never for Tracks. An interesting facet to Grimmy's character, if nothing else.

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#282 - "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 1 & "Shut Up!"

[cover]
Cover: John Marshall & Pete Venters

Cover Date: 11/08/90

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 1
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-5 of US Transformers #63, dated February 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Primal Scream [US version, Worldwide].

"Shut Up!"
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Staz [pseudonym for Stewart Johnson]
Letters: Gary Gilbert

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Way of the Warrior [Worldwide].

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 1

Synopsis: The Triggerbots are on a dusty alien planet searching for the Matrix when they see some horse-mounted aliens chasing another alien, a child. They engage the hunting aliens, who protest what they're doing isn't what it looks like.

Notes: The aliens are roughly Transformer-sized, like the inhabitants of Pz-zazz [see #262].

Errors: Override is missing the red from his thighs throughout.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Override, Dogfight, Backstreet.

Review: Not a very interesting opener at all. The Triggerbots still remain sketchy characters - there's an overbearing attempt to paint Backstreet as the responsible one, Dogfight as the combative one and Override as the one tired of war, but it doesn't come off convincingly. This, with the western pastiche trappings and wooden Delbo art, is shaping up badly already.

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"Shut Up!"

Synopsis: Inferno is watching over the remains of the Mayhem Attack Squad at Earthbase. They unnerve him with their quiet behaviour, and Stranglehold is able to lure him in. Bludgeon then uses his mystical powers to skewer Inferno, before the trio escape. Inferno survives, but Grimlock's not happy about the situation - or Inferno's explanation that they did it by being quiet.

Notes: Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold were captured by Earthforce in #274. Bludgeon's skills include being able to levitate his sword.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Inferno, Stranglehold, Bludgeon, Octopunch, Grimlock, Prowl.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Tailgate and Tantrum.

Letters Page: Dreadwind promises that the Constructicons' lost combining ability [see #264] will be explained. It won't be.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Into the Breach" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: Excellent use of the art and narrative boxes by Furman and Staz. A very atmospheric little story, with Inferno's paranoia played excellently. This is probably the first time Bludgeon's skills have really come across. Superb stuff - best UK cover for a while, too.

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#283 - "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 2 & "Manoeuvres!"

[cover]
Cover: Robin Smith

Cover Date: 18/08/90

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 2
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 6-10 of US Transformers #63, dated February 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Primal Scream [US version, Worldwide].

"Manoeuvres!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Pete Venters
Letters: Gary Gilbert

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Way of the Warrior [Worldwide].

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 2

Synopsis: The alien child's family thanks the Triggerbots for saving him, but all is not as it seems. Elsewhere, Thunderwing interrogates Nightbeat, Siren and Hosehead before being interrupted by Ruckus, who informs him they're in orbit around Cheyne, having tracked the Triggerbots there. The Triggerbots, however, appear to have fallen under some sort of trance, forgetting their mission and staying with the aliens.

Notes: Nightbeat's team were captured in #264.

Errors: Override is missing the red from his thighs again. On page 2, Nightbeat's arms are yellow above the elbow. Thunderwing, contrary to previous appearances, has the backpack and wings off the toy. Well, most of the time - they disappear in the fourth panel of page 2, the first, fourth and sixth of page 3. Dogfight has adopted a one-tone blue scheme.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Dogfight, Backstreet, Override, Nightbeat, Thunderwing, Hosehead, Siren, Ruckus, Spinister [flashback], Needlenose [flashback].

Production Notes: As with "...All Fall Down", the reproduction of the first page is dreadful.

Review: Bah, another insipid instalment. This is probably the nadir of Furman's writing for the Marvel comic, with uninteresting characters, an obvious ending and no real advancement of the Matrix Quest plot.

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"Manoeuvres!"

Synopsis: Octane's stuck in the middle of a military testing ground, packed full of fuel. He calls on Blitzwing and Astrotrain for help. They ask him how he got into this mess, and he reveals it was from trying to wreck a car on his way back to base. Disgusted, the other two leave him to his fate. Unknown to Octane, the car was Jazz.

Notes: Octane can hold 10,000 gallons of fuel.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Octane, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Jazz.

Production Notes: The A-Z is now in black and white.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Thundercracker and Thrust.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Into the Breach" Part 2
Combat Colin

Letters Page: Adam Cheshire claims that there's a new Micromaster Optimus Prime out. He's actually just missed the name "Overload" on the packaging and got a bit confused. Dreadsy, sadly, doesn't know this either and just talks rubbish for a dozen lines. He also claims Goldbug's still around. Yep, Simon's not doing it any more...

Review: Hmmm... a fair attempt at giving Octane a bit more character, though this suffers from the regular Earthforce trouble of being a bit inconsequential and ever-so-slightly under par. Nice to see the Decepticons having to put some effort in against the squishies, though.

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#284 - "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 3 & "Assassins"

[cover]
Cover: Kirk Etienne

Cover Date: 25/08/90

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 3
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-15 of US Transformers #63, dated February 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Primal Scream [US version, Worldwide].

"Assassins"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Jeff Anderson
Inks: Michael Eve
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 3

Synopsis: Optimus Prime is haunted by visions of Unicron, while the Triggerbots continue to work with the aliens in a trance. One of them heads into town with Dogfight, and they run into Thunderwing and his squad. Dogfight is captured, but Thunderwing is perplexed by the Autobot's ignorance.

Errors: Override maintains his too-blue scheme. All the blue's actually too pale in this segment. Thunderwing keeps the backpack, but the wings don't appear until the final panel of page 5.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Backstreet, Override, Dogfight, Needlenose, Spinister, Thunderwing, Ruckus, Windsweeper.

Notable Others: Unicron is in Prime's vision.

Review: The arrival of the Decepticons spices things up a little, but this is still very, very dull.

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"Assassins"

Synopsis: Several aliens try to kill Starscream. He captures one, and finds there is a contract on him. He assumes it was Soundwave who issued it, and sets off to confront him. However, Megatron and Shockwave are responsible, and call on the Mayhem Attack Squad to enter the next stage of their plan. Back at Autobase, Wheeljack has found Snarl is suffering from Corrodia Gravis - and the only compatible donor is Starscream.

Notes: Starscream and Soundwave deposed Megatron and Shockwave, uniting the Decepticon factions on Earth, in #277. Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold escaped Autobase in #282. Corrodia Gravis is a terminal rusting disease.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Shockwave, Megatron, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Bludgeon, Grimlock, Snarl, Wheeljack.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Topspin and Tracks.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Into the Breach" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: Setting up the next mini-arc, this is flat and boring. The various aliens are all rather silly, which means a very padded story.

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#285 - "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 4 & "External Forces!"

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 01/09/90

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 4
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 16-20 of US Transformers #63, dated February 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Primal Scream [US version, Worldwide].

"External Forces!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Pete Venters
Letters: Julie Hughes

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

"Kings of the Wild Frontier" Part 4

Synopsis: Thunderwing's interrogation of Dogfight jogs the Autobot's memory. He returns to the branch and forces the aliens to reveal their true forms. They're actually Vrobians - psychic vampires. They attack the Autobots, who are forced to kill them.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Thunderwing, Dogfight, Ruckus, Windsweeper, Backstreet, Override.

Review: Thunderwing's laughable role just about sums this up. We all knew the aliens were something along these lines anyway, and are annoying to boot. The audience is meant to be all upset about the futility of conflict on the last page, when actually they're just glad the bloody aliens are dead.

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"External Forces!"

Synopsis: Starscream confronts Soundwave about the assassins. He attacks before Soundwave can give his side of things, but Soundwave's made a recording. He convinces Starscream it's a set-up, when the Mayhem Attack Squad arrive. Outside, the Autobots have arrived, needing to get Starscream for a transplant to save Snarl. They prepare to step in when Megatron and Shockwave arrive.

Errors: How does Soundwave know what happened to Starscream?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Soundwave, Octopunch, Bludgeon, Stranglehold, Prowl, Ironhide, Grimlock, Prowl, Sludge, Slag, Swoop, Megatron, Shockwave.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Trailbreaker and Trypticon.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Into the Breach" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: While the idea of Soundwave pre-recording a message is a bit preposterous, it moves the plot along and works well with both characters. A few good jokes, and the sheer amount of plot and counter-plot crammed in holds the interest.

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#286 - "Deadly Obsession" Part 1 & "The Lesser Evil!"

[cover]
Cover: Andy Wildman

Cover Date: 08/09/90

"Deadly Obsession" Part 1
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Al Williamson [page 1-4], Dan Reed [page 5]
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-5 of US Transformers #64, dated March 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Matrix Quest [US version, Worldwide].

"The Lesser Evil!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: John Marshall
Inks: Jeff Anderson
Letters: Peri Godbold

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Fallen Star [Worldwide].

"Deadly Obsession" Part 1

Synopsis: Longtooth, Doubleheader and Pincher have been sent to find the Matrix. While chasing up a possible lead on Pequod, however, Longtooth has gone mad, and is trying to kill the sea-dwelling Klud, while his team-mates try to stop him.

Notes: It is two weeks since the trio left the Ark. They have been stationed there at some point since #259.

This story is a rough parody of Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Longtooth, Doubleheader, Pincher, Xaaron [flashback].

Review: Furman continues to use parodies for Matrix Quest, with diminishing results. Much like "Kings of the Wild Frontier", the story suffers from a faceless trio of heroes with recycled characters. Also in common with the preceding story, the dialogue is hideously overwrought in order to try and inject some drama into proceedings. On top of all this, between the character designs, the inking and the colouring, the whole thing looks absolutely lurid.

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"The Lesser Evil!"

Synopsis: Grimlock sends Sludge and Swoop to rescue Starscream, while the rest of the Autobot contingent try to hold off Megatron and Shockwave. They're able to extract Starscream, and he agrees to help in return for protection from the deposed leaders.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Grimlock, Prowl, Shockwave, Megatron, Slag, Ironhide, Sludge, Swoop, Soundwave, Stranglehold, Octopunch, Bludgeon, Starscream.

Extras:
A-Z Profiles on Twin Twist and Ultra Magnus.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Fair Trade" Part 1
Combat Colin

Review: The opening four pages are brilliantly paced. Or would have been, if this was an eleven-page instalment. As it is, once we've had the first two pages recapping last issue and hammering the irony home with a mallet, and advanced the plot nicely for two pages, suddenly it's all wrapped up on the final page. Sludge's curt summing-up of the battle with the Mayhems is a huge insult to the reader, and whole acres of good work is destroyed by a slack, speed-written script.

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#287 - "Deadly Obsession" Part 2 & "Inside Story!"

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 17/09/90

"Deadly Obsession" Part 2
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dan Reed
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 6-10 of US Transformers #64, dated March 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Matrix Quest [US version, Worldwide].

"Inside Story!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Pete Venters
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Perchance to Dream [Worldwide].

"Deadly Obsession" Part 2

Synopsis: Longtooth is about to kill the Klud when Thunderwing's shuttle arrives. The Decepticon orders his troops to destroy Longtooth in order to preserve the creature, and then attacks Ruckus for his dissent at this order.

Notes: Pequod's currency is the drax. The price on the Klud is 10,000 drax.

The harbourmaster's dialogue contains several references to Steven Spielberg's film Jaws.

Errors: Thunderwing has the full toy backpack again - a Delbo trademark that makes the character look insanely ungainly. Yomtov colours Spinister grey and blue.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Longtooth, Doubleheader, Pincher, Thunderwing, Ruckus, Spinister.

Review: Still tedious, plodding and ugly. Thunderwing's meant to be mirroring Longtooth's obsession, but we've never seen the character in a balanced mood for contrast - in his first arc, he beats up his own troops then makes a suicidal attack on the Ark, seriously undermining his purported slide.

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"Inside Story!"

Synopsis: In upper New York State, Bombshell has taken control of Superion, who is now running amok. The Autobots persuade a freelance journalist named Irwin to climb inside the Autobot, avoid his internal defences and remove Bombshell's Cerebro-Shell.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Superion, Springer, Grimlock, Prowl, Bombshell [flashback].

Notable Others: Irwin [first appearance].

Extras:
A-Z covers Unicron.

Letters Page: Liane "Tetra Reris" Elliot writes in to complain about distribution problems in the US.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Fair Trade" Part 2
Combat Colin

Review: A rather dull and uninteresting piece of filler. Irwin's not a bad character compared to most of the human characters who've featured over the years, but he's not exactly interesting either.

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#288 - "Deadly Obsession" Part 3 & "Frontline!"

[cover]
Cover: Pete Knifton

Cover Date: 22/09/90

"Deadly Obsession" Part 3
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dan Reed
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 11-15 of US Transformers #64, dated March 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Matrix Quest [US version, Worldwide].

"Frontline!"
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pete Knifton
Inks: Pete Venters
Letters: Stuart Bartlett

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Perchance to Dream [Worldwide].

"Deadly Obsession" Part 3

Synopsis: Doubleheader and Pincher try to engage Thunderwing's craft, and Longtooth is knocked into the water, where he battles the Klud. He remembers how his rage began - when the Klud took off part of his leg while the Autobots were trying to observe it. It turns out the Klud has somehow come into contact with the Matrix.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Longtooth, Doubleheader, Pincher, Thunderwing, Ruckus, Spinister, Needlenose.

Review: Already it's dragging dreadfully. The plot is almost non-existant, and any good points are outweighed by the intrusive cod-poetic sequences of delusion spouting from Longtooth's ugly head. The flashback format falls flat on its' face, cramping any action or characterisation.

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"Frontline!"

Synopsis: Much to Soundwave's distress, Irwin has been granted an exclusive article on the Autobots, which could resolve the public's views on the Transformers war once and for all. However, as he leaves Autobase, Irwin is abducted by the Stunticons.

Notes: Irwin [presumably] writes for Frontline!.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Starscream, Soundwave, Prowl, Grimlock, Bombshell, Superion [flashback], Ironhide, Jazz, Dead End, Breakdown, Dragstrip, Motormaster.

Notable Others: Irwin.

Extras:
A-Z profiles Vortex and Warpath.

Letters Page: James Roberts, writer of Eugenesis, the first ever Transformers novel, writes in to compliment the team on the good fist that's been made of the black and white format.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Fair Trade" Part 3
Combat Colin

Review: The first frame has absolutely no purpose whatsoever, except to confuse some people into thinking the thing's called "Comic Convention Scandal!". Aside from that, rather lacking interest.

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#289 - "Deadly Obsession" Part 4 & "End of the Road!"

[cover]
Cover: Pete Knifton

Cover Date: 29/09/90

"Deadly Obsession" Part 4
Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dan Reed
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 16-20 of US Transformers #64, dated March 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Matrix Quest [US version, Worldwide].

"End of the Road!"
Script: Simon Furman
Art: Staz [pseudonym for Stewart Johnson]
Letters: Gary Gilbert

Later Reprinted By: Titan Books: Perchance to Dream [Worldwide].

"Deadly Obsession" Part 4

Synopsis: Thunderwing observes the still-battling Klud and Longtooth on board his ship. Meanwhile, Needlenose and Spinister battle with Doubleheader and Pincher. Thunderwing is able to get the location of the Matrix from the creature's mind - a moon named VsQs. He orders to the Decepticons to withdraw just as they're getting the upper hand. At the same time, Pincher is able to talk Longtooth out of killing the Klud.

Notes: Thunderwing was built with an affinity for the Matrix. He can mind-link with other creatures. VsQs is the third moon of Cameron, the fourth planet [presumably of the solar system that contains Pequod].

Cameron is named after James Cameron, director of Alien amongst other films. VsQs comes from the character Vasquez from the same movie.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Thunderwing, Needlenose, Spinister, Doubleheader, Pincher, Longtooth.

Review: Slightly better, as the plot finally gets going in time to wind down, and there's less of Longtooth's ridiculous Ahab syndrome. Again, Thunderwing feels very much like a cardboard cut-out villain - we don't notice his change in character because it's shown in his characterisation, but rather because Spinister and Needlenose [much more like generic Decepticon henchmen than their more rounded previous appearances in UK-originated material] constantly tell us about it. Dull.

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"Frontline!"

Synopsis: Prowl, Wheeljack, Jazz, Sunstreaker, Tracks and Bumblebee chase after Motormaster and Irwin. The remaining Stunticons jump them, but Tracks and Bumblebee are able to recover the reporter. However, Bombshell has placed a Cerebro-Shell inside Irwin, and compels him to write a negative story about the Autobots anyway.

Notes: Irwin's surname is Spoon. Motormaster can detach his cab from his trailer - though it's unclear whether he can still transform after this.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Motormaster, Prowl, Jazz, Bumblebee, Sunstreaker, Tracks, Wheeljack, Dead End, Dragstrip, Breakdown, Bombshell, Starscream.

Notable Others: Irwin.

Extras:
A-Z covers Wheelie and Wheeljack.

Letters Page: Sazril Murshid from Malaysia totally throws Dreadwind by asking questions about Masterforce.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Fair Trade" Part 4
Combat Colin

Review: A rather sad ending to the UK strips, all-in-all. There's some action, and a fair twist, but it all feels very inconsequential.

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#290 - "Dark Creation" Part 1

[cover]
Cover: Stewart Johnson

Cover Date: 06/10/90

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Geoff Senior
Letters: Jim Massara
Colours: Nel Yomtov

Originally Printed In: Pages 1-5 of US Transformers #65, dated April 1990.
Later Reprinted By: Transformers - Matrix Quest [US version, Worldwide].

NB: For the other Transformers strip, "Legacy of Unicron" was reprinted. It was split into twelve parts and ran from #290 to #301. #290 contained the first half of #146.

Synopsis: The Creation Matrix remembers its encounters since landing on VsQs with Optimus Prime's original body - finding a new vessel in Deathbringer, and developing a creature who attacks astronauts who arrive on the moon. Jazz, Grimlock and Bumblebee arrive at the Exploration Team's base on VsQs, finding it in ruins and deserted. They find that the Exploration Team have found what would seem to be the Matrix, but are dead.

Notes: Optimus Prime's original body was blasted into space in #110. Deathbringer was destroyed in #236 [the only time a UK strip would be explicitly referenced by a US one]. The Matrix holders to date are named as Prima, Prime Nova, Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime. The Matrix is clearly sentient.

As well as the Alien references mentioned in #289, the face-hugging creature the Matrix recreates is clearly a nod to the film.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime [flashback], Grimlock, Jazz, Bumblebee. Optimus Prime's original body is seen.

Notable Others: Deathbringer [flashback].

Production Notes: Due to not having to fund new material, the comic reverts to full colour.

Extras:
A-Z concludes with Wildrider and Windcharger.

Back-Up Strips:
GI Joe: The Action Force - "Bailout" Part 1
Combat Colin [back in colour]

Review: Absolutely wonderful. The Matrix Quest finally gets going, with some huge ideas and an interesting structure. The atmosphere is astonishing, with the taut script from Furman perfectly complemented by Senior's shadowy art. Even Yomtov's on the ball here. Excellent stuff.

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