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1988 Annual

| Notes | "The Saga of the Transformers!" | "Altered Image!" | "Prime Bomb!" | "All in the Minds!" | "Peace" |

Production Notes

Cover: Lee Sullivan

Notes: The fourth 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 Nautilator, Seawing, Skalor, Snap Trap, Tentakil and Jawbreaker, plus three mini-posters [based on the covers of #107, #157 and #113].

Priced at £3.95.

"The Saga of the Transformers!"

[7 page illustrated text story]

Simon Furman
Illustrations: Robin Smith provides the one original piece of art, with the rest taken from older issues.

Notes: A recap of events up to #157, with Adam Reynolds [see the 1986 Annual] now hacking into the Autobot computer.

"Altered Image!"

[6 page strip story]

Simon Furman
Script: Ian Rimmer
Art: Lee Sullivan
Letters: Tom Frame
Colours: Steve White

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Time Wars [Worldwide]

Synopsis: Megatron finds Galvatron, who has engineered their meeting. Galvatron tells him he is the future version of Megatron. His former self is unbelieving, and attacks him. Galvatron disables him, and proposes an alliance against Shockwave. Megatron still doesn't believe his story, but agrees to join him.

Notes: This story takes place somewhere between #189 and #200 - probably some time before the latter, as they have built a base by then. Starscream will betray Megatron in 2006.

Errors: Megatron's personality's come storming back all of a sudden, and yet he thinks nothing of being sent on a clobbering mission by Shockwave. Galvatron's cannon goes green in the first frame of page 2.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Galvatron, Megatron.

Review: More a retelling of Galvatron's origin than a battle. However, it's refreshing to see things from Galvatron's point of view when he's not off his trolley, but it's much less than the sum of its' parts.


"Prime Bomb!"

[17 page illustrated text story]

Ian Rimmer
Illustrations: Robin Smith
Colour: Steve White

Synopsis: The Autobot Powermasters are guarding the copy of Optimus Prime's personality, stored at Alternate Reality. However, Dreadwind and Darkwing take the disc. Getaway is able to hold on as they escape. Elsewhere, the Combaticons have stolen two missiles and a sophisticated guidance computer from a military base. Scorponok is behind this, and explains to the captive Getaway that the information on the disc has allowed him to calibrate one of the missiles to track Prime. Getaway escapes from Scorponok's ship to warn Prime, taking the disc with him. He is able to contact Prime, who sets off to face the smart bomb alone. When it finally catches him, the missile fails to explode, Getaway having talked the computer into sparing Prime.

Notes: This story most likely happens outside the regular continuity - Dreadwind and Darkwing don't work for Scorponok until much later, and the Combaticons are never shown to be under his command [it's possible they join up following the Underbase saga, but never shown].

Review: One of the worst Marvel stories... ridiculously overlong, with some good work on Getaway undone by Scorponok's clichéd behaviour, the ponderous chase sequence, the cop-out ending and the ludicrous stuff about the ABC computer becoming sentient and saving Op.


"All in the Minds!"

[11 page strip story]

Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: Tom Frame
Colours: Euan Peters

Later Reprinted In: Transformers - Time Wars [Worldwide]

Synopsis: Highbrow has followed some hypnotised humans into a Decepticon trap, and is attacked by Scorponok. He transforms to escape, but is pursued by Apeface and Snapdragon. Apeface crashes, but Highbrow is hypnotised by Mindwipe. He gives Highbrow amnesia, and Scorponok convinces Highbrow the Autobots are evil. Vorath and Zarak disconnect, and Gort does the same. However, the Nebulan isn't affected, and knocks out Vorath. Zarak reconnects to Scorponok, and Gort is forced to do the same with Highbrow, gambling the amnesia has passed. It has, and Highbrow bluffs so he can get close enough to rip Scorponok's head off.

Notes: This story takes place between #193 and #200. The Headmasters have been on Earth since #157. A Headmaster is able to maintain two separate minds when combined. Removal of a head without certain mental commands can knock a Transformer out from the feedback.

Errors: You'd think Scorponok would have a better idea of Headmaster mechanics than that, wouldn't you? And how much use is convincing Highbrow the Autobots are evil really going to be that useful? Is it really worth the bother?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Scorponok, Highbrow, Snapdragon, Apeface, Mindwipe.

Notable Others: Zarak, Vorath, Gort.

Review: A rather tired run-around, really. Scorponok's very much in his middle Bond-villain phase, with stupidly overcomplicated plans, and Highbrow doesn't really hold the attention. The plot feels like there are chunks missing - we're simply asked to accept that there's a big fight in the woods and that's that. Reed's art looks awful too.



[6 page strip story]

Richard Alan [pseudonym for Richard Starkings]
Art: Robin Smith
Letters: Glib
Colours: Steve White

Synopsis: 2510, and on Cybertron the Wreckers wipe out the final pockets of Decepticons. Rodimus Prime calls a meeting, confirming the war is over. However, one of the assembled is Triton, a Decepticon double-agent. When Rodimus announces he will cede leadership to Springer, Triton protests, lobbying for Magnus to take over. The debate becomes heated, and Roadbuster pulls a gun on Triton. Scattershot guns Roadbuster down. Sandstorm kills Triton, but a war starts among the Autobots, much to Rodimus' dismay.

Notes: Aside from the presence of Roadbuster, Sandstorm, Topspin and Twin Twist, there's nothing to suggest this couldn't be the future of the war.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Broadside, Springer, Sandstorm, Roadbuster [killed by Scattershot], Blurr, Rodimus Prime, Afterburner, Strafe, Scattershot, Nosecone, Ultra Magnus, Triton [first appearance, killed by Sandstorm], Twin Twist, Topspin.

Review: Surprisingly pessimistic, "Peace" is an interesting possible future story. That said, the limited space means the animosity between the Wrecker and Technobot factions seems to come from nowhere - Triton can't possibly be convincing enough to make even Scattershot just shoot someone in the head just like that. A worthy little script, nonetheless.



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