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Meltdown!

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TFUK 169 COVER

Trypticon's anorexia was harmful to others

The name or term Meltdown refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Meltdown (disambiguation).

Flame prepares for the greatest transformation of all time!

Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 168 - 169
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Marvel UK issues #168 - 169

Writer: Simon Furman
Art: Robin Smith
Letters: GLIB (168) GLOP (169)
Colours: Euan Peters

  • Originally published: 28th May - 4th June 1988; Cover date ("off sale") 4th-11th June 1988

Synopsis

Flame-Meltdown

Flame is furious that no-one is around to hear his rant.

Flame's computer delivers an update on the various situations. City of Fear! & Legion of the Lost! Springer has reached the surface and joined up with Ultra Magnus and the Sparkabots. They are now proceeding underground. Flywheels is still seeking reinforcements. The other Wreckers are loose in the main complex but contained by zombies. Emirate Xaaron is seeking Flame and being allowed to proceed to central control. And the repairs to the main reactor are complete. The engines will be fired in 4.86 breems and Flame's plans will be complete! Flame cannot contain his glee.

Ultra Magnus and Sizzle are still arguing about whether or not it was wise to send Flywheels for reinforcements. Legion of the Lost! Magnus believes Flywheels has to come through as the Decepticons are also threatened, but Sizzle isn't convinced. Privately Springer also wonders if it was the best idea but understands the pressure on Magnus.

Impactorzombie

Am I alive again?

Meanwhile the Wreckers are losing against the zombies so Broadside tries to reach the armoury. But a zombie starts to crush his head. Then it is knocked aside by a spear. Broadside turns to see his saviour is Impactor, still wondering who brought him back to life. Broadside tells him it was Flame and the former leader of the Wreckers heads away. Broadside turns to the now open armoury, stocked full of weapons.

Xaaron has reached the main control room and confronts Flame. They are still arguing about whether the reactor is safe, but Flame claims Xaaron is only concerned that the Council of Elders will find out they discredited the wrong person. Xaaron argues that both the Council and Flame's disgrace are ancient history, but the renegade Autobot doesn't agree. Xaaron determines to shut down the reactor but as he heads for the door Flame transforms into his firetank mode and blasts him. Xaaron realises that if he transforms as well the shock to the system might kill him, but it may be the only way to stop Flame.

Ultra Magnus, Springer and the Sparkabots meet up with the other Wreckers but are disappointed to find all the zombies have already been destroyed. The Autobots set off for the central control room but the computer recognises the high threat level and seals the blast doors. Needing heavy artillery to break through, Springer and Broadside head for Autobase. Springer declares that nothing's going to stop him now. But he's not so sure when another set of doors are blasted open to reveal Trypticon!

In the control room Xaaron continues to dodge Flame's blast and sees the computer reporting an imminent meltdown by the main reactor. Xaaron uses this to convince Flame that Cybertron is in danger and proposes to lower the reactor core and seal it to save the planet, but Flame believes it will save the plan and Cybertron will still become a battle station.

Outside Ultra Magnus, the Wreckers and Sparkabots try to laser their way through the blast doors but with no success. Springer and Broadside have not yet returned. Then Sizzle shouts as Trypticon comes down the corridor. The Autobots prepare to fight but Springer stops them. Ultra Magnus's gamble has paid off. Flywheels couldn't get huge numbers of reinforcements so instead brought the largest Decepticon of all. Trypticon smashes open the blast doors and everyone enters, observed from afar by Impactor.

Inside Xaaron is trying to convince Flame to let him get to the reactor controls, but the paranoid Flame believes it is a scheme to discredit him. Then Ultra Magnus enters, picks up Flame and throws him aside. The other Autobots and Decepticons arrive and Xaaron explains that the only way is to isolate the reactor from the blast - but this will involve going through the chamber and the radiation will destroy whoever is in there. Xaaron proposes to go, despite protests from Springer and Ultra Magnus.

Flame has now recovered and summons more zombies. Trypticon and Flywheels lead the Autobots into battle to the surface against them. Meanwhile Xaaron prepares to meet his destiny. Just as he is about to open the door Flame charges at him to kill him. Then Flame drops dead, a spear in his head. Xaaron turns to see Impactor, who now fully remembers. Impactor tells Xaaron that he is already dead and has no place amongst the living, so is the natural person to shut down the reactor. Xaaron doesn't know what to say and leaves his old friend for the last time. Impactor enters the chamber and reaches the control.

Xaaron reaches the surface to the others' surprise, just as the engines around them explode. Xaaron explains that Impactor has succeeded in containing the blast.

"Give thanks, Autobots, Decepticons - our world is safe. The plans of an insane Decepticon and the Autobot who carried on his work have been buried forever! Give thanks... to the Autobot who died twice so that others may live!"

Errors

  • Flame's Autobot symbol vanishes from his chest in some panels.

Items of note

  • We learn in this issue that Emirate Xaaron's alternate mode is a "vehicular combat mode" but he hasn't transformed for hundreds of years and the shock to the system could kill him. So in a way he is the first Action Master.
  • In some panels Flame's Autobot symbol is noticeably blocked from view, mainly when he is at his angriest. It's possible that this is a deliberate self-censorship to avoid showing too evil an Autobot.

Reprints

  • It was reprinted again in the Titan Books trade paperback "City of Fear".

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