MARVEL TRANSFORMERS COMICS GUIDE
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Other titles / G2: Action Force #24-27 | Specials & Collected Comics | UK G2 Intro | UK G2 #1-5 | UK G2 Annual
UK #311 - #320
#311 - "Surrender" Part 1
Cover Date: 30/03/91
Script: Simon Furman
Synopsis: On Earth, the Ark has arrived outside the Decepticon base, where Prime tenders his surrender to Scorponok. The Autobots are disarmed, while Prime seeks assurances of an alliance from Scorponok. The Decepticon is evasive, concentrating more on how the Autobot surrender has improved his own standing amongst his demoralised troops. Meanwhile, Shockwave and Starscream continue to plot their coup in a secret underwater base off the coast of England. In a cel in Scorponok's base, Optimus Prime becomes frustrated with not having an audience with Scorponok, and begins to doubt his choice.
Notes: Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold joined up with Scorponok's forces following the events of #261. According to Mindwipe, Scorponok's troops number "twenty or more". Shockwave's explanation of events following #159 is vague enough to fit with the American stories [where his burning up in Earth's atmosphere was pitched as a death], without contradicting his subsequent UK adventures. Horri-Bull has joined up with Scorponok's Decepticons at some point since #228. Shockwave has recovered and repaired Runabout and Runamuck since #95.
It's fair to assume Needlenose, Spinister, Ruckus and Windsweeper [who surrendered to the Autobots in #297] were handed over to the Decepticons as part of the surrender.
Errors: Misfire is bright red. Soundwave has blue on his faceplate. Highbrow's in his blue/grey Yomtov scheme.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Jazz [flashback], Ironhide [flashback], Prowl [flashback], Wheeljack [flashback], Getaway, Kup, Blurr, Scorponok, Apeface, Soundwave, Misfire, Skullgrin, Cloudburst, Bomb-Burst, Highbrow, Submarauder, Thunderwing [flashback], Octopunch, Bludgeon, Fangry, Horri-Bull, Shockwave, Ravage, Runabout, Runamuck, Triggerhappy, Mindwipe, Starscream.
Notable Others: Recoil, Zarak. Unicron is seen in Optimus' explanation to Unicron.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #71.
Extras: A-Z covers Getaway and Joyride.
Review: More glorious character-driven intrigue. The two storylines are both enticing, and the flashback at the start is great. Optimus Prime is really becoming the lead character in the storyline, with Scorponok and Zarak providing another interesting avenue. Great stuff.
#312 - "Surrender" Part 2
Cover Date: 13/04/91
Script: Simon Furman
Synopsis: On Cybertron, Galvatron is bombarding Autobase. Quickmix persuades Xaaron to flee underground, while he and the remaining Autobots try to hold the Decepticon off. However, Galvatron sends Hook, Line and Sinker to deal with them, and sets off after Xaaron himself. Back on Earth, Prime runs out of patience, breaks out of his cell, and frees Kup and Hot Rod. In the Decepticon control room, Zarak and Bludgeon observe four approaching airborne Transformers on the radar, but Zarak is distracted, pondering on is betrayal of Prime. Just then, the Autobots break in. After a brief stand-off, Prime appeals to Zarak. The Nebulan combines with Scorponok, and is about to agree a truce with Prime when Shockwave arrives, devastating the underground base. On Cybertron, Galvatron has caught Xaaron.
Errors: Bomb-Burst gets called 'Bomb-Blast'.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron, Quickmix, Xaaron, Soundwave, Optimus Prime, Hot Rod, Kup, Bludgeon, Fangry, Octopunch, Bomb-Burst, Skullgrin, Shockwave, Starscream, Triggerhappy, Mindwipe.
Notable Others: Zarak.
Extras: A readers poll ballot. The results would never be published.
Review: The plot really kicks in as the threads start to come together, and it's not detrimental to the crackling characterisation - Prime [again] and Zarak being particular standouts. Galvatron finally recaptures his daunting Target 2006 form, and there's barely a wasted frame. A masterpiece.
#313 - "...All This and Civil War 2" Part 1
Cover Date: 27/04/91
Script: Simon Furman
NB: "The Enemy Within" reprint picked up again. It was split into seven parts and ran from #308 to #309, then continued in #313 to #317. #313 contained the second half of #14. The full colour version from Collected Comics #4 was used.
Synopsis: Shockwave and his group begin to pick through the debris of the Decepticon base, looking for survivors. However, Starscream finds a very angry Scorponok. Inside the ruined complex, Optimus Prime checks Hot Rod and Kup, and begins to free his troops. The fracas has not gone unnoticed by the New York population, and the military and president are notified. Meanwhile, Scorponok easily deals with most of Shockwave's faction, and it's left to Shockwave to battle him personally. On Hydrus Four, the Dinobots are all active again, but Grimlock's leg briefly locks up, and he ponders the warning he was given by the robot outside the Medi-Centre.
Notes: Grimlock has revived the other Dinobots since #310.
Errors: How did Runabout and Runamuck get to New Jersey? Can they swim quickly or something? Weirdwolf and Misfire swap colour schemes on page 5. Triggerhappy has white legs and fists as Scorponok bats him aside.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Starscream, Runabout, Runamuck, Mindwipe, Triggerhappy, Ravage, Scorponok, Optimus Prime, Hot Rod, Fangry, Misfire, Weirdwolf, Soundwave, Horri-Bull, Kup, Grimlock, Slag, Swoop, Snarl, Sludge.
Production Notes: Machine Man was dropped in favour of continuing the Transformers reprints.
Extras: A-Z profiles Slapdash.
Review: The breakneck pace wanes just a little, but Prime's dilemma and Starscream's preposterous prancing add lustre to another fine script, with classic character archetypes back to the fore. For just about the first time, Scorponok's made to look respectable too.
#314 - "...All This and Civil War 2" Part 2
Cover Date: 11/05/91
Script: Simon Furman
NB: "The Enemy Within" was reprinted as a back-up strip. It was split into seven parts and ran from #308 to #309, then continued in #313 to #317. #314 contained the second half of #15. The full colour version from Collected Comics #4 was used.
Synopsis: Scorponok and Shockwave battle just off Manhattan Island. Back on Cybertron, Galvatron interrogates Xaaron for a way to defeat Unicron. The Autobot tells him of a legend that says if all of Primus' children stand together as one, they can defeat Unicron. On Earth, Prime takes Nightbeat to try and reason with Shockwave while the other Autobots regroup and try to contain the battle between the Decepticon factions. However, the Neo-Knights - Blackrock's team of superhumans - interrupt.
Notes: Blackrock's team are known to the US President.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Scorponok, Xaaron, Galvatron, Optimus Prime, Nightbeat, Kup, Highbrow, Runabout, Mindwipe, Starscream, Soundwave, Bludgeon, Octopunch, Skullgrin.
Notable Others: Circuit Breaker, Thunderpunch, Rapture, Hector.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #72, recoloured.
Extras: A-Z profiles Punch & Counter-Punch.
Review: The issue is dominated by the superbly-drawn Shockwave/Scorponok battle - one of the best fight scenes of the entire run, in which Wildman proves that he can do dynamics as well as emotions - though the excellent characterisation is maintained without getting smothered by the action. Furman's giving Prime arguably the best writing he ever had, while Scorponok and Grimlock grow in stature with each line.
#315 - "Out of Time!" Part 1
Cover Date: 25/05/91
Script: Simon Furman
NB: "The Enemy Within" was reprinted as a back-up strip. It was split into seven parts and ran from #308 to #309, then continued in #313 to #317. #315 contained the second half of #15. The full colour version from Collected Comics #4 was used.
Synopsis: Galvatron tries to get Xaaron to reawaken Primus to summon the Transformers, and is frustrated at the time the process is taking. However, Unicron sends Hook, Line and Sinker to check up on him. On Earth, the Neo-Knights attack the Transformers. Circuit Breaker knocks out Scorponok, but Nightbeat intervenes. Shockwave takes the chance to shoot Circuit Breaker. She survives, and thinks Nightbeat was the one who fired at her.
Notes: The Neo-Knights' powers are down to 'genetic quirks' [aside from Circuit Breaker's, of course]. Hector's codename is Dynamo.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron, Xaaron, Landfill, Scoop, Quickmix, Starscream, Triggerhappy, Scorponok, Optimus Prime, Shockwave, Nightbeat.
Notable Others: Unicron, Hook, Line, Sinker, Thunderpunch, Circuit Breaker, Dynamo, Rapture, GB Blackrock.
Extras: A free cover-mounted Beetlejuice joke book. A-Z covers Landmine.
Review: After such a glorious run, this is something of a slip. Circuit Breaker's always meant death to any decent story before, and she's still on form here, her myopia bludgeoned home. The opening segment's not as bad, but still not especially interesting considering what we've got used to.
#316 - "Out of Time!" Part 2
Cover Date: 08/06/91
Script: Simon Furman
NB: "The Enemy Within" was reprinted as a back-up strip. It was split into seven parts and ran from #308 to #309, then continued in #313 to #317. #316 contained #16. The full colour version from Collected Comics #4 was used.
Synopsis: Hook, Line and Sinker attack Galvatron, and the Decepticon easily kills Line and Sinker. On Earth, Mindwipe has hypnotised Soundwave, planning to use him to command the Decepticon troops. However, Mindwipe's then jumped by Kup and the Autobots, who hijack his plan. Meanwhile, Circuit Breaker has knocked out Nightbeat, and then moves on to Optimus Prime, oblivious to Blackrock's pleas to leave the Autobots alone. Shockwave uses this opportunity to line up another attack on Scorponok. Blackrock points out to Circuit Breaker that Shockwave is the Transformer who caused her so much pain. She blows the Decepticon out of the sky, draining herself as she does so. Prime persuades Scorponok to cease fighting and work on the alliance. On Cybertron, Galvatron finishes off Hook, to find that Primus has reawakened, and possessed Xaaron. Primus then teleports all of the New Jersey combatants to Cybertron, including the Neo-Knights. Deep in space, on a barren world, the Matrix stirs.
Notes: Soundwave is Scorponok's second in command. Shockwave caused huge injuries to Josie Beller in #24.
Errors: On page 9, the three Decepticons behind Soundwave have no legs.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron, Xaaron [possessed by Primus], Mindwipe, Soundwave, Kup, Sureshot, Highbrow, Waverider, Optimus Prime, Nightbeat, Shockwave, Scorponok, Fangry, Starscream. Thunderwing's body is seen.
Notable Others: Hook [destroyed by Galvatron], Line [destroyed by Galvatron], Sinker [destroyed by Galvatron], Thunderpunch, Circuit Breaker, Dynamo, Rapture, GB Blackrock.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #73.
Review: An improvement over the first half, marginally. Galvatron makes it worth reading, though Circuit Breaker's still a huge problem. Quite why Furman felt the title needed a human super-team when gimmicky human characters have been such a problem over the years I don't know...
#317 - "The Void!" Part 1
Cover Date: 22/06/91
Script: Simon Furman
NB: "The Enemy Within" was reprinted as a back-up strip. It was split into seven parts and ran from #308 to #309, then continued in #313 to #317. #317 contained #17. The full colour version from Collected Comics #4 was used.
Synopsis: Primus, through Xaaron, tells the Transformers how Unicron had once purged the universe of nearly all matter. From the remaining fragments, life sprang. Unicron then set to work destroying it, hoping to be one with the void once again. However, the sentient core of the universe created Primus to battle him. Primus trapped them both in asteroids - Unicron used his to form a transforming planet, while Primus made his a planet, and gave life to the Transformers to defend himself. In Earth orbit, the Dinobots have boarded the Ark to find it deserted. They plot a course for Cybertron, and pump Nucleon into the stasis pods onboard - unaware one contains Megatron. On Cybertron itself, a cult of Unicron's acolytes plan Prime's death.
Notes: Battletrap has been repaired since #201. It would seem that when using Xaaron as a conduit, Primus' powers are reduced, and this is why Grimlock and the other Dinobots aren't summoned to Cybertron - Primus probably aimed for the biggest concentration of Transformers on Earth. It's also possible Primus purposefully omitted them, realising their plans to revive vital reinforcements and arrive under their own speed. Cybertron has a breathable atmosphere.
I'm really not sure what the reference Snarl makes to a Transformers signal on Earth that 'seems to be in two parts'. All I can think of is Spike, maybe, but that still doesn't make sense. Possibly something Furman meant to come back too, but didn't because of the cancellation? Or was the original intention to have Fortress Maximus stashed somewhere on Earth, rather than the Ark as was shown in #329 ?
Errors: Ratchet's name is spelt "Rachet" on his stasis pod. How did the Neo-Knights' helicopter get teleported because Nightbeat is touching it? Apeface is eating a banana on the splash page. Blackrock was wearing a white shirt last issue, and is now in a pink one. Thunderpunch's costume is green on the splash page.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Xaaron [possessed by Primus], Snapdragon, Skullcruncher, Apeface, Horri-Bull, Skyfall [first appearance], Krok [first appearance], Soundwave, Bomb-Burst, Highbrow, Siren, Hosehead, Dreadwind, Darkwing, Sureshot, Runabout, Nightbeat, Kup, Hot Rod, Fangry, Optimus Prime, Fixit, Runamuck, Stranglehold, Bludgeon, Octopunch, Starscream, Scorponok, Mindwipe, Shockwave, Weirdwolf, Ravage, Landfill, Quickmix, Backstreet, Crankcase, Battletrap, Quake, Snarl, Grimlock, Swoop, Slag, Sludge.
Notable Others: Thunderpunch, Circuit Breaker, Dynamo, Rapture, GB Blackrock. The original forms of Unicron and Primus are seen in flashback.
Extras: A-Z covers Dreadwind.
Review: The first three pages are startling both visually and in the ground they cover, and the splash page looks wonderful. After that, it settles down a bit, the plot slowing down and the execrable Thunderpunch detracting from the interesting angle taken with the uncaring Primus.
#318 - "The Void!" Part 2
Cover Date: 06/07/91
Script: Simon Furman
Synopsis: Scorponok confides in Prime that he is afraid of dying in the upcoming battle. Prime says he also fears death, especially as Primus seems to be treating the Transformers as nothing more than tools. They agree to die proudly, fighting side by side. They're then attacked by the Unicron acolytes. Galvatron watches unseen, saving them from one acolyte and signalling for reinforcements. Elsewhere, the Matrix manages to put enough power through Thunderwing to take him into space and head towards Cybertron. Back on Cybertron, Autobot and Decepticon reinforcements arrive, and finish off the acolytes. Primus arrives, and reveals they were left with dormant commands from Unicron to attack the lead unit, and by naming Prime as such he flushed them out. Prime is incensed, but then suffers another crippling internal pain. However, Kup notices something worse - Unicron has arrived.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Shockwave, Starscream, Scorponok, Optimus Prime, Bludgeon, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Getaway, Squeezeplay, Weirdwolf, Sureshot, Kup, Xaaron [possessed by Primus]. Thunderwing's body is seen again, possessed by the Matrix.
Notable Others: Dynamo, GB Blackrock, Unicron.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #74.
Extras: A-Z covers Darkwing.
Review: Some superb characterisation for Scorponok and Optimus Prime [their conversation about death is one of the best Transformers scenes ever], but aside from that the storyline seems to be treading water - the acolytes seem like padding.
#319 - "On the Edge of Extinction!" Part 1
Cover Date: 20/07/91
Script: Simon Furman
Synopsis: The Transformers scatter as Unicron attacks the planet. Primus tries to rally them, but panic is widespread. Shockwave and Starscream decide to run, while Blackrock and the Neo-Knights try to find some cover. However, Thunderpunch talks Blackrock into making a stand, as Unicron presses home his onslaught.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Scorponok, Xaaron [possessed by Primus], Kup, Optimus Prime, Getaway, Squeezeplay, Bludgeon, Stranglehold, Octopunch, Sureshot, Iguanus, Mindwipe, Cloudburst, Brainstorm [eaten by Unicron], Ravage, Apeface, Skullcruncher, Dreadwind, Chromedome, Shockwave, Starscream.
Notable Others: Unicron, Thunderpunch, Circuit Breaker, Dynamo, Rapture, GB Blackrock.
Production Notes: The cover is based on that of US Transformers #75.
Extras: A-Z covers Fangry.
Review: A glorious start. The scripting is absolutely superb, with the Transformers running in fear so much more believable than them just shooting at Unicron. Best of all is the reaction of Shockwave to the Chaos Bringer, and even Thunderpunch is compelling. It's all enhanced by Senior's art, which fits the scale like a glove.
#320 - "On the Edge of Extinction!" Part 2
Cover Date: 03/08/91
Script: Simon Furman
Synopsis: Primus is briefly able to bind Unicron, but his old enemy realises there's only a small portion of Primus left, and destroys his enemy's vessel. Galvatron decides to inspire the Transformers, attacking Unicron alone. He's swatted aside, but his gesture causes the others to start fighting back.
Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Xaaron [possessed by Primus, body destroyed by Unicron], Scorponok, Optimus Prime, Galvatron, Hosehead, Optimus Prime, Scorponok, Dreadwind, Darkwing, Cloudburst [destroyed by Unicron], Nightbeat, Siren, Jazz, Hot Rod, Highbrow [crushed by Unicron], Finback [destroyed by exploding cannon], Misfire, Hardhead [crushed by Unicron], Bomb-Burst [crushed by Unicron].
Notable Others: Unicron.
Production Notes: The price goes up to 55p.
Extras: The first part of a huge hand-painted Geoff Senior poster of Unicron's attack on Cybertron. A-Z profiles Squeezeplay.
Review: More epic stuff, "Edge of Extinction" is peppered with characterisation which sets the carnage well above that of, say, "Dark Star" - Highbrow's doomed charge, the great little comedy sequence with Nightbeat, Galvatron's solo attack on Unicron. Astonishing.