Bumblebee to the rescue!
N.B. No credits are given at all.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
In a jungle in South America, a man has been on the run for days when he breaks his ankle. Suddenly, his pursuer reaches him—it is Ravage! The man hits Ravage with a branch, dislodging a small piece of metal, but is soon overcome. Ravage advances on him...
Bumblebee and Prowl have been left in the Ark to monitor human news reports for Decepticon activity whilst the other Autobots are out on a mission. Bumblebee is frustrated with being given a boring task instead of being in action. Suddenly, Prowl spots a news report about the man in the jungle being rescued. Prowl studies the image for ages and spots the piece of metal. He explains that the man is Doctor John Butler, a member of an expedition team that recently disappeared. But more importantly, the piece of metal comes from Ravage's hide, meaning the Decepticons are active in South America. Prowl tries to call Optimus Prime, but something is interfering with the radio transmission. Prowl is furious at the prospect of having to wait, but Bumblebee insists they must go to South America to stop the Decepticons. Prowl is concerned about their small numbers, even though Twin Twist and Top Spin are also aboard the Ark.
Later, Prowl finds himself in a jungle for the first time in his life, wondering how he let himself get talked into this. The four Autobots see an army roadblock, and despite Prowl suggesting going back, the Jumpstarters insist on going forward. The four Autobots transform to vehicle mode, and Twin Twist destroys the barrier with his drills as they speed through. They reach the clearing, and Prowl uses his sensors to track Ravage's exhaust fumes. After hours of working their way through the jungle, Bumblebee has fallen behind. A boa constrictor coils itself around him, but suddenly, the other Autobots arrive, and Top Spin stuns it with his blaster. The four Autobots continue onwards for days.
They come to a part of the jungle that has been cleared to make room for a building that Top Spin identifies as a replica of Megatron's fortress on Cybertron. Beyond, Prowl spots a mine shaft. The Autobots have no time to wonder what is being mined, as Megatron and Ravage emerge from the jungle. The Autobots hide, and Bumblebee uses his spying sensors to eavesdrop. He discovers that the Decepticons are mining for crystals not yet known to humans, crystals that Megaton plans to give artificial intelligence and use to create new Decepticons. The missing expedition team found the Decepticons by accident and were captured, though John Butler escaped, and clearly Ravage wasn't as efficient as he thought. The Autobots agree on the need to destroy the mine but get bogged down debating their strategy.
Bumblebee eavesdrops further and realises there is no time to wait, so he charges in. Starscream and Thrust start firing on him, and the other Autobots charge to the rescue. Suddenly, they find themselves gripped by fear—because Dirge has arrived! Prowl fights to overcome the fear and blasts Dirge with acid pellets. The Decepticon spirals out of control and crashes. The other Autobots attack the Decepticons, and Starscream is shot down. He hits the ground and destroys Megatron's mine in an explosion.
Megatron leaves but tells the Autobots he's planted a bomb in the fortress where the expedition team are still held captive. Bumblebee races in and frees the team. Together, they escape just before the bomb explodes. As Bumblebee rejoins the other Autobots, he feels a little ashamed by his rash actions, but there will be other battles with Megatron.
- Topspin is called "Top Spin" throughout.
- Top Spin is described as using "his drill" to clear a path through the jungle. It's Twin Twist who has the drills and used them earlier in the story. But to be fair, this is not the first time the two Jumpstarters have been confused.
As with many stories in this annual, it's very hard to place "Hunted!" in the continuity of the regular comic for sure. The story was written without consideration as to how and when several of the characters (Twin Twist, Top Spin, Thrust and Dirge) would be introduced. The Jumpstarters were never based on Earth at all in the comics. Additionally, by the time Thrust and Dirge arrived on Earth, Ravage and Starscream were out of action.
Items of note
- The first illustration is of Ravage confronting John Butler. And guess which pose Ravage is in.
- Prowl is able to identify a small piece of metal on a television picture as being from Ravage.
- When trying to radio Optimus Prime, Prowl says "Autobot Prowl calling..." No one's told him that his name doesn't need this kind of protection.
- It is never established what is blocking the radio transmissions or at which end.
- All Decepticons emit exhaust fumes, and these can be tracked.