Ultra Magnus and the Sparkabots discover something nasty in Kalis...
|Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue #164-165|
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A terrified Autobot finds himself in the middle of Kalis - once described as "reasonably safe" and now all but abandoned as a City of Fear! The Autobot curses himself for not heeding J'Muk's advice to keep hidden, and turns to find himself confronted by a decaying, apparently dead Autobot. This zombie advances and tears a hole right through its hapless victim.
On Earth, Ultra Magnus and the Sparkabots prepare to transport back to the Autobot resistance's new base of operations on Cybertron - in Kalis, where they are to meet with Emirate Xaaron and the Wreckers. The dimensional portal arrives on cue, but when they travel through it they find the Autobot base abandoned and damaged by weapons fire.
Travelling outside, they find that the scavenging Empties run away from them in fear and the other Transformers they encounter won't even open the door. Magnus suggests they head out of Kalis to see if this strangeness is localised and the four of them head towards the border with Tyrest. There they find the border heavily fortified, as if the inhabitants of Kalis had been trying to keep something out...or the rest of Cybertron had been trying to keep something in!
Before they can ponder this disquieting thought, they are attacked by the Duocons leading a Decepticon battle group. The Sparkabots are hit and knocked to the ground, prompting Ultra Magnus to take action. He knocks Flywheels out of the air and the Autobots retreat into Kalis with their captive, where the other Decepticons are afraid to follow.
Upon awakening, Flywheels reacts with horror when he discovers where he is. He tells the Autobots that they should have just killed him, because the dead have risen in Kalis! The Autobots think he is joking, until decaying hands begin to sprout from the ground and grab at their feet...
Magnus and the Sparkabots attempt to retreat, but find they are surrounded by the walking dead. While Magnus tries to come to terms with how the seemingly impossible can be happening, Flywheels asks him a more pertinent question: "Can I have my gun back so I can shoot these things?" When Magnus refuses, Flywheels transforms to tank mode and uses his built-in cannon to destroy the zombies. Sizzle and Fizzle follow suit and use their high temperature spark jets to set fire to great swathes of the undead horde. At first Ultra Magnus approves, but when he sees his attacker was once an Autobot he calls a cease-fire, in case these reanimated Transformers can later be revived. Though Flywheels disagrees, he is persuaded by the Autobots to comply, and they retreat.
Away from the action, Magnus deduces that the apparently undead robots are actually being reanimated by a remote signal, but it takes the brilliant intellect of Flywheels to suggest that they try to jam that signal. He leads the Autobots to the old Baird Beaming Transmitter where Ultra Magnus reluctantly returns his gun, knowing that he may have to rely on the Decepticon to watch his back. Flywheels is as good as his word, and covers Magnus as he jams the signal.
After the "undead" have been deactivated, Magnus reveals that the signal that controlled them was coming from beneath the surface of Cybertron...
Note: this story is continued in Legion of the Lost!.
Marvel UK issues #164-165
- Originally published: 7th May 1988 - 14th May 1988
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"By the celestial spires!"
- —The Autobots and Flywheels.
Items of note
- Chuffer was only named in later letters pages of the UK comic (and even then he was named twice).
- It appears that in Marvel UK continuity at least, a Duocon functions in a manner akin to a triple changer rather than separating into separate vehicles - when Magnus captures jet mode Flywheels he then transforms into robot mode and later tank mode, just as Blitzwing would be able to.
- This is the first time that Flywheels keeps his word and saves Ultra Magnus. He would later save the day by bringing in Trypticon as reinforcements.
- The Autobots use a prototype space bridge. It's painful, apparently.
- The Decepticons have a giant green battlestation, akin to a Star Wars AT-AT.
- We see generic Cybertronian Empties, Autobots, Decepticons and zombies in this story.
- In Grim Grams for issue #164, Grimlock addresses the status of Jawbreaker/Overbite's name (unconvincingly), answers some Action Force questions and totally refutes some supposed errors in issue #156.
- In Grim Grams for issue #165, Grimlock answers readers' mail concerning the addition of Action Force as the back-up strip in the UK comic, plugs the forthcoming Action Force and Transformers annuals and explains away an error in issue #155.
|Specifics: UK cover|
- UK issue 164 cover: Magnus and the Sparkabots are stalked by zombots by Dan Reed
- UK issue 165 cover: A zombot grabs at Ultra Magnus's crotch by Dan Reed
- None yet identified.
- This story was reprinted in the 1992 Autumn Special.
- The story was reprinted again in the Titan Books trade paperback "City of Fear".