|Marvel U.S. > Issue #69|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #306–308|
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Several plot threads begin, as the countdown to Unicron continues.
Meanwhile, Optimus Prime has become worried about the general mood of his soldiers aboard the Ark. Despite the loss of the Matrix, they are still not taking the threat of Unicron very seriously, falling into the groove of serious relaxation and downtime between missions. He begins to consider that the only way to defeat Unicron may be with the Autobots and Decepticons united as one.
In the meantime, Optimus checks in on Nightbeat, who he has assigned to a research project — looking into the apparent deaths of Megatron and Ratchet a few months back to see if there was any chance they survived. Nightbeat had indeed come up with a theory, as one or both of the Transformers could have fled into a trans-dimensional portal known to have been active at the time, only to have been caught between universes when the base exploded and deactivated the portal. To test his theory, Nightbeat constructed a sub-spatial "fishing line" to search the space between space for Ratchet's bio-mechanical readout and lifesigns.
Off in space, Galvatron II is brought before the present day Unicron, and demands to know why Unicron has broken the bargain they made. Unicron explains that that was a different Unicron's promise, and he needs Galvatron's strength in his own timeline now. He demands that Galvatron go forth and spread word of his coming to Cybertron... forcefully. Galvatron agrees, for the moment.
Grimlock retrieve Dinobots from stasis pods. Grimlock sorry he have to "WHAMM!" Kup to do it, but he found way to save friends. Dumb Prime not trust Grimlock's suggestion, so Grimlock take matters into own hands.
Elsewhere on the Ark, Optimus Prime makes the shocking announcement over the ship's comms that he plans to offer an unconditional surrender to Scorponok and the Decepticons, in order to pave the way for an alliance against Unicron.
The offer will come too late for two of Scorponok's troops, though. Mindwipe and Triggerhappy were less than pleased when Scorponok offered the madman Starscream a place in his Decepticons, and him then losing track of that psychopath completely was the last straw. As they fly away from the Decepticons' New Jersey headquarters, the two warriors are confronted by Starscream himself. Starscream, along with his partners Shockwave and Ravage, have joined forces to attempt a coup on Scorponok's command. They offer Mindwipe and Triggerhappy a place in their new order.
As Grimlock forcibly blasts free of the Ark, Optimus Prime explains to Nightbeat and Waverider the reasoning behind it. A new energy source called Nucleon had been discovered on Hydrus Four, a power apparently capable of granting new and more powerful life to mechanical lifeforms. Unfortunately, there were stories of psychological side effects, dementia and paranoia attacking some of the earliest recipients of Nucleon's power. Prime dismissed it as too dangerous to use on the fallen Autobots, but Grimlock got hold of a copy of the report and wanted to check it out. It seemed Prime's objection wasn't enough to discourage him.
Suddenly, in the midst of Optimus's explanation, Nightbeat's probe returned... carrying the bizarre fusion of Megatron and Ratchet's form with it.
- Originally published: August, 1990
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Triggerhappy mentions seeing Shockwave burn up in Earth's atmosphere, but Scorponok's Decepticons had not yet joined up with Shockwave and Ratbat's forces by that point. Perhaps he saw a recording though...
- It's around this point that many footnotes from the US printing fail to be altered for the UK printing. While everything is correct, the reference to Shockwave's apparent death still points readers to issue #39 rather than issue #159.
Items of note
- Optimus Prime experiences the first of a series of mysterious pains in his gut. Though never truly spelled out for us, this is apparently the first indicator of the "metamorphosis" Hi-Q underwent in later episodes.
- Though there are still a few glitches, this issue is the closest "turning point" where the UK Earthforce Saga could reasonably break off from the standard comic timeline.
- According to a retcon made by Fun Publications, Unicron is a single entity who travels across the dimensions, meaning that the Unicron of Galvatron II's timeline and the Unicron of this timeline are the same entity. This means that Unicron lied to Galvatron II and did break his promise. Bear in mind, this should not surprise anyone.
- Transformers Universe profiles for Fastlane and Mindwipe are found after the main story.
- This issue marks the US debut of British artist Andy Wildman, who would go on to draw the rest of the US run until it's end, with one exception.
- Several characters mention the events of U.S. #65–66, where the Classic Pretenders were left to die on VsQs, and Thunderwing assaulted the Ark with the Matrix, only for both to be lost in space.
- Nightbeat's investigation pertains to the explosion at the climax of U.S. #59.
|Specifics: UK covers|
- U.S. cover: Major plot points of the story by Andrew Wildman
- UK issue 306 cover: A pensive Prime by Stewart Johnson and Robin Bouttell
- UK issue 307 cover: Unicron punishes Galvatron by Andrew Wildman and Robin Bouttell
- UK issue 308 cover: Shockwave chokes Mindwipe by Stephen Baskerville, Leslie Dalton and Robin Bouttell
- None yet identified.