It's the eye of the tiger and the thrill of the fight...

Ultra Magnus finds himself up against a real hooligan...

Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 170 - 171
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Marvel UK issues #170 - 171

Writer: Simon Furman
Art: Dan Reed
Letters: GLIB
Colours: Euan Peters

  • Originally published: 11–18 June 1988; Cover date ("off sale") 18–25 June 1988


The Jekka Amphitheatre was once host to the State Games, in which noble warriors fought against one another. But that was long ago before the war. Nowadays there are just "Deadly Games!"

In the arena the Autobot Chameleon fights a losing battle against the mechanoid Hooligan. He tries to escape by using his chameleon powers but the crowd tell Hooligan what is happening. The brutal mechanoid switches to heat vision and chops off Chameleon's right arm. The Autobot tries transforming but the pain is too much and he collapses. Hooligan asks the lord of the games for a verdict, which is death.

The next day Ultra Magnus and the Sparkabots are searching Tyrest, to find out what killed Chameleon, who had reported a deal between the Decepticons and an alien. Ultra Magnus had been preparing to return to Earth with the Wreckers to confront Galvatron when Chameleon's corpse was brought in (minus an arm) and Magnus and the Sparkabots decided to disobey Emirate Xaaron's orders to leave Autobase as someone had to do something for Chameleon. But having found nothing they are about to return when Sizzle spots the old amphitheatre and convinces the others to take a brief look inside, even though Magnus believes it will be deserted. In a tunnel they find a huge pile of corpses, including Chameleon's missing arm. Then they are confronted by Decepticons, led by the Firecons who have been aching for a rematch with the Sparkabots. Enemy Action! As the two confront each other Ultra Magnus is grabbed by an alien. Zabra, the lord of the games, declared that Ultra Magnus will be the star of the next fight!


Even in 1988 Transformers had rampant fanboys.

The Amphitheatre rapidly fills up with spectators and souvenir salesmen, everyone enjoying the games bar those due to die in them. In the cells Zabra has Magnus beaten before being taken up, with the warning that if he resists the Firecons will kill one of the Sparkabots. Magnus points out the games are illegal under intergalactic law and asks Zabra if "living off other creatures' suffering" ever bothers him. But the alien argues he is just the supply part of a supply and demand situation, taking the money whilst the games bring trade to the Decepticons and joy to the audience, all under the cover of war. Magnus now enters the arena to see his opponent - Hooligan.

In the cells the Sparkabots start arguing and fighting with one another, but it proves a ploy to lure in the Decepticon guard and overpower him. Up in the arena Magnus tries to convince Hooligan he is being exploited for the pleasure of others, but Hooligan responds that he likes fighting. Meanwhile, the Sparkabots debate whether to follow Magnus's orders to return to Autobase and take his place on the mission to Earth. But Fizzle argues this isn't the right course of action. Back in the arena Magnus decides that as Hooligan is as perverted as Zabra he doesn't need to hold back. He fights fiercely and overpowers Hooligan. Up in his box Zabra is glad, as it means Ultra Magnus will become the new star of the games.

The crowd goes wild and urges Magnus to kill Hooligan. But Magnus declares that instead the games are over. He leaps up to the box and attacks Zabra. The Decepticon guards are about to shoot Magnus when they are gunned down by the Sparkabots, who have decided to stay and help. With the games collapsing, the Firecons decide to escape.

Magnus finishes subduing Zabra and tells the crowd he isn't going to kill the alien but will instead take him into custody. He goes on to explain that killing is not a sport and shouldn't be taken lightly - it should only happen when it's unavoidable. People should cherish life and not throw it away senselessly. He tells the crowd to go away and think about it.

But as the crowd leaves one of them tells of a great murderpit on Derut Four...


Items of note

  • This is the first appearance of the Firecons in robot mode.
  • The latter part of this story overlaps with the first part of "Wrecking Havoc" in the next issue, explaining why Ultra Magnus is unable to join the Wreckers on their mission to Earth.
  • This story is the last time the present-day incarnation of Ultra Magnus appears in the comic, although his counterpart in the future timeline made further appearances over the next fifty-four issues.


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