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Cold War!

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This article is about issue #49 of the Marvel US series. For the third issue of Dreamwave's "War and Peace" series, see Cold War.
MarvelUS-49

Not the first time, and not the last, that Decepticon will fight against Decepticon. These guys just can't get along....

Marvel U.S. > Issue #49
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Marvel UK > Issue #206–207
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If Starscream was always this competent, we'd be in a lot of trouble.


Synopsis

Having moved their base to the cold Arctic after the Club Con debacle, Ratbat and his Decepticons respond to an incoming intruder alert signal. As the Seaconss form Piranacon and begin shaking the arriving starship, Starscream flies in and tells the combiner robot to stop what he's doing and let the ship down gently. Good thing, too, because as soon as he does Scorponok and his Decepticon Headmasters file out, and they are not in the best of moods.

Starscream explains that Scorponok contacted him some weeks ago about the prospect of working together against the Autobots. With Club Con active at the time, Screamer asked Scorponok's crew to keep their distance for the time being. It seems once the Club folded, Scorponok tracked a signal beacon that Starscream had set up for them, since humans were no longer an issue. Starscream claims to have simply "forgotten" to inform Ratbat during the shuffle of moving. In a whispered aside, he also tells Ratbat that he couldn't have warned Scorponok off any longer without making him suspicious, despite how critical the time is in their plans for the Underbase. As both commanders' hackles are already raised, things don't get any more pleasant when Scorponok reveals that he and his troops are part "puny fleshling", something Ratbat finds infinitely distasteful.

Back in the Caribbean, Optimus Prime and Blaster are accompanied by Spike and Fortress Maximus in a futile search for the Decepticons' island base. The search for Buster Witwicky and the threat of the Underbase weigh heavily on all three Autobots.

In the Arctic, Starscream has been escorting the Decepticon Headmasters on a highly-censored tour of their base. During the tour, he stops in on Buster Witwicky and openly informs the flesh creature that he is scheduled for immediate termination. Naturally, Buster speaks up about how they're only killing him because he overheard about the Underbase. Even though Starscream tries to stop him from talking (really), the topic quickly catches Scorponok's attention. After Starscream "reluctantly" pleads the fifth on the subject, Scorponok goes stomping off to confront Ratbat. Giddy with evil glee, Starscream thanks Buster for helping set his plan in motion, before gathering up the boy for his last flight.

Ratbat and Scorponok exchange harsh words with each other over the Underbase and the inherent value of fleshlings, at which point Scorponok stalks off to leave with his Headmaster entourage. Ratbat sends the Predacons to stop his departure, and events proceed naturally from there. The rest of Scorponok's troops file out of their starcruiser, and the battle is joined.

In the meantime, Starscream prepares to abandon Buster on the Arctic ice shelf. As a parting gift, he leaves Buster a small communication beacon that, when triggered, will send a powerful homing pulse directly to the Autobots. Buster quickly realizes exactly what Starscream intends: to gather the Autobots so close to the Decepticon base would only serve as a uniting force to bring Ratbat and Scorponok's crew together, and slaughter the Autobots. Still, Buster realizes that he'll die otherwise, and only the Autobots can possibly stop Starscream from stealing the Underbase for himself. As Starscream flies into Scorponok's now-empty starcruiser and commandeers it, Buster reaches over to press the beacon...

Scorecard

Apeface smackdown

He's pulled his arms off! Probably not much pain now, but he is going to feel that in the morning.

Buzzsaw v. Cutthroat = Buzzsaw
Blitzwing v. Horri-Bull = Blitzwing
Skywarp v. Bugly = Bugly
Rampage v. Apeface = Apeface
Astrotrain v. Weirdwolf & Snapdragon
Octane v. Rippersnapper
Tantrum & Razorclaw v. Scorponok = Scorponok
Soundwave v. Bomb-Burst = Bomb-Burst

Credits

Script: Bob Budiansky
Art: Jose Delbo
Inks: Danny Bulanadi
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Bill Oakley
Editor: Don Daley
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

  • Originally published: February, 1989

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans

Nebulans

Errors

  • Several Decepticons are critically damaged in this issue, most notably ones like Tantrum who was literally torn in half, somehow are perfectly healthy next issue (in some cases, only to be destroyed again).
  • At one point, Thundercracker has Starscream's colors.

Items of note

Covers

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Specifics: UK covers
  • U.S. cover: Starscream hold Buster while Decepticons battle by Frank Springer
  • UK issue 206 cover: Starscream scheming away from Scorponok and Ratbat by Andrew Wildman
  • UK issue 207 cover: Headstrong vs Bomb-Burst by Lee Sullivan

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