Longtooth Ahab.

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Simon Furman rewrites Melville, as the Matrix Quest continues.


On the mercury seas of Pequod, the one-legged Autobot, Longtooth is closing in on his prey, the whale-like creature known as the Klud that tore away his leg. As he aims his harpoon gun at the creature, his fellow Autobot Pretenders Pincher and Doubleheader are racing to stop him in another craft. As they near their destination, Pincher thinks back on how things became so desperate...

Two weeks earlier, the trio had begun their leg of the Matrix Quest, leaving the Ark and eventually arriving at the harbor town of Gottlieb on Pequod. Only a little while ago, the Klud were believed to be extinct, and yet now one had turned up again, attacking boaters. The Pretenders decided to check it out, believing the creature's sudden return to life could have been caused by the Matrix's power.

Back in the present, Thunderwing and his Decepticons have found the creature as well, and opened fire on Longtooth to prevent him from killing it. Ruckus sees fit to make a few jeering remarks about how Thunderwing seems more interested in saving a dumb creature than killing a dumb Autobot, and so Thunderwing knocks him across the bridge for his insubordination.

As Longtooth falls into the water after taking missile fire, his addled mind recollects the events after the Autobots began their quest for the Klud. They had come across the latest of the ships torn apart by the creature and, while Longtooth was making a forensic analysis of the remains, the Klud itself shot out of the water and took Longtooth's leg with it. As he fell into shock, Longtooth experienced a mental break, and began associating the Klud with "the destroyer of worlds". After some repairs, he stole a craft and went out hunting the Klud in the name of justice and vengeance. And now he had found it.

Thunderwing sends Needlenose and Spinister out to deal with the Autobots while he attempts to make contact with the Klud. Exhibiting some unique mental powers, Thunderwing reaches out and makes contact with the beast's mind. He sees the creature swallow a scientist and his escape pod that were adrift at sea, and charged with Matrix energy. That lingering energy was enough to completely revitalize the Klud. Thunderwing also sees the escape pod is from the moon VsQs, elsewhere in the system.

With the Autobots and Decepticons engaged with each other, Longtooth has beaten down the Klud and is ready to pull the trigger on the creature, when Pincher comes forth and makes a last ditch attempt to save his fellow Autobot's soul. Pincher pleads at Longtooth to remember what he was, and what the Autobot code meant to him.

Thunderwing, content in the knowledge that the Matrix should be on VsQs, abruptly calls off the attack and demands his flyers return to the ship at once. Pincher watches them go, and also watches the Klud swim away, alive and well. In that, at least, he finds a victory.


Script: Simon Furman
Art: Jose Delbo
Inks: Al Williamson
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Jim Massara

  • Originally published: March, 1990

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others


  • Jose Delbo apparently lost track of what was or wasn't a Pretender shell — Pincher's robot mode is repeatedly drawn and colored with a human face.
  • Pincher and Doubleheader's Pretender shells aren't seen again after they exit them, begging the question of why they didn't use them in the battle.

Items of note

  • Part 3 of the Matrix Quest
  • This issue is the first U.S. appearance for Longtooth and Pincher. The U.K. storyline introduced them in "Whose Lifeforce is it Anyway?".
  • Longtooth, Pincher and Doubleheader are shown to have departed on the Matrix Quest from the Ark, even though "Whose Lifeforce is it Anyway?" had them receiving their orders on Cybertron and the U.S. storyline established Doubleheader as among the Cybertron-based Autobots in "Primal Scream". It is possible they were sent there for a further briefing from Optimus Prime before leaving on the mission.
  • Thunderwing's affinity for the Matrix is first mentioned here.
  • This may be the most flashback-intensive Transformer story ever; 6 of 20 pages are flashbacks — including at one point a flashback within a flashback within a "several minutes earlier" which could technically be considered yet another flashback.
  • In addition to the obvious Moby-Dick homage, the story also heavily references the movie Jaws.
  • Transformers Universe profiles for Crankcase and Needlenose are found after the main story.


  • Xaaron refers back to Primus's awakening from U.S. #61 in his mission briefing.


Let's see what you can see...

This article is in need of images.

Specifics: UK covers
  • U.S. cover: Longtooth Ahab by Ian Akin
  • UK issue 286 cover: Starscream and Grimlock defeat Bludgeon by Andrew Wildman
  • UK issue 287 cover: Springer and Superion by Stewart Johnson
  • UK issue 288 cover: Grimlock holding Irwin by Pete Knifton
  • UK issue 289 cover: Irwin trapped in Motormaster by Pete Knifton


  • None yet identified.
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