The Dinobots want vengeance for Swoop, but will their anger lead to the destruction of the Autobots?
|Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 32|
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Marvel UK issue #32
(Story also appears in: Marvel UK Collected Comics #6 and the Holiday Special 1994)
- Major characters (in order of appearance): Guardian, Grimlock, Prowl, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Swoop
- Originally published: 26 October 1985
Grimlock is aiming his gun at Guardian's cerebral access port, taunting him before he pulls the trigger. Watching the scene on a viewscreen in another part of the Ark, Prowl and Ratchet are dumbstruck - Guardian contains enough explosive to level the mountain, and they can't warn Grimlock - but Wheeljack has an idea. The headless body of Optimus Prime begins to move as Wheeljack operates a terminal, grabbing Grimlock's arm and forcing it up just as the gun fires. Ratchet identifies Wheeljack's life-saving strategy as an internal motor override - without a brain module, Prime's body is just machinery and can be remote controlled. The other Dinobots taunt Grimlock, who is unable to prise his arm from Prime's grip. Seizing the distraction, Guardian charges through them and flees. However, Grimlock does not give the order to pursue - he is preoccupied with the loss of his hand in the commotion...
Later, Ratchet continues to apologise to Grimlock as he reattaches his hand. Invited to test it, Grimlock punches Ratchet in the face and reports: "It's just fine... thank you!" before barging out of the room. Ratchet asks Prowl whether he has located Guardian, but the droid has retreated beyond sensor range. There are too few Autobots to search for him, and they don't have a way of stopping him even if they do find him. Ratchet returns to the task of reactivating the other Autobots, and Prowl recommends that Windcharger should receive priority, since his magnetic powers managed to stop Guardian in a previous incident. But will it be enough?
From a hidden vantage point, Guardian surveys a large monitor screen as he undergoes a repair program. Now that fourteen Autobots are active, Guardian does not believe the odds are in his favour, so he activates a 'failsafe program'. This is a program installed by Shockwave and Soundwave: if it appears that either the Autobots or Megatron will gain the upper hand and seize control of the Ark, the thermo-nuclear bomb within Guardian will begin an irreversible countdown to detonation as the droid seeks out the greatest concentration of the enemy. The 100-second countdown begins, and Guardian sets out...
Ratchet is finally working to repair Swoop, although his efforts are hampered by the looming presence of Grimlock. Suddenly, Wheeljack and Prowl detect the high-energy reading of the booby-trapped Guardian - just before Guardian breaks the doors down. Grimlock orders the Dinobots to transform and attack. As Ratchet asks Windcharger to use his powers on Guardian's data core, Swoop regains consciousness to see Guardian fighting his comrades. He prepares to shoot, but Ratchet spoils his aim and the shot blasts a hole in the outer hull of the Ark. Learning of the bomb inside Guardian, Swoop transforms to pteranodon mode and grabs the droid, flying him out through the hole and away from the mountain. He drops Guardian, but the countdown finally reaches zero and there is a colossal explosion.
The epilogue to the story notes that Swoop's body is not recovered, and it is believed that he was liquefied by the heat of the explosion. The Autobots place a marker beacon and mark his death with a ceremony. The other Dinobots depart, heading north. Their reasons for leaving are not given, but they are thought not to include grief. However, Swoop's sacrifice enables Ratchet to revive all but one of the Autobots. Meanwhile, in a private hospital, Josie Beller has completed her own preparations...
- Even without a head, Prime's body towers over the Dinobots.
- Grimlock lost his left hand to Prime's body's intervention, but it is his right hand that he 'tests' on Ratchet's jaw. This might simply be Grimlock's personal brand of humour.
- There are a large number of drawing errors, ranging from the use of Windcharger's toy for the character (which is at odds with the cartoon models used for all other characters) to the strange hybrid robots on the last page of the story.
Items of note
- References to other Transformers continuities/issues:
- Prowl refers to 'that 'Auntie' business', a reference to "Raiders of the Last Ark", and Windcharger's effectiveness against Guardian on that occasion is noted.
- The flashback to Shockwave and Soundwave reveals that Guardian was reprogrammed for his security duty following the events of "The Worse of Two Evils".
- The ending scene with Circuit Breaker is included so that the story dovetails exactly with DIS-Integrated Circuits, as the UK comic returns to US storylines.
- The one Autobot Ratchet fails to repair is Sunstreaker, who was destroyed by Shockwave in "The New Order".
- The apparent destruction of Swoop in this issue may have been intended as an explanation for why he was not released in toy form in the UK.
- The title continues Simon Furman's early predilection for movie titles, this one coming from The Wrath of Khan.
Machine Man: "If This be Sanctuary?!" part 2
- The story was repreinted in Collected Comics 6 (1987 Spring Special) and again in the 1994 Holiday Special. Both special reprints omit the final scene with Circuit Breaker.