|Marvel U.S. > Issue #74|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #317–318|
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And lo, it is the time of the Gathering...
Once again, the origin of the Transformers is related, this time by Primus through his possessed body of Emirate Xaaron. He has gathered the combined Autobots and Decepticons of Earth and Cybertron to their home planet in order to battle Unicron in his name. As Primus names Optimus Prime leader of the combined Cybertronian forces, a lone Autobot slinks away from the rear of the gathering.
Aboard the Ark, Grimlock and the Dinobots are surprised to return to the ship and not only find it completely empty of life, but the planet Earth totally devoid of Transformers as well. As they set course for Cybertron, Grimlock commands Sludge to begin pumping Nucleon into the stasis pods to revive the fallen warriors. As the process begins, the panels gently remind us of Megatron's presence among those in inactivity.
Back on Cybertron, Circuit Breaker's fragile little mind is about to pop, as she is surrounded by her worst nightmare. G.B. Blackrock asks Prime to get Primus to return him and the Neo-Knights to Earth, but the god teleports away instead of listening to Optimus' plea.
Nearby, the mind-controlled hordes of Unicron have gathered, and are preparing to carry out his will and bring death to Optimus Prime.
As Scorponok makes an excuse to speak to Prime alone, he confesses to his opposite number a growing fear of dying. Optimus expresses a similar sentiment, and also confides in Scorponok his growing distaste for being manipulated by their "god", against their will. Still, he is bound and determined to face his death with nobility and resolve, if his time has truly come. As the two leaders grow closer, they are suddenly besieged by Unicron's cultists.
Scorponok quickly realizes that the cultists are completely uninterested in him, and seek only Optimus Prime's death. After briefly toying with the idea of leaving Prime to his doom, Scorponok vigorously returns to the battle and saves Prime from oncoming death. One cultist prepares to drop a grenade down on the fighters, but is caught by Galvatron, who forces the Cybertronian to eat his own grenade before sending up a signal flare to summon reinforcements for Prime and Scorponok.
Meanwhile... the Creation Matrix has finished repairing its vessel, the deranged Thunderwing. It hungers for a new sensation... revenge!
As the various Autobots and Decepticons rush to their leaders' aid, the battle quickly turns in their favor. Scorponok is slowly torturing the last of the cultists, when Prime steps in and stops him. He suspects the Cybertronians aren't acting of their own accord, and therefore are innocent victims of Unicron.
Primus confirms Optimus Prime's suspicions, explaining that Unicron managed to place a "sleeper program" in several of Primus's creations eons ago, creating hidden wolves in the fold. Primus deliberately named Optimus Prime leader in order to draw out these cultists, and test the strength of the Cybertronian Alliance.
Just as Optimus is about to give Primus a piece of his mind for all these manipulations, Kup delivers one of the best lines in history, as Unicron has arrived.
- Originally published: January, 1991
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Slag "head" the boss, when he should have "heard" the boss.
- Ratchet is misspelled "Rachet" on his stasis pod door.
Items of note
- This issue is the first U.S. appearance for Battletrap and Quake. The U.K. storyline introduced Battletrap in "City of Fear" and Quake in "The Rise and Fall of the Decepticon Empire".
- Snarl finds only one Transformer life-sign on Earth, seemingly split into two parts. This may seem to be a reference to Spike Witwicky and Fortress Maximus, but Fort Max is stored aboard the Ark. Another option might be Spike and his control helmet. A third option is that it might be Raindance and Grand Slam. The description could apply to the mentally linked Megatron and Ratchet, except they are clearly in life pods aboard the Ark.
- Transformers Universe profiles for Darkwing and Dreadwind are found after the main story.
- Little character moments and jokes can be seen in the page 4-5 splash. Bludgeon is grimly cleaning his sword; Nightbeat has noticed the Neo-Knights helicopter that he brought with him; Dreadwing is ignoring the speech to tell Darkwing a funny joke, which confuses Sureshot and annoys Highbrow and two other Autobots (one who's being held back by the other); an Autobot in the back is pretending to shoot Soundwave; Starscream is looking at his woozy "ally" Shockwave with contempt; Apeface is peeling himself a yummy banana, much to Horri-Bull's amusement; and Triggerhappy is looking the other way entirely for no reason.
- The history of Unicron and Primus was previously related, in slightly different forms, by Unicron in UK #150 and the Keeper in U.S. #61.
|Specifics: UK covers|
- U.S. cover: Scorponok and Prime vs the hordes of Unicron by Andrew Wildman
- UK issue 317 cover: Xaaron as servant of Primus by Andrew Wildman
- UK issue 318 cover: recolored version of U.S. cover by Robin Bouttell
- None yet identified.