She also cut off his arm so as to unobstruct our view of her metal brazier. (Y'know, to light a small fire in.)

Marvel U.S. > Issue #53
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Marvel UK > Issue #217–220
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The Pretenders must avoid becoming the Mecannibals' next meal... by providing them with proper seasoning?


Landmine and Cloudburst are about to become the Mecannibals' next meal. But although the Mecannibals forcibly yank the Autobots from their shells via an electro-magnet, the Autobots are able to fight for their lives by radio-controlling their shells. All this does is buy the Autobots some time, so Cloudburst suggests that the Mecannibals not eat them just yet... because they'll taste so much better if they can get the proper seasonings! So they make a deal: the Pretenders will get the proper seasonings in exchange for their freedom. Naturally, the hungry Mecannibals let the Autobots go to fetch the seasonings, but they do hold Berko prisoner in order to ensure that the Autobots return to make good on their culinary skills once their mission is complete.

And so, the Autobots travel to Femax, a world led by female warriors, and where men are treated as slaves. Because men on Femax are seen as feeble and weak, the Femaxian "First One" challenges Cloudburst to a series of trials designed to prove that he is an able fighter. Cloudburst passes these trials, proving not only his warrior skills, but also his viability to the "First One" as a potential mate. This makes matters awkward for Cloudburst, and he reveals to the "First One" that he isn't even a biological being. The "First One" promptly responds by lopping off Cloudburst's head. This leaves Landmine alone to reason with the "First One," which he does despite his general inclinations, and the "First One" actually listens, agreeing to give the Autobots the crystals they need to season the Mecannibals' food and to restore Cloudburst's head atop his shoulders.

When the Autobots attempt to leave the planet, they are stopped by Darkwing and Dreadwind, but this delay is short-lived, as Sky Lynx shows up out of nowhere to take out the two Decepticons. Sky Lynx informs the Pretenders that the humans they have been dealing with are in fact binary-bonded to these Decepticons, which gives them some interesting information to share with the Mecannibals upon their return to the Mecannibals' ship.

Upon their return, the Autobots change the terms of their deal. Rather than fixing a meal for the Mecannibals using the special seasonings they've just retrieved, the Autobots insist on having all the robots eaten by them restored using the parts recycled through their digestive tracts. If the Mecannibals don't agree, Sky Lynx gets to go primal on Hi-Test and Throttle, who the Mecannibals have apparently found indispensable in finding new sources of food for them. Oh, and by the way, Hi-Test and Throttle are actually robots (they say), so "have a nice day."

As the story concludes, the Pretenders return to the Ark, their mission to get microchips unfulfilled; Sky Lynx disappears, never to be heard from again; and Hi-Test, Throttle, and their Powermaster partners are being pursued by the Mecannibals.


Writer: Bob Budiansky
Pencil Art: Jose Delbo
Ink Art: Dave Hunt
Colorist: Nelson Yomtov
Letterer: Jade Moede
Editor: Don Daley

  • Originally published: June, 1989

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others


  • None yet identified.

Items of note


Or maybe Cloudburst is just very scared of commitment.

    • Apparently the Autobots possess the ability to translate alien languages, but it doesn't kick in with new languages instantly, requiring some time to decipher.
    • Cloudburst says that his people have no males or females, creating a continuity issue for future writers trying to insert females such as Arcee or Elita One into the comic continuity. Interestingly, the UK comic shows the construction of Arcee just a few issues later (in Issue 234) in which Hot Rod and Jazz ponder what makes a Transformer male or female in a manner similar to Cloudburst's befuddlement, concluding it is something to do with the 'upper chassis design', which does not impress the human females present.


Let's see what you can see...

This article is in need of images.

Specifics: UK covers
  • U.S. cover: First One beheading Cloudburst by Jim Lee
  • UK issue 217 cover: Dreadwind over a defeated Darkwing by Jez Hall
  • UK issue 218 cover: Sky Lynx and Dogfight by Lee Sullivan
  • UK issue 219 cover: Skids and monsters by John Stokes
  • UK issue 220 cover: First One holding Cloudburst's severed head by John Stokes


  • None yet identified.
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