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To ensure the safety of Nebulos, Galen and Lord Zarak must each make a huge sacrifice.
With most of their opposition incapacitated, the Decepticons continue their conquest of Nebulos. Lord Zarak finds himself torn by his loyalties to the world he loves and his link to the Headmaster leader, Scorponok. As the Autobots further experiment with Nebulan binary-bonding by creating the Targetmasters, Galen pleads with Zarak to see what the Decepticons are doing to their world.
After being defeated in an attack by the Autobot Targetmasters, Zarak begins to see that Galen was right, and while the Decepticons escalate the conflict by creating their own Targetmasters, Zarak frees his prisoners, pleading with them to take the battle offworld to join Transformers already on the planet Earth. Zarak knows that if the Autobots leave Nebulos, the Decepticons will follow, and his world might yet be saved. The Autobots agree to this proposal, and abandon the planet, leaving a war-torn Nebulos to rebuild once the Transformers have left.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Cover — Kup is miscolored as gold instead of teal.
- Page 3 — First panel: Spasma's dialog is attributed to Zarak/Scorponok.
- Page 5 — Third panel: Pinpointer's dialog is attributed to "Sparks."
- Page 16 — Eighth panel: Gort's suit is once again drawn as Chromedome's body.
- Page 18 — Second and third panels: And again, Fortress Maximus is drawn with Cerebros' head.
- Page 21 — Second panel: Pointblank is missing his head.
- Page 22 — The Decepticon ship is written as having been parked in orbit like the Steelhaven, but Springer draws it as if it launches from the ground, complete with launching pad. (Consequently, this confused later artist Jose Delbo, and thus the ship is drawn in its second appearance in "Trial by Fire!" with its launching platform attached to it.)
- Page 22 — First panel: As the Autobots leave and reboard their ship that is in orbit around Nebulos, several of the non-flying Autobots are given a friendly ride by Decepticons (Slugslinger, Misfire, Triggerhappy).
Items of note
- Advertised as part 4 in a 4-issue limited series.
- Instead of firing generic beams of light like in most of the series, the Targetmasters' weapon-fire was actually drawn like the individual weapons their Tech Specs attribute to them. Kup's "old-style musket laser" even gives off a puff of gunsmoke... while firing laser beams.
- Two exclamation points. Because it's that exciting.
- For the UK printing, the title was modified to the UK spelling of "Armour".
|Specifics: UK cover|
- U.S. cover: Targetmasters Ho Rod and Kup by Frank Springer
- UK issue 142 cover: Bruticus whipping Defensor with a train by Dan Reed and Robin Bouttell
- UK issue 143 cover: A giant claw about to grab Blast Off by Martin Griffiths
- UK issue 144 cover: Grimlock leaping/falling feet first from the Ark by Barry Kitson
- UK issue 145 cover: Starscream hates Christmas by Barry Kitson and Robin Bouttell
- None yet identified.