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A Small War!

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Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 232-233
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Enter: The Micromasters!

Synopsis

On Cybertron, a Decepticon is interrupted from his guard duty by a small voice below him. He looks down, only to behold the tiniest Autobot he's ever seen! The little thing asks him to move out of the way, and the 'Con just starts bellowing with laughter. He's still laughing when the little Autobot transforms into an assault vehicle and missile-blasts him right in the chest.

The Micromaster named Flak signals the rest of his team, the Autobot Battle Patrol. As they continue their infiltration mission, the small warriors brag to themselves about the usefulness of their unique designs -- their low height and weight make covert missions a breeze, and they use much less precious energon than the larger Transformers. Add in the fact that their firepower is barely less than a full-sized Autobot, and the Micromasters are definitely the wave of the future.

It seems the Decepticons agreed with the Battle Patrol, as the Autobot uncover the "secret weapon" they were sent to spy on: Decepticon Micromasters, being constructed under Lord Thunderwing's direction. Unfortunately, the entire set-up was a trap, designed by the Decepticons to lure a group of Micromasters into their lair, so that their scientists can dissect and reverse-engineer the micro construction. Realizing they are in dire straits, team leader Big Shot prepares to activate the suicide charges built into his team, designed to totally destroy the Micromasters in just such a situation. However, the Autobot fighting spirit is to never say die, so Big Shot ignores his orders and commands his team to go down fighting!

They do. And so, hours later, Emirate Xaaron sends Roadhandler out with the rest of the Micromasters to locate the Battle Patrol. Instead of rescuing them, however, Xaaron commands that the Patrol be destroyed so that their secrets cannot be pilfered by the Decepticons.

Outside Thunderwing's base, Roadhandler reluctantly reviews the plan with his fellow Micromasters: to set a series of explosive charges around the base, leveling it to the ground and hopefully destroying the Battle Patrol inside, along with all the data cultivated from their systems. After a few minutes wrestling with the decision, however, Roadhandler and the Micromasters decide to disobey orders and risk courtmartial, breaking into the base itself in an attempt to rescue their comrades.

With Stakeout's unit causing a disruption elsewhere on the base, Roadhandler and Powertrain break into the laboratory to free the Battle Patrol. Unfortunately, they discover they are too late to prevent the reverse-engineering process, as the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol are there to greet them. Roadhandler catches the new Micromasters off-guard with one of the deactivated bombs, and the Autobots overpower their opponents. The Battle Patrol are successfully rescued and brought back to Autobase.

Roadhandler hands himself over to Emirate Xaaron for punishment, taking full responsibility for the team under his command, but Xaaron declines to court-martial him. After all, even the wisest of men and machines can be in error, and Xaaron realizes he needs to treat the Micromasters more as fellow soldiers, and not as mere weapons.

Credits

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Jeff Anderson, part 1, Geoff Senior, part 2
Letters: Glib

  • Originally published: 26th August - 2nd September, 1989

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons

Errors

  • Roadhandler is incorrectly depicted as the same size as Xaaron at the end of the first chapter.

Items of note

  • The Rescue Patrol are displayed prominently on the cover of #232, although they don't appear until the second part of the story in #233, as supporting characters, and even then only two of them.
  • The story opens with a narration box stating the following events occurred "fourteen months ago." This was probably entered as a continuity reference, since A Small War! was first published in the UK packaged together with the US story King 'Con!, where the Micromasters arrived on Earth and joined the Ark's crew.
  • Although the context seems to suggest all remaining 12 Micromasters from the Race Car Patrol, Rescue Patrol, and Off Road Patrol are present for the raid, all the members are not clearly shown on the page.
  • The Decepticon Sports Car Patrol are seen under construction in the second part.
  • Considering how much piss and vinegar the Micromasters give Optimus Prime in King 'Con!, one has to wonder if Xaaron's change of heart really lasted.

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