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Kings of the Wild Frontier

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MarvelUS-63

Cowbots.

Marvel U.S. > Issue #63
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Marvel UK > Issue #282–285
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The Autobots discover that the Wild West may be a little TOO wild for them.

Synopsis

The Triggerbots are investigating the desert planet Cheyne in their search for the Matrix. Even more so than the others, Dogfight is less than thrilled about their current assignment, and is literally itching for a fight (y'know, from the sand). When they're nearly run down by a pack of riders, and see that the riders are chasing a child, Dogfight leaps into action and the other Autobots are forced to follow suit. Despite their protests that things aren't what they seem, the riders are driven off by the Triggerbots. They are then taken in by the child's parents, who act as gracious hosts and insist the Autobots freshen up at their farm before moving on.

Meanwhile, Thunderwing has hooked his three Autobot captives (Hosehead, Nightbeat and Siren)up to a mind leech device, and has extracted enough information from them to learn of the Matrix Quest. As he and his fellow Decepticons begin to set down on Cheyne, Ruckus makes an off-handed remark about how good it'll be for the Decepticons to eliminate the Autobot Matrix once and for all. Thunderwing silently disagrees, though, and is already forming plans to claim the Matrix, and its power, for himself.

Back at the ranch, Hud and his family tell the Triggerbots a sad tale about being driven off their homeworld by a political upheaval, and about trouble with "land prospectors" on this one trying to take away their farm. Once again, the Autobots allow themselves to be convinced to stay longer than they should, turning their quick stop for freshening up into an overnight stay.

In an interlude, Optimus Prime reaches deep into himself to make psychic contact with the Matrix, but is treated to visions of a dark corruption consuming the artifact, and the face of Unicron swallowing all Transformers into oblivion.

On Cheyne, the Triggerbots have been convinced to stay even longer, and help tend Hud's farm. At this point, their minds are clearly so fogged that they cannot even remember the Matrix Quest. As Dogfight accompanies his host into town for protection, he is confronted by Thunderwing and the Decepticons. After a short battle, Thunderwing examines Dogfight more closely and realizes he truly knows nothing of the Matrix, or even his own identity anymore. Discarding the Autobot as useless, Thunderwing and the others make ready to leave the planet and move on to the next.

Shaken a bit out of his fog by the beating (and the absence of Hud, who was chased out of town the moment he was separated from the Autobot), Dogfight is approached by the riders he had attacked the day before. They explain the family's evil nature to him, and Dogfight rushes back to the ranch to confront Hud and the others. At gunpoint, he forces Hud to reveal his true form, as a Vrobian psychic vampire that has been feeding off of the Matrix life-energy in all of them, a slow and wasting process made possible by the family's ability to psychically pacify their prey. In this case though, revealed as he is, Hud opts for a plasma cannon. As he blasts Dogfight out of the building, the rest of the family lunge for the other Triggerbots' guns just as they begin to snap out of their funk.

Chasing Dogfight around the property, Hud taunts him, saying the Autobot warrior is too pathetic to understand true warfare. Dogfight denies this, saying that Autobots know full well the horrors of war, yet must engage in it anyway. He crushes Hud's rifle as it is firing, and the backfire kills the Vrobian. Dogfight reunites with Backstreet and Override to learn that they had to similarly deal with the others. The three Autobots are left standing alone in the empty farm, wondering what the point of it all was.

Credits

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Jose Delbo
Inks: Dave Hunt
Colors: Nelson Yomtov
Lettering: Jim Massara

  • Originally published: February, 1990

Major characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others

Errors

  • Crankcase is depicted on the cover, despite the fact that he is not one of Thunderwing's troops for this story.

Items of note

  • Part 2 of the Matrix Quest
  • The story is an obvious Western homage. While it combines elements from many Western films, the plot bears a (slight) resemblance to Shane, which is probably the inspiration for the name of the planet, "Cheyne". The title is also lifted from "The Ballad of Davey Crockett".
  • Transformers Universe profiles for Dogfight and Override are found after the main story.

References

Covers

PicsNeeded
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Specifics: UK covers
BludgeonUK1

282 cover

MarvelUK-283

"This isn't where I left my car!"

MarvelUK-284

It could be anyone...

MarvelUK-285

"G'night, Soundwave"

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